We’ve all been there: we color our hair, then a few days or weeks later, we need to do it all over again. As we age, the appearance of gray hair can make our hair coloring regimen even harder. Learning the right techniques for coloring gray hair is the first step to creating a healthy, youthful look.

Gray strands can pop up at any age. However, evaluating your gray hair situation is important before coloring. If you have less then 40% gray, then you can color your hair at home. Use permanent or semi-permanent hair color without alcohol or peroxide to avoid dry, brittle, colored hair. This will result in faster fading and more frequent hair color sessions.

For ladies with curly, kinky or wavy hair and significant gray coverage, a hair stylist can offer highlights to help mask your gray hair. Whether it’s a simple transformation of color where there is gray, or a glaze that makes hair look shiny and natural, both hair coloring options are effective, but hard to maintain. Highlights most likely will need to be redone in a few week’s time, so it’s important to commit to coloring gray hair regularly.

Lastly, for those who are completely gray, a full head color is recommended with the use of color wands as hair grows out.

Tips for Coloring Gray Hair

Simply adding a few lowlights of color can create a subtle look of youth.

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  1. Make sure the color sits for the correct amount of time. Since gray hair is difficult to cover, it’s important to keep hair dye on long enough to let the color take. Oftentimes, gray is resistant to color altogether, so there may be trouble spots on your head if you do not follow the coloring instructions properly. Timing is crucial!
  2. Choose darker colors. To create a natural look, choose a shade that is no more then two or three shades lighter then your natural hair color. Going overboard on bleaching can cause extreme damage to your locks.
  3. Always use sulfate-free products. We recommend Bed Head shampoos, conditioners and styling products. Also, color-enhancing shampoos, such as those from Pantene Pro-V, will prevent fading and/or changing of hair color tones between color treatments.
  4. Rinse hair with cool water. Always rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water since hot water makes the hair lose its color faster. Extended exposure to the sun as well as to chlorine water can also damage the color.
  5. Let a professional help. If you’re looking to bleach your gray hair for a lighter hair color or simply for highlights, let a professional help. Gray hair can be extremely difficult to bleach and tone, and can take on a yellowish hue if colored improperly.

Gray is Beautiful!

Coloring gray isn’t your only option, you know. Gray hair rocks, and comes in just as many shades as any other color. Take some inspiration from these silver sirens as they explain why they refuse to color their locks. 

Final thoughts

Master these techniques for coloring gray hair, and you’ll be able to get the fresh look you want, and keep it for weeks to come. Let us know how it turns out!

Jessica Mousseau

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