Over the past few months numerous people have requested I dye their hair Grey.... My initial responses were generally to suggest they wait a few years and let it happen naturally... This wasn't met with too much enthusiasm!
Cool, Ashy Blondes have been the look of choice for many over the last few years and it now seems ladies and gents are wanting to take it a step further and irradicate any hint of blonde, gold and warm tones whatsoever..
For years women have been battling against the natural progression of grey and silver hairs popping through their locks and this isn't just a modern tradition - it's been going on since ancient Egyptian times. So why the sudden turnaround? Why do young ladies suddenly want to go Granny Grey?
Bright fashion colours and streaks of pink, purple, red and blue etc. have been popping up for years and it seems full heads of multitonal grey and white are just another extension to this. In one respect it is allowing ladies to be free to allow their natural 'whites' to shine through and join the fashionable without worrying!
Back to the matter in hand - How do you 'dye' someone's hair grey? Sounds straight forward really - buy some grey hair dye and slap it on, easy peasy. With the range of colours on todays market you would think so.
The problem lies in the fact that 'Grey' in essence isn't really a colour.... Yes, you can mix black and white paint and make grey, yes, grey exists in daily life all around us and our hair will naturally go grey over the years. However, any hair colourist will tell you that the science behind colouring hair isn't quite so straight forward. Most hair colours are achieved by analysing current hair colour, assessing desired hair colour and working out the steps involved to achieve this. Sometimes it involves lightening hair and reducing the amounts of natural pigments in the hair to allow addition of artificial tones to achieve a lighter look. Colours which lie within the colour wheel can therefore be achieved without too much stress.... Grey however isn't really within that range. Most greys are a fairly 'pigmentless' colour and therefore difficult to 'mix' from oher colours. In order to achieve grey hair you must remove as much natural pigment as possible without destroying any helath the hair has. You then need to assess the results achieved and apply a careful mix of tones and depth to achieve the desired look..
Think carefully ladies before requesting the Grey look... Your hair may need to be permanently lightened and then toned back down to the desired colour. NOt many of these grey tones are permanent, particularly on very lighgtened hair which has become sensitised and struggles to hold artificial tones. Going grey may be a 2 or 3 step process and will require regular attention so be prepared to get to know your stylist quite well.
Above are the results of my latest venture into the world of grey... Far left is before, hair was already highlighted and quite light in colour. The objective was to tone down the re-growth to a more 'slatey' grey blonde whilst adding brighter greyer tones to the pre-lightened lengths. Middle shows how the colour looked in natural daylight and far right shows colour viewed in artificial light. Colour aim was achieved and it was intersting to see the different tones which dominated in different lights. A succesful day at the salon.....
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