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Gray Matters

Guest blog post by O2 Salon owner Jaye Leigh

The first grays you find can be disconcerting. Is it too early to rock gray hair? Don’t freak out – there’s no need to rush to cover them up. Maybe switch your part to another side for a bit and take time to consider your plan. And don’t give in to the temptation to pull the first one out. My first gray grew back and stood up like an antenna and I felt even more self-conscious. 

Let’s talk about your options 

Permanent color provides full coverage, but it also takes more commitment of time and money to keep it up. Most clients see a stylist every four to six weeks, though some come more often. Sure, you can pick up a box of color for $10 or so, but we hairstylists did study hair color and get a license to learn how to do this properly. If you color ends over every time and decide to change the color, you will surely be in a place where you need professional help. Color correction is time-consuming, unpredictable and expensive.

Getting highlights or adding dimension can blend gray. Your commitment lowers to every three months or so. Not all dimensional color is blonde. I have several clients who get color close to their own mixed in. That can be fun. We can warm the color up or cool it down. Sometimes we do both for a shimmery effect.

Sometimes we can paint a touch of color on a few strands with permanent color to smudge the gray a smidge. 

Gray hair lacks protein, which makes it coarse and harder to control. Using a daily conditioner is a must. Perhaps use a hair cream or a light paste to calm down those flyaways. I like Arrojo’s Styling Crème, while KMS Hairplay Messing Crème is another great option. Maybe a style with a ruffly texture will help blend that sassy hair in with the rest. Maybe try a shag if you’re liking your hair longer, or let us texturize it a bit if it’s shorter.

If you want to try color without the commitment, we have a great product called Style Color from KMS. It’s a bit like a hairspray or dry shampoo with some color in it. The light spray is easy to use. Ask your stylist for a demo the next time you are in. Another option is called Grey Free. It is like mascara for your hair, and also super easy to use.

If you are going to color your hair, remember to use color-safe shampoo and conditioner. We have great options in a decent price range. When you invest money in a new phone, you get a screen protector and a case to protect it, right? This is kind of the same idea. 

Been coloring your hair and want to see what it would be like to grow it out? 

We can help with that transition, too. Lots of my clients have started the process. We can switch to highlighting with the color you have been putting on to cover the gray and highlight through the end color to help you get through the worst stages. 

In my view, the worst part is the first few months. It gets easier after the gray grows out past the round of the head. If you work or live in artificial light, the light from above accents the top, down to about the temples or where the dome of the head starts to flatten out a bit on the sides.

Hair grows at about 5/8 of an inch per month, on average. So, for every inch of length, it will take almost two months to grow. From the top of my head to my ear measures 7 inches, so it would take about a year or 14 months to reach that point. Of course, hair grows at variable rates. 

Here at O2, a consultation is always complimentary. So hit us up for a little time and we can talk about gray matters. We love your hair and we all want to help.

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What is Elumen?

Goldwell Elumen is an oxidant-free, high-performance hair color. It nourishes and repairs hair while coloring and provides exceptional shine, color intensity, and durability.

Ammonia-free, non-oxidative, and gentle for the hair

Elumen technology allows dyes to penetrate deep into the hair for long-lasting, intense color while simultaneously repairing damage to create healthier, shinier hair

How Elumen embraces Scientific Technology and pH Value

“Conventional, common direct dyes are positively (+) charged molecules that are attracted to negatively (-) charged areas of hair.” The direct dye molecules are too large to penetrate deep into the hair and mainly stick to the outside of the hair.

“Elumen works with acidic, negatively (-) charged direct dyes and a pH value of 3.0 … An excess cationic (+) charge is created and because the Elumen dyes are anionic (-) charged and a type of “pulling effect” is exerted, literally drawing the negative charged Elumen dyes, into the hair. A simulated magnetic, electrostatic attraction occurs, attaching the negatively charged color dyes firmly and permanently to the already positively charged hair.”

Elumen Products

Goldwell has a line of Elumen products specially formulated to nourish hair, and help maintain color vibrancy and longevity.

Elumen is available in a wide spectrum of colors.

All factual information listed on this page © Goldwell

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Thinking About Going Blonde?

Here’s all you need to know before you take the plunge, and what changes you can expect to make to your haircare routine.

It’s a Commitment

Going blonde is a commitment you have to be confident about before the bleach touches your tresses. You’ll be investing a lot of time, patience, and money into your hair, so if you’re prepared to take on a high maintenance lifestyle, keep reading!

Dark Hair? Take Your Time Lightening It

Going from dark to light doesn’t happen overnight. If you have dark hair, brightening it to a radiant blonde will take several appointments with your stylist to lighten the hair without damaging it. Additionally, each appointment will last a few hours, so make sure to clear your schedule.

Over several appointments, your stylist will lighten your base color before adding highlights and lowlights to add texture and dimension. You can expect to be back in the salon chair every four to eight weeks to touch up your roots and every two to three months to touch up your highlights depending on the overall look you are aiming to achieve.

If your hair is more of a dirty blonde/light brown, you can talk to your stylist about skipping the all-over color and getting highlights instead to brighten your look.

Being Blonde Isn’t Cheap

Being blonde is a high-maintenance lifestyle, and it doesn’t come cheap. Frequent salon visits add up, so make sure your budget has room to stretch a little.

Bear in mind that your initial appointments will take longer and cost more than your touch up appointments. Once you have your desired color achieved, you’ll only have to touch up your roots and highlights which will be less demanding – on your hair and your wallet – than a full color overhaul.

Invest in Great Products

To keep your hair looking great in between color appointments and to maintain your stylists’ hard work, invest in products that will keep your hair healthy.

You should pick up a deep conditioner or leave-in conditioner to keep your strands moisturized and prevent any dryness, breakage, or split ends.

Using a purple shampoo is a must for preventing brassiness or yellow tones from showing through. Purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel, so it will help cancel out any color shifting.

Here are some of our favorites:

If you think going blonde is right for you, book a consultation with your stylist!

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