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Curly Nikki

Coloring Gray Hair- Natural Hair Tips

By January 27th, 20218 Comments

Coloring Gray Hair- Natural Hair Tips

by Jessica Mousseau via

We’ve all been there: we color our hair, then a few days or weeks later, we need to do it all over again. As we age, the appearance of gray hair can make our hair coloring regimen even harder. Learning the right techniques for coloring gray hair is the first step to creating a healthy, youthful look.

Gray strands can pop up at any age. However, evaluating your gray hair situation is important before coloring. If you have less then 40% gray, then you can color your hair at home. Use permanent or semi-permanent hair color without alcohol or peroxide to avoid dry, brittle, colored hair. This will result in faster fading and more frequent hair color sessions.

For ladies with curly, kinky or wavy hair and significant gray coverage, a hair stylist can offer highlights to help mask your gray hair. Whether it’s a simple transformation of color where there is gray, or a glaze that makes hair look shiny and natural, both hair coloring options are effective, but hard to maintain. Highlights most likely will need to be redone in a few week’s time, so it’s important to commit to coloring gray hair regularly.

Lastly, for those who are completely gray, a full head color is recommended with the use of color wands as hair grows out.

Tips for Coloring Gray Hair

  1. Make sure the color sits for the correct amount of time. Since gray hair is difficult to cover, it’s important to keep hair dye on long enough to let the color take. Oftentimes, gray is resistant to color altogether, so there may be trouble spots on your head if you do not follow the coloring instructions properly. Timing is crucial!
  2. Choose darker colors. To create a natural look, choose a shade that is no more then two or three shades lighter then your natural hair color. Going overboard on bleaching can cause extreme damage to your locks.
  3. Always use sulfate-free products. We recommend Bed Head shampoos, conditioners and styling products. Also, color-enhancing shampoos, such as those from Pantene Pro-V, will prevent fading and/or changing of hair color tones between color treatments.
  4. Rinse hair with cool water. Always rinse your hair with cool or lukewarm water since hot water makes the hair lose its color faster. Extended exposure to the sun as well as to chlorine water can also damage the color.
  5. Let a professional help. If you’re looking to bleach your gray hair for a lighter hair color or simply for highlights, let a professional help. Gray hair can be extremely difficult to bleach and tone, and can take on a yellowish hue if colored improperly.

Gray is Beautiful!

Coloring gray isn’t your only option, you know. Gray hair rocks, and comes in just as many shades as any other color. Take some inspiration from these silver sirens as they explain why they refuse to color their locks.

Final thoughts

Master these techniques for coloring gray hair, and you’ll be able to get the fresh look you want, and keep it for weeks to come. Let us know how it turns out!

Are you dealing with gray hairs? Are you embracing them or coloring them?!


  • Anonymous says:

    I am 43, but look younger, and have 75% grey hair. I love it and embrace it. It only feels wierd when people ask me if I am my 8 year old daughter's grandmother!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love to see these articles about grey hair from time to time. I'm a natural 50/50 salt/pepper natural & most women will deal with grey hair so it's good to know how to manage it and coloring options if that's a person's choice. Going grey is a journey akin to going natural with its own set of stereotypes and challenges. And, going grey & natural at the same time as I did is the ultimate journey (but well worth it!!!!)

  • Anonymous says:

    Post third henna treatment, loving the coverage and my hair feels like it did when I was kid.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes I also colour my hair using henna. Its the best of both worlds. Grey covered and conditioning all in 1 go !! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Im 17 and have a lot of greay hairs 🙁
    I dye them!

  • Anonymous says:

    I embraced them when I was "relaxed", but since going natural over two years ago, I've been covering them using henna. Gray natural hair is too "wiry" for me, and it made me look 10 years older. I've told myself that when I hit 55 (6 years from now), I might BC, and let the gray stay.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am embracing my gray hairs. I see them as a badge of honor of having lived a long life.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am graying slowly and am lucky to have learned to use henna. It gives me these interesting streaks when I have sections of gray clumped together and the illusion of red highlights where it's more scattered. I miss all dark hair sometimes though! At the same time I have been eyeing ladies with all gray hair who style it so it shows off. This is not common, but so gorgeous when done right. Especially on kinky curls….I am on a growth regimen and think I might reconsider coloring when my curls are longer.

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