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Throwing shade on grey

Sophia Hilton, the yellow-haired founder of Not Another Salon – Most Wanted Best Salon Experience winner – has an Instagram feed that’s chock-full of client coveted, envelope-pushing colours and shades. However, Ms Hilton feels the need to have a strong word with UK colourists on the subject of grey. Take it away Sophia!

“A few years ago, images of grey hair started to pop up on Instagram and Pinterest and a whole trend – one that had been on and off for years, I might add – exploded. I’d like to talk specifically about the type of grey that has black/almost black, coloured-in roots. Yes, I agree these pictures look incredible and this is why a rather tragic situation has occurred. Let me explain…

“The way in which a hairdresser creates almost black next to almost white is more complex than it seems. All-dark colour is actually made up of a lot of red (though you can’t see it to the naked eye) meaning that the hairdresser is fighting a hard battle between the client looking too yellow, too green or their hair falling out. Needless to say, grey is complex and fairly impractical for most.

“But this rant is about those images that inspired other hairdressers to produce more extreme dark-to-light grey images. Those picture are not about the client, they are about the hairdresser.

“Because when you have almost black on the roots and white grey ends, God help you when you want to change (or even take the grey one inch higher)! Hairdressers feel the pressure to keep up with these impossible creations seen on Instagram and many are left feeling that they are simply not good enough colourists. Well, they are good enough. Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.

“Let’s all remember who is the most important in all this… it’s the client. Anyone can make them look good for a day, for that all-important Instagram post. You should want to make them look good for EVERY day, not leave them with hair that is close to ruined.

“I want to say it’s okay not to get that grey! There are plenty of other options that involve steely tones that do not obliterate your client’s hair…”