Lady Gaga covers Vanity Fair.
Nick Knight, exclusively for Vanity Fair
For the Hipster
It depends on the natural base tone, says Pelusi. If your client is a natural dishwater blonde or lighterâlevels 7, 8, 9 or 10âyou can get great greys without the need to bleach. For darker haired clientsâlevels 4, 5, 6 and sometimes 7âyou can either do a lot of highlighting to bring it up or bleach the hair and tone it to the perfect silvery shade.
For levels 1, 2 and sometimes 3, Pelusi says he doesnât recommend taking a client that light, since itâs much harder to get rid of the underlying red pigment and take the hair grey. Overall, for clients with shorter hair, he says you could use either bleaching or highlighting to take your clients where they want to go, but for longer hair, stick with lots of highlights to better protect the hair.
Going Grey Naturally
For clients who are going grey and want to return to their natural rootsâlike Jamie Lee Curtis and Helen Mirrenâa good looking color starts with the cut. Grey hair can look aging and dull because itâs lacking shine and moisture, so a shorter cut that is precise, flattering and kept up with frequent trims helps keep color looking good.
âGenerally, even if someone if going grey and not covering it up with color, they still need help from you,â says Pelusi. âStart by highlighting selected areas of the dyed hair, lifting it to gray tones, while adding darker 'low-lights' to the incoming gray. That softens the line of demarcation and the process can be continued gradually, until the transformation is complete.â
Kate Moss with grey streaks.
Even then youâre work is not done. You can continue to help your client with lowlights in selected areas to keep their greys from looking washed out. This grey blending, followed by a gloss, will help hair look shiny and healthy.
To care for color, for either client, Pelusi recommends a violet-based conditioner used daily. It cuts brassiness and keeps color looking fresh and shiny, by depositing just a tiny bit of stain onto the strands when itâs used. âItâs very effective,â he says.