It's A Beautiful Grey

A complete color overhaul from quarantine regrowth, to liberating natural grey

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 it, 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 any point in their lives, but for the majority, there is a point where they've had enough. I think we can all agree that quarantine has given quite a few of our guests something to think about by way of color, and I personally have been overloaded with grey blending! My grey ladies are sick of the upkeep, nervous for another shut down that will leave them without color again, and ready to embrace their natural sparkle!

It is so important to understand that no two heads of hair are the same, and when it comes to a MAJOR color correction like this, so many factors are involved. Most people will not be a candidate for a color process this major, so please keep that in mind when reading through the process!

Lets Get Started!

This beauty found me through a guest post I wrote for Katie Goes Platinum. It can also be found here.

COVID shut downs across the country had the very obvious side effect of natural roots growing in MUCH longer than any of us usually allow. Some guests turned to a box, some salons offered a personalized formula to take home and apply, and the rest of the world just watched as their hair grew in. Many saw a substantial amount of their natural color for the first time in years. For many grey haired guests, this was the final straw. This head of silver locks reached out after 3 months of quarantine and a deep dive on Katie Goes Platinum's blog. We figured out that she lives just under 3 hours away, and decided to go ahead and take the plunge! She's been contemplating it for years, and this time away from the salon solidified her decision.

You can see that we have roughly 2.5 inches worth of natural silver regrowth, followed by a level 4 midshaft and level 5 ends. Her hair has only ever had professional color on it, and she has a strict regimen at home of professional hair products. This is largely why I was able to take on this project! The starting integrity of her hair was flawless, and she was committed to taking home my professional recommendations for hair health.

What Were The Risks?

With any color correction, there is a calculated risk assessment that determines weather or not I'm willing to take on the project. While her hair was in excellent starting condition, she has worn tape ins for the better part of 3 years for density. Her hair is also very fine in texture, and her starting color was VERY dark to be lifting to a level 9/10. With all of that said, I felt confident that due to her natural texture, I would get the desired amount of lift with minimal damage. I also know the product line that I use like the back of my hand, and trust that the lightener is the most gentle I can get my hands on and will protect her integrity.

This hair required a nearly full platinum card. One of the biggest challenges with making someones color mimic their natural grey is the natural color pattern. Most heads of silver or white are not a SOLID silver or white. They have threads of their previously melanated hair running sporadically throughout, creating their color pattern. This is generally next to impossible to recreate accurately. With this head of hair in specific, she had a medium, upside down triangle shaped pattern at her nape that was more than 90% dark! It matched up to a cool level 4. Lifting this area to match the rest of her silver would have created an unnatural appearance, so I left it out completely to remain dark. The same theory goes for the remainder of her hair! Anywhere there was a concentration of dark threads, I left out baby fine sections of her existing dark to create depth and cohesion.

When actually applying her lightener, I applied it almost entirely as a platinum card. My main points of focus were extreme saturation, as well as lightly backfeathering the lightener through her hard line of demarcation to create a soft, believable blend.

If saturation is not proper, her hair color will stall out short of our desired end goal due to drying & lack of adequate product. If the color is not blended, we will create hard lines throughout the hair that will not fade gracefully. I began in the back with a lower volume developer to allow for easy rinsing as I knew this would finish processing first, and this application would take some serious time. After completing the back quadrants, I bumped up the developer to accommodate processing time.


Violet Powdered Lightener Mixed 1: 1.5

Volumes 20, 25 & 30

Processed the full 40 minutes

Toner #1 (ammonia based permanent color):

20g 10,21 (Level 10 violet with blue)

10g 9,22 (Level 9 double violet)

10g 9,11 (Level 9 double blue)

80g 5Vol

Processed 12 minutes

Toner #2 (ammonia free demi-permanent color):

20g 9,22 (Level 9 double violet)

10g Steel (Level-less pastel blue grey)

15g Gloss (Clear)

45g 10Vol

Procesed 12 minutes

When her hair had finished processing, she lifted light and bright. You can see from her post lightening picture that even though the tones clash, there is blend and dimension from the dark that had been left out. I knew that due to the major process her hair had just undergone, her toner was likely to fade QUICKLY. I decided to double tone her achieve the most control and to give the most longevity to her color. For the first toner, I chose to use a blend of levels and colors to give this hair control without over depositing. I used a level 10 violet blue, a level 9 double violet, and a level 9 double blue to cancel out her VERY strong warmth while lending to the steely finish we wanted.

After 12 minutes (with a max of 15) processing time, I chose to cleanse the first toner from the hair as we had achieved the desired smokey tone. I then gently towel dried and applied our second toner. This was a demi-permanent glaze that not only would lock in the permanent toner previously used, it would also add another layer of smokey finish, seal the cuticle, increase the shine & lend to the overall healthy finish of her hair. After another 12 minutes (with a max of 20) processing time, we cleansed with a protein rich shampoo and followed with a keratin treatment for color damaged hair. The lightening process removes protein from the hair, and in scenarios as drastic as this, any extra strength helps!

We cut 2.5 inches off of her hair to give her fresh, healthy ends. We then applied a softening leave in conditioner with thermal protection, an amino acid bond building and volumizing foam, and an oil to her hair before blowing dry. We used a dry aerosol oil to prep her hair before curling with a 1 1/4 inch marcel iron, and finished with a tiny bit of oil for shine and polishing.

I'm not sure who was more thrilled, her or I! This hair felt so nice for the process it had just gone through, looked exactly as she had hope it would, and I couldn't have been happier with her lift and tonal finish. This was the absolute best case scenario.

What Does It Cost?

For services this intense, I charge a flat hourly fee. SO much goes into what we did that it's nearly impossible to accurately charge for each individual thing. Here are the services we performed that would need to be individually charged: