Gray hair is one of the most visible signs of aging that can manifest early on. While some choose to rock it and own the silver look, some want to prolong a more youthful look by covering gray hair. If you choose to go with the latter, we fully support you and have a few tips and tricks up our sleeve to make your gray coverage journey a lot easier.
Covering gray hair is not like dyeing your natural hair color. Silver hairs or gray hairs are much more stubborn and pigment does not want to stick to them. Read on to know more about why that happens.
To make things easier for you and ensure that your hair stays healthy and looking good, we have some tips on the best colors to camouflage gray hair, how to do it effectively, and how to do it with the least damage on your hair.
Why is Gray Hair so Hard to Color?
Gray hair actually has a different texture than your natural, younger hair. It's a lot coarser, it lacks the natural oils your colored hair typically has, and the outer cuticle layer is thicker, more tightly packed, and resistant to hair color. This is why you cannot use temporary hair color for gray hair.
Stubborn gray hair requires more drastic measures such as permanent hair color. Depending on what kind of look you are going for, we have a few ideas on what color you can transform your hair into.
Best Hair Color for Gray Hair
The best way to cover grays is to use permanent hair color. This is the only type of hair color that will penetrate resistant gray hair. For some of these methods and techniques, you can opt for a professional hair color job for the full effect. Although you can definitely try to do things at home with the help of some YouTube tutorials.
With that said, here are some of the best hair colors that you can try to cover up those stubborn gray hairs and transform your look while you're at it.
Light Chestnut Brown
If you have lighter hair and want a drastic change, a light-colored, chestnut brown all over the hair can be a great choice for you. Unlike a darker chestnut brown, it's not as harsh and produces a softer look. This will look especially nice on those with a fair skin tone or a "winter" color palette.
The darker color all over will be much easier to achieve at home and it will cover grays effectively. This is also a hair color that is pretty common. Once you dye your hair all over with a permanent hair color, you will only have to cover your gray roots later on. This makes things more convenient and quick.
For more of a contrast, dark shades are also a stunning choice when it comes to covering grays. A dark brown, black, chocolate brown, and chestnut brown are all colors that are easily found. This is a color that will suit those with brown or dark skin and those with extremely fair skin.
A word of caution: once you go dark, it's hard to go back! And this is in a literal sense. Once you go dark, it should definitely be a decision that you are sure with because it will take multiple lifting and bleaching sessions to get these colors out of your hair (especially with black!). So, if you're going dark, you gotta be ready to commit to it!
I think we've all experienced that envy when we rewatch F.R.I.E.N.D.S for the millionth time and see Jennifer Aniston's luscious dark golden locks. This color is particularly perfect for those with warm, tan skin tones. Even though this is just one color, it gives great dimension. It's dark enough to for the gray coverage to be consistent and significant but light enough to still be fun and fresh.
For those with extremely dark hair, it may be a necessary step to bleach the remaining darker strands. However, gray hair is already devoid of pigment and can be readily covered with the lighter hair color.
Medium brown hair is perfect for those looking for a subtle, natural color that effectively covers gray hair and is not too high maintenance. This is a color that is easily found in the permanent dye section and doesn't require too much skill or talent to achieve. This is particularly great for root touch ups when the grays start growing back out.
Medium brown is an easy color to achieve even for those with darker hair and even for those with lighter hair. Typically, going darker from a lighter shade can look a little bit off because of the drastic pigment darkening. And with darker hair, going lighter usually entails a bleach job. However, this shade is dark enough that it can just tone darker hair and pull it a few shades lighter and it's not as harsh as darker, cooler colors that make lighter hair colors look odd.
Light Blonde Highlights with Lowlights and Root Shadow
For those looking for more of a glamorous change, light blonde highlights with lowlights and a root shadow may be what you're looking for. The blonde highlights and brunette lowlights give the hair incredible dimension and will definitely glam up any look. The root shadow is there to not only give the hair more dimension but also effectively cover up the gray regrowth.
Covering grays is a lot easier when done with darker pigments, so the root shadow is definitely a good choice. Moreover, it looks a lot more natural than just having platinum locks all over.
Not quite ready to rock the gray? Try a stepping stone to gray by rocking icy, all silver locks. This is a tad more playful than your typical blondes and brunettes. This high-fashion hair color us definitely a head-turner and will make you stand out from the crowd.
The gray hair will blend in seamlessly with this hair color because of the silver quality. It will also give you a good idea of what you will look like if you go full-on gray. Rather than cover gray, you'll be rocking the spirit of it.
Want a playful look without going too light? Dark auburn might be the one for you. Make your Black Widow dreams come true and rock this totally badass hair color. This is another shade that can suit both those coming from lighter or darker shades. The auburn tones the darker hair into a warmer color and the effect on lighter shades is also gorgeous.
The darker tone of this makes it very effective covering gray hair up . The slight auburn adds a subtle fun tone to the hair and definitely stands out in the sun and other bright lights.
Chocolate Brown with Highlights
As a fellow brunette, I know that having brown hair can get boring after a while and you are just itching to spice it up a little. Boost your brown hair by adding some caramel highlights to it. This will give a hint of dimension that shines gorgeously out in the sun and under bright lights.
The dark brown will definitely help camouflage the gray hair effectively and the blonde highlights take a plain look to another level.
This hair coloring technique has been the top trend for a good while now. Now, what is the difference between a balayage and highlights? Well, there are a few subtle distinctions. Highlights target a few hairs in between your darker hair color to give it some dimension. They also usually start from root to tip.
A balayage differs in that the lighter parts take up a lot more space. It typically saturates the bottom of the hair and disperses gradually up the strands and fades out right before the root. A balayage requires a pretty sophisticated painting technique that professionals study for a long time.
It's best to have this done at a salon by a professional. However, if you would like to try this at home, there are definitely some useful tutorials on YouTube that you can follow.
Much like the root shadow, the darker roots for this makes it easy for regowth to look natural and to touch up the roots with a darker color once the grays start growing out again.
Your Natural Hair Color
Sometimes you just want to back to your roots (literally and figuratively). There's nothing like going back to your natural hair color. Natural colors are usually readily available and you can easily find yours.
Going au naturel (kind of) is the best for regrowth because most of your roots will already match the rest of your hair and all you have to do is touch up the grays.
Best Natural Hair Dye for Gray Hair and Benefits
What is the best hair color to cover gray? Well Permanent hair color is not the best for your hair's health. Unlike milder alternatives such as semi-permanent color, permanent hair dye contains chemicals that can be harmful to both the health and hair. However, seeing as permanent color is the only product that can stick to gray hair, there really isn't much of a choice.
Not to worry, science has enabled advancements in the permanent hair color that allows the use of natural, non-toxic ingredients that will not harm the hair or health. Here are just a few benefits that you can reap from switching to the best natural hair dye for gray hair.
Less Damage to Your Hair
As mentioned before, permanent hair dyes often contain chemicals that are toxic and can cause damage to your skin, body, and hair. Touching up your roots every time they grow out will require you to go through this process pretty often.
Natural hair dyes only contain 10% vegan ingredients that are much gentler on the hair and body. You won't have to worry about damaging your hair each time you retouch the roots of your hair even if you do it often.Easy Maintenance
Permanent natural hair dyes are exactly that: permanent. Even though the ingredients are much milder, they still produce the same effect as permanent hair dyes. Which means it won't fade or wash out. Your grays will stay permanently colored and you will only have to touch up the roots as they grow out.
Even Gray Coverage
Using weak pigments will result in uneven coverage. The powerful pigments in permanent hair dye will give you even gray coverage.
Mayraki Gray Coverage Permanent Hair Color Dye Shampoo
If you are looking for an easy way to cover gray hair with the same benefits as a permanent hair dye, look no further than Mayraki's Gray Coverage Permanent Hair Color Dye Shampoo. A shampoo that colors gray hair.
No need for fancy tools or techniques. Simply shampoo and enjoy the results!
Directions for Use:
1. Wet your hair and wipe off the water on the hair. (Dry hair is also suitable)
2. Wear plastic gloves (provided inside the box) before opening Hair shampoo.
3. Use the Hair Shampoo and apply on hair.
4. Massage hair well for 25-35 minutes until the shampoo is evenly spread out on the scalp. (For leather black color, it just requires 10-15 mins for a rapid hair dye).
5. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Read more about The Natural Permanent Hair Color Dye Shampoo
There are no real limitations on hair color for gray hair. However, it is recommended that the natural route is always best.
Mayraki only uses 100% vegan ingredients and is gentle on the hair and skin. Make sure to consult specialists for any medical advice and if any bad symptoms or side effects occur.