It has been a banner time for grey hair. Take the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where Andie MacDowell debuted her glorious mass of curly grey hair alongside Helen Mirren’s chic silver bob and Jodie Foster’s grey streaks. Grey hair became a plot point on the Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That as Carrie and co. embraced life in their 50s. Indeed, there’s been something of a silver renaissance happening as women shake off anxieties and old-fashioned tropes around “going grey” and instead embrace a new look. As MacDowell said on The Drew Barrymore Show: “I wasn’t colouring my hair and you could see my roots, and my daughters kept telling me that I looked bada*s. [That] really appealed to me. So I went for it, and I am enjoying it.” Amid this shift, it can be easy to forget about the gentlemen, who – blessed with the notion of the “silver fox” and perhaps not as anxious about going grey as women – may still need guidance on embracing the salt and pepper look. What should their goal be? Think George Clooney, Idris Elba, Steve Carell or Pierce Brosnan (there’s more). Men’s grooming now extends below the belt, and it’s rising in popularity John Pulitano, a top stylist and co-founder of Headcase Hair in Sydney, Australia, says it’s time to let go of any misconception that having grey or salt and pepper hair makes you look old. But you do need to look after it. “Although it can be perceived as ageing, salt and pepper hair well cut and looked after always looks great on guys. It suits a lot of different looks, from classic James Dean- inspired hair to slightly grown-out looks and even short scruffy haircuts. “I think the only time it looks ageing is when the hair is thinning. In that case, it’s best to keep it short and neat,” he says. View this post on Instagram A post shared by U N O I T (@unoit_barber) Costa Zacharia, owner of Unoit barber shop in Sydney, agrees that regular haircuts are key. “Ensure you keep the cut maintained because grey hair has a way of looking very unruly when it’s unkempt,’ he says. “From my experience, the best hairstyle to accompany the salt and pepper look is either a fade or a natural medium length tousled back look.” Looking after the condition of your hair as you, and it, ages is essential too. In fact, Lisa Caddy, consultant trichologist with the scalp- and hair health-focused brand Philip Kingsley (famous for tending to the hair of actress Audrey Hepburn among others), says you might want to forget the idea that grey hair is actually, well, grey. Diet is incredibly important to hair health Lisa Caddy, trichologist “Grey hair is simply hair that lacks pigment (melanin) … the hair is white, but simply looks grey when it is interspersed with pigmented hairs,” she says. “When you go grey is largely down to genes. If your mother or father started getting white hairs at a young age, it is likely that you will as well. On average, most people’s hair is 50 per cent white by the time they turn 50 years old.” As Caddy points out, certain medications and health conditions can also cause hair to turn white. For instance, vitamin B12 deficiency, pernicious anaemia and thyroid disorders can cause premature greying, and stress has also been linked to premature greying. Caddy says there are several things you can do to look after your hair – something that becomes even more important as we age. “Diet is incredibly important to hair health. Being a non-essential tissue, hair is the last part of us to benefit from nutrients we ingest, and the first to be withheld from,” she says. “We always suggest our clients eat a healthy, balanced diet containing proteins (which hair is made of), complex carbohydrates (to provide energy to rapidly growing hair cells), healthy fats (important for scalp health), iron, zinc and vitamin B12 – and when necessary, a nutritional supplement. “Not skipping meals is also important. Managing stress levels is also key.” Other things to keep in mind? Wear a hat: white hair is more prone to UV damage and it can discolour easily. “To counteract brassy or dull tones, regularly shampoo and condition with violet-hued toning products. I recommend our Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo and Conditioner,” says Caddy. If you aren’t quite ready for the silver fox life, Vincent Noble, a leading colourist and co-founder of Headcase Hair, says there is an in-between solution. “ If you feel uncomfortable with grey hair, then try using a type of camouflage colour. Colour for men has evolved and can now look really natural. This option is not permanent and gives a soft blending between natural and grey hair without the full coverage. It [blends] greys while keeping it looking very natural and complementary,” he says. “This type of colour simply fades out, allowing a better transition with no regrowth and no roots. It also means if you do decide to keep it natural you don’t have to wait for it to grow out.” He adds: “It also works better against skin tone and [is] much softer and more youthful with natural-looking coverage, rather than a very blocky, fake-looking coverage that can sometimes be a little too warm.” John Pulitano’s recommendations Oribe Silverati Shampoo : unlike most silver or toning shampoos it is not too purple, but actually silver with lots of little brilliantine particles. It gives a beautiful shine and really enhances the silver in the most natural way. Christophe Robin Cleansing Thickening Paste: another great product for men wanting to look after their hair. It gives body and helps a lot with thinning hair. Lisa Caddy’s recommendations Philip Kingsley Tricho 7 Volumising Hair & Scalp Drops : they are specifically formulated for those with fine hair and reduced hair volume. Philip Kingsley Maximiser Root Boosting Spray : it improves the appearance of thickness.