How to dye gray on dark hair

Gray has long since ceased to be an indicator of age and a problem: now it is fashionable. But if you’ve decided that gray hair isn’t for you, in this article you’ll find the answers to all the questions: why hair turns gray, how to disguise gray hair or how to completely dye it.

Process biology: what is gray?

color trends 2021 color trends 2021

Gray is a natural process of reducing the activity of cells that produce the melanin pigment. Its level also determines the natural color of hair: the more melanin is produced by cells, the darker is the human hair.

With age, the activity of cells can change, so, for example, children, getting older, can get the darker color of their hair, and they work in different ways: someone may not buy gray hair even in old age, and someone may go grey very early.

An interesting fact: it is commonly believed that gray hair is gray, but in fact, it is transparent.

The structure of gray hair may also be different from what is usual: the hair may become thinner or coarser, it may curl more than usual. For this reason, for naturally gray hair, stylists recommend smoothing products (this is how SteamPod serum from L’Oréal Pro works, Miracle Creator spray from Matrix) and care with pigments (Matrix So Silver, L’Oréal Pro Silver conditioner).

Noble gray hair

Few people think about the causes of graying, although they are very diverse.

We have collected for you the most common cases when pigment-producing cells start to work with failures:

  • genetics and age-related changes;
  • some diseases;
  • shocks and stressful situations;
  • malfunctions of glands and various organs;
  • malnutrition;
  • unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, alcohol;
  • taking some medicines;
  • lack of B vitamins and important microelements.

Stages of growth: types of gray and their percentage of progression

As with any process, gray has its own stages of growth, development, and progression.

Let’s take a closer look at them.

  1. The first gray hair
  2. The first grey hair may appear at an early age.
  3. Focal gray hair
  4. Sometimes a whole strand of hair or a separate section on the head, such as a temple, may go gray.
  5. Less than 50% gray hair
  6. It is mostly scattered gray all over the head, but it can also concentrate zonally.
  7. Over 50% of gray hair
  8. You gradually turn into a grey-haired woman.

Temporary ways to disguise the gray

And even if gray is fashionable, there are very few women who do not dream of disguising it. How to hide the gray quickly and easily? Now we will tell you!

  • Tonics, air conditioners, and coloring shampoos

A temporary way to give your hair the desired shade is also good for gray hair. Many professional brands have such means: for example, ColorLast Purple (Biolage), Blondifier Cool (L’Oréal Pro), Brass Off (Matrix). All these shampoos are designed for artificial blondes, which quickly show their yellow nuance.

Important: for grey hair, there are special shampoos that gently care for and neutralize unwanted shades, such as Magnesium Silver by L’Oréal Professionnel.

  • Temporary dyeing sprays and hair crayons

It is a very convenient way to temporarily disguise the gray between stains: for example, to paint a gray parting or small areas of gray. For this purpose, the L’Oréal Professionnel Hair Touch Up will be suitable.

How to choose the right paint for permanent coloring

Choosing resistant gray paint is a very important step, as some shades can behave unpredictably, even though modern tools can easily cope with gray. Follow the rules and choose a high-quality professional dye, our experts advise.

What else do I need to know when choosing a gray paint?

When choosing a dye, it’s better to take a tone one shade lighter than natural hair color. If your gray is scattered over your head, the grown-up roots will not be so noticeable, and the transition will be smooth.

The colorant for gray differs from the usual one in its resistance, dyeing power, and pigment content. Choose paints with volumetric dyeing pigments for the most effective coloring of gray hair and shine.

The choice of color depends on the number of grey hairs and their condition. For the scattered type and low concentration ordinary dye of natural colors will be suitable, but for hair with a lot of gray hair needs a more aggressive dye.

With or without ammonia.

With or without ammonia. Ammonia is a gas that creates an alkaline environment and helps to lift the scales of hair so that the pigment can penetrate there and securely fix. Ammonia is toxic to the body, and in the long term it changes and damages the structure of the hair, but it also prolongs the color fastness and makes the color more intense. In order to avoid allergies, dye with ammonia must be tested on the skin before use.

If you are afraid of making a mistake, your wizard will be able to tell you exactly which color to choose for your hair type. In cases where there is a lot of gray, colorists use densely coated colors: Majirel Cool Cover, Matrix SoColor, L’Oréal Pro Inoa.

Tip: choose a color with care components, in combination with ammonia they will help reduce injury and damage to hair with regular coloring.

7 effective rules for gray coloring

The technique of gray coloring differs depending on its type.

Follow the rules of our experts to achieve the most effective coloring:

  • When painting for the first time, you should apply a lower percentage of the clarifier to the roots so that they do not look lighter.
  • The oxide is selected based on the thickness of the hair. For thick hair, the concentration of the dyeing agent will be much higher!
  • Fine hair can be dyed into both blond and dark hair. Thick grey hair is pre-blended to lighten to create a coloring background before being dyed into blond hair.
  • For maximum coloring, use pre-pigmentation, a grey hair coloring technique that saturates the empty hair structure with a background for the future pigment. This procedure smoothes porous hair and scales, cares for, and prolongs the durability of the dye. Ideally, the pre-pigmentation should be carried out in a salon with an experienced master, it will not take much time, but will give a beautiful hair color. But you can also do it on your own: mix half a tube of dye with water in the ratio of 1 to 2, apply it to grey hair, and endure 15-20 minutes. Mix the rest of the dye with the oxidizer and apply it over the entire length of the hair on top of the previous formulation, leave for the necessary time according to the instructions.

Important: the procedure is shown to people with gray hair on more than 20%!

  • If there is little gray, 3% oxidizer will do. A large amount of gray hair can use an oxidant 6% or more (9 or 12%).
  • If you repaint the roots with the same color, you can not apply the full length of the paint, but it is important to carefully stretch it to create a smooth transition. If the shade is washed out, apply the full-length paint a few minutes before washing out.
  • The roots should be tinted every 2 weeks on average. It all depends on how quickly your hair grows back.

Coloration as a way to hide the gray

Coloring is a dyeing technique that is quite suitable for women with silver hair. Who should pay attention to this technique, what are the pros and cons – we will deal with our experts.

Who will be suitable for melting
It’s a good way to hide the silver strands and make root ingrowth less visible.

Melting is suitable for women with less than 50% gray hair and women with local gray hair.

Pros and cons of melting
To do or not to do the melting is a big question. Let’s first deal with the pros and cons of this type of coloring and then make a confident choice!


  • hides the gray strands;
  • helps to adjust the shape of the face and head;
  • adds volume;
  • does not require regular correction;
  • less harmful to the hair than coloring the whole head.


  • not suitable for home staining;
  • difficult to perform on recently colored hair and can give unexpected results;
  • dark hair may need to lighten the strands;
  • the need for additional care for damaged and colored hair;
  • requires a strong formulation with aggressive ingredients.

Full lightening of dark hair as a radical way to hide gray hair

Gray is in fashion, and no one will be surprised by the completely gray or white hair. Our experts will tell you who is suitable for full clarification, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this method.

Who is suitable for the complete lighting of grey hair?

Ideally, whitening as a way to mask grey hair will be suitable for those who have 50 to 80% gray hair. For women with a lot of gray glass hair, this method will be difficult because of its structure: coloring will require pre-pigmentation (or repigmentation) to create a coloring background.

The pros and cons of complete hair clarification

The obvious advantage will be the absence of the need to constantly tint the roots – on blonde hair gray is not so noticeable.

Of course, the disadvantages are the change of structure: the hair spoils, becomes harder, requires constant care and toning.

Important: if you decide to go back to darker shades after clarification, you also need pre-pigmentation – hair saturation with pigment. With lightening, the hair loses some shades and without this procedure you can accidentally get green hair.

Is it possible to paint the gray with natural dyes?

Such natural colorants as Basma, henna, chamomile, and nut peel are very popular on the Internet.

Stylists disapprove of these methods: the result is almost always unpredictable, and natural dyes can develop strong allergies. In addition, if these methods can be suitable for dyeing hair with rare gray, then the result can be unpredictable on fully gray or on hair with large areas of “silver”. Glass grey (with thinned cuticle, damaged scales, and hard hair), as professionals believe, may not color at all or appear red or green! When choosing a natural dye, dye it under the control of a professional. Then the result is guaranteed to please you. A good solution can be a professional mix of Botanea natural dyes, whose formula is designed for gray, too. More about eco-coloring on these mixes can be found here. Remarkably, after such natural gray dyeing, undesirable shades may still appear on the hair. To neutralize them, the colorists use special care – Botanea toner.

The first gray hair

The first gray hair on the head of many women is morally difficult. There comes the realization that we are inevitably aging, looking less beautiful than before.

But few people think that with age comes a new stage of “beauty”, which is unavailable to young girls: new cosmetics, a new image in clothing and hairstyle, evolution in the knowledge of beauty. The American colorist Jack Martin has the same opinion. A very charismatic and optimistic man helped women at an age not only to save money on the constant coloring of roots but also to convince them that gray hair is another gift of nature.

Let’s take a look at some of Jack Martin’s client transformations to see if he’s right or wrong.

From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist
From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist

A woman from Texas specially came to Los Angeles to see Jack with one request: to invent something beautiful on her head, and so that two weeks later she would not have to repaint the roots.

Within 9 hours, Jack brightened her colored hair to the 10th level and then gave her a beautiful haircut. The woman is very happy with the result!

From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist.

The next image is also beautiful, the woman has completely changed her face. The gray hair and roots were not affected again by Jack, he only saved the client from a yellow hue, making a stylish coloring platinum blond, which for this age also looks natural. When the gray roots grow, the haircut will also look stylish and natural.

From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist

In this transformation, the task was to make something beautiful on the head of a girl whose gray hair is visible along the growth line. As usual – did not touch the roots, bleached some strands (blonde + Olaplex, not to kill the hair + silver toner). After that, he tinted some of the strands, it turned out to be quite a complex coloring.

And this is my favorite example of transformation. Why? Because I send a flaming hello to all lovers of natural henna and Basma:-).

If you want to look natural and beautiful, without applying “chemistry” to your hair – alas, sooner or later all roads will lead to a blond ;).

No matter how you prove it to me, but what is on the right looks a thousand times better than the nostalgia for the redheads on the left, who have left because of GMOs and mobile communication.

From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist
From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist

But this transformation is quite controversial. Too radical, all hair is completely discolored. But on the other hand, it is better to let the dark roots on the blonde hair grow back than the opposite. Do you agree?

The woman after transformation became not only more attractive but also younger. By the way, Jack himself admits that his clients come to the secondary staining after six months at least, and not after 3-4 weeks as the others.

From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist

And the last transformation, after which you can not worry that sooner or later gray roots will grow. It should be remembered that vitreous gray is generally difficult to color. So why hide the gray when you can present it beautifully?

In his installation account, a man tells in detail how the process of “transformation” of each new client took place.

From the official Jack Martin installation @jackmartincolorist

Jack’s profile on Instagram became incredibly popular. Of course, such popularity has borne fruit. In addition to the new flow of clients coming from all over the country, men’s creativity has attracted attention in major fashion magazines. On Martin’s account – publications in such publications as Allure, People, and even Vogue.

If you are asked to name the first signs of aging, you are likely to name sagging skin, wrinkles, and, of course, gray hair. And while gray hair is perfectly normal with age, many of us are very concerned about how we’ll look and what others will say about it. In any case, women who have decided not to fight with gray hair prove that the problem is not so much about age, but love for ourselves and self-esteem. Because it is possible to go gray at any age.

“My silver strands mean that I accept the aging process. It’s not for everyone – and that’s normal. I had a lot of gray, and I just wanted to see what would happen if I stopped hiding it, but instead with the help of herbal means we would give it some expression. This was almost 2 years ago. I have never had everything so good with self-confidence and with hair. “Beth. 51 years old