Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Right Hair Stylist

The importance of this subject cannot be emphasized enough, especially if you are growing out your grey. I have filtered out dozens of stylists and have yet to find one grey-friendly and still cutting edge super stylist- until today.

I started out very nervous about this. The last time I had my hair cut (besides my one-time self-trim) was 7 months ago. I know, but even though it was a good cut, the stylist seemed put out to work on my hair and then didn't listen to my ONE request to not have a high-heat flat iron. "Oh, I have it on medium," she said as she burnt my hair and turned it yellow. No, I still have not let that go and it made me even more timid to see a new stylist and avoid this again.

I had my speech all prepared- I was going to point out that I started running again and want to be able to pull my hair back in a ponytail, I don't like too-short layers on top because I look like a '70s News Anchor, I don't want him/her to flat iron my hair, I'm allergic to hairspray. I spent a couple of weeks compiling the horror stories of past stylists and trying to make my high-maintenance list seem not so high-maintenance. Fail. But this was important because I get intimidated in salons and chicken out anyway so I was hoping to meet half of the items on my list. Usually I rue the day I go to the salon and start the whole process over looking for a new stylist.

Salons have long-been my Achilles heel and I was just praying that a Master Stylist at a top-rated Yelp salon was going to pass the muster.

Enter Michael Knight at Samuel Cole Salon in North Raleigh. He has 28 years of experience and is constantly learning the latest in the industry. I walk I in and he greets me. I'm relieved to see a cool silver and black-striped beard, lots of tats, and a friendly smile that is not glancing at my grey and making a face. I'm still wary as the last Rockabilly salon owner (with his own black and silver hair, tats, and nose ring) told me how much older I would look with grey and there was only one cut that I would be able to do (enter expletive of choice).

But Michael was different, giving a great consultation and was almost as excited about my grey hair as I am. He suggested longer hair for my hair type, how my natural part was falling, what my current and future goals were, and when I would graduate (before my 40th birthday in July- holla!). All-in-all, here was a stylist celebrating my choice with me and absolutely thrilled to see the end result. He saw my progression pics and verified that I looked better with every inch of grey that grew out.

After a great cut, comparing favorite 80's Metal Bands, and my having the courage to ask that he not flat iron my hair (he was on the same page), I left feeling awesome. I have a great cut, an inch less of color on my ends, a great cheerleader, and I feel wonderful. Was it cheap? No, but damn, so worth it! I think the key to remember is that you're saving a ton of money on ditching the dye so splurge and get a great style. After all, you're celebrating  and you need a great style. The time for Super Cuts and cuts that come with a coupon are past. If you're talking about budget and you were coloring your hair all those years, you are saving a ton- put it into a great cut and a great stylist.

These are my after pics from this afternoon. How cool is this, only 3" left!! For those in metric Countries, i.e. everywhere except the US, that would be 7-8 centimeters. The cool part is that for every bit of dyed ends that get cut off, your hair lightens considerably. Every cut thus reveals a new you and you get excited all over again.
Well, I am so elated with this and if you find yourself in Raleigh, give Michael Knight (link above) a call. You might email him anyway and see if he knows and can recommend a stylist in your area. Also, look on CafĂ© Gray under the Gray-Friendly Salon Guide to see about recommended stylists in your area.
Okay, I'm off to paint the town and celebrate my new cut. Have a lovely day, all!!


  1. Thanks, Puppy! It's the first time I can actually see the end in sight. And just think it will be no time at all until you e graduated to your beautiful version of silver. Can't wait!

  2. You and your hair look beautiful in these photos, and in real life even better, I'm sure! I thought your hair was more white, but I see a lot of your darker, original color. I thought you were a ginger, but did I read dark brown somewhere in one of your posts? The texture looks so good too. Great encouragement!


  3. Thanks, Lemonlark! I was originally a ginger but more of an auburn one. I have a lot of super light stripes and you can see them when I pull my hair back. I've seen yours come in and it's really pretty! I'll tell ya, the hair lightens overall with every bit of color cut off and it changes in every light. I took these when it was overcast so it looks greyer. Also it was blown dry as opposed to straightened so it's not as smooth. As you're finding out, our hair is so diverse from moment-to-moment now- it really does change and sparkle. Can't wait to see yours in the coming months!!


    Jill, I'm a playwright and a blogger over at - I'm doing the A2Z Blogging Challenge this April and my theme is Shades of Gray...Hair! Would you consider contributing by being my J lady?

    It's a short questionnaire....and a few photos of your lovely Gray/Grey. If yes, please email me at
    cherduffin {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

    Thanks, Gorgeous! Cheryl Duffin

  5. Hi Jill, I found your blog through the silver sisters cafe. I love your hair and especially your new haircut showing off all your beautiful shades of silver. I have taken a screen shot and I'm going to ask my hairdresser for a similar cut in a few weeks. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration. Oh I'm pastamaker08 on silver sisters.

  6. Hey, Jenny! Wow, that is so flattering. I read your story on Cafe Gray and what a great plan! Just enjoy Milan, be inspired by all the lovely ladies there, have a few light streaks put in, and voila! Do you find the streaks have helped? I think everyone who got them had an easier first few months.

    Well you have gorgeous hair and any cut is going to look fabulous on you. My hair, albeit 100% softer now, is not nearly as silky as yours. Post a pic when you get your hair cut!

  7. Hi, Cheryl! Thank you for the fantastic compliment. I will email you tonight.