Gray's AnatomyApril 1, 2008 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
Brad Johns, color director at Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon & Spa in Manhattan, compares making the decision to let the gray come in to going into rehab. "I call it 'grayhab,'" says Johns, who tells his clients to have their hair colored before Christmas, then let it grow in for the next three months. "No one's looking at you after the holidays," he says. "Everyone's fat, bloated and waiting for spring." Then, when clients have about two inches of new growth, he tells them to get a fabulous short haircut and "be ready to face the world."
Diana Lewis Jewell wrote the book on going gray.
Carmine Minardi, Beth's husband and co-owner of Minardi Salon, finds that proper care is the key to achieving a successful gray. "The perception of health is harder to achieve," he says. "You have to work at gray hair. And the women who do—those are the ones you point to and say, 'Wow! She looks fabulous.'"
Since hair without pigment loses much of its ability to reflect light, Carmine recommends some kind of topical shiner, like an oil, a silicone or a leave-in conditioner to add shine to gray hair. He also notes that while there's a "liberating feeling" when women first go gray, once the high wears off, they usually decide that they want their hair to look healthier and shinier. And that's where you come in. With the right care, the right cut and the right coloring techniques—which run the gamut from simple clarifying to highlighting, lowlighting, color weaving and glazing—gray hair can be just as beautiful as any other shade.
Jewell reports that a lot of hairdressers are ordering her book for their salons to share with clients. "It shows that you take an active interest in guiding women through all of the ways to cover gray, let it come in or make it even better," she says. Another plus: It can also help you start a dialogue about the other services you offer, from haircare to skincare. And it will help increase sales of ancillary products, including shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair, styling products, treatments and color cosmetics—once a woman goes gray she needs to rethink her makeup.
To order copies for your salon, visit goinggraylookinggreat.com. —MARIANNE DOUGHERTY