Graying Gracefully: A Salon Color Plan
Nelson Chan, celebrity hair colorist and founder of the Nelson J hair salon in Beverly Hills, sees gray hair as the number-one concern of women over 40. Heâs come up with a client-friendly, salon-right system to minimize gray.
âAfter gray hair is colored, it usually starts to grow out in two to three weeks,â explains Chan. âThis poses two major problems: one, it reveals a strong contrast between the gray hair and the desired hair color; two, it makes it costly for women to have to go to the salon every three weeks for a touch-up.â
Chanâs creative and cost-effective solution is to create an overall lighter shade in the hair, then add lowlights. He explains, âBy making the hair lighter and closer to the gray hair color, when the outgrowth starts to occur you will not see the line of demarcation so strongly.
âAnd by using eco-friendly hair color, you can achieve a more translucent color,â he adds. (Chan uses Aveda color.) âWomen can wait twice as long without worrying about having to return to the salon.â
1. Start by creating a lighter base.
2. Add lowlights.
3. To achieve a more dimensional look, highlight the hair two shades lighter around the face and selectively in the top layers only.
âThe goal is to create a color that will last longer and is more flattering," Chan says.
For a classic look on gray hair, Chan adds lowlights to the existing base shade. âThis keeps the recipe more balanced, with a bit more pepper than salt.â
Nelson Chanâs âgraceful grayâ makeover.