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HOW TO GET DASCHA POLANCO’S COOL GRAY OMBRE HAIR WITH HAIRSTYLIST CYNTHIA ALVAREZ

December 18th, 2014

Glamazons,

You may recall when, in the middle of New York Fashion WeekDascha Polanco debuted her gorgeous pastel hairstyle and Instagram went nuts. The Orange is The New Black star looked absolutely stunning in her gray to purple ombre hair, and it’s all anyone could talk about.

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Curious about Dascha‘s new gorgeous style, we reached out to her hairstylist, Cynthia Alvarez (who has worked with such names as Keke PalmerAlicia KeysLady Gaga and Toni Braxton) to get the story behind the look plus some useful tips on going gray and coloring hair extensions. Read on for the scoop!

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Glamazon Margo: What inspired you to revamp Dascha’s hair with this gray look?

 

Cynthia Alvarez: Dascha had been wanting to go gray for a while! We just had to get the timing right. I, personally, have had gray hair for a long time, and she loved it so much that she was eager to try it. She’s very adventurous and likes to experiment, so it went perfectly with her personality.

 

GM: You dyed extensions to get Dascha’s look. Not every hair extensions brand can handle intense coloring. Which one did you choose and why?

 

CA: To get Dascha’s look, I used Echelon Hair Rebel Collection in 613 for her custom unit. In my experience with Echelon Hair, it colors extremely well and the color lasts. As often as I wear my own units, it rarely tangles or sheds. My very first custom unit was colored about 2 years ago and I still haven’t had to touch it up or replace any tracks. [Echelon tip: Shampoo the Rebel Collection with a sulfate-free shampoo and deep condition so the hair maintains color without losing its shine.]

 

You May Also Like: About Those Echelon Hair Extensions That Survived Trinidad Carnival

 

GM: What dye did you use to make the extensions gray?

 

CA: To make Dascha’s hair gray, I used Pravana Vivids in silver, with a touch of black semi permanent color. For the tips of her hair, I mixed equal parts of Pravana Pastels in lavender and coral.

 

GM: What tips do you have for going gray?

 

CA: If you’re thinking of going gray, I suggest pre-treating your hair with oils and deep conditioners for about a week before the process. Your hair has to be lifted to a platinum blonde in order for the true color to show up. So for women with natural dark hair, this usually takes two processes. I always suggest going to a master colorist as well as someone who is accustomed to lightening hair textures like your own.

 

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GM: For those who don’t want to commit to a full head of gray hair, how can they incorporate the shade into their style in a subtle way?

CA: For those who don’t want a full head of gray hair, there are many other color techniques you can play with. Peek-a-boo streaks are really popular, as they allow you to conceal the color when you want to. A gray ombré is also popular as well as color blocking.

GM: Once you go gray, what’s the best way to maintain the color?

CA: For maintaining this look, I recommend washing your hair less and investing in dry shampoo. When it is time to wash, use a purple shampoo and try not to scrub the hair. Be sure to use cool water, not hot. Another step u can take is to add the color you used to your conditioner. This will refresh the color with every wash.

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GM: Great tip! What are your go-to color maintenance products for upkeep of this look?

 

CA: Pravana color protecting shampoo and conditioner. They also have a color sealant spray I use while my hair is damp. This helps close your hair cuticle to prevent the color from fading. Because your hair will be a bit dry from the coloring process, I suggest using a lightweight daily nourishing oil (I loveAveda!) on your hair while its still damp. This will protect the color and your hairs integrity while also doubling as a heat protectant.

 

Good stuff! Follow Cynthia Alvarez on Twitter and Instagram for more tips. Would you color your extensions or go gray, Glamazons? Let’s chat in the comments!

 

Ciao Bellas,

Glamazon Margo