How to Cover Gray – Your Complete Guide
Gray hair is stubborn and it can sometimes be difficult to color. In some cases it turns a smoky unnatural color and in other cases it simply does not cover at all. So, how do you get 100% gray coverage each and every time you color your hair?
The key lies in choosing the right color for your hair type. There are several types of colors including temporary (washes out with 1 shampoo), semi-permanent (washes out gradually over about 4 weeks) and permanent hair color (will not wash out). The main difference of each is the strength of the developer used in each. Color developer is the ingredient that is responsible for pushing the color beneath your cuticle layer so that it cannot be washed out.
In gray hair, this cuticle layer is extremely compact and difficult to open making it hard for the color to get inside the hair strand. If you don’t succeed at doing this, the color will not take or will wash out very easily and fade over the next few shampoos.
To make sure that you get your color into the hair strand, use a permanent color with at least 20 volume Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) as the developer.
Difference of hair color is caused by the amount of pigment that is in the hair strands. Blond hair has the least amount of pigment, then there is red followed by brown and black. Gray hair is lacking color pigment altogether. In order to get color back into gray hair, you need to go through all of the stages depending on what color you want to achieve.
If you want blond hair, the process is quite simple. All you need to do is use a golden color. If you want brown hair, on the other hand, you need to choose a color with a red or warm base so that you can get a natural looking brown. If you use a green or ash base, you will end up with a greenish or smoky cast.
When coloring gray, you should also leave the color on for the maximum amount of time allowed by the instructions. Doing so will give the color sufficient time to deposit in the stubborn and coarse gray strands. The only time that you can skimp on time is if your hair is 30% gray or less. In those cases, the gray hair will absorb enough color to make it look like you have natural highlights and you can avoid the rest of your hair going too dark.
So, if you have had poor results when it comes to covering your gray, follow these tips to get complete coverage and you will have beautiful results every time.