Remember those commercials where a family member was being grey hair shamed? Then there will be this one amazing dye, and everyone’s happy again. However, the idea of ‘grey is bad’ has gone through a tremendous change over the past few years. The salt-and-pepper look, meaning the black-and-white hair, has now evolved to be a mark of a confident man who is not afraid to be real. The mentality around it has changed, and a big part of the reason is because men became a lot more confident about themselves.

The biggest change has to be younger men embracing their onset of early grey strands, and proudly maintaining them as is. Riaan George, content creator and luxury blogger, had his hair greying in his late ’20s, and decided to accept them and make them a part of his persona. “I personally think the salt-and-pepper look gives men a look of dignified elegance. But what is interesting is guys like me, who started greying in our late ’20s, maintain this look, and it’s turning out to be quite the style statement,” he says. Fashion designer Nikhil Mehra, of the fashion label Shantanu & Nikhil, also proudly sports the salt-and-pepper look, without feeling the need to cover it up with black dye. “Today, greying hair is no big deal. I’m not hiding or covering it. I feel salt and pepper hair makes you look more distinguished, classy, and confident. Also, hairstyles for S&P hair don’t have to be complicated. Instead, keep things simple and style your short hair, keep your beard neat and trimmed, and you are all done,” he says.

It’s equally important to pay attention to maintaining the look. Imagine keeping it shabby, and ruining what it can do to your style. For salt and pepper, your best bet would be to opt for a specific haircut that suits the look, according to celebrity hairstylist Vikas Marwah. “A shabby set of hair does not go well with this style, so make sure you have a sleek cut. Apart from that, always use a thin comb to style your S&P hair with hair wax for a classy, stylish look. Also, make sure you nourish and condition your hair with natural products to maintain its quality,” adds Marwah.

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Although your greys are natural and are a result of lack of melanin, they still need to be looked after, because they’re prone to very specific problems that can throw off your look. Delphine Sarroche, hair stylist and hair expert at JeanClaude Biguine, suggests being wary of the sun, and your nicotine intake. “For your greys, you have to be careful. Catching too much sun can make your grey strands turn yellow. Apart from that, even smoking can cause them to go yellow. But in case that happens, we have a range of great products today that can help us protect the greys.” When it comes to products, Sarroche suggests sticking to matte products instead of glossy to further enhance the look of your hair. “When you use products with a glossy finish, it makes your hair darker, and ends up hiding the greys. If you want to have a lighter salt-pepper look, matte is the best option. Plus, it just looks more natural, which is always great,” he adds.