There can be nothing more irritating after coloring grey hair. Than to find that some of your grey hairs are still visible.
After having spent the time applying your hair color and waited around for it to take. Upon washing and drying your hair. You are disappointed to find that the hair color has not completely covered all your grey hairs.
As it happens this is one of the most asked questions that come to my website mailbox from readers of my blog. So I thought I would write a post on coloring grey hair roots and answers to problems you may find.
Understanding What Is Grey Hair.
In your hair follicles are pigment cells that produce melanin. It is this chemical that gives your hair it’s natural color.
Slowly these cells will start to die.
When new melanin is not being produced. The new hair strands will grow in lighter.
With shades ranging from grey, silver or white. Which can look fantastic when the color is enhanced.
The age at which this starts to happen and how quickly your hair turns grey. Will depend a lot on the genes you inherited.
Why Coloring Grey Hair Can Be Difficult.
Grey hair can be more difficult to color due to the hairs texture.
Because the production of melanin has slowed down so also does the natural sebum or oil produced by your hair.
This in turn makes the hair strand drier so making it harder for your hair color to penetrate the cuticle.
Leading to color unevenness, patchiness, or a very faded color.
This can happen when using a chemical color and also if your preference is to cover your grey hair with a natural dye.
Coloring Your Grey Hair Roots.
The Importance Of A Patch Test.
If you are coloring your grey hair roots for the first time or changing a product.
It is important that you carry out a patch test first. So ensuring that you are not allergic to the product.
Because permanent hair color can cause inflammation of the skin on some people.
To prepare for this skin test firstly clean a small area at the back of one ear about the size of a ten cents coin.
Mix a couple of drops of your color with an equal amount of the peroxide and stir well.
Apply the mixture to the prepared area at the back of your ear.
Allow this to dry and leave on for 24 hours.
I you find that there is no irritation, redness, burning or itching. Proceed to apply your hair color.
Protect Your Skin From Staining.
When coloring grey hair use a barrier cream around your hairline and the tips of your ears.
To stop the color staining your skin. Products such as Vaseline, or a lip guard will work just fine.
But do keep this off the hair you are going to color.
Sectioning for Application When Coloring Grey Hair.
The best method for your application is to divide your hair into four section.
Because this way you can work methodically so ensuring that all areas will be covered.
Firstly divide your hair into two by taking a centre parting from the front hairline to your nape hairline.
Finally section from the top of your head down to the corresponding ear. Carry out this process on both sides. Clipping each of the four areas separately.
Applying Your Hair Color.
Unclip the first large section of hair. Work with paper thin sections throughout the area when applying your hair color to the roots.
This way you will ensure full coverage.
To achieve an even color make sure that you apply plenty of product onto the root area.
It is far better to apply too much than not enough. Otherwise you may end up with an uneven color.
Should you wish to enhance the color on your hair lengths.
Spray some water on your hair and comb the rest of the color through for the final 10 minutes.
Correct Timing Is Important.
Do set a timer when processing your hair color. To ensure that your hair color stays on for the full recommended time.
Because the chemical reaction takes around 15 minutes to open your hair cuticles/the outside layer of your hair. So allowing the color to penetrate.
Whilst the final 20 minutes or so your hair color pigments will be taken in and fixed in position.
Shampooing Off The Color Too Early.
The full chemical action will not have had time to complete.
Leading to a weaker toned color or even a translucent result.
You will also find that your hair color will fade faster than usual.
Whilst on the subject of shampooing you may find my post on washing colored hair of interest.
Because it will give you tips on how to make your color last longer.
Q & A On Problems That Can Occur When Coloring Grey Hair.
There are several reasons why you may not have achieved full grey coverage from your hair color.
Below we will go through them one by one along with the best way to overcome the problem.
After Coloring Your Grey It Seems To Be Translucent.
Which can happen if you have quite a high percent of natural grey hair.
And are only using what we hairdressers refer to as a tone box color.
Tone refers to the reflect or finish of the color. This could be warm as in a red or golden reflect or cool as in an ash or matt reflect.
To solve the problem you will need to purchase two boxes of hair color instead of you usual one.
For the second box choose a base color.
By this I mean the depth of color you wish to be. Such as a light brown, dark brown or dark blonde.
These two colors are then mixed in a percentage ratio in accordance to the percent of your grey hair.
As an example. If you have about 40 percent of grey hair.
The mixing ratio on 60ml of color for your application would be.
Base color 24ml + Tone color 36ml + 60 ml peroxide.
The reason for this is that you are mixing more of the base color pigmentation into your toned hair color.
Which will give you a stronger coverage.
The Grey Hair Is Colored Although Not In Certain Areas.
Always start your application of color where your hair is the greyest.
Because overall this means that this area will have a longer processing time before you wash the color off.
Check also that the sections you are taking when you apply the hair color are not too thick.
Because if they are certain grey hairs within that section will not be sufficiently covered by the product.
As a rule of thumb you should be able to see through each section that you take Think in terms of paper thin.
Your Hair Is Color Seems Weaker In Tone Than Expected.
Waiting the forty minutes for your hair color to take can sometimes seem endless.
And the idea of washing away the color ten minutes early should not be a problem you think.
The chemical process of your permanent hair color works this way.
Firstly it opens the hair’s cuticles/ protective layer to allow the color pigment into your hair.
There they expand before being are fixed inside the hair.
This full process takes around 45 minutes to complete.
Therefore if the hair color is washed off too early it will not have time to fully process.
Resulting in a weaker toned hair color than you expected that will also fade faster than it should.
Course Grey Hair Can Be Difficult To Color.
Grey hair is often coarser than hair that still has a color pigment.
As we age our hair like our skin produces less and less natural oil.
Because of this the hair surface can become more rugged Leading to the rejection of the hair color.
One way round this is to pre soften the hair before you apply your hair color.
As I have mentioned before part of the function of peroxide in the color is to open the hairs cuticle to allow the artificial color to enter.
Pre softening the hair. Is a technique used by professionals to pre open the cuticle of the course hair before applying the tint.
Carrying out this process requires the application of a 6% peroxide in just the same way that you apply the color. Or on the areas where your grey hair is resistant.
Leave this on for around 10 minutes and do not rinse out.
Then apply your tint as normal.
My Final Thoughts.
Product companies tend to make out that coloring your own hair is as simple as A,B,C.
While it can be in some instances.
To get your desired color and an even result there is quite often more to it than meets the eye.
Understanding why when you color grey hair it doesn’t turn out as you expected and how you can overcome this.
Can help you on the way to achieving a professional finish.