Armani Salon



Tips for Coloring Gray Hair



Coloring gray hair is one of the most popular reasons people color hair at all. You’re not alone. So, what should be your primary considerations before you get started? The answer depends on how much gray hair you have; how much you want to cover; where the hair is located and the texture of your gray hair.

If you’ve never colored your hair before, we suggest you start with a semi- or demi-permanent hair color [see types of hair color for a more detailed description]. Semi- and demi-permanent hair color will blend gray hair by infusing it with a small amount of color, resembling highlights. This coloring makes the gray fade out gracefully without noticeable outgrowth.

Gray hair is typically more coarse and more difficult to cover. Using a permanent hair color will give you the best coverage. It also helps if you choose a target color that is neutral or has some gold or red tones in it. Ash colors generally do not cover gray hair on their own. Darker colors (brunette shades) will have more pigment in them and will provide better coverage than lighter colors (blond shades). However, if you choose a color that is too dark, the color difference will be more dramatic when your hair grows out.

When coloring gray hair, be sure to leave the color treatment in your hair for the full length of time as prescribed by your color technician. Because gray hair is more difficult to cover, the treatment may need to remain in your hair for as long as 45 minutes. We recommend that you start by applying color on the most resistant gray areas. This will give those "trouble spots" more time to absorb the color pigments.

Gray hair lacks pigment so it will have a yellow or blond appearance when bleach is applied, similar to highlighting or double-process blonding. Don't be alarmed. Our experience has taught us that it is very difficult to bleach and tone gray hair to truly look like gray hair does naturally. If you try to do this without professional help, you may notice a more yellow tone in your results.

When you complete your personal profile, please tell us if you've ever experienced problems with gray coverage on any or all of your hair. If you are mostly gray (75 to 100 percent) you may choose a color from any of the swatches provided to you. If your gray is concentrated in one area of your head, make your swatch selection from the color swatches based on what the majority if your hair color is. Our color technicians will adjust your personal formula to help you manage any unique situations and achieve wonderful, long lasting gray coverage.

To help you complete your personal profile for customized color, use the Hair Color 2 Go swatch kit to select your target color. The "N" series is neutral or natural, the "G" means gold, "R" cool red, "K" copper, "B" brown, and "V" violet. Some swatches are combinations of colors, some are pure. They may be intermixed with the brown shades. Examples would be: 6RB with a little more 6R, 7B mixed with 7K for some copper tones, 5RB with some 6V for a cooler blue/red tone.

Consider using custom blended color enhancing shampoo and conditioners to prevent fading or changing hair color tones between your hair color treatments. An additional tip would be to avoid excess exposure to the sun and chlorine water. Finally we recommend cool water to wash your hair to further safeguard your new color.

For additional information, visit our FAQs section.