Here's what happened when one beauty writer created her own custom gray hair look
I’ve been a full-time fake blonde for around a year and a half now, and one thing that has remained persistently evasive is fulfilling my bizarre dream of having gray hair. Not permanently, not in any damaging way, and not lilac, but a full, proper gray. I think it looks creepy, mean, and scares off dumb boys (all high on my list of good hair criteria). But it’s been a real pest to try to achieve.
There are a ton of “silver” hair products on the market, but for the most part, they are purple based, and at best, give a cool-toned shimmer. Over-application just leads to full blown purple hair (which is fine, but not what I want). And then there are the proper toners that are genuinely-gray products, but it involves some level of peroxide (damaging) and some level of permanence (commitment-phobe).
Basically, I was S.O.L. Until, that is, I was pondering other color correcting hair products. I mean, there are as many fake-brunettes and fake-redheads out there as fake-blondes, probably. What were they doing in between expensive trips to the salon (or, let’s face it, in the bathroom with a box dye in hand)? Something, surely. And lo and behold, I was right!
I’d long been a fan of the Aveda Malva range because it keeps blonde brass in check, and a short peruse of their site showed me that their toning prowess didn’t end there — they have shampoos and conditioners for fakers of every hair shade. The one that interested me the most, though, was their Black Malva, for artificial brunettes. A dilute black, is, as we all know, a gray. This was a theory that I needed to test.
The Black Malva Shampoo ($40) is kind of a sheer, medium cool brown. It’s really great on damaged, colored hair, leaving everything feeling clean but also super soft and strong. The Black Malva Conditioner ($21), though, as you can see, is purely pitch black.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Here’s a before shot of my hair:
It’s my current, neutral-ish, rooty blonde look.
To start, I shampooed with (you’ve guessed it) the shampoo. As I’d predicted, this didn’t do much in the way of a color change, but the smell and feel were top notch.
I wrapped my hair in a towel and got to mixing. The pureness of the black of the conditioner was so great that I think applying it to bleached hair would result in it pretty much going black. So I dumped some into a bowl and added some white conditioner, in about a half to half ratio.
After mixing, (with a pen – ever the professional) it still looked a bit dark, so I added more white. My advice is to just mix it until it’s around the level of darkness you want your hair to go.
Then, I applied it all over my hair, like a hair mask, and waited for about twenty minutes.
My hair was definitely, undeniably gray! I’m surprised by the amount of blueness to the shade. Although, I suppose it is designed to color correct redness, but overall, I’m extremely pleased with the result.
A tube of the conditioner would allow multiple applications, so you can take your hair fully through the fading gray spectrum, rinse, and repeat. Plus, since Aveda is inexpensive and great at haircare, everything feels soft, strong, and sleek.
Will you be trying this new look out?