Smoke signals

In a special shoot – produced in partnership with Wella Professionals – Creative HEAD and colourist Robert Eaton explore the colour possibilities that are unlocked when you empower clients to embrace their grey hair.

“I’ve been grey for over four years now, and I’m in love with my hair. I used to colour my hair pretty consistently before, and one day I just decided to go back to my natural colour. I didn’t realise I had quite so much grey in my hair at the time, but I was tired of colouring it every two weeks to touch up the roots. It became an annoyance, sapped the pleasure from having my hair done and was a real chore.

“My natural colour used to be quite dark, almost black, so the lighter grey I have at the front became visible really quickly. That’s when I started experimenting with lighter shades and playing with some crazier, more vibrant colours. But then, every inch that grew out, I was just feeling more and more like: ‘Actually, yes! This is what I want!’ At the time, I thought that if I didn’t like it, I could always go back to covering it up… but I like to challenge myself and this felt like a big chance. A big, positive turning point.

“After a few months, I liked what I saw more and more. People on the street were looking, and I was thinking: ‘Okay, do they like it or do they hate it?’ But it doesn’t matter – they were looking anyway… And I like that!”

“I definitely feel more like myself now I’ve embraced my grey hair. And I can truly say that as I’ve tried almost every colour along the way – black, blonde, red, you name it! None of them felt right. This really does; it feels good.”


Panel of four images of grey-haired model on set for Wella Professionals True Grey cover shoot

The new appreciation of all things grey is indicative of just how fascinating the colour can be. Just like all the other shades on the colour chart, grey is never one note. Natural grey hair represents a beautiful play of light and shadows, a subtle world of dimensions and textures, of nuances and reflections. These shifting shades are especially evident on clients like Alex, who have an abundance of hair to work with.

For each individual, placement is key when it comes to accentuating the natural beauty of their personal grey, and here shimmering silver allows the face to glow, while the introduction of depth behind a face frame makes a paler tone pop all the more brilliantly.

“Alex is somebody who’s exited the colour market some years ago, but the current stage of her journey also matches someone who’s maybe always wanted to do something with their hair, but actually has been a bit nervous about the longevity of colour results,” explains Robert.

“As her hair is so beautifully long, if you think about the lengths and ends of the hair, some of those may be 6 or 7 years old so anything we do to it we’re going to have to respect the integrity and condition of the hair as well.

“In-salon expertise paired with the True Grey treatment has helped to create shine and improve the condition of the hair,” he adds, “and the approach to shade placement was very much about understanding the tonal pattern of her grey and how it was falling.”

“We used Steel Glow in Dark and Medium, blended through to add depth from the middle section to the back of the head.

“Looking at the whitest, brightest areas that create a natural face frame; that’s where we used one of the lightest shades – the pale steel grey tone ‘Pearl Mist’ – to add a gloss and cool down any warmth for a clean finish.

“The aim was to really enhance the beautiful brightness of those lighter areas and create more depth through the remaining sections.”

Alternating diagonal sections up to the occipital bone True Grey Steel Glow Toner Dark + Activator (mixed 1:1)
Alternating diagonal sections up to the occipital bone True Grey Steel Glow Toner Medium + Activator (mixed 1:1)
Face frame
 True Grey Pearl Mist Light Toner + Activator + True Grey Clear Conditioning Perfector (mixed 1:1:1)


Up next: Elevating grey textured hair with careful colour placement >

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