Laboratorie, an eco-friendly salon in Baltimore, Maryland. After seeing the photo above, I was considering Color Oops-ing my red hair and getting left with some kind of gorgeous-ness, like in the above photo. No more hair color, no more roots. It seemed like a great plan. If only I really wanted gray hair. So I asked Bethany how one would go about getting unnaturally gray hair. Here is her answer.
You can't. Not without risking your hair.
You can't color hair gray to replicate the way gray hair occurs naturally. Hair that looks gray is actually hair that is completely lacking in melanin, the naturally occurring pigment that gives our hair its color, blending with other hair that still retains pigment making the overall appearance of a head of gray hair. Technically, "gray" hair that occurs naturally is actually white-- completely void of pigment. You can bleach most of the pigment out of the hair, tone it with something very ashy and achieve a platinum effect. Or, you could bleach it out and tone with silver hair color which would produce a hair color that will be gray in the same way that a crayon can be gray. Gray is a color in it's own right and hair that is naturally salt and pepper is made up of white hair and the remaining natural hair.
It's not possible to bleach hair to the point that it is truly white. To remove that much melanin from the hair would completely destroy the hair's structure and before you achieve true white, you will achieve dissolving all of the hair on your head. It's a really, really delicate process. You can't just take your red hair, remove the pigment and have gray hair left behind. It can be bleached (probably several times) to achieve a very pale yellow and then colored grey, but I don't recommend it for someone who wants healthy, long hair. It will definitely not look like your natural gray and you will still have to color your hair.
The girl in the photo is either wearing a wig or has had her hair bleached and then toned with a gray hair color. Remember, you can have healthy hair, and you can experiment with changes occasionally, but you can't change your hair with each passing trend without risking it's health. This is a trend that can really compromise the health of your hair.
Would you ever consider dying your hair gray? If you are gray and hiding it (like me!), if there was a way to do it safely, would you ditch your color for a sexy gray look? Tell me what you think in the comments!
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