Grooming Questions Answered: To Colour Your Hair Or Not To Colour Your Hair

Above: When to colour your hair (Photo: Prod-akszyn/Shutterstock)
Above: When to colour your hair (Photo: Prod-akszyn/Shutterstock)

Sure, a bit of salt-and-pepper grey in your hair can look distinguished, but what about when it doesn’t and you start to feel, eh hem, old? According to Luis Pacheco, Clairol’s Toronto-based, consulting colourist, “there’s no black and white answer to when you should start colouring your hair.” He believes it’s all about how comfortable you feel in your own skin.

“If you have the right attitude and can carry the greys, it can always be distinguished looking. Confidence is key,” says Pacheco. And when the moment is right, and you want a boost, pick up the phone and book an appointment for a colour application. After all, it’s your hair and “it’s all about personal comfort.”

Before you get started, Pacheco recommends asking three questions first:

1. Can I come to the salon after hours?

“Some men prefer to visit the salon before or after hours to be more discreet,” says Pacheco. “Especially if they’re worried about running into their wife or girlfriend’s friends.” Salons are used to these types of questions and often provide their clients with flexible hours as a result. All you have to do is ask when booking your appointment.

2. Will I have visible roots?

No one wants a colour or highlight treatment that leaves you with your roots showing the minute your hair starts growing. “It’s an obvious sign you’re colouring your hair,” affirms Pacheco. He recommends asking the stylist to use a comb-technique to apply the colour to your hair, as it won’t create a solid line of brown, black, red or blonde along your roots. “Using a comb is the best way to avoid getting too close to the roots. It also won’t target all of the roots so even when you leave the salon your hair won’t look too coloured,” says Pacheco.

3. Can you use a demi-permanent colour?

Ask the colourist to apply a demi permanent product rather than a permanent one, says Pacheco. “A demi permanent colour will not remove the natural pigment from your hair and it won’t expose any underlying warm pigments of your hair, which helps keep you natural looking.” Ammonia-free products that are closest in shade to the darkest parts of your hair will also look the most authentic. 

Pacheco’s final tip: You don’t have to cover all of your grey hair to look good. “I always leave a little grey around the sideburns, which is a good trick,” says Pacheco. “It creates the illusion that your hair is 100 per cent natural, giving the colour application a more vigorous and healthy look.”

Adriana Ermter

Adriana is an award-winning writer and editor. The former beauty director for FASHION magazine and editor-in-chief of Salon and of Childview magazines has hosted beauty videos for, as well as contributed to Men’s FASHION, Chatelaine and, Flare and, Huffington Post Canada, National Post,,, and She lives in Toronto with her very spoiled feline, Trixie-Belle, and a fantastically large perfume collection.

You may follow Adriana on Twitter: @AErmter and on Instagram: AdrianaErmter.

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