From the London runways to trend-machines Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, gray’s cool
as gunmetal. Celebrities are really lightening, then using ’50s-style toners with violet
bases, says Ian Gavet, who runs a namesake San Francisco Academy. When real graying
clients want to go “back to natural,” you must control tonality and reflect.


“With no melanin, the cortex shrinks, you get more cuticle and the keratin is
similar to fingernails, so it yellows,” explains Gavet. “A true gray—not blue—from all
three primaries with a soft, eggshell tonality avoids unwanted tones.”


To create it, he developed Back 2 Natural color-depositing conditioner, which uses
direct dyes in a conditioner base and comes in six shades. On your own, work the color
wheel and remember, gray is only haute if the client is young enough to avoid being mistaken
for a silver fox. For mature types, it’s more of a lifestyle choice than a fashion flash.

Gray's Anatomy
Rather than cover it up, Ian Gavet simply enhances client Jane’s gorgeous gray hair.