When Jane Fonda took the stage at the 2020 Oscars, her brand-new silver hairstyle generated nearly as much buzz as the Best Picture winner she was there to announce. Just a few weeks later, Sharon Osbourne unveiled a similar hair makeover, swapping her signature dark red shade for a dramatic new platinum-white hue.
The mane man helping these women and many others embrace their gray (and, in turn, themselves)? Colorist Jack Martin, whose trademark salt-and-pepper hair transformations have helped him rack up 300,000 Instagram followers and counting.
According to Martin, it was social media that led 82-year-old Fonda to his Tustin, California, salon in the first place.
“She wanted to have a total new look for the Oscars, and at the same time embrace her natural color,” Martin told Page Six Style. “Before she came to me, two or three other colorists had tried and couldn’t get the color right.”
When the “Grace and Frankie” star reached out, Martin said he was “shocked,” even though many of his clients fly in from other states or even countries to see him.
“I went in on a Sunday, my day off, to do her transformation,” he recalled. “She was so sweet and humble, we spent seven hours together, and she got the color she wanted.”
If that process sounds extensive, it was nothing compared to what 67-year-old Osbourne’s coif change-up required. “She had been coloring her hair every week for the past 18 years, and when she came in, I could tell how tired she was from that commitment,” Martin explained. “Imagine how many layers of color I had to go through in order to get her to white while still keeping her hair healthy.”
Osbourne’s red-to-gray makeover took eight hours in total, but according to Martin, time spent in his chair saves clients both time and money in the long run. “There’s really not much maintenance at all,” he told us. “Just purple shampoo — I like Matrix Total Results So Silver ($26) — and toner. I’ll give clients the toner formula to take home so they can do it themselves. They can do it twice or three times a year, and that’s it.”
He also recommends that those in possession of newly silver tresses turn down the heat on their hot tools, or stop using them entirely if possible.
When it comes to taking a client gray, Martin goes for what he calls the “low and slow” approach. “[I use] lower volumes of peroxide left in for longer — and no heat is involved,” he explained. “That’s why it takes hours. It’s the longer way, but the safer way, and the client is comfortable.”
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This beautiful client came to me from San Diego with hair that had multi different light and dark brassy colors, she was seeking gray silver ashy color to blend and match her gray roots so she can stop coloring her hair every 3-4 weeks, total service was 10 hours and one session, I started the long process by bleaching the whole head starting from where her gray roots starts in sections and strands in foils with the back combing technique just at the roots to great more thin baby lights for perfect blending using @wellahairusa blondor and 20 vol mixed with @olaplex for about 4 hours until I reached level 10 pale yellow blonde, at the same time all the hair that was left outside the foils I colored it with @kenraprofessional new ash 5NUA mixed with 10 vol for about 30 min to create that salt and pepper look. I Then rinsed hair, rinsed hair then toned by @wellahairusa blondor 1/2 pale silver + 1/2 pale platinum with 6 vol for 30 minuets, shampooed, conditioned, cut layered bob and styled with round brushes. Total service: 9-10 hours #behindthechair #americansalon #modernsalon @behindthechair_com @american_salon @modernsalon #tustinhairstylist #tustinsalon #tustinhair #irvinehair #irvinehairstylist #irvinesalon #irvinebalayage #newportbeachsalon #newportbeachhair #newportbeachhairstylist #newportbeachbalayage #balayagehair #balayageombre #balayagehighlights #orangecountysalon #orangecountyhairstylist #beverlyhillshair #beverlyhillssalon #beverlyhillshairstylist #kenra #silverhair @wellaeducation #opaplex #kenraprofessional #greyhairdontcare #silversisters
The colorist does ask that customers come in with three to four inches of regrowth, so that he can get a sense of their natural shade. “I want to mimic the pattern of their gray to make it look more natural, and then I connect it with their roots,” he told us.
To achieve the dimensional salt-and-pepper effect for which he’s known, Martin will then blend up to two or three different shades, ranging “from icy white to darker charcoal to ash blond.”
Thanks to his recent A-list endorsements, the colorist says business is booming more than ever.
“The day after the Oscars and the day after Mrs. Osbourne [showed off her hair] on ‘The Talk,’ my phone was ringing off the hook. I’m four times as busy now,” he said, adding that although he’s currently booked solid for the next six months, he would happily carve out time should Sharon Stone, Ellen DeGeneres or Meryl Streep — his dream celebrity clients — come calling.
As for why more and more women, both famous and not, are deciding the ditch the dye bottle and go gray these days? “They still want to look glamorous, but they don’t want that upkeep,” Martin said, adding that he’s even helped clients in their twenties sport salt-and-pepper strands.
“Silver is the new blond,” the colorist quipped.
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