When you’re ready to embrace your grays, you’ve got to have a colorist that can really help you highlight all that stunning, silvery goodness. We’d say Tustin, CA-based hairstylist and salon owner Jack Martin did just that for one of his clients, whose hair transformation he shared in an in Instagram post.
Martin says the woman traveled more than 75 miles for the nine-hour process of getting her box brunette color to match her gorgeous gray roots that were growing in. The length of time can vary based on your hair texture and color, but still: Going full-on silver takes its sweet time. Colorists often take months to gradually create the color, preferring to slowly transition a client to gray with the help of highlights and lowlights or translucent dyes, which are less opaque and help blend your grays in with your former tone. You can read all about the different ways to transitioning to gray here.
“This transformation was a big challenge for me,” Martin tells Allure. “At the same time, it was very stressful because she was a new client and I had zero idea how her hair would react to my products or what products she used on her hair previously. All of these factors made me sleepless the night before her appointment. I have done lots of transformations during my 26 years as a colorist, but I always treat each like it’s my first ever so I can do my best.”
Martin started by lifting the dye in his client’s hair using Malibu C Professional CPR twice under a hot dryer until she was at a level eight copper blonde. “It really shocked me how much [this product] helped in removing almost 80 percent of the artificial dark color. It was a very smart start because it saved the hair a tremendous amount of stress and damage,” he says.
Then, leaving out her gray roots, he bleached her whole head in foils using Oligo Professionel Blacklight Extra Blonde Ionic Highlighter and 20 Volume Developer mixed with B3 [Brazilian Bond Builder]. He worked in thin sections so the bleach would work faster, taking her up to a level 10 pale yellow-blonde.
Martin then rinsed her hair and pre-toned with equal parts Redken Shades EQ 9P Opal Glow and 9V Platinum Ice for 20 minutes to cancel all the yellow from the hair. After rinsing and drying, he applied Kenra 10SM Silver Metallic with 10 Volume Developer (mixing in a third amount of water to bring it to a 6 Volume Developer) and a dot of Blue Booster for 30 minutes. Finally, he shampooed, conditioned, cut layers around her hair, and styled it using large round brushes.
Just as you would with blonde hair, it’s important to wash gray hair like this with cool to warm water and purple shampoo to keep the hue looking vibrant. Try this version from the Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights collection, which does the double duty of counteracting brassiness and restoring shine. For optimal brightness, Martin also recommends to toning the hair every seven to eight weeks.
Since the Instagram post (which includes a side-by-side before and after comparison) went up, comments have been flooding in, many from curious customers wondering how much such a transformation might cost. Martin replied he couldn’t dish on the pricing, but trust that it’s “a lot.”
Of course, you can always call ahead of an appointment booking for an estimate. From the looks of it, it was well worth the splurge, time, and in this case, distance.