The gray strands in our hair are often associated with aging, but with just a little color, they can symbolize wisdom, maturity, and even a new, stylish elegance. Eric Quince, a renowned colorist, sheds light on showcasing these hues in dazzling ways, making gray the new gold in hair fashion. This guide will empower you to rock your gray locks with an air of confidence and sophistication. Let’s delve into her insights.
Meet The Expert
Erica is a master colorist & salon co-owner with over 12 years of experience.
You can find Erica at House of Mane in Miami, FL.
Choosing the Perfect Hair Color
First, Erica suggests defining your hair goals. Do you want to cover your grays completely, blend them subtly, or change your hair color entirely? These are the key questions to answer before going ahead with any coloring process.
“There are two scenarios I commonly see,” Quince explains. In the first, women want rich, full color to hide grays completely. In this case, she employs a permanent color that closely matches the natural hair hue. This creates a seamless blend as your hair grows, allowing only the grays to show and not a clear demarcation line.
The other scenario involves an entire color change. Here, expect a mix of colors as your hair grows out. It will incorporate your natural color, grays, and the new shade you’ve chosen.
Matching Skin Tone
Your skin tone can play a significant role in choosing a color that will highlight your natural beauty. Erica provides a quick tip for identifying your skin tone – should you have cool undertones, your veins would appear blue or purple, and would be green if you have warm undertones.
She recommends gold, caramel, or honey butterscotch colors for fair skin with cool undertones. For medium skin with warm undertones, dark chocolate, chestnut, or auburn shades work wonders. For deep skin tones with cool undertones, dark mocha or deep brown seem to be the perfect match.
“Chatting with your colorist and asking for shade recommendations for your complexion can elevate your look significantly,” she adds.
Deciding Technique and Product
Once you’ve nailed down your perfect color, next comes choosing the best treatment and products. Utilizing a demi-permanent color can be an excellent choice for those with few grays. “It tints and camouflages gray hair, providing a softer grow-out than full coverage permanent color,” explains Erica.
Another method is a heavy highlight blend. This method blends out gray using the color already in your hair—ideal for blonde clients or those with a light base.
Maintaining Your Vivid Color
For after-color care, Erica suggests using color-safe shampoo and conditioner. Oribe Beautiful Color is her top pick. She recommends ColorWow Root Touch-Up Powder for quick fixes in between salon visits. Protecting your hair from sun exposure can help in sustaining your color for a longer period.
“The maintenance schedule varies based on the type of color chosen. Full coverage requires touch-ups every 4-6 weeks, demi-permanent tints need attention between 6-8 weeks, and highlights need upkeep every 2-3 months,” she says.
Talking It Out With Your Colorist
Quince stresses the importance of discussing expectations with your colorist before making any decisions. “Covering gray can be a big financial and time commitment. Understanding these factors will hugely influence your salon sessions,” she states.
When choosing the perfect color, consider questions such as: how often do you want to hit the salon, and what will your maintenance routine be? Knowing this will help form a collaboration with your colorist to achieve the best outcome for you.
“After all, a confident woman is a beautiful woman. Your colorist will guide you through the rest,” Erica concludes.