New to coloring... need help with covering partially gray hairby JonathanEngrPosted 3 years, 11 months ago
Hi, all! I'm brand new to the forums and pretty new to hair coloring, as well. I could really use some good, solid advice on partially covering my gray hair.
Presently, I have mostly gray hair on the sides of my head, but have only a spattering of gray hair on top. I have light-colored hair (maybe a light ash brown?), and the gray on the sides really makes me looked washed out. As my hair gets long, it becomes somewhat unruly due to the way it grows in, so I have always kept it cut short. I'm used to the style and like it a lot, but it's not very conducive to permanent coloring (being short, the roots would show very quickly). Thus, I'm looking primarily at demi-permanent hair dyes.
First, is this an okay choice? I would like for the color to not be an overwhelming change--just something to cover some of the gray on the side. Then is can slowly fade and I can re-color. Now... this leads to several questions:
1) Can I just put the colorant on portions of my hair so it blends with my natural and gray color? I don't want to color every inch of my head--I just want to add some color to the sides so I'll have a mix of ash brown and gray as I had 5 years ago. 2) Do I have to wait for the color to completely fade before re-coloring? It'd be great to do so I can keep the color more consistent. 3) Any recommendations on brands, etc.? 4) Do I jump to the color I want, or do I need to "build up" to that color with my gray hair so it looks more natural? I saw a tutorial somewhere on here about when jumping to significantly different colors you want to do interim coloring so it will be natural.
Quick story. I kind-of researched this a few months back, went to Sally Beauty and (being clueless) was given a demi-permanent color, and the associate then chose a developer (they didn't come together) for me to use (I'll be glad to get the brand and other details later if needed). I used this combo very sparingly the first time, and it looked pretty good (used it mostly on the sides). I then did it again a couple of weeks ago using a bit more on top, and man... it really lightened my hair. I don't like that at all. As the color has worn off, my hair is very, very light leaving me really washed out! Should demi-permanent colors be used with developers that lighten hair since the color is going to definitely fade away?
Anyway, you can see my conundrum. I could get my coloring professionally done, but it's just not something I want to do. With my hair length being 2-3 inches on average, I would have to color it every month. I'm a bit scared of doing it so frequently (health-wise), and it's just not worth spending $50 every month to cover my gray. Also, any kind of self-maintenance/improvement in men is still a social tightrope... at least where I live. Thus, I want to keep this on the down-low as much as possible. :-)
So--I'm a really handy guy, I'm great at listening and following instructions, thus I feel this is something I can really do on my own. I just don't want my hair to look bad/fake... I want it to blend and look natural. Again--I'm not looking to completely cover the gray--I just want to add a little color to keep from being so washed out. Thanks!!!
by vividamnesiaPosted 3 years, 11 months ago
Have you looked in to just for men demi colors? They are always natural ash and don't look fake and they darken some of the grey/white leaving it looking like you haven't dyed it at all but it will look like the hair was when there was less grey but still some. I think it works in 5-10 mins too. Best to use to avoid unwanted warmth which mens natural hair lacks normally and should be avoided. You can wait for it to fade and not worry about repeat coloring with it even if not completely faded out of hair b4 next coloring. Redken makes a mens semi/demi grey blending called color camo and it comes in light med and dark natural shades it also works in 10 mins. If you can get your hands on redkens color camo that would be best for you. Developer for semi demi colors is 10vol or less. 20vol+ is for permanent color/lifting/and full grey/white coverage which we don't want.
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by JonathanEngrPosted 3 years, 11 months ago
Thank you so much! That was very informative. So... when they say "partially covers gray", it does color all of the strands of gray hair, but it doesn't completely cover the gray tint in the hair. Is that correct? That would make a lot more sense.
I also noticed a new product (I think??) called "touch of gray". There's no mixing, and once exposed to air it only colors for 5 minutes. Thus, no risk in leaving it on for too long. It seems to have good reviews but I haven't seen it in stores. Have you heard anything about that product? It only comes in three colors, thus making color choice a lot easier. But... could that also make it look a bit more fake if not matched correctly?
In the end, I definitely want something subtle that doesn't scream, "I'm coloring my hair!" Thanks again for your response! :-)
by DufferooPosted 3 years, 11 months ago
A great way to blend your grays without affecting the rest of your hair is to choose an ash or neutral demi-permanent shade a little lighter than your natural hair and use the lowest volume of developer available (usually 6 volume, or 1.9%). That will tint the gray hairs a little browner but won't have the power to lighten the rest of your hair.