Goldirocks Guide to Grey & Silver


In the last couple of years, the popularity of silver and grey hair colours have boomed. Which is funny considering that about 5 years ago when the trend came out, I had more people saying to me “Eww what would you want to go grey for?” or “I don’t want to look like an old lady” than anything else!


So we aren’t talking natural ‘nana’ grey here. We are talking about that platinum white, stormy grey and silvery or lilac tones.

Now a lot of people know this already but just for the record…..this is the hardest colour to get IN your hair AND the hardest colour to KEEP in your hair! Be under no illusion folks, grey ain’t easy! If you want it….you gotta REALLY want it.

Having said that…it is amazing!

So here are my steps for going grey.

Firstly, you have to be VERY blonde. So for the majority of you, that means we firstly have to get you there. Grey wont show up on anything less than very light blonde. No matter if its a dark grey or a light grey.

Dark Grey and Slate tones will show through on SLIGHTLY darker blondes but be aware….ANY YELLOW IN YOUR HAIR WILL SHOW UP LIKE A SHINING BEACON! Even if you have a tiny hint of a warmer tone in a tiny place on your hair, it will show up like a sore thumb…simply because of the contrast of the very ashy grey next to your tiny slice of gold.

This client had yellow and orange ends with loads of regrowth….this is what we were able to achieve after the first appointment…we evened it out but it wasn’t quite light enough for grey yet. We achieved that on the next appointment.


So, the process for going blonde depends on how dark you are and also what colour your have in your hair. I’m not talking just in the last few months…I’m talking, anything up to 5 or 6 years, depending on how long your hair is.

Here are some clients I’ve been taking blonder…

Remember that ‘semi’ box dye you did in 2010? Well sorry to break it to you but semi and box colour should never be used in the same sentence! Box dyes from anywhere, are never semi permanent. Even if you just try and get it on the roots, when you rinse it in the shower, it runs down and grabs on to the rest of your hair…and for some reason, clings on like a needy girlfriend to anything it touches.

Here is an example of the kind of change you’ll see after the first appointment….


Never fear, we have our ways. So it WILL be a longer process and you WILL need patience. But we will get your blonde eventually.

I never like to damage anyones hair, no matter how bad they want any colour, SO the way I get you blonde may take longer…but you will still have happy hair at the end of it.

The way I get out colour is by using a low strength bleach, leaving it in for a little longer (up to an hour…because it stops working after that) and using Bond Fusion (a treatment I add to the bleach that reforms the bonds in your hair and prevents breakage) I take the hair lighter over a few appointments.

The first appointment, if you have box colour, you quite often wont see a huge change in colour. I find that the first appointment, the bleach breaks down the colour in the hair but it isn’t until the second appointment that you see a big change. If you have dark coloured hair, you will quite often only be able to get as light as a darker brown in the first appointment. So that can be frustrating for some…but bare in mind we aren’t magicians.

I don’t usually recommending taking he bleach right up to your scalp, but instead, doing it like a nice ombre, leaving the roots darker and blending it to a lighter end. This produces a much nicer result, rather than the patchy mess of orange that is usually a result of a full head of bleach. Evenly coloured, darker hair, is much better than patchy, uneven lighter hair…believe me!

Next I apply an ACTUAL semi permanent colour over it all to make sure its an even tone. This is called toning. I always tone it to the darkest shade in the hair that has been lightened, otherwise it is still left uneven as the darker patches show through.

Here is an example of what a tone can do….notice how it evens the colour and takes out a certain amount of yellow tones……


The next appointment we can lighten out the mid lengths and ends some more and take the bleach up a little further with every appointment. And you are on your way to blonde!

Every person is different, due to their hair history and good old genetics. So it doesn’t matter if your friend up the road got to be platinum blonde in just 2 appointments…her hair isn’t your hair. You may take 4, you may take 2.

I always leave 4-6 weeks in between appointments. Your hair needs that time to rest and recuperate. If we bleach you again next week, its just the same as if I’d bleached you again the same day….its quite often going to leave your hair dry and damaged, no matter how much Bond Fusion I use. It needs time to strengthen.


In this time you are going to need use salon professional products…from an actual salon…..not the ones that claim to be salon professional (because when was the last time you say a hair salon that uses Tresemme, which claims to be ‘salon professional?)

This isn’t because I want to sell you shampoo. This is because I’d like you to still have hair after you are blonde. After all, there’s no point having blonde hair, if its all on the floor because you’ve had to cut it all off….or its being washed down your shower plug hole.

After having my hair massacred by an unruly hair stylist, I used the product that we are coming to know and love called Evo! Who’s tried it? Aren’t you in love with it already. The Ritual Salvation range not only provides for some entertaining reading with its sarcastic packaging, but strengthens and moisturises your hair like nothing else I’ve used…(and being a hairdresser I’ve used EVERYTHING!). I use the Ritual Salvation Shampoo and the Mane Attention Treatment as a conditioner because its stronger….and when you are going blonde, you NEED stronger! It lasts a lot longer than supermarket or chemist shampoo and isn’t €1 million! (only 21 actually!)

Keeping it blonde? Well we have this brilliant thing called Evo Fabuloso or Fabuloso Pro (geez anyone would think I invented Evo….I didn’t, I just think its the best thing for my clients and makes my job a LOT easier when people use it!) This is a platinum conditioner….rather than a shampoo, you can leave it on your hair for as long as you like to get out that more stubborn yellow and it doesn’t make your hair feel rough and squeaky like purple shampoo. I love it! We can also custom mix the Fabuloso Pro to pinky or violet tones if that is your colour.



So things not to do while you are going blonde?

Included but not limited to:

Straightening – heat is the number one killer of hair! First equal only to bleach.

Swimming – technically you can swim just be careful to use a swimming cap (and even invest in some leave in moisturiser for your hair such as Evo Happy Campers, so the water isn’t being soaked up by your hair and turning it green…that’s right…green. Chlorine is great like that). Salt water also dries out your hair.

Sun – not really an issue in Cork….but if you are going on a sun holiday, make sure to wear a hat and be gentle with your hair.

Tight buns or ponytails – try not to always wear your hair in a tight bun or pony. It stretches and pulls your poor little hairs.

Coloured or tinted products – oils and treatments are quite often coloured. Anything that that is coloured at all will be soaked up by your hair and you’ll start to notice a tinge of that colour in your hair. Because your hair is drier than non-bleached hair, this is something to be aware of.

Washing every day – if you wash your hair every day, then this probably isn’t going to work for you. Your natural oils moisturise your hair and washing every day will be very drying on already dry hair.

Using supermarket or Chemist shampoo – they are full of detergents and the conditioners are too watery. Your hair is going to need some extra love during this time. Even the more expensive ones aren’t good enough. Believe me, I’ve tried most of them. Spending €200 on your hair and washing it in €8 shampoo is like buying a dry clean only coat and chucking it in the washing machine.


Now, people are always inventing great ways of killing their hair…so this list probably doesn’t include everything. But if there is something you think may be harmful to your freshly blonde hair, just ask.

This blog isn’t meant to scare you….but it is intended to put off anyone that thinks going blonde, silver and grey is quick or easy.

It is simply to point out very clearly that these colours take time and patience and no amount of rushing is going to do you any good. No matter how amazing your best friend thinks she is at doing it over her bath tub….talk to a professional.


4 thoughts on “Goldirocks Guide to Grey & Silver

  1. Caroline marshall says:

    Well said im a hairdresser and i hate the impatience of some clients liftin from dark to blonde or takin orange out of hair is not achievable in one step yet they expect it to b frustrating i find to they dont want to pay out for this and expect it done in one app one fee

    Liked by 1 person

    • goldirockssalon says:

      Thanks Caroline, yes I find its all about education. Once you explain to your clients how it works with the details and why’s, they usually understand and its also good because they then know if something is happening to their colour, they know why and how to look after it. 🙂


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