It’s the moment every woman dreads. But to have it happen in the full glare of the media with TV cameras and photographers only feet away, would be a nightmare.

I'm talking about the day when a woman discovers those first strands of grey hair. Forget 50 shades of grey; one is more than enough.

So, when Kate Middleton stepped out on a recent public engagement, just try and imagine how she felt when dozens of cameras ignored the reason for her Royal visit and chose instead to focus on her very visible grey hair.

The images made the evening news and most newspapers the following day. To add insult to injury, it was repeatedly emphasised that Kate is only 33, relatively young for grey hairs to appear.

Whenever it happens, the realisation that your natural colour is fading is a terrible shock for most women.

Many of my guests tell me they suddenly feel old, even frumpy. They wonder what to do; maybe try a home colour or discreetly ask their stylist for advice or just brave it out and let the grey reign.

 WHAT WE USE AND WHY

The first question I ask my guests is what colour they use, then, what brand? Would you believe that most women simply don’t know the answer to either question?

Surveys have shown a majority of women have no idea what brand or colour their stylist has been using.

Of course, it may be they simply trust the stylist and salon to provide the right kind. That’s fine. However, if someone is applying colour to your hair, you should be told what particular brand it is and why it is right for you, especially when skin sensitivity tests are or very much should be part of a salons protocol.

I’ve had guests whose colour is all wrong for their skin tone or the product is too harsh for their hair type but they still allowed a stylist to use it on them. Sadly, some unscrupulous salons buy bottles of colour in bulk and then surreptitiously use it on unsuspecting customers, without concern it is indeed the most suitable for them.

There is a relationship between cost of service and the product used. When a salon uses price and weekly promotions as their main marketing strategy they have to cut costs somewhere, and where better than the products their clients have little idea about, namely colour and products behind the backwash I prefer Redken’s four-dimensional colour because it is far kinder to the hair as it does not use ammonia as the catalyst to carry the dye into the hair but uses oil. This is not only kinder but adds strength to the hair that is having this chemical treatment.

Redken colour is the only colour that contains argon oil, the main ingredient in Moroccan oil branded products and a plethora of other emerging brands. This ensures a more even coverage as the canvas we colour on, your hair, has different porosity’s throughout its length.

WHERE WE PUT IT AND WHY

It’s important to remember that placement of colour is just as crucial as what colour to use. Placement of colour can make a fringe look longer or thicker depending on its placement.

It can personalise a haircut and give it the essential tailoring fit. It can bring out eyes, cheek bones and eliminate the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles.

A good stylist will use contouring to help give the style more structure and with colour we have the potential to achieve the illusion of volume, length, width, height – the list is endless.

WHERE IT COMES FROM AND SO WHAT?

Another question I often ask my guests is do they prefer North American or European colouring? That really leaves most people baffled. You see, there is a world of difference between the colours we use here and those on the other side of the Atlantic.

North American hair colours are more multidimensional and softer; they work with the natural tones on the hair, so that every result is different depending on your hair. You could say it is more bespoke, something you’re unlikely to be offered at salons which use the cheapest lines.

In addition, North American hair colours have led some of the most award-winning and innovative trends over the past few years – the new Ombre/ Balayage/Splashlights techniques gained notoriety in the States. European colours have their place and value as long as you understand the differences or indeed understand that there is a choice.

Traditionally they tend to be very matt, deep, like a blanket result and cover grey hair well. If you are looking for bright and bold reds to impact your look this type of colour is a useful consideration – This colour is not as harmonious with natural looking hairstyles and has often been described unfairly as ‘lego hair’ in the industry – as it often has all one tone.

So, before you ask a salon to colour your hair, ask the stylist about what type of colours and brand they use and whether they can include North American colours. If they look puzzled, that may be your cue to get out! Or better still, come and see me and I’ll happily talk you through the best colour for you – and you’ll soon feel like a Princess!