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Our silver stranded clients hold a special place in our hearts – not only do we see them consistently, but also a great deal more than any other client. Being a large part of their beauty budget, it is important to set yourself and your services apart to give them options that no box dye can.


Some clients don’t mind a little gray dimension shining through and might actually prefer a blended look. As hairstylists, this is our time to shine! Strategically placing highs and lows throughout the head with foils or hand-painting can break up the natural gray regrowth and give a more youthful appearance with tones that also compliment the skin. Leaving gray strands between the foils gives a softer grow out and allows for a longer time between appointments while being a higher ticket service. Try choosing colors two levels above and two levels below your client’s natural color in the same tonal family to brighten their eyes and skin tone.

Another alternative for gray blending is using semi or demi-permanent colors. These will usually tint the lighter gray hairs creating an illusion of coverage, but the dimension will still show through. Semi and Demi-permanent colors usually fade after 12 washes and can be combined with a highlight/lowlight technique for endless options in gray blending. Make sure to formulate a full level darker when aiming for more coverage. For these techniques, Redken Shades EQ offers endless possibilities with no ammonia and a gel developer.


Erasing gray is a tried and true salon service but sometimes we see clients back sooner than needed because of unnecessary fading. For clients who want to fully eliminate their gray hairs one uncovered strand can be a deal-breaker.

  1. Be very careful with your barrier cream application, this can prevent color from covering hairs around the hairline. Ask your client to use a moisturizing cream on their skin prior to their appointment to avoid staining and place barrier cream 1/4th of an inch away from any hair.
  2. For clients with very resistant grays, you can pre-soften using 20 volume developer around the hairline for 30 minutes. This opens the cuticle of stubborn gray hairs allowing for better penetration of color. Rinse, dry, then apply color as usual.
  3. Sometimes the tiny hairs around the hairline are not only more coarse but are shorter and stand straight up. This can make them resistant to accepting the color. Try laying a perm wrap paper along the temples and anywhere on the hairline with baby hairs and then painting some more color on top of the papers to make sure those hairs absorb the pigment.


From Jane Fonda to Sharon Osborne to our very own chairs, we have been seeing clients not just embrace their age and silver locks but take them to the next level. At the start, this can be a corrective color service and entail removing old pigments and using platinum card techniques possibly spanning over multiple visits. It is important to communicate this to clients so they know what they are signing up for. However, long-term this can be a low- to no-maintenance hair color option. When these clients come back for cuts, offer clarifying and shine treatments to help with any dull tones and be sure to send them home with the perfect at-home tinted shampoo for a perfect finish.

Whether your clients choose to be 0% gray, 50%, or 100% the right take-home products will keep them smiling in between appointments.

Product picks:

Redken Color Extend Graydiant Shampoo & Conditioner



Written by: Nicoletta