While some women try to cover up their graying strands as they age, we’ve been seeing more and more young celebs dye their hair completely gray on purpose. We’re honestly surprised this beauty trend has lasted as long as it has. The most recent celeb to experiment with a salt-and-pepper look? “Girls” star Zosia Mamet.
With her silver strands, Mamet joins the ranks of Kelly Osbourne, Pink, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and “Orange Is the New Black” star Dascha Polanco. Gray dye jobs range from RiRi’s chunky gray highlights, to Osbourne’s and Polanco’s sleek gray/violet color combos. Rihanna event declared on her Instagram that “Gray is the new black!”
Seeing Mamet’s new gray locks, we kind of wondered: can anyone rock this trend? Or does it take a special kinda gal to be able to sit down in the salon chair and ask for full-on gray? So, we asked an expert, Joel Warren, Master Colorist and Co-Founder of Warren-Tricomi Salons, to give us the scoop on grandma-chic.
“To pull off gray hair, you have to have the right hair texture (not too course) and the right personal style to pull it off,” Warren said. “Unlike blonde or red, this is a very bold look that takes a strong personality to carry.” He cautioned that if you’re over 30, a gray dye job might actually just make it look like you went prematurely gray as opposed to trying out a purposeful new color trend.
When it comes to choosing the perfect shade, Warren notes it’s up to you and your colorist to decide what gray is best for your skintone, eyes, and overall look. “There is no one shade or tone that is better than another. Personally, I like the more purpley-gray look,” he added.
It’s also important to consider that the process for going gray is almost identical to going platinum; firstm your stylist will have to bleach your hair completely, and then the toning step at the end is gray instead of blonde. But anytime you are getting bleached and having a double-process color applied, you’re putting your hair under a lot of stress, which is damaging and can even alter the texture a bit. “I would only recommend this for people with very strong, healthy hair and those who are willing to manage the upkeep (and the costs associated),” Warren warned
He also cautioned that, especially when it comes to going gray, this is a job best left to a professional. Double-process color is a long, tedious process, and a professional can to do it with the least amount of damage and error, so that you don’t have to strain your strands any more by trying to salvage a botched at-home color job.
After leaving the salon, make sure you’re using sulfate-free products formulated for colored hair. When your color begins to fade or grow out, Warren recommends going back to the same colorist since he or she already knows a thing or two about your color and hair.