Lady Gaga covers Vanity Fair.
Nick Knight, exclusively for Vanity Fair
“It’s interesting and somewhat cyclical,” says Pelusi. He likens it to other extreme colors that have had a heyday, like pink. “You see it on the street scene, then it works its way into fashion and music, art and entertainment.” The difference with this trend is that it’s on both ends of the spectrum. People in their 20s taking their strands to silver, as well as people going naturally grey and deciding to keep it that way. Here’s how you can recreate the trend on your own clients—young and old.
For the Hipster
It depends on the natural base tone, says Pelusi. If your client is a natural dishwater blonde or lighter—levels 7, 8, 9 or 10—you can get great greys without the need to bleach. For darker haired clients—levels 4, 5, 6 and sometimes 7—you 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 doesn’t recommend taking a client that light, since it’s 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 roots—like Jamie Lee Curtis and Helen Mirren—a good looking color starts with the cut. Grey hair can look aging and dull because it’s lacking shine and moisture, so a shorter cut that is precise, flattering and kept up with frequent trims helps keep color looking good.
“Generally, even if someone if going grey and not covering it up with color, they still need help from you,” says Pelusi. “Start 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.”
Kate Moss with grey streaks.
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 it’s used. “It’s very effective,” he says.