It’s been exactly one year since I changed my hair color from natural brown to gray hair. And just how life goes full circle, here’s how I hand myself to the professionals and do it right, this time. This is how I got my gray hair right.
Actually, I wanted to have merman hair one year ago – it was a trend that started last Spring with blue hair for men. So at first, I dyed it at home with a regular permanent color paint, from brown to orange. I was curious to see how it would look like in gray hair so I did a shooting and desaturated the hair color to gray. It felt right, it felt surprinsingly more like me so, with help from some friends, we turned it to light gray, my favorite color. And that changed everything in terms of the way people started reacting to my photos. And it also changed the way I had to dress.
I loved it, people loved it but everytime I met hairstylists at any events, photoshoots or video shoots – and even the girl who cuts and takes care of my hair for six years now – they talked about how the hair looks good but the color needs to be fixed and get rid of the yellowish roots – there was glacier gray at the ends, platinum blonde in the middle, then there was a bit of orange and then the roots which were brown. So, basically, it looked kind of messy.
Now, the reason I did not want to go to a hair salon to get this fixed was because I went with a friend that I work with to get her color right to two of the best places where you can do that in Bucharest – two different salons with award winning stylists – and everytime, they either got the wrong color or damaged her hair really really bad.
So I was afraid of bleaching my hair. Until I saw my friend Diana Flore’s hair and she told me that I should really try her colorist, the one that works at the most well-known hair salon in Cluj Napoca – Vestige Centre Ville. And because Diana’s hair color was the perfect shade of grey, the one that I also wanted, I said I could give it a try.
Two days of hair coloring until gray hair
I went to Vestige Centre Ville beauty salon on a rainy Friday morning with a bunch of donuts and some coffee in my hands, a morning treat for the people that work there. I already met some of them at the parties that I attended during TIFF and they were so friendly and so cool so I was excited about what was going to happen.
Ioana Maria Todoran is the name of the amazing talented girl that took care of my hair. I heard stories about her and her sunny-shiny-glowing personality but after spending 12 hours with her hands in my hair, I got to know her better and found out a lot about her professional background, how she came to be a hair stylist and what she loves most about this job.
So basically, I started asking her a lot of questions – as journalists do. Ioana started playing the piano when she was five years old. She practiced a lot, she won contests and enjoyed doing this for many years until she was 18 and realized she wanted to work in hair-styling and study communications. Now, she comes from a background where everyone is a musician in her family so it was interesting for her to be the one that goes an a different path than her brothers, a path of her own. And that’s where I related to her.
And her social skills are amazing, after working with people for so many years. I know this from talking with her and asking her about “how much of a therapist does your job include?”. But even when she has personal issues going on, she enters the salon with a shiny smile and listens to every client’s needs. Even when she’s not in the mood to. And that’s what makes her the definition of a professional. And everyone at the salon had the same vibe and they made everyone smile.
And even if Ioana joked about “just mixing colors and see what comes up”, I went to stalk her while she was mixing the colors in the bowl and she was using a small weighing machine to balance the exact amount of grams of paint – 60 grams I think it was everytime. Or smth like that. But even though she makes it look like a game, it’s a very precise and mathematic thing that she does. And there’s a lot of color-science knowledge in there. And then I found out that everyone at Vestige had won a lot of awards from contests, last year they won most of them and had a magazine cover for Estetica and many other special trophees.
So the process started off with a sensitive soothing lotion “Scalp Specialist” from Goldwell to protect the scalp against any kind of harm. And she used it everytime she painted my hair. The first time she just bleached it and it turned out yellow. I looked like a superhero from a cartoon network show.
How many times you need to paint it to get the right gray hair?
Four times it was the case for my gray hair dream. Four times in two days. Three times in the first day and another time in the second one. First she bleached it, then she used the famous Olaplex – the one that Kardashian used to turn from dark to blonde. It’s not cheap but it is the best thing you can do for bleached hair. Basically, Olaplex links broken bonds in the hair during and after chemical services making them stronger than they were before. So instead of making it break and having fizzy ends, you end up with the stronger fiber.
I was afraid of painting it four times and bleaching it two times. But after all this procedure, my hair looks the same, as dense and healthy as before. And no, no, this is not a joke. That’s why the Olaplex is so great. It really takes care of everything. And not every salon uses it.
So after bleaching it for the second time, my hair looked almost like a Versace ad campaign. Then she put on the gray and it turned out to be almost white-gray with a bit of rose vibes. It looked like a fairytale and this is the photo to prove it. And you can also tell that the hair looks quite healthy and not burned or broken.
photo by George Semeniuc
The second day, I went in at Vestige Centre Ville for intensifying the gray because, as some of you know, it’s not a natural color so some of it goes away after you wash your hair. So Ioana wanted to make sure that it will stay gray for as long as possible. She also taught me how to style my hair in a different, more elegant way. I don’t see myself doing vlogging now but I would consider working with her on a video for showing guys how to do it.
Long story short
Well, I am sure you’ve heard this before but seriously, some things are better left to the professionals. And to people who are really passionate about their jobs and studied hard, trained hard and took a lot of classes and workshops to understand the A to Z of their craft. And for the next months or more, my hair is in the good hands of people at Vestige Centre Ville. I had a lot of fun there. Thanks a lot to Simina Cheteles, Ioana Todoran & Diana Flore!
I am really grateful for this. I did have this dream of having fairytale-nordic-gray hair. And it makes me feel awesome to see it everyday in the mirror. It’s a peaceful color, it’s a moody one and it only goes with some clothes and a certain style and color palette. In many ways, my hair changed the way I dress in the last few months.
It was a lot of fun and I never thought I’d have the patience to sit NINE hours in one day in a beauty salon. But hey, never say never. And don’t forget to be patient and search for the right people when you want to work on something as personal as your hair, that is, something you see and show off every day.
You’ll find two beauty salons from Vestige in Cluj Napoca:
One is Vestige Centre Ville and their address is street Iuliu Maniu, no.4, Cluj-Napoca. Facebook page here! The location is on the only mirror-street in Europe. The building were built the same on one side as the other, you really have a strong feeling that you’re in Paris.
The other one is Vestige and you’ll find them on street Constantin Brancusi nr. 126, Cluj-Napoca. Facebook page here!
Long tshirt from Constantine/Renakossy, a designer brand from Cluj that I’ll be writing about soon enough
Trousers from Massimo Dutti
Shoes from H&M
Photos & editing: Edi Enache, The Fashion Jumper
Photo assistant: Liviu Ardelean