Expert Advice

Gray's Anatomy

July 10, 2011 | 11:27 PM

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.
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