Beauty: A suite of tones adds vitality and glamour to greying locks

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Terry Wogan is not the look I’m trying to channel. However, I have recently grown a couple of puffy silver panels on either side of my head, à la Wogan, not to mention a few springy coils of grey along my parting.

Time to hit the dye, with a long overdue trip to Edinburgh’s Vidal Sassoon salon’s colour director Fraser McInnes.

As an ombre look is part of their more recent collection, see picture, I blithely mentioned to Fraser that I wanted to give this style a shot. However, he soon steered me round to something rather more subtle, as, I suppose, befits someone over 35 (and then some).

I’ve been to this salon a few times before, and they’re always quite good at talking you down from anything too radical – a good thing.

His plan was to give me what can only be described as “upside-down highlights”. According to him, the late Vidal Sassoon invented the dying technique that is highlights, so I was confident I was in good hands.

Twenty or so foils of lighter shades were applied to fine strands of hair halfway down my scalp and lower down, then an all-over permanent shade that Fraser described as “violet”, but turned out to be a chocolate cherry hue, was added to cover the rest of my greying crowning glory.

After a cup of tea and a flick through a magazine, it was time for the rinse.

To ensure the colour would look vibrant, after the dye was washed out, my hair was also treated to a deep conditioning treatment.

Then, after a blow dry and a cut (which took into account how to showcase my new highlights) courtesy of assistant creative director Gareth Gordon, my revamped hairdo was unveiled.

It looked fantastic – glossy, subtle and grown-up, with, underneath the rich red shade, flashes of lighter tones in caramel, gold and chestnut, revealed when my hair moves, or if I tie it back.

An advantage to having this variety of highlights is that regrowth isn’t as noticeable as when they’re scattered along your parting, so they don’t require as much maintenance.

More than six weeks later, my colour still looks fresh and glossy and the grey hasn’t yet begun to peek through.

As soon as I start to resemble Terry Wogan, I’ll know who to call.

• Sassoon, 10 Multrees Walk, St Andrews Square, Edinburgh (0131-558 2849;