Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Winter Blues and Target

I am dedicating this post to my friend, Llynn. She is in a dreaded grow out stage. You know when people (i.e. Moi) tell you that after 8 months it's all downhill? Okay that's PARTIALLY true. At the 8-month mark you are less aware of the stripe and it feels easy breezy. And then month 8, week 3 arrives and you find yourself cursing like a sailor which, contrary to popular belief, does not actually help your hair grow.
Now Llynn has been smart to just let her hair grow out. She started out brunette and those ends have since faded revealing some GORGEOUS silver coming in (see pics below- gorgeous!!). She already has soft, (what the Gilmore Girls would call) shiny Harvard hair. So the silver really is smooth and silky.

Llynn is at her 12-month mark and Happy Anniversary!! She is also going through the Winter blues and feeling like her hair is looking more dingy (note din-jee not deen-gee) than fabulous. Let's look at some factors here: we’ve had a long Winter and have all been on a weather rollercoaster for heaven knows how many months. It's April and we're expecting snow again. Where are we, Colorado?? Llynn also identified another enemy to silver hair: indoor fluorescent lighting. If it’s Winter and you only go out to get the shopping done then you only see yourself under these harsh yellowing lights. No wonder we feel sallow!

With Llynn her ends are blonde-to-light-brown so the stripe isn’t as harsh. The downfall is that the blonde casts an overall yellowed effect on her hair. The pic to the right correctly shows how fabulous her silver is (see right) but the wrong lighting will reflect those dyed ends back to the roots. With a higher contrast of dyed to virgin grey (such as black) the hair may look more pewter or more white, with red the hair looks more taupe and peach.

So what do you do to freshen and lighten up the hair a bit? I suggest getting a trim at this point of the process. You don’t have to cut inches upon inches off but even ONE little inch and you’ll reveal a lighter shade. Every new month and every new cut reveals a slightly lighter, slightly more radiant version of silver.

HOWEVER if you're still on the fence of whether grey is right for you, why not do a wash-out rinse? Now I'm not an advocate of dye nor am I against it but I've seen a lot of wobbles and a lot of regrets with hasty decisions. That's why I don't recommend a major cut or permanent hair dye. There are temporary rinses that are supposed to shampoo out with every wash (note that this will not work for you if you are allergic to dye). Roux Fanciful is the one I know of (don't use the mousse but just the rinse). Take a sample of hair and if you don't want to cut a sample of that hard-won silver, take some spare from your hairbrush. Soak the sample in some Roux and let it dry over a couple of days. Also, keep some un-Rouxed hair for a later comparison.

Now shampoo the Rouxed sample- did it totally rinse out? Is it slightly tinted? If you wash it with baking soda or purple shampoo is it still tinted? If you answered yes then put the Roux away. If it washed out, why not try it on your hair and see if you like that better than the silver? Remember to look at yourself on a bright sunny day and compare before or after (pics are a great way to do this). This will direct you in your next decision.

My guess is that you’ll see how the silver plays with your skin tone and compare it to the temporary color-washed look and you’ll determine what you like better. After all, the choices you make should be what you’re comfortable with, not something that you do to make others happy. Llynn is one of my favorite people on CafĂ© Gray (and that says a lot). Her support and cheers have been invaluable through my grow-out process. So next time you see Llynn (you’ll know her, she’s a gorgeous woman and very petite at that) you will see a beautiful advocate for the silver sisters. Make sure to congratulate her on her 1-year anniversary!


  1. Lovely, Jilly. So nice you've highlighted our beautiful Llynn. :-)

  2. Careful, Puppy, you'll be next ;)