Is what I am trying to achieve realistic?

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I started going grey/white in my late teens (I am now in my mid 50s). Until six years ago I tinted or dyed my hair various shades of brown/auburn, when I decided to get it lightened in view of long term going my now natural white.

I have the front of my hair bleached white blonde and the back a darker blonde. I have however decided I'd like to be silver white all over and my colourist recommended I take it slowly, but heavens it's going very slowly!!

She also looked blankly at me when I said I didn't want to be anything "blonde" I just want to be silver white. I'm just wondering if I'm explaining myself properly or if what I want to achieve even exists (I'm pretty sure it does, but she is making me doubt myself).

This is a very well known high end high street chain, so I'm paying for what I consider the best. My stylist is fantastic so I want to try and keep it all under one roof. Is there something specific I should be asking for?

Thank you,

Anon, UK

I understand that you would like to be a silver/white tone all over and yes this is achievable, however due to fact that you are naturally white your hair no longer has pigment so all the hair needs to be over toned with a silver/violet toner to enhance your natural colour. Having said that, if the mid-lengths to ends are coloured with blonde then these need to be lifted to white first in order to achieve the correct level to tone.

This will not be an exact match to your natural colour so will only blend through whilst you grow the ends out.

Failing that, if you would like an all over effect then the colour will need to be stripped from the ends and a permanent ash/silver mix applied throughout. Your stylist may be being cautious as you are naturally white and so they may not want you to have to commit to a full colour if the long term aim is to grow the colour out.

Hope this helps.

Simon Daniel, Salon Director of Belle Toujours, Cardiff

There are two ways of achieving silver white hair, one simple way is to do the 'cold turkey' and basically just grow out your colour until it is all your own natural white head of hair. Or there is the method of bleaching the entire head of hair until it is very pale and then adding a silver toner to create that pure silver white you have been looking for. This is what we call a bleach and tone service. Now obviously bleaching hair isn't gentle so you must make sure that your hair is in good enough condition for the stylist to be able to carry it out. Some people may be nervous about attempting to bleach grey hair, but I have created many a believable Snow White on salt and pepper locks without any problem.

Aftercare is essential, good moisturising shampoos and conditioners are a must and also regularly using a silver shampoo (it looks purple in the bottle) once a week will maintain the cool tones you want in the hair.

John Clark, Head of Colour at Brooks+Brooks, London

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