salon secrets

A Grey Matter

March 9th 2016

There she was. Amidst the candy colored extravagant accessories and decor that littered Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette was Kirsten Dunst as the ill-fated queen, perching about the hallways and rooms of Versailles. Her dresses lovely, but the hair! In frivolous manifestations, the abundant curls were piled up high in white, pewter, and grey tinged wigs. The color was as every bit elegant as it was whimsical. The hair in that film was a relevant pop cultural precursor to the hot and heavy trend of the silver and grey we’ve seen from Lady Gaga to Cara Delevigne. A new neutral no longer reserved for the aging, grey has become an in-demand color for the past few years.

Blogs, editorials, and mood-boards have praised the color and its possessors for the subversive yet “natural” alternative to the pastels and ombre we’ve seen in the past. Here, we weigh in with advice from David Stanko, a Redken Master Colorist at the Cutler Salon in New York, discussing what it takes to become a silver-hued belle.

David Stanko
David Stanko, a Redken Master Colorist and colorist at the Cutler Salon in New York

“The trend started nearly two years ago when Lady Gaga, Kelly Osbourne and, then, Kylie Jenner gave grey hair a spin. Today, you will see faux grey hair color on Instagram but it can be a difficult shade to achieve and maintain in the wrong hands! Usually we would bleach it to near white, and then play around with the granite palette. Think hues of chrome, gunmetal or silver,” explains David.

Silver grey hair @othellogrey.
Silver grey trend. Photo credits @othellogrey.

As grey requires lots of moisturizing oils, along with heat styling, it’s necessary to understand that this particular color can have a short life span. Besides the finishing products, going grey requires a certain commitment; think salon visits every three weeks to maintain the ‘frost’.

Additionally, David notes that going grey gracefully and without dye is sometimes harder to attain than its artificial counterpart. “When the hair is 50 per cent grey, skin tones can look dull. That’s why I love the idea of cutting off all the hair that still has color, like Jamie Lee Curtis did with her super-short do. If the hair is a white, silver-mink shade, it looks amazing.”

If you’re attracted to a cool and fancy pewter, the overall look becomes important. “I always think that with grey hair, what clothes, haircut, accessories, makeup—the whole package matters. It definitely can be hip and have longevity,” David remarks.

The color should integrate seamlessly into one’s wardrobe and overall personality. Just look at the swoon-worthy color of Kristen McMenamy, Linda Rodin, Sarah Harris, and even to some extent Andy Warhol. All possess something more than their hair color, because for them, grey is an extension of themselves, not the actual statement.

Grey Hair @sarahharrisuk
Photo Credits @sarahharrisuk