Even pre-pandemic, there was a growing trend toward embracing naturally gray hair or even pushing the timeline forward with “Granny Chic” silvers and antique gray color finishes.
For women and men who are finding more whites and silvers in their crown, they are also finding that this hair requires different care to keep it looking and feeling healthy, shiny and soft.
Paul Wintner, Global Education Manager at Alterna Haircare, has some thoughts on how to care for grays, plus product recommendations for toning hair, combating a yellow tinge, and going gray, gracefully.
MODERN SALON: There has been a trend towards embracing those natural silver and gray tones— do you think this trend will continue or was it more a result of Covid lockdowns?
PAUL WINTNER: I have been trying to convince most of my clients with gray hair to go back to their natural color for years. Before COVID, most were not willing to go au-naturel. However, since COVID, about 50% of my clients have embraced their gray and all of my clients who went gray, have stayed gray. My feeling is once you stop coloring and go back to your natural color, you don't start again. My clients who are older in age are the ones who are embracing their gray. But my younger clients, those in their 20s and 30s, refuse to accept the gray hairs.
MS: For hairdressers, who’s bread-and-butter is often gray coverage, what can they do for a client who says, ‘No more color’? What are some other offerings they can provide? How can they keep them as a client?
PW: I have found that my clients who have stopped coloring their hair have come in less often for haircuts, but that is to be expected. However, my clients stick with me because I provide them with great service and also a connection that goes beyond cutting and coloring. For example, they trust me to recommend the right products for their hair type. I have made up for the lost income from less coloring by adding more haircut clients and offering deep conditioning treatments to help tame texture for my silver headed clients.
MS: Why does gray need special care?
PW: Gray hair tends to be more coarse and wiry than normal hair because it’s lacking melanin in the cortex to fill the hair fiber. For this reason, I highly recommend deep conditioning treatments and weekly at home masques for those with gray hair.
GRAY HAIR MUST-HAVES
Wintner suggests using Alterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, Conditioner and Masque that replenishes and seals in moisture.
For styling gray hair, Wintner recommends Alterna's Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream and Priming Leave-in Conditioner.
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