Colouring Grey Hair: For My Grey Hair Gals

Colouring Grey Hair: For My Grey Hair Gals


Ahh, a blog that is near and dear to my heart! If your hair is like mine and has what I have adoringly coined “arctic highlights” (which is a nicer way of saying grey hair) then this blog is for you. After opening a business with two young kids, my hair surprisingly went from the odd cute little strand to a full blown white out of Albert Einstine-y greatness! Who knew that battling the monthly daycare plague and creating a healthy work environment would take its toll? Alas, here we are. To my grey hair girlies, we see you, hear you, and we are here to make your wirey woes kick rocks. 

There are a ton of hair colour options for grey hair, each depending on the amount of grey hair that you have, and the amount that you want to see in the end. I will start by going through some grey blending options that we recommend for anyone with UP TO 40% grey. 

On most people, grey usually appears the most around the face. I’m not a scientist, however I did have a client tell me one time that  “around the face is where your hormonal brain activity happens” and like most things I hear in a day, I added it into my catalogue of random knowledge and chose to categorize it as a fact. After all, she could have learned this from a scientist? Or her friends-husbands-mom was one? Or google? Either way, the proof is in the proverbial hair pudding. Most clients have grey around their face, and after all I am rocking Einstein hair so let’s just say this fact is in fact, a fact.

When you have 40% grey, our favorite option to recommend is a grey blending balayage or a “lived in” colour technique. Both of these services involve adding lighter pieces around the face to make it appear as if the hair was naturally lightened by the sun. This is beneficial as the closest shade to grey is blonde, ensuring that when your roots come in they will blend, tricking your eye into wondering “is it highlights, or is it grey?”. 

The second option for UP TO 40% grey is to use a semi permanent hair colour. This is recommended as it won’t fully cover grey, it will blend it. Demi permanent colours have more of a translucent finish, therefore preventing the harsh line of regrowth. Using a permanent colour is an option as well, however at Frankie we try to recommend colours that will give you the most longevity. Completely eliminating the grey with a permanent, opaque colour is still a great option as long as you’re aware that it means trips back to the salon every 4-6 weeks for maintenance. 

For our 40-100% grey girlies, I know this can be challenging and be high maintenance, I believe there is life behind those grey hairs and a wack ton of wisdom. You have earned each and every one of them and because of that, they are beautiful! However, if you’re like me and not ready to wear them loud and proud, here are our recommendations.

As you travel through life, your coloring and complexion changes. When you are a small child, your hair is lighter and more fine. Moving through the teenage years, your hair likely changed and became darker and thicker. After stress, children, diet, medication or hormone changes, your hair color, density, and sometimes texture can change as well. I often have clients that say “my hair used to be like this!” And try to chase the way their hair used to be, however as you change, we recommend you embrace it and keep your mind open to new possibilities.

Avoiding acceptance ultimately ends up leaving you frustrated, feeling like nothing really works or makes you look pale etc. Think of when you see old ladies with jet black hair, it usually seems off and doesn’t look quite right as their complexion has changed and a custom shade would be better suited for their colouring. For this reason, I don’t like to suggest solid colours for my high percentage grey hair clients unless they are a light shade of blonde.

For the ladies ready to rock the grey, I promise there are a TON of ways to do this without looking or feeling old. There is a misconception that when you allow your hair to be grey, you are destined to move into your bingo dabbing, soup and sandwich, Werther's candy and roller set era by cutting your hair and succumbing to the old lady stereotypes. (No shade to roller sets as they are making a major comeback and some people look 10/10 amazing with them!! RIP Betty white! 💔…..also, I’m not hating on soup and sandwiches or bingo…or Werther's candies!! Shoot, it’s happppening to me! Does anyone else enjoy quilting? It slaps. Anyways, moving on! Just because your hair is grey it does not mean that you have to cut it off! This is a major misconception.

It is only recommended to do that when your hair starts to appear (for a lack of a better word) scraggly. Grey hair is void of a protein called melanin, therefore it’s a hollow tube and is generally more fragile. In some cases we recommend a shorter cut to make it appear fuller and softer.

Be sure to pair that with the appropriate products to ensure the health of the hair and there is truly no short style you can’t wear with your sexy grey! In other cases, grey hair can still appear thick, soft, shiny and beautiful and, like all things, you should customize it and make it look best suited for you as an individual. Some people don’t suit short hair, others long hair. We are all beautifully unique just as your grey hair should be!

You may be wondering, how do I start the grey hair acceptance process? If you just want to dunk your toes in the water rather than dive right in, we suggest you slowly add more and more highlights each colour service. During this process, your colourist will also choose a lighter root shade than normal to apply as the colour throughout the ends will brighten during the foiling process, ensuring an overall lighter look.

Keep repeating this every 4-6 weeks until you are able to scrap the root color all together and apply only the blonde. You may want to get creative and add the foils around the hairline for a nice bright pop of white next to your salt and pepper hair throughout the back, leaving you with a Miranda Presley from 'The Devil Wears Prada' vibes! And there ya go! Badda-bing-badda-boom, Bob's your uncle! 

You may also be wondering how do you transition from colored hair to solid grey? If you are ready to go full tilt and get where you need to be, this may require a patch test, full colour correction and major hair chop. It can be achieved in one sitting however it may take up to 8+hours.

This process would involve starting with a colour removal application until the hair reaches a light enough shade that we would be able to tone white. It may be necessary to keep applying lightener until the colour is removed. Once the desired shade is achieved, your colourist would then add black lo-lites to give the appearance of the “pepper” to your salt and pepper hair. Regular toning and purple shampooing is also recommended to help keep the hair ashy throughout the process as well as booking in for regular treatments, preventing the unwanted “scraggles” and keeping them at bay. 

For any additional questions or advice, please feel free to book in for a consultation! Whatever your hair needs are, we have you covered and would love to make your hair dreams come true! For my grey hair gals….I’m with you! Solidarity for the win!