July 8, 2020
Let’s face it… You’ve held it off long enough and now it’s time to seriously consider tackling those grays. You might be asking yourself, what is the best color to cover gray hair? Where to begin? There’s so much information out there and so many options to choose from, how can you tell what’s best for you? First thing’s first, stop and consider the following 3 things: your hair history, your hair goals and your lifestyle.
Before we get into the thick of things let’s take a moment to consider the first key factor that plays a huge role in your outcome, your hair history. If you already have color-treated hair, you may have limited options moving forward. For example, if your hair is naturally light brown with some “sparkle” coming in at the roots, but you’ve previously colored your hair a darker shade in the past, you won’t be able to go back to your natural shade without bleaching. You can read all about why that is here.
As another example, if you regularly get highlights but are realizing the “salt” isn’t blending in with the “pepper” as well as it used to, you may need to consider a combination of services and products including demi-permanent color for the ends and permanent color touch-ups for the roots that require more regular upkeep. If your hair is natural without any hair color on it, your options are vast in comparison.
The second thing to consider is your hair goal. You probably have already figured this out on some level, such as “I want to be blonde” or “I want it to look like my natural hair”. However, when choosing a color for gray coverage you also need to think about what kind of coverage you want and consider that there may be some trade-offs between getting the shade that you want vs. the kind of coverage that you want. Consider this:
Your priority is total gray coverage – You may have limited shade options to choose from because certain shades are designed to cover gray hair better than others. You should choose a shade that is close to or slightly darker than your natural hair color.
Your priority is lightness – If you are trying to go more than 2 shades lighter than your natural color you will see more variation in tone (think peaks and valleys) between your grays and non-gray hairs. You could see this as beautiful-looking highlights, or you could interpret this as poor coverage. The lighter you attempt to be, the more elusive gray coverage will become.
Your priority is tone – What you want is that perfect shade you’ve been dreaming of. Shades that are designed to provide vibrancy, such as intense reds may not provide depth or could appear clownish on your gray hairs. Cool shades used to control strong warm undertones of your natural color may not cover the white at all.
Last, you must consider your lifestyle. Choosing to eliminate the gray for good can be a game-changer for both your time and your wallet. Check out these 4 types of gray coloring results to see what’s best suited for you.
Natural-Looking Gray Coverage – A subtle balance in color formulation strong enough to cover the grays, yet respectful enough to leave the natural variation and dimension of the hair.
Most customers choose this type of coverage with Color&Co. For maximum reflectivity use shades that are naturally warm, such as auburn, mahogany or chestnut. Depending on your percentage of gray you can expect more variation, dimension and vibrancy with these warm tones. This type of coverage preserves your youthful look, while predictably concealing your grays. This is the optimal choice if you keep a busy schedule and prefer to budget your money. Maintenance is easy with a simple root touch-up every 5-6 weeks which can be delivered to you like clockwork at a discounted subscription price.
Opaque Gray Coverage – Can often appear as dense, solid, or flat. Provides the best coverage for resistant or wiry gray hair.
Achieve this look with Color&Co by using darker and cooler shades, such as neutral or ash, which tend to be less reflective. Apply your color using the application bottle for full saturation, and increase your processing time up to 45 minutes. This option is for those committed to never seeing another gray again. Touch-ups can be as frequent as every 3 weeks with longer application and processing times.
Blended Gray Coverage – Provides a graceful grow out, camouflaged or highlighted look.
Achieve this look using a no-ammonia demi-permanent shade all-over to give a blended effect. Or, pull the color through on sporadic pieces of hair “low-lighting” for a reduction of the amount of gray. This color will fade a little with each shampoo, allowing the roots to grow in with a more gradual or soft appearance. If you are just testing the waters with hair color for the first time or if you just don’t want to commit to a schedule, this could be a good option for you.
Enhanced Gray Coverage – You’ve got it, flaunt it! Control the yellowing of your gray for super silver and shiny hair, or add “pops” of fun color that can be worn temporarily as a fashion statement. Not for the faint of heart!
Achieve this look by connecting virtually with a Color&Co colorist who can make sure you’re on the right track to get what you want.
Whatever path you choose to cover your gray, remember that your hair history, goals and lifestyle should all be considered before moving forward. Let one of our expert colorists help you along this journey, co-creating the perfect gray coverage routine just for you!