Gray hair can be unruly to deal with and may seem tough to color if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, you don’t need to go to a salon to cover your grays and get great results. You can banish grays in the comfort of your own home and on your own time schedule. We’ve got the scoop on how to get your gray coverage right at home, time after time. Keep reading for our top tips on coloring gray hair!
Related: 9 Gray Hair Myths Debunked
Pro tips for coloring gray hair
Before you begin coloring your hair, be sure to perform skin sensitivity and hair strand tests! These tests will ensure that you don’t have any allergies to the hair color and will give you a sneak peek of your color results! Learn more on how to perform a skin sensitivity test here.
Now, onto our top tips for coloring gray hair!
natural shades are best for covering grays
Natural shades 1-7 are best for covering high percentage or resistant gray or whites and as a base for combining with other colors. For example, they can be combined with reds and golds that sometimes aren’t the best for high percentage gray. Natural (N) shades also provide a neutral tone with no added warm or cool pigment.
increase the hair color’s processing time
When dealing with stubborn grays, try leaving the color in for 40 to 45 minutes. The extra processing time can help! Be sure to set your timer once you’ve finished your full application. Rinsing out your color too soon may cause uneven color or only partial coverage.
wash out leave-in hair products
If you use leave-in hair products, wash them out 24-48 hours prior to coloring. Root concealers (aka hair mascara) and other hair products can block hair color. By washing out these products, your hair will be prepped to better absorb the new hair color.
mix red tones for even coverage
If you want to use red tones, you’ll need to mix them with a natural tone for even coverage. Why is this a key step? Simply put, red tones will cover grays but won’t provide even coverage for non-gray hairs.
take into consideration your percentage of gray hairs
Doing a root touch-up on previously colored hair? If so, you’ll need to take into consideration the percentage of grays you have. If the percentage is 50% or more, you may want to drop your color choice down one level darker. This will compensate for the lack of pigment in the hair and will show up lighter than the color you intended to choose.
color your roots first
Another tip to remember when performing a root touchup with our Permanent Hair Color is to color your roots first. Process the more resistant grays and roots for 30 – 35 minutes before pulling the formula through the rest of your hair. Then, process the rest of your hair for another 10 minutes since it will absorb the color much faster than the gray hair.
When coloring gray hair on your whole head and changing your hair color, note any differences between the root color and length color. Your roots may need to process longer to give you even color throughout.
reduce the developer to cover stubborn grays
As we age, our hair becomes more and more resistant to coloring. Permanent hair color works by lifting your hair cuticle to insert color into the hair strand. When hair becomes resistant to color, it means that the cuticle is becoming resistant to lifting. This limits the color’s ability to be deposited into the hair strand.
Have you tried coloring your gray hair before but found you have resistant grays? Don’t give up hope on those stubborn grays! Instead, try this: reduce the developer by 25% to create a color-rich formula. This trick works especially well for levels 7-10.
you don’t have to color all your grays
There are many options when it comes to coloring gray hair. Most people who have 50% or less gray hair feel pressured to completely cover all their grays. Instead, consider using them as highlights! Letting the color process for no more than 35 minutes and using less of the Neutral tone when combining colors will help with this affect.
condition after coloring
Now that you’ve achieved your beautiful hair color, it’s important to use products to help maintain your gorgeous hair. A couple of days after coloring your gray hair, apply a moisturizing conditioner like Naturtint Color Care Conditioner and leave it on a few minutes longer than usual. This helps close the cuticles and lock in color. Between washings, try Naturtint CC Cream Leave-in Conditioner for longer-lasting color!
Looking for the best options to cover your grays? Our Naturtint hair color specialists are always happy to help!