We're breaking down how to color resistant gray hair at home

How To Color Resistant Gray Hair At Home

Now that you’ve made the decision to go all in on coloring your gray hair, you’ll want to make sure you know how to achieve your ideal color and create lasting results. Resistant gray hair tends to be coarser and does not take hair color as easily as typical gray hair.  

Wondering what products and techniques to use to cover your resistant gray hair and get beautiful, natural-looking hair? You can’t go wrong with these simple tips!  

Related: Pro Tips for Coloring Gray Hair at Home 

Our top tips for coloring resistant gray hair  

Follow along as we share with you our top tips on how to prep for coloring, and what products and techniques to use to color resistant gray hair!  

prepare your hair for coloring  

Before you color your hair, we recommend waiting at least 24 – 48 hours after your last wash. This allows some of the hair’s natural oils to be produced and protects the scalp during coloring. It’s also a good idea to wash out any hair mascaras or other products and start with dry, clean hair. Otherwise, having a buildup of products in your hair can affect the result.  

And, to check for any allergies or sensitivities, be sure to perform a skin sensitivity test. Learn how to perform a skin sensitivity test here.  

Last but not least, perform a hair strand test to get a sneak peek of what your hair color results will be. That way, you can decide if you love your color or want to make a change before coloring your full head of hair!  

find a product that provides up to 100% coverage of gray hair  

It’s a pain to constantly be covering your grays. That’s why we recommend using a product that provides up to 100% of gray coverage and delivers lasting results like Naturtint’s line of permanent hair colors. We’re committed to using plant-based ingredients whenever possible and you’ll never find ammonia, artificial fragrances, or parabens in any of our products. 

use natural shades for best results  

Permanent hair color is a great option for coloring resistant gray hair. And, for best results use Natural (N series) shades. They’re the most effective at covering grays evenly because they provide a neutral tone with no added warm or cool pigments. Also, they an be used as a base to mix with other colors like reds and golds (that aren’t the best options for high percentage gray) to improve gray coverage.

Although all Naturtint shades cover grays, levels 1-7 work the best for covering resistant gray hair. This is because there is lighter color pigment in the blonde levels 8-10, making it tough to achieve optimal gray coverage.  

let your color develop longer 

Looking for another easy way to get rid of stubborn grays? Try increasing the development time. For resistant gray hair, leave the product on for 45 minutes. This will allow the color to better absorb into the hair strand.  

reduce the developer  

Did you know that reducing the developer by 25% (instead of using equal parts developer and colorant) can help improve gray coverage for resistant grays? Using this technique increases the color deposit to your hair and applies to all Naturtint permanent hair colors. Like we mentioned above, be sure to process your hair for 45 minutes for best results on resistant gray hair!  

know how much neutral tone to use  

Most people are under the impression that all they have to do is slap some color (any color) on their resistant gray hair and it’ll be fixed. But what they don’t take into consideration is the lack of pigment in the gray hair strand. When adding color to gray hair, you want to be sure to have a Neutral tone in the formula with a percentage based on how much gray you have to compensate for the lack of pigment.  

Neutrals are made of a little bit of each pigment which is what creates the “neutral” affect. If the hair is not filled with a Neutral tone, you’ll see the grays pick up the underlying pigment in the other color that is not a Neutral. For example, 7m will pick up a bright pinky purple.  

Here’s a quick guide to mixing colors for gray hair:  

  • Less than 50% gray- ¼ of the formula needs to be a Neutral tone
  • 50 to 75% gray- ½ of the formula needs to be Neutral tone
  • 75 to 100 % gray- ¾ of the formula needs to be Neutral tone

drop your color choice for root touch ups  

If you’re doing a root touch up on previously colored hair, you need to take into consideration the percentage of grays you have. If the percentage is 50% or more, you’ll want to drop your color choice down one level darker. For example, if you’re a dark blonde and typically use Naturtint’s 7N Hazelnut Blonde, try 6N Dark Blonde instead! This will help to compensate for the lack of pigment in the hair and will also show up lighter than the color you intended to choose. 

Wrapping it up  

Now that you know the best tips and techniques to color-resistant gray hair at home, you’re ready to get started! Not sure what color to choose? Be sure to reach out to one of our Naturtint color specialists– they’re always happy to help with any and all hair color questions!  

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