Maybe it’s the winter season, collective quarantine restless, or the new year on the horizon, but major hair changes seem to be a dime a dozen lately. Just this week, we’ve seen stars like J.Lo and Ciara experiment with rainbow-bright hair extensions and pastel-pink wigs, respectively. So, it makes sense that of-the-moment salon colour requests would follow suit, which is exactly what we’re seeing with the budding winter trend towards icy silver.

For a look into how to get shiny silver hair for real — without damaging your strands, burning your scalp, or buying a wig — tune into this week’s episode of Refinery29‘s makeover series Hair Me Out. L.A.-based influencer Stacey Nguyen meets with seasoned local colourist James Nguyen, who transforms her dulling balayage blonde into a reflective metallic silver tone.

Of course, taking your hair to an ice tone takes time, patience, and the help of a professional. In Stacey’s case, James worked in increments, almost strand by strand, to avoid over-processing her hair. He was also quick to recommend that any good bleach job should always be followed up with color-protecting hair masks and conditioners.

First, James painted bleach over the ends and mid-shafts of her hair, applying a gentler formula at the root to make sure Stacey didn’t experience any sort of burning sensation on her scalp. After sweeping bleach onto all the sections of her hair, James sat her down to process in foils, and then rinsed her hair out at the bowl. Next, James moved on to toning — and that was only part one. A week later, Stacey came back for her second session, which involved a second round of precision lifting and toning to achieve the prefect cool silver tone.

In the end, Stacey was thrilled with the result, and so thankful that James took the time to protect her hair and scalp. “You made me an icy queen,” she exclaimed, stroking her soft-silver barrel curls. “I didn’t feel any pain and I’m so relieved I was able to get this done right — my hair looks good, and my head feels good, too.”

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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