First, a word about grey hair! (grey or gray you choose)
Haircolor is created by the pigment melanin, found in the core of each strand. Melanin is also responsible for the color of the skin and of the eyes. There are two types of pigment; Eumelanin (dark hair) or Phaeomelanin (Light hair). Combined in various combinations, these pigments create all natural hair colors. Just as the lack or loss of these pigments create no color at all, thus grey or white hair.
Melanin is the product of a specialized cell called the melanocyte found in each hair follicle, or the epicenter of hair growth. As hair grows, the melanocyte injects melanin into the hair cells allowing the hair to retain its original color. But as we ripen in age, the amount of melanin injected is reduced and eventually stops and voila; grey hair. No one can explain exactly why the machine stops spitting out pigment it just does and its different for everyone.
According to the February 2005 issue of Science, Ivy leaguers couldn’t even nail it down to one cause. The study, conducted by a consortium of Harvard scientists, narrowed the causes of failure of the melanocyte stem cells to produce essential pigmentation was a function of either age or genetics.
For years my #bestclientever (and I have many) have color treated her hair virtually all shades of red and wine (bordeaux and sangria to be exact). Originally we colored her hair for fun but over the years it became a necessity to cover the inevitable grey hairs that sprout like unwelcome relatives .
A loyal client since 1996, we started with a short brown pixie cut and over the next decade, we breezed through the Halle Berry catalogue of mid-length choppy, spiky layer cuts. As we usher in the second decade of styles she’s decided to go shorter and allow the color to fade away….much to my dismay. No matter how much I love her short spiky haircut, I’ve been dying to dye it (no pun intended).
What do you do when clients let their grey flag fly and all you want to do is lower it to half-staff?
The answer: build a bridge and get over it!
If you can’t color it away, Enhance it! How you might ask?
Keep it Grey or White: Promote services utilizing clarifying treatments or products that remove build-up that cause greying hair to look dull and lifeless. Retail grey brightening shampoos for at home maintenance as well as a peace offering so they know your on board with this nonsense lol. Grey enhancers will usually be violet or blue and brighten the hair by balancing and /or neutralizing any yellow to brassy orange tones that appear as a byproduct of chemical relaxing, medications or environmental pollutants.
Keep it Healthy: Grey hair is not your friend in its virgin state, it can often appear coarse, wiry, brittle and dry.. mostly due to the loss of both shine reflecting pigments and moisture…..So,
Provide services that infuse moisture back into the hair shaft. Great options being; hydration therapy via steam machines, hair treatments, masques… Macadamia brand Hair Repair Masque and Pravana’s Masque are a couple of my fave’s.
Keep it Shiny: Nothing says healthy hair better than shiny hair!! Provide services like a clear, demi-permanent color with a drop or two of violet or blue pigments to tone color and add shine at once.
Clients will appreciate the extra pampering and love you show to their grey hair.
Instead of mourning the loss of a color client you can encourage client loyalty by finding ways to embrace and celebrate their decision to go grey!