All the many shades of Gray

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One of Bainbridge’s very own, Robby Gray, makes a name for himself in the world of beauty and fashion.

Gray, as he is professionally known, is the son of L.B. and Juanita Gray, who are long time residents of Bainbridge. Gray is a 1991 graduate of Bainbridge High School. He swam with the Bainbridge Barracuda swim team, marched in the Bainbridge High School Band, and was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church.

Flash forward to the present—Gray is now known worldwide for his one-of-a-kind coloring and styling techniques.

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After honing his creative skills at the world-renowned Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, he has achieved international status as an innovative and creative hair colorist and stylist. With more than 15 years in the beauty and fashion industry Gray has traveled extensively throughout the world creating runway and print styles for such names as Dolce and Gabbana, Donna Karen, Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein.

Gray also had the opportunity to work and train at the legendary Van Michael Salons in Atlanta for more than 10 years, where he held the honor of Top Producing Colorist for six years.

More recently, Gray owned and operated his own salon, Shades of Gray Studios in Palm Beach. Gray now finds himself dividing his time between Los Angeles, Miami, Palm Beach, Savannah, Birmingham and New York City.

Gray is also a celebrity favorite creating original color and styles for many high-powered names including Meg Ryan, Jodie Foster, Stevie Nix, Mary J. Blige, Diane Keaton, Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rebecca Martens, Halle Berry, Elton John, Ty Pennington and many more.

Gray’s work and advice has been featured on the pages and covers of many publications including Elle, Vogue, Allure, Self, Redbook, Harpers Bazzar, The South and others.

Gray said the most commonly asked question of him is “How do I get my hair to look the way you make the celebrity’s hair look?”

This frequent burning question encouraged Gray to expand his Web site, Not only are you able to view Gray’s celebrity work but now you can see the tools he uses and how its done.

Gray credits his decision to pursue a career in hairdressing to Linda McCullough, owner of Hair Shapers in Bainbridge.

“Without her persistence and encouragement, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to embark on a career in a female dominated industry,” he said. “I borrowed her faith in me until I had faith in myself and confidence in my work.

“Today when I’m performing a service on my own clients, I think back to when I was a client of Linda’s—it was much more than a haircut—it was an experience. I felt like I had been to a therapist, a really good therapist. I am often asked how I became so successful. My answer is always the same, it’s less about the hair and more about the personal relationship I build with each and every client. I also believe that my ability to see inner beauty in everyone, and my God-given talent to bring that beauty to the surface, enriches my clients lives and ultimately makes me good at what I do. It’s never just a haircut or highlights to me, it’s an opportunity to change a person’s life,” he said.

Being a southern boy at heart Gray now calls Savannah, Ga., home. In addition to his extensive travel schedule he sees non-celebrity clients three days a weeks in Savannah. Of all the places that Gray’s career has taken him he still thinks of Bainbridge, Ga., as his home town.

“Every chance I get I love coming to Bainbridge and spending time with my wonderful family and to truly relax and unwind.”