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Coloring Gray Hair at Home: Tips and Precautions

Aug 30, 2023 | By Queenie

Coloring Gray Hair at Home: Tips and Precautions

It has become easier to style and color your hair at home. Whether you want to sport a new hairdo, experiment with a refreshing color, or cover greying hair, there are many ways to do it quickly. Hair care products have become more accessible, giving you the freedom and convenience to do it yourself.

However, take note that with great hair comes great responsibility. You can dye your grey hair at home if you want to ditch the salon and save money and time. When coloring gray hair at home, it's essential to take the proper precautions and learn some tips and tricks in our guide to achieve the desired results.

Tips for Coloring Gray Hair at Home

Are you ready for a more youthful look? You can check your kitchen pantry to dye your grey hair naturally, such as coffee or apple cider vinegar, or opt for an organic hair dye shampoo for faster results. To successfully cover your grays, here are some tips for coloring gray hair at home:

Choosing the Right Hair Color for Gray Hair

Choosing the right color for gray hair is necessary to bring out your best features. Do you want a lighter shade or a darker hue? Of course, you want a color that will complement your skin tone and overall look. Some colors also need frequent touch-ups, so it's best to consider this before picking the color you want.

Follow these quick tips for picking out the best color to cover gray hair:

Consider your skin tone

There are three types of skin undertones: warm, cool, or neutral. To check your skin's undertones, observe the color of your veins closely. Greenish veins indicate warm undertones. You'll look perfect with a golden blonde or rich brown hue.

If your veins are purplish, it means you have a cool undertone. It's best to choose ashy, cool, or platinum brown shades. If you can't see your veins, you have a neutral undertone. You can experiment with different hair colors since your skin tone is versatile. Tones close to your natural hair color will also look good on you.

Evaluate the color of your eyes

Choose a hue that will complement your eye color to enhance your best features. Blue or green eyes will pop more with lighter shades such as caramel or copper hair color. Brown or hazel eyes will look more brilliant with ash or platinum dyes.

Understand color maintenance

It would be best to consider how often you can do touch-ups. Natural shade close to your original hair color will be easy to maintain. You must decide if you want permanent, semi-permanent, or demi-permanent hair dye.

Permanent hair dye

Permanent hair dyes mean full and best gray coverage that will last long, even when new hair grows. It's best to use a permanent hair color if you're after long-term results. You'll need to touch up your roots every 4-6 weeks.

Demi-permanent dye

The demi-permanent hair color will blend with your natural color and fade with each wash over time. You must refresh your demi permanent hair dye every 6-8 weeks.

Semi-permanent dye

Semi-permanent color only coats the outer layer of hair color on the strands. If you're up for frequent touch-ups and experimenting with different shades, semi-permanent dye is for you. Depending on your hair growth and color vibrancy, you can retouch it every 6–8 weeks.

Preparing for Hair Coloring

Now that you have chosen the right color to cover your grey hair, it's time to prepare for the process. First and foremost, you need to do a patch test to check if you are allergic or have any sensitivity to the hair dye. Here's how to do a patch test:

  1. Most hair coloring products have a patch test kit. If none, you can get a small amount of hair dye to test it.
  2. Choose an area on your skin, such as behind the ear or the inner forearm. These are sensitive areas that will quickly react to allergens. Make sure the skin area has no bruises or cuts.
  3. Mix the hair dye or patch test kit according to the product instructions.
  4. Apply a small amount of hair dye to the chosen skin area. Spread the dye thinly and evenly.
  5. Observe the patch test area for 24-48 hours. Do not wash or cover it.
  6. Check your skin closely for allergic reactions such as redness, itchiness, or swelling. You can start applying the hair dye if there's none after the waiting period.

After doing the patch test, it's time to prepare your locks before hair dye application. Following the manufacturer's instructions, you can achieve a natural-looking hair color at home. To ensure that all the hair dye coverage will stick to your strands and look natural, follow some tips below:

  • Deep condition your hair a day before coloring it to avoid dryness.
  • Avoid using heavy hair products three days before your DIY hair coloring.
  • Wash your hair to remove product build-ups three days before the session.
  • Before your hair color session, cover your hair with a cap or bandana to avoid sun exposure.

How to Dye Gray Hair: Step-by-Step Process

Conventional Hair Dye

If you're opting to use a conventional hair dye, follow these quick steps below:

  1. Gather Your Supplies: Prepare all the necessary supplies, including hair dye, gloves, applicator brush, clips, and an old shirt.
  2. Protect Your Skin: Prior to coloring, apply petroleum jelly or a barrier cream along your hairline to prevent skin staining.
  3. Section Your Hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections and secure them with clips.
  4. Start Applying the Dye: Begin applying the dye from the roots, working your way down to the ends. Ensure even distribution for a consistent result.
  5. Allow the Dye to Develop: Follow the instructions on the hair dye product for the recommended development time.
  6. Rinse and Condition: After the allotted time, rinse your hair thoroughly until the water is clear. Apply the conditioner provided in the kit to seal the color and add moisture.
  7. Style as Desired: Once your hair is dry, style it as you usually would to see the full impact of your new color.
  8. Follow Aftercare: Maintain your colored hair using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for colored hair. This helps preserve the vibrancy and longevity of your chosen shade.

Hair Dye Shampoo

You also have the option of using a hair dye shampoo. It is a shampoo that contains pigment and other ingredients that absorb or deposit into the hair, changing its color. It's a more convenient and least damaging way to dye grey hair, getting rid of the time-consuming and complicated dyeing process. To cover grey hair, choosing a permanent hair dye shampoo containing 100% vegan ingredients is best. It is gentler on your hair and easy to apply, just follow the four steps below:

  1. Wet Your Hair: Thoroughly wet your hair in the shower.
  2. Shampoo with Color: Squeeze out an appropriate amount of the hair dye shampoo and lather it into your hair. Make sure to distribute it from roots to ends evenly.
  3. Waiting Time: Allow the shampoo to sit on your hair as per the instructions on the product label.
  4. Rinse and Rejoice: Rinse your hair thoroughly until the water is clear, then style it as desired.

Caring for Colored Hair

Maintaining dyed hair continues after application. A good hair care routine will enhance and maintain your vibrant natural hair color and prevent frequent touch-ups. Fortunately, we have the tips and tricks you need to care for colored hair:

  • Do not wash your hair daily to avoid color fading. You can use dry shampoo in between washes.
  • Wash your strands with cool water. Hot water will tend to dry your hair.
  • Use color-safe shampoos and conditioners to preserve your hair's color. You can use Mayraki Ultra-repairing & Weightless Moisture Shampoo.
  • Wear caps or bandanas to protect your hair from UV rays. The harsh sun can also fade your color.
  • Avoid using heat styling tools or use a heat protectant spray to maintain your natural color. Chemical treatments are also not advised after dyeing your hair.
  • Avoid going to the beach or pool for at least a month. After swimming, make sure to apply a deep conditioner.
  • Get regular trims to cut off split ends and prevent dryness.
  • Avoid tight hairstyles such as updos or ponytails to prevent hair breakage.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Your hair and scalp will benefit from the nutrients you eat, especially those with high vitamin B levels, such as milk, eggs, and meat.

Tips to Correct Common Hair Color Mistakes

Now, you're fully prepared for your DIY hair color session at home. But wait, there's more. At times, common hair coloring mistakes can happen. We've prepared some tips and quick fixes for you.

Uneven roots or color

When the roots' color doesn't match the rest of your strands, do root touch-ups. Focus on the hair follicles only.

For uneven color, use a gentle clarifying shampoo to even the tone. Identify the uneven areas. Use an applicator brush or a fine comb if you decide to reapply the dye.

Hair color is too dark

If the color is too dark for your taste, wash your scalp and hair with a clarifying shampoo. It will wash out the color a bit.

Hair color is too light

On the other hand, if the color is too light, reapply the hair dye shampoo or choose shades with a darker hue.

Brassy or Orange Tones

If your hair turns brassy after applying hair color, use a purple, grey, or blue toning shampoo or conditioner to neutralize it. Using the same color each time prevents brassy or yellowish tones.

Green or Ashy Tones

This happens after swimming due to chlorine or hard water minerals. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove build-up. If your hair color problem persists, consult a professional hair stylist to help you solve the issue.

Precautions and Risks

While it's convenient to color your hair at home, some precautions and risks come with it. You can save time and money by dyeing your hair on your own, but you must take some precautions, or you'll have to take a trip to the salon to correct coloring mistakes.

  • Uneven hair color: If you have thick or long hair, ask someone to help you with coloring to avoid uneven hair color. The same applies to covering grey hair if you want colored highlights. You may need help to achieve the desired results, or it's best to consult a professional.
  • Allergic reactions: Always do a patch test before using hair dyes. If you experience allergic reactions after doing the patch test, it's best not to continue with the process and consult your dermatologist.
  • Unexpected results: Your home doesn't have advanced hairstyling tools like the salon. It's best to manage your expectations when it comes to DIYs. Your ideas may be partially realized. If you're unhappy with the results, it's time to book a professional for hair care advice and solutions.
  • Hair health: A professional can analyze the health of your hair and recommend the proper steps to take. At home, you will have to rely on your judgment. That's why it's best to use natural hair care products that don't have chemicals or sulfate free to avoid damaging your locks.
  • Hair damage: Excessive or improper use of dyes will result in hair damage. Always follow the instructions on your hair care product thoroughly.


Embarking on a journey to color your gray hair at home can be exciting and rewarding. However, it also comes with risks and precautions. Follow the tips and precautions we've laid out to achieve your desired look. Start by doing a patch test, washing your hair to remove product build-ups, and applying the dye by following the package instructions.

It's also best to use organic and natural hair and products to avoid damaging your colored hair. Remember the tips and tricks, and you're on your way to eliminating those grays for a more youthful look. We hope you find this article helpful in achieving your goodbye grey hair goals!