Hair Dare: What To Know Before Going Gray

Grey Hair Charlotte The Fashion Guitar

Photo: Adam Katz Sinding

No longer reserved for the—ahem—mature set, going gray has become a hair trend spotted on fashion insiders and editors alike. We love the idea of embracing the full color spectrum (pastel and neon, eat your heart out) as legitimate options for your mane’s new hue, but understand that adopting the look takes a bit of gusto. We tapped color expert Aura Friedman of Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon for advice on what to consider before embracing your outer silver fox.

Hello, Silver Fox

Aura Friedman and Charlotte The Fashion Guitar
Newly gray blogger Charlotte Groeneveld with Aura Friedman. Photo: @auracolorist

#1 Thing To Consider Before Going Gray

"The most important thing to evaluate is if your hair can take the bleaching process, however you decide to do it. Whether it's highlights or a double process, you need it to first be a pale yellow in order to neutralize and tone it gray."

Grey Hair Sarah Harris
Sarah Harris, Fashion Features Director of British Vogue, takes to the streets with her signature gray mane. Photo: Adam Katz Sinding

Why Gray Is Becoming The New "It" Color

"It's cool and works well on both fair and olive skin tones. It looks amazing with blue, green or gray eyes."

"The basic process of going gray involves two key steps: bleaching and toning."
Aura Friedman Striped Grey Hair
Aura added dark gray stripes to her client Samantha's already-icy mane. Photo: @auracolorist

Consider Your Hair's Current Health

"Not all hair types can go gray. Hair needs to be able to look good and withstand the bleaching process so it highly depends on density, texture, existing color and pre-existing color."

Grey Hair Street Style
Multidimensional gray hair keeps the look from appearing dull. Photo: Adam Katz Sinding

How To Maintain The Color

"For a double process, touch-ups are needed every 4 weeks. For highlighted hair, visit your colorist every 2-4 months."

"People make up their owns terms based on different types of gray—gunmetal, pewter, steel, iron, chrome, silver, chinchilla, heather. Research these references and bring photos to your colorist for the perfect hue."
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