Grey hair has had something of a turbulent journey. For so long it was the ultimate faux pass, desperately dyed by older, naturally grey clients, and for many, this mentality remains.

But over time the world’s high fashion figures started seeing the light – Jean Paul Gaultier sent models down the catwalk with grey beehives at his 2011 Autumn Winter debut, and major fashion magazines and fashion houses have followed suit.

grey hair
Jean Paul Gaultier AW 2011 Collection

As is the natural trajectory, the celebs then started taking notice. Nicole Richie, Kate Moss, Rihanna, Zosia Mamet and Kylie Jenner have all opted for grey in recent times, which means of course that the trend is now finally making its way to your clients.

Nicole Richie at the 2011 Met Gala

Silver strands took over Instagram this month with the hashtag #grannyhair. It’s official – grey hair is trending, and it’s time to get on board.

“The hairdressing profession delved into it a little bit about 12 or 18 months ago but that was too early. There are a lot of celebrities who have it now so it has hit the commercial market,” Justin Pace of Papas and Pace confirmed. “We’ve definitely seen it in the last month, definitely younger clients are coming in and asking for it.”

The demographic seems to be clients around 18 to 25, and while it’s caught on within the last year or two, Kylie Jenner and the ensuing Instagram presence has seen a recent spike.

Kylie Jenner. Image via Instagram

While some brave Instagrammers have donned a whole head of grey hair, your clients may want to ease into the trend, with grey roots or ends only.

And while we refuse to make the obvious 50 Shades of Grey joke in this article, there really is a wealth of possibilities when it comes to tone. Silver grey, purple grey and pearl grey can all work alongside lighter tones, whilst those with a naturally darker colour may want to opt for a smokier, ashier tone, or more of a slate grey.

“It’s a multitude,” explained David Martin of Togninis. “Some people like to have maybe even just a smokey grey tone in the roots with a lighter, fresher blonde on the ends, while a lot want grey all over in foil work. Or you push it to the other extreme where people who already have full head lighteners or bleachers change theirs to a more smokey tone.”

As with all celebrity-based trends, clients may be unaware of the amount of work it takes to achieve and maintain this look beyond the selfie lens.

Zosia Mamet

“It’s not an easy to wear result,” David said. “When you see someone wearing it, they are putting in a lot of work.”

“It’s all about a process,” Justin agreed. “I think the word ‘bleach’ scares a lot of people and they think they can achieve the look by not lightening their hair, so the first thing I go into is what you first have to do to achieve that colour and how it’s a big part of the process.”


So what are the main tips from the experts?

“My trick is using black,” Justin shared. “Going back to the fundamentals, the colour wheel and mixing colours, I will actually pour black into some very light colours depending on what the client wants.”


David’s main advice centers on ensuring the hair’s condition, by strengthening it in salon, with services roughly every month, and with clients to utilising moisture treatments, protein treatments and toners at home.

“Any type of moisture or colour that you will add over the top to create any type of silkiness falls straight through, so working with protein first will help to create the longevity of the hair and keep the colour looking great,” he said.

One thing’s for sure – #grannyhair is on the rise. High-fashion, classy and totally trending right now, it’s time to add it to your colour wheelhouse.