I also am a licensed cosmetologist. I am just starting to go grey myself, but have been helping other's battle the grey for years. Personally, I highlight my hair through a cap. This blends the grey in. For my grey clients I do one of two things:
1. Primarily I use a semi-permanent hair color. This is a color that fades off in 4-6 weeks, and does not cover the grey, but instead blends it in. Very easy to apply, and hard to mess up.
2. Otherwise I use a color formulated especially for grey hair. This does make a difference, because they can be very resistant. Also, it helps to cover your head with plastic (shower cap, walmart bag, etc) and stay out of the air conditioning. Keep your head warm and this will open up the cuticle to allow your hair to absorb the color molecule. Also, when rinsing the color out, use cold water!!! This seals the cuticle back down.
Go to sally's beauty supply and get some "Grey magic" which comes in a small bottle and add 10 drops to your hair color. It helps hold the hair color.
Cathy from MA
Clariol has a few colors that are made for gray hair. Now some of the gray will be lighter but it looks like natural hi lights. The one I used was made for gray hair and it works great. Try that and good luck.
I've had good luck with a product that seems fairly new called Perfect 10 by Clairol. If you don't mix it together all at once, I can get 3 applications out of it.
Like meoowmom I too use Perfect 10, but I use a medium ash brown, because it covers all my grey and hides it very well, so I stick with the color because I love it. Also when you color your hair and I've heard a few of my friends complain that the color gets on your skin and it's hard to get off. I've also heard the horror stories of what people will use after they've colored their hair. Word of advice and I swear by this and it works. Ladies before you color your hair, anyone here own a jar of vaseline? put it on your hairline and spread out, kinda like putting lotion on, except you don't rub it in, you just put a thin line from where the hairline starts and 1 to 2 inches out. Then color your hair, the coloring won't stain your forehead, put it behind your ears, neckline in the back and some on your ears. Trust me you're going to like this and your going to look beautiful without the stains!
Someone on Thriftyfun recommended Gray Magic for hard to color gray hair. I tried it last week and it worked. The instructions recommend 10 drops for one ounce of color. I just followed the Revlon hair color directions and mixed the hair color with the developer and shook it really well as usual. Then I added 10 drops of Gray Magic, and shook the bottle of hair color really well again. Ok, don't get scared, but after I added the 10 drops, it turned the hair color dark purple!
Yes, I was scared. But my philosophy is - hair can always be colored again. I colored my hair as usual, concentrating on the roots. But I also use a large tooth comb to drag the color through the rest of my hair and put some on the ends, since my hair fades there quite a bit.
I did keep my hair color on for much longer than the Revlon instructions; but I always do. I kept it on for about 1 hour. This is IN ADDITION to the time it takes me to actually put the color on my hair (which seems to take forever). Then, still following Revlon's instructions, mixed a little warm water to my hair making it suds up a bit. I rinsed really, really well - but I always do.
Don't get scared. When I rinsed, it rinsed out dark purple. I was scared. However, my results were great and I will definitely use it again. It colored all of my hard to cover grays. Then I used a really intense hair conditioner after I rinsed and towel dried my hair. Then I wrapped my hair in plastic wrap and went out in the sun (you don't have to go out in the sun, but I do keep the plastic wrap on for around 1/2 hour to 1 hour, or as long as I can stand it.
Then I rinse the conditioner out really, really well. I usually let my hair air dry after this, but I've also styled my hair immediately after too. But this is one secret I have learned: I never, ever wash my hair the day before I color. In fact, I wait about 4 days after shampooing. Then, I don't shampoo my hair for around 4 days after I color.
I don't have oily hair anymore (I'm 52). The combination of all of these things makes my hair color not fade as fast, I don't know why. But I do rinse my hair in between shampoos (rinse really, really well to remove any gels, hairsprays, etc.) and then style as usual with gel, whatever, hair spray.
The next day, I rinse, style and that's that. My hair doesn't get oily. I bought Gray Magic at Sally Beauty Supply in Houston, Texas, USA, but they do have stores all of the USA. Here is their website: www.sallybeauty.com The manufacturer has a web site too: www.aiibeauty.com The Gray Magic box says it's made in the USA, but here is more info from the box: Gray Magic is a registered trademark of American International Industries; AII (UK) Ltd; Berkshire R! 7SR.
More tricks: I have stopped using shampoo and any hair products with sodium lauryl sulfate. I find it strips my color and dries my hair. This includes high end hair products as well as drugstore kind. A shampoo that is my latest love is by Shikai and is called Henna Gold Highlighting Shampoo. Safe for color treated hair. And shiny?
I can't believe how shiny my hair is and it does bring out highlights in my color treated hair WITHOUT stripping the color along the hair shaft, or lifting the color from the roots. No animal testing or animal ingredients. A very nice product. I bought it for around $7.99 US for 12 ounces, at a local Whole Foods Store, a high end health food store (www.wholefoods.com). Here are the shampoo details: Shikair Products, Santa Rosa, California, USA 95405 Tel: 1-5800-448-0298 www.Shikai.com
I only use a little bit of this shampoo on my scalp after I rinse my hair really, really, really well before I put on the shampoo. Another trick: I never, ever shampoo the ends of my hair. I only shampoo the roots, which is really the only part that needs actual cleaning. You wouldn't believe what this has done to get rid of my split ends. I also get hair cuts around every 6 weeks - there is no miracle for split ends, you have to have them trimmed off, but in one month of not shampooing my ends, my hair drastically improved. I used Revlon brand 'Colorsilk' in 'medium brown' hair color - sorry, I didn't write down the color's number.
I buy it at local drugstores (Walgreens, CVS) and also at Walmart and Target. All of these stores have websites: walgreens.com cvs.com walmart.com target.com Probably at drugstore.com too. You could probably email Revlon for a store that sells it near you. Well, I think I have exhausted the subject! I hope you have good luck if you decide to try Gray Magic! Smoochie :)
I have very hard to cover greys also. I purchased from my salon a 'Just for Men' type spray so I can go longer between colors. It works wonderfully. I spray it on my greys just like hair spray. Beware my hair is dark, and when I clean my bathroom, I find a brown film all over. Other than that, I love it!
I'm a licensed cosmetologist and have been coloring my own hair for many years. I have a copy of The Encyclopedia of Hair Coloring by Clairol. Information taken from book:
Resistance in Gray Hair
Occassionally, there is the exceptional client with gray hair which is extremely difficult to cover. To get complete coverage on this unusual type of hair, follow one of these procedures:
1. Don't shampoo before using Miss Clairol, unless hair is extremely soiled. Mix 1 part of Miss Clairol hair color with two parts of any 20 Volume Clairol Developer. (My formula is 1 oz. hair color + 2 oz. developer in a tint bottle.)
Apply to the new growth as a pre-softener. Allow this mixture to remain on the hair for 15 to 20 minutes. At the end of that time, simply remove the excess tint with a towel. DO NOT SHAMPOO.
2. Then apply Miss Clairol in the usual manner (2 oz. hair color + 2 oz. developer in a tint bottle.) Allow color to develop for 15 minutes. Check a strand for color development. Normal processing time is approximately 30 minutes.
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