Whether you’re trying to conceal a few pesky silver strands or need to hide a more significant amount of gray hair, it’s important to understand exactly what type of hair color techniques are best for dealing with grays. When hair stops producing color and turns gray, the outer layers of the hair known as the cuticle also start to get thicker. This can make the hairs more resistant to absorbing dye, making gray coverage potentially more challenging than other color processes. Here’s what you need to know about the best ways to achieve perfect gray coverage.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COVER GRAY HAIR?
To boil it down, there are essentially two different types of color your colorist can use to cover gray hair—demi-permanent or permanent. Demi-permanent haircolor options, like Redken’s range of Shades EQ acidic haircolor, deliver non-permanent pigment that will gradually fade over time. Demi-permanent colors don’t cover the gray so much as they color it, making gray hairs blend in more with the overall color and look almost like a highlight. The big benefit to taking this route is less maintenance. With demi-permanent hair color, the grow-out process is much less noticeable, and you’ll be able to go longer in between salon appointments.
WHAT IS PERMANENT COLOR?
On the other side of the spectrum is permanent color, which completely covers gray hair, delivering a more solid and uniform result. The analogy? Picture a piece of wood. Staining it would have the same effect as demi-permanent color—you’d still be able to see the natural grain and there’d be variation in the shades and tone. Permanent color would be like taking brown paint and painting the board so that it’s totally and completely covered.
SO, WHY IS PERMANENT COLOR THE BEST WAY TO COVER GRAY HAIR?
When you want that immediate satisfaction of leaving the salon and no longer seeing any grays whatsoever, permanent haircolor is the way to go. If that sounds like your haircolor goal, talk to your colorist. The low-ammonia formula packs exceptional gray coverage, resulting in maximum gray coverage and high shine results, no matter what percentage of gray you have in your hair.
REMIND ME: WHAT IS A SINGLE PROCESS HAIR COLOR APPLICATION?
Gray coverage with permanent color often requires a single process hair color service. With a single process service, your colorist will apply the color, let it sit and process, then rinse it off and you’re good to go. Compare that to a technique such as highlighting, where, post-rinse there’s usually another type of color (such as a gloss) applied. So yes, while permanent color may require slightly more frequent trips to the salon because those new grays will be more noticeable once they start to appear, the benefit is that those single process coloring appointments to cover your grays will be short and sweet.