It mored than breakfast that my auntie Heidi Katz went down the bombshell. “I’m mosting likely to go grey,” she discussed. “I’ve been coloring my hair since I used to be 26, after I had a lot grey individuals thought it was frosted.” After peak Covid, when her husband coloured her hair so typically he developed tennis elbow, she’d had sufficient. However making the choice is just the first step; the precise act of going grey is extra emotionally fraught. “As a child boomer, I wish to stay ceaselessly younger, so the considered going grey is like, Whoa,” she confided.

“Once you work in a youth-obsessed trade the place everyone seems to be both Botoxing or filling every thing,” you may really feel an infinite stress to remain young-looking, says veteran magnificence editor Jane Larkworthy, who eschewed her trademark blond for pure grey throughout lockdown. However after letting her shade develop out to disclose a classy yellow-tinted white, she says, “I’ll by no means return.”

“Who mentioned grey hair makes you look previous? We created that fantasy,” says California hairstylist and silver professional Jack Martin. Since serving to a shopper segue to grey 4 and a half years in the past, Martin’s signature course of has made him essentially the most sought-after “silver transition” colorist on this planet. Keep in mind Jane Fonda’s grey hair reveal ultimately yr’s Academy Awards? That was his handiwork. He says he has heard each purpose for going grey below the solar, from chemical allergy symptoms to pissing off husbands mid-divorce, nevertheless it’s all the time “a private resolution.”

“As soon as I flip somebody silver, she is strolling on clouds.”

Martin books his silver transition appointments six to eight months upfront, partially due to demand, but additionally as a result of he wants a minimum of 4 inches of roots to start. It’s each a check (“If she can not deal with a number of inches of grey, she’s going to by no means deal with the entire head”) and the beginning of the method. Martin offers intensive care directions earlier than a shopper sits down in his chair, together with common deep conditioning remedies. The six- to 15-hour transformation begins with a shade extractor to elevate away residual dye, then bleach to get hair as near white as doable. Subsequent Martin painstakingly dyes every strand to match the roots completely, going darker or lighter to match the shopper’s particular salt-and-pepper tones. He finishes with a tone, trim, and blowout—and voilà! “I have actually a one hundred pc success charge,” he says, which is why his clientele shell out between $3,000 and $8,000 for the expertise.

Martin’s course of is designed to assist make the transition to grey simpler, however it may possibly nonetheless be a shock. When former determine skater Sarah Komisin stopped tinting her hair 14 years in the past, “it took 4 years of trying within the mirror to not be stunned by my reflection,” she says. Now her icy white coif is her trademark. “Folks nonetheless touch upon my hair every day,” she says. “It’s essentially the most liberating factor I’ve ever finished.”

For Larkworthy going grey prompted her to put on new colours (pink!) that look good along with her hair. Komisin renewed her give attention to skincare. And for all of Martin’s purchasers, there’s a brand new perspective. “As soon as I flip somebody silver,” he says, “she is strolling on clouds.”

This story appears within the February 2023 circumstance of City & Country. SUBSCRIBE CURRENTLY