Hair Coloring Tips for Gray Hair

Great hair starts with a vision and it continues with the choice of the hair color and the product itself. Find great hair coloring tips for gray hair coverage and a fabulous look that is right for you, just below. Thankfully, the industry has created colors that look more natural these days that just did not exist a few decades ago. In the past, permanent dyes caused a lot of damage to hair, but that has all been resolved of late. Furthermore, many of the problems that women encountered with the products are almost non-existent today, making hair coloring easier and safer than ever before.

Certainly, most women color their own hair to save money because keeping up with roots and colors can be devastating to the wallet, considering how often they need to be treated. This is especially true in women who are over 40 and are growing increasingly gray. For some women, it is just not convenient to get to the salon every couple of weeks as this can be a time-consuming task. It is simply easier to do the in-between maintenance in the comfort of their own home.

Tip 1. Types of Coloring Jobs

There are two types: Permanent and semi-permanent.

Permanent color is exactly as the name implies, meaning it is applied to stay on for an extended period of time, not easily washing out. Of course, it fades away after some time, needing to be redone to avoid that brassy look. In addition to that, women have to deal with roots growing out, exposing gray hair until it is treated. Permanent color cannot be easily reversed.

Semi-permanent color can only darken hair, not lighten it and it does not last too long, generally washing out within a few weeks.  Semi-permanent color can be reversed easily.

Tip 2 – Have a Plan by Knowing Your Own Hair Color!

When you know your hair color, it is easy to choose a dye that will work best for you. Seeing as there are 10 Base Colors, you would be able to choose one just by looking at it.

  • 1 – Black
  • 2 – Dark Brown
  • 3 – Medium Brown
  • 4 – Light Brown
  • 5 – Lightest Brown
  • 6 – Dark Blonde
  • 7 – Medium Blonde
  • 8 – Light Blonde
  • 9 – Very Light Blonde
  • 10. Lightest Blond / Platinum Blond

Although hair coloring may seem straightforward enough, there is at least one factor that can interfere with having a great outcome, and that is the Contributing Pigment, which most do not know about. This is actually the underlying color of the base color that becomes exposed with lightening of the hair. The lighter the hair color, the more exposure and that can greatly impact the the results, sometimes leading to shocking and unnatural colors.

The associated pigment colors to the base color is as follows:

  • 1. Dark Red-Brown
  • 2. Red-Brown
  • 3. Red
  • 4. Red-Orange
  • 5. Orange
  • 6. Orange-Gold
  • 7. Gold
  • 8. Yellow-Gold
  • 9. Yellow
  • 10. Pale Yellow

Both need special consideration in order to get the right color results, which will help you look your best. Sometimes, you would need to neutralize or enhance those underlying pigments to achieve the best color.

Tip 3 – Conducting a Strand Test

A strand test is crucial to ensure the best results. Be sure to do one, even though this may take more time. The fact remains that this will only be done when changing  colors, not each time the color is applied. This will give you the confidence to proceed without fear that you will end up with a botched job. However, it is important to keep time, as color deepens as time passes. 

Tip 4 – Being Well Prepared

Coloring hair is a messy process, as anyone can attest to. The solution can easily stain skin, clothing, and other fabrics as well. So, be prepared with a waterproof smock, with an old towel around the base of the neck, to avoid dripping.  Just to be on the safe side, wear old clothes beneath the smock, with a long sleeved shirt to avoid staining the arms.  Also, be sure to roll up your bathroom rug and be extra careful to not splatter the dye on the shower curtain and other accessories within the room. Protect your skin around the hairline from this strong substance that can irritate those with sensitive skin, by applying petroleum jelly. If the skin stains anywhere, use rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball to remove it. You can also try rubbing the area with a towel.

These hair coloring tips for gray hair should be informative enough to ensure you get the right color. Gray hair can be stubborn to color, so ensure that the brand you choose guarantees 100% coverage, being careful to avoid some products that are not capable of covering gray. Unfortunately, roots grow out within a couple of weeks, meaning that they should be addressed somehow. There are very efficient products that are simply made to touch up roots within 10 minutes. These are a great in-between solution that come highly recommended. On the other hand, there are crayons or sticks that will mask the gray hair for a day, perfect for women who are short of time but in need of a touch up.