Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Sep 13, 2016

Whether you can live with a little gray or want it to go away completely, there’s a gray haircolor solution for you. All comes down to how much gray you have and how much it irks you. Check out the latest ways to use haircolor to cover gray hair, or how to blend your gray, no matter how much or how little you have.

Who goes gray first? Caucasians tend to get gray hair first (as early as their mid-30s), followed by Asians (late ‘30s) and then those of African descent (‘40s). Physicians say that about half of 50-year-olds will be at least 50% gray by the time they are 50, but global studies show about 20% of people have 50% gray hair by the age of 50. Forget old wives' tales about hair pulling, stress and sudden frights, gray hair is almost always hereditary. Look at your parents to see how much gray hair is in your future. Then, be ready with these simple solutions.


1. Starting Slowly

Gray hair usually appears at the temples, hairline, or in patches first. If you dislike it so much you’re plucking it out, but don’t want a full-fledged gray-fighting routine, start with temporary cover-ups, from daily-use pencils and sprays to powders and haircolor. Trying a demi-permanent color gives a feel for shades and effects you like. For a few hairline grays, a mascara-style brush helps cover them without getting color on other strands or the skin. If you really hate it, just color the gray away with a demi-permanent haircolor.


A Few Easy Ideas:

  • Use a tinted shampoo and conditioner, concentrating it where there is gray. Try a slightly darker shade than your natural one.
  • Get a splash of blonde or a few blonde highlights where gray occurs. You can add a few along your part line (where gray shows the most) or all around the crown to blend and help camouflage gray.
  • Consider gray-blending. Men prefer this option, because it doesn’t look too dark, heavy or unnatural.


Other Options:  Change your hairstyle to hide gray. This is easier for women. For men, tight fades, longer tops (re-combed or directed back), or near-bald looks, make patches less visible.


2. Obvious Gray

Once hair is 25% to 50% gray, it’s time to ask if it’s totally unacceptable or not a big deal. To banish gray forever, it may be time for a permanent color. Often, these can make haircolor look warmer, so be sure to decide if you want a neutral or cooler shade, or don’t “want to see any red.” For more natural gray coverage, stick with a demi-permanent color that does not lighten or create extra warmth.


Also Consider:

  • If your natural haircolor is very dark, going back to it may look too harsh. Why? As hair gets gray, skin tone can change too. Slightly warmer, brighter haircolors may not create as much contrast with your skin tone.
  • A combination of highlights and lowlights can be a lower-maintenance way to camouflage partially gray hair. By staggering the starting points along your part line, you can soften the roots, so that incoming gray hair looks more like highlights, or blends better. In general, adding more lowlights than highlights works best if hair is naturally dark, but it all depends on how gray you are, if the gray is evenly distributed, and how badly you want to hide it. Combining light blonde highlights with medium blonde lowlights works extremely well for natural blondes.
  • If your gray is evenly distributed and not too white or wiry, tinted mousse may still be a good, simple option if you don’t mind gray showing some of the time.

Options for Embracing Gray:
If gray doesn’t bother you too much and you don’t want to color or blend it, consider that gray hair often has a more wiry texture than pigmented hair, making it stand out more. Iron curling might help hide it—the smaller the curls, the better. Conditioning treatments that soften your hair can help keep gray strays from sticking out.  For men or women with very short hair, gels that create a darker, trendy “wet” look may be an option.


3. Going All The Way

If your hair is almost entirely gray or white, light blonde haircolor won’t hide it. Often, hair is lightened first, then toned. If you want to try a silver or platinum look, you definitely need very blonde or pre-softened white hair before toning. If you are not a natural blonde, then warm, medium-to-dark brown shades cover gray completely.


Keep in Mind:

  • If your color fades fast or doesn’t cover enough gray, it may be because the gray is coarse and wiry. Perform about a pre-treatment that softens gray, and makes it less resistant to absorbing and keeping haircolor.
  • Henna and vegetable colors won’t cover gray and will give you unpredictable and often too-warm results. Like orange.
  • One solid color may make your roots more obvious. Think about dimensional color like highlights, which minimize an obvious line of regrowth. You can also process your color with a steamer, which helps color penetrate resistant grays.


Ready to Embrace it? If you think the gray/silver trend is for you, consider the pre-lightening and toning route. Then, keep it up or let your gray grow out. This works best if your gray is 100% white. If want go from coloring your hair to embracing nature all the way, it may not be easy, but it can be done in stages. Weave in a color that’s close to your natural shade or lighter, and let the gray blend in at the line of demarcation between the roots and your colored hair. This is not a solid color application, but one done with lots of woven pieces, and you should wait until you have at least an inch of re-growth to start. If you are transitioning from hair coloring to gray all the way, also think about trying a color-remover first, then blending your roots to darker pieces with the same technique. Why can’t you just remove all the color? If you have been using a very dark, permanent color, getting rid of it all will be hard, and what’s left may be yellow or orange.

Develop a maintenance plan to slowly let the gray grow out as the irregular, darker pieces move farther and farther down. When you achieve your goal, don’t forget to get a cut that makes gray look stylish and to use hair care products that prevent it from looking yellow.

Topics: haircolor