What do you feel are the biggest myths or mistakes when it comes to hair color and aging?
The biggest myth and mistake when it comes to hair color and age is that there should be hard rules. Conventional wisdom wants us to believe that as we get older, we need to stay away from harsh, edgy colors. However, some of my older clients can rock a sleek, chocolate brown look way better than some clients half their age. It all comes down to attitude and how much joie de vivre someone has.
What are your best tips for choosing a flattering hair color that will help someone feel like the best, most youthful version of themself?
If you’re looking for beautiful, low-maintenance color, I suggest going warmer than you might think. Warm tones are almost always universally flattering, yet we often spend so much time fighting against them. Veer toward words like honey and gold and caramel. As we start to age, most people have some underlying warmth. When clients attempt to lift this warmth to an unnatural color, the upkeep is constant. Toners fade, and maintenance requires trips to the salon every four weeks or so. Embracing your natural warmth allows for a much softer grow-out. Your natural tones will remain in your hair, and your faux color won’t look as jarring when your roots start to show as your hair grows out.
Do you have any expert advice for people with lighter hair who are just starting to go gray?
For naturally blonde clients who are beginning to go gray, I often blend their hair by highlighting and adding some reverse highlights, or lowlights. The effect is much more natural and low-maintenance than a solid, single-process color. The key is to maintain a multidimensional look with various tones mixed in to mimic what the hair would look like if they were not yet gray.
How about people who are looking to embrace the gray or white tones they already have? How can they keep the color and tone as vibrant as possible?
When women (and men) begin to gray, it is usually not the perfect white, cooler-toned shade of gray we often think about. What usually occurs is a mix of salt and pepper and, oftentimes, a yellow or warm-tinged hue of unpigmented hair. I recommend asking your colorist for a clarifying treatment. The brand Malibu C makes a brilliant one that clears the hair of mineral and hard water buildup. Usually, once the hair is thoroughly clarified, it can then accept either lavender or purple shampoo or treatment, or a cool glass to really impart shine.