You’ve decided to embrace your grey, now what? Master Stylist Frank Calandrino spills the secrets on achieving stunningly silver tresses.
I think grey is a full-on hair revolution! People often think letting your hair go grey will age you or it’s old-fashioned, but it’s actually a boldly modern style choice rising in popularity these days. Older women used to cover grey with dye all the way into their 90s, but times have changed. When today’s younger generation is 90 they’ll be embracing their silver strands, not dying them!
Not everyone goes grey the same way. Some have the odd white hair or salt-and-pepper strands, and while others have sweeps of white. It’s often not evenly distributed, with some areas appearing more grey than others.
Regardless, start by getting a consult with your stylist – they know your hair well, and can see exactly the shade of grey growing out as well as how it’s spreading across your scalp. They can then advise you on how to move forward with the transition to grey in the most flattering and beautiful way.
Cutting your hair short is the simplest way, but it’s certainly not the only way. I see it as the barbaric way of going grey! Actually, I recommend more graceful strategies that depend on what phase of grey your hair is in.
Blondes can often let untouched grey go on for a longer period of time because blonde hair tends to mask and blend quite well with grey strands. It makes sense for blondes have an easier time going grey since they’re naturally starting from a lighter point, whereas brunettes need to consider how dark they are to begin with and work from there.
If your hair is dark, you should begin the greying process with highlights and gradually lighten up your hair. You’ve likely heard by now that someone with black hair shouldn’t realistically expect to jump right into platinum blonde, and going grey comes with similar expectations.
Interestingly, many people think you need to add lowlights (darker shades) if you intend to go grey… but nope! You need highlights. You need to stop adding any dark colour in your hair.
Why highlights when going grey? You’re trying to diminish the line that separates contrasting shades of hair and take away that demarcation point. Every visit, your stylist will put in more highlights to take away the dark. Essentially, you’re going blonde and the highlights will be silverized to match the client’s natural greys. The goal at this stage is a cool blonde result. Additionally, there are varying levels of grey: silver grey, salt-and-pepper, and white grey. Individuals with white hair will definitely want to go with highlights.
Going grey is a very technical process that’s unique to the client and there’s no one specific way to do it.
We’re seeing more women in their 20s dying their hair grey – it’s an edgy look. Again, you must start with blonde hair, then your stylist will tone with a grey or silver highlight. Also, there are different levels of lightness to consider in grey hair colour: blue grey, purple grey, even green-ish grey. You’ll want to consult with your colourist about which one is right for you.
Use the same as you would for blonde hair. The goal is to remove any yellow, and silver tones neutralize yellow. Goldwell makes one called Silver that prevents your strands from going brassy.
Remember, your hair texture will change and become coarser as it goes grey; colour softens the texture, except now you aren’t doing that. So, you’ll want to prioritize the use of hydrating serums and get a high quality conditioner.
The technical answer would be when you’re more than 50% grey… but the more liberating response is: when you don’t want to touch up anymore! The most important factor here is to wear your gorgeously grey tresses proudly.
Many women that decide to embrace their grey are doing it because they want to own it. Or, they just don’t want to continue spending the time and money colouring their hair for the rest of their life.
Going grey is nearly the same level of boldness as going purple in that you may need to consider changing the cut of your hair, and possibly the shades you’re used to grabbing from your makeup bag. Also, the process will likely take up to a year (or a couple of visits depending on how dark you are to start).
Looking to embrace your grey? Make an appointment at bob + paige salon.