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In a special shoot – produced in partnership with Wella Professionals – Creative HEAD and colourist Robert Eaton uncover how to add extra depth and dimension to curl patterns, while enhancing natural greys.

“I started transitioning to grey hair almost two years ago, just before the first lockdown in 2020. I’d grown tired of colouring my hair and spending hours in the salon, only to see grey roots peeking through only a few days later.

“I started to think ‘Why am I bothering?’, especially as I also felt that the constant colouring was beginning to weaken my hair. I wanted to try something different and I decided it was time to give my hair a rest, to give it a proper break… and then the pandemic helped to solidify the move. The last couple of years has really helped it to grow back as the colour grew out, and I think it’s now looking noticeably healthier, thicker and fuller.

“My decision to embrace my greys has sort of crossed over with me going through the menopause, and I’ve found that the hormonal shift has resulted in my hair becoming drier. I think if I had continued to colour my hair, that would have made it feel even more dehydrated as well.

“I feel freer and more liberated now that I’ve ditched the dye. I’ve had loads of comments as I’ve been growing it out, encouraging me and telling me to ‘keep going!’, which gave me the confidence I needed.

“Looking back, I question why I was trying to cover up who I am really am. This is my true identity, and as an actor, letting my grey hair show has also brought in all sorts of different work for me as well. I’ve been landing stronger roles, with futuristic and sci-fi work too.

“In a sense, I think all these different elements tied to me finally embracing my grey hair have come together and helped me to be happier. They’ve helped me to be myself.”

Natural grey patterns paired with natural texture patterns is a match made in heaven. Contrasting tones and dynamic twists can effortlessly help to define each other, but it’s good to be mindful of the moisture needs of kinks, curls and coils as you map out shades for your grey colour clients.

Depositing colour can sometimes take a back seat, allowing the neutralisation of breakthrough brassiness and the creation of shine to come to the fore. As light plays off the surface of shimmer-infused, healthy-looking curls, the delicacy of shifting tones becomes even more magical. Utilise the patterns, yes. But utilise your skills to deploy a gentler touch as well.

“Brucella is a fantastic example of a client who’s been on a grey blending journey for quite some time,” Robert explains. “The ends of her hair had two or three inches of that kind of awkward grown-out, residual hair colour that ideally needs to be cut off.

“She doesn’t quite want to go as short as that just yet, so True Grey has been brilliant because it’s enabled us to really balance out all these different tonal areas, which includes the brassy ends.

“One of the key things people always mention when they are making any enhancements to their grey and white hair is that is they want to reduce the yellow tones,” he adds. “True Grey toning is an anti-yellow service, and it’s a big, big area for any colour business.

“If you think about the number of clients that come in that might straighten their hair or might use lots of products, their hair gets stained with pollution and various external factors. These services are fantastic, because they eliminate all of that and provide a practical solution for colourists.

“With Brucella’s particular texture of hair, it was very much about adding more thickness and body to her curls. When somebody goes more of a salt and pepper grey, what we really need to do as colourists is add a bit more of a deeper grey into the mix.

“Visually, it helps create the look of hair that has a much more thickness and vitality, and the True Grey Graphite Shimmer formula – We used Dark and Medium in almost pinwheel sections – actually gives it a much stronger feel.

“At the same time, we made sure to work in a silver glow service afterwards, which really enhanced and brightened the areas around the hairline where she’s got some amazing curl patterns. In the same areas, Brucella also has a gorgeous pattern of grey and white hair as well, and this extra treatment really made those sections shine brighter.

Darkest natural sections–
True Grey Graphite Shimmer Toner Dark + Activator (mixed 1:1)
Mid-toned natural sections –
True Grey Graphite Shimmer Toner Medium + Activator (mixed 1:1)

Face frame Express Silver Glow treatment –
True Grey Graphite Shimmer Toner Light + Activator (mixed 1:1), processed for ten minutes

Discover more about True Grey from Wella Professionals>

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