1. #GrannyHair has officially taken over the internet as the coolest hair trend.
Celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Kelly Osbourne have dyed their hair gray in the past, but recently, more and more people are hopping on the gray hair dye train. What started as a popular hair color on Pinterest grew to be one of the most sought after beauty trends on Instagram.
3. We asked BuzzFeed style editor Julie Gerstein to walk through process of going gray from start to finish.
4. Before you settle on gray hair, you have a few decisions to make. Namely, are you willing to put your hair through the potential damage from bleach and dye?
Unless you have a naturally light-blond hair color, going gray means bleaching your hair to strip out the color before dyeing your hair. Even when it’s done by a professional, bleaching your hair means you’re going to have some breakage and damage. Basically, your hair may become thinner, and you may need to cut off some length to keep it in a healthy state. To minimize the damage, Arteca suggests following the tips above.
5. Then, you need to mentally prepare for a drastically new look.
Julie says, “I’ve been dyeing my hair weird colors since I was 14, so the idea of having gray hair was not that crazy to me. I love the way it looks — so serene and pretty and also that juxtaposition of having a young face with ‘old’ hair. So cool! So I was actually really excited to do it. This kind of hair isn’t for everybody, but it can be a lot of fun! Also, it’s just hair! If you do it and you don’t like the way it looks, you can always dye it another color.”
6. OK, so you’ve decided you want to go gray. The first thing you’ll need to do is bleach your hair.
Time: 5 hours and 34 minutes
Gray dye on top of light blonde hair results in the gray hair color that’s popular right now. Because Julie’s hair was being bleached blond from brown, she required two processes of bleach to get her hair to the level of blond color required for gray hair. Each process costs $200.
7. Next, purple toner is applied to take away any yellow undertones left by the bleach.
Time: 24 minutes
After two rounds of bleach, Arteca applied a purple toner to Julie’s hair and let it sit for about 20 minutes before washing it out.
8. Why is the toner purple? Because it directly counteracts the yellow undertones in hair to give you the white-silver color.
In order for gray dye to look true to its color, it should be applied to hair that has a white-silver undertone, which is exactly what you’ll get when you put purple toner on bleached hair with a yellow undertone.
9. Then the stylist will apply the dye, which actually looks purple.
Time: 1 hour and 3 minutes
Once the hair is bleached and toned, the final step is the gray dye itself. After about 30 minutes of sitting on the hair, it’s washed out.
10. Total time: 7 hours and 1 minute
11. Total Cost (before maintenance products): $640
Prices vary depending on salon and location.
12. Now it’s time for some maintenance.
13. To keep gray hair looking fresh and lasting as long as possible, Arteca suggests the following tips.
If you like the look of gray hair with dark roots, you can stretch the time between salon appointments to opt for an ombre gray hair color instead.
14. And here’s what to do when you want to touch up your hair dye at home.
Vaseline around your hairline will stop the dye from sticking to (and dyeing) your skin.
Separating your hair into sections helps with even, allover coverage of your hair. You can separate into as many sections as you need to cover your whole head.
Put on latex gloves before you start mixing the hair dye and take them off right before washing your hair to avoid dyeing your skin.
When applying the hair dye, you can use your hands, or for a more precise application, use a dye brush.
After you shampoo the dye out of your hair, avoid washing your hair every day to help the dye last as long as possible in your hair.
Before you begin this process, line the floor of the room with newspaper or tarp to protect it from any stray dye marks.
15. Here are the products Arteca suggests for gray hair.
1. Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo, $16
2. Joico Color Balance Purple Conditioner, $18
3. Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids in Silver, $31.99
4. Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids Color Protect Sealing Spray, $17.10
5. Moroccanoil Repair Mask, $33.99
16. As for your makeup, when you drastically change the colors of your hair, you may want to tweak the colors you use on your face, too.
We consulted makeup artist Yana Markevich about which colors work best with gray hair.
Eyebrow Pencil: Use a light, cool-toned eyebrow pencil to create a fuller-looking brow without adding any yellow undertones. Markevich suggests the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Taupe.
Lilac Eyeshadow: To play up the lilac and gray tones in the hair, Markevich gravitates toward lilac and gray eyeshadow. Try Buxom Color Choreography Eyeshadow in Lambada.
Black Eyeliner: A thick black line on the top eyelid will help to draw attention to the lash line and make eyes stand out. Markevich uses Stila All Day Liquid Liner.
Peach Blush: A light, pinky blush on the apples of the cheeks will brighten up the complexion without giving it a harsh tone. Markevich likes The Balm Blush in Hot Mama.
Creamy Pink Lipstick: Markevich suggests a creamy pink tone on the lips for a fresh, feminine look that compliments the lilac tone on the eyes without it looking like a monochromatic style. She recommends Bite Beauty Lipstick in Fig.
Markevich also notes that when choosing a very light, unnatural color for your hair, it’s a good idea to make an extra effort to cover up any red areas or blemishes, which only stand out more when your hair is so light.
17. Going gray means a huge transformation, and when it’s done right, it looks pretty freaking awesome.
Julie says, “I love my new hair. I’ve found that curling my hair actually makes the color feel less overwhelming than if I wore my hair straight. I think it gives the hair more dimension and shows off the color more. And I think it’s really fun to experiment and try different colors, so I’m probably going to dye it coral or something next. Because why not?”
Services were provided to BuzzFeed Life free of charge.