A guest post for Katie Goes Platinum - The inside scoop on transitioning to natural grey from cosmetically colored hair
*This post can also be found at Katie Goes Platinum blog! It was originally intended to help inform her natural silver haired following more regarding the chemical process of going silver from colored hair, and I found it to be relevant to our industry as well!*
For many women there comes a point in their lives where they are faced with a major decision. The choice to grow out their natural grey hair and embrace the freedom that comes along with not being tied to a hair salon every three weeks, or continue to color their hair because they prefer the way it looks. Not all women choose to let their natural grey grow out at the same point in their lives, but for the majority, there is a point where they've had enough. As a stylist I've performed quite a few color transformations taking women from old outgrown color, to a more believable blended color to make the process a little less painful. But what does that look like from a consumers perspective?
It is important to understand that no two heads of hair are the same. Two women starting with the same length and color hair will need two very different color processes to achieve the same end result.
What Are The Benefits Of Blending My Hair Color?
When we are talking about growing out natural grey, it entails so much more than just a long process to change your color. It relieves you of such rigorous color upkeep in the salon, gives you a completely unique color pattern that is unable to be recreated in a salon, and automatically grants you access to a special club of women with gorgeous silver hair. It also can be emotionally taxing in ways that people don't really discuss, or often times understand.
Growing in your grey cold turkey is a long process, which is made to feel even longer when you have to look at a hard line of demarcation every single day (pictured above). Imagine that you have a shirt that you cannot stand and you have to wear it every day for the next 2-4 years. THAT can be what it feels like growing in your hair color. For some women, they simply won't start the process because they cannot imagine making
it through the first year of having "roots" that look unintentional. The above picture shows a fairly dramatic line of demarcation on a women who was READY to embrace her natural silver foxiness. Lightening her extremely dark hair with a full head of extremely fine highlights to blend out her harsh line of demarcation was what she needed to be able to commit to the process. When we were finished, she had immediate results that she could live with until her hair color was completely her own, rather than looking in the mirror every day unhappy with what she saw.
What Are The Downfalls Of Blending My Hair Color?
Just as not all hair is created equal, not all color lines are created equal either. Even if you have the best hairdresser, depending on your hair and depending on the color line that is used, you can end up with damaged hair that you now have to live with. In addition to risking damage, often times it takes multiple applications to achieve a true grey reflection from blending out your colored hair which can become pricey quickly. Blending grey hair is no easy feat, and many hairdressers will just tell you "no" if you ask them for this color service. The ones who are confident enough to say yes usually come with a larger price tag.
When grey blending is done properly, it can leave women more confident, closer to their overall end goal immediately and allow them to try on what it feels like to be lighter and more silver. When grey blending is not done properly, it can leave you with damaged hair, brassy hair color and odd color placements that do not replicate what natural grey looks like. This is taking steps backwards rather than forward.
What Does It Cost?
To give you an accurate idea of costs associated with a grey color blending service, I'm going to break down the costs and continued upkeep that the women pictured previously encountered when they chose to move forward with their services.
Full Highlight $140
Tone every 6-8 weeks $20
With this initial application, we were able to achieve enough of a blend that we felt comfortable moving forward fully growing out her natural grey! The only thing that we kept up on was toning her colored hair every 6-8 weeks to keep them appearing grey rather than starting to turn yellow, and of course our regular haircuts.
Full Highlight $145
Tone & Blow Dry every 8 weeks $95
With this initial application, we were able to get here hair leaps and bounds farther than I had originally thought. This beauty was wanting so badly to go completely grey and felt overwhelmed thinking of the 4-5 years it would take to get her natural grey grown out to her current hair length. After we blended her, she cried happy tears. Her follow up regimen was to tone her hair every 8 weeks. We only needed to do this twice before purple shampoo was enough to combat any warmth coming through. My favorite toning products for silver hair are Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo & Conditioner. They leave your hair in amazing condition using plant derived ingredients, contain no sulfates or parabens and pack a pigmented punch! Use these together whenever you feel like your silver needs a pick me up.
When it comes to going grey, what the process looks like really comes down to your emotional connection to your hair. Are you going to remain confident, undistracted and happy through the whole process, or are you going to feel insecurity around your hair and constantly check your reflection in the mirror? If you feel that you can rock the grow out, then do it! Embrace the natural process. Blending is an expensive process when it goes well, and a small fortune when it takes multiple lightening sessions to get your color to that pastel white tone. BUT for some women, it's the best option to get them on the right path to their end goal of gorgeous natural grey hair.
If you're considering going grey, then weigh your options and pick the path of least resistance! There is all the support in the world for you online, and hopefully you have a friend or two cheering you on.