The Grey Debate



Grey hair- it can be a struggle or it can be embraced, or even a bit of both. While fashion gray is in trend right now (see here) the majority of women (and men) struggle with managing their greys.

So why do we gray? While normal aging is the main culprit, genetics also play a part. Fun fact: redheads tend to go grey the earliest. If you’re a parent, you already know that stress and hormones can play a role in changing your hair. Heck, I feel stressed just hearing about all the child-rearing shenanigans. Your lifestyle in general certainly makes a difference. Smoking stresses your skin and hair, and smoke itself can stain hair. If you’re not getting enough of the right vitamins, that can also make a difference. Taking supplements such as B vitamins and biotin can help the health of your integumentary system (hair, skin, and nails), but you should definitely discuss all of that with an actual doctor, not just your hair-apist.

So if you want to alter your hair color, what are your options? Advanced Master Stylist, Sarah Jones has something to say as one of our “Grey Gurus.”


Advanced Master Stylist, Sarah Jones

“The options for coloring grey hair are endless. I’m finding these days women may not be fully ready to embrace the grey but they don’t want to hide behind it either. We work together to determine how much grey they are comfortable with seeing in the end result.Adding high and or low lights can be a very natural way to shave a few years of grey away. I love well curated foils to create streaks of grey by adding more of the natural in and leaving out the right amount of grey in the right places. There is also the demi-permanent option where we do a single process color and the grey kind of sparkles through like an opaque tight would show a little bit of leg.”


Hair’s texture can also change dramatically over the course of our lifetimes; again, aging, stress, and hormones can affect that. Hormones are weird, ask any post-menopausal woman what those fluctuations are like. Our Creative Director and Salon Owner Gwenn LeMoine has a few tricks up her sleeve for tackling the sometimes-resistant tough texture of grey hair.


Gwenn LeMoine, Parlor’s founder and Creative Director..

“A technique called “pre-softening” is used when color has a hard time covering.  She applies straight developer (sometime known as peroxide) directly to the stubborn uncolored hair then directly after applies the intended chosen application of color. This technique prepares the hair by opening up the cuticle of the hair so it accepts the color better.”

A second option Gwenn likes is to subtly lighten all of the hair which warms up the gray to produce a soft creamy color that is easy to manage and blends well with hair that is predominately grey.  Hellen Mirren’s lovely tresses are a perfect example of what this can do for silver strands.


Some people are fortunate to inherit that silky, silvery grey hair, while most have thicker, wiry grey strands. To soften and tame that overly-excited grey hair, I recommend Aveda Brilliant shampoo & conditioner. Not only does this system soften and add shine, it has the loveliest aroma from jasmine, rose, and certified-organic clove. Aveda’s color line is completely customizable, and our stylists go through intense training in order to formulate the perfect color for your specific needs.



Why does grey hair turn brassy? I’m glad you asked, reader. A variety of factors can affect the tone of hair, such as everyday pollutants (hello, city life), chlorine and mineral build-up, and sun exposure. All my blonde readers can relate; because the pigment has been removed, hair is more susceptible to absorb other tones. How can you combat these tones? Well to enhance cool, silvery tones we use the Blue Malva Conditioner. Not only does this product neutralize warm tones in all shades of hair, it smells like heaven with certified-organic lavender, petitgrain, and eucalyptus.

Whether you want to enhance, blend, or completely cover your grey, we at Parlor have a variety of options specifically for you. Not sure which direction you want to go? We would be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation with a stylist and we will talk about which options suit your life style and level of coverage desired.


Post by Jenny Davis






A note from the editor:

So is it GrAy or GrEy?  It’s both!  Traditionally, those in England spell it with an “E” and Stateside, we use “A” when spelling out the color of the day! -Christopher at P A R L O R