Ways to Cover Gray Hair

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Learn how to cover grays easily and find the type of gray coverage that works for you.

As you grow older, you’ll start to see glimpses of gray in your hair. There’s no reason to panic, though. Gray hair is completely natural and can show up earlier than you might anticipate. If you want to cover your new silver strands, though, there are easy ways you can do it.

Some gray coverage solutions are temporary whereas others will last longer. Dyes can last weeks while sprays and touch-up pens last up until your next wash. Depending on what type of coverage you need, here are a few gray coverage options to try out:

1. Root Spray

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Gray hair typically starts at the root, which is actually great! Your roots are a small area that can be covered if you want to hide your gray without dyeing all of your hair. Root spray can be gently applied on your graying roots. This is a temporary root touch up that will last until you wash your hair.

With a good root spray, you should be able to avoid buildup and maintain healthy hair.

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2. Root Powder

Root powder works similar to root spray. Between permanent dyes, root powder is a simple way to cover your grays. Apply with a brush over your gray roots until your grays are no longer visible. As with root spray, this is a temporary coverage solution that washes out.

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It is great for small areas such as your hairline and eyebrows, although be careful not to get any powder in your eyes. With both root spray and root powder, you will want to pick the color that is closest to your natural or the dyed color you currently have.

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3. Dye Your Hair at Home

Don’t want to wait for a salon appointment to come open to cover your grays? There’s always the option to do your hair at home. If your goal is simply to cover grey hair, pick out a color that matches your current hair color and apply to the areas of grey.

Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can try dyeing your hair a darker color. Dye allows you to cover a larger area compared to root spray or root powder.

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4. Add Highlights

Instead of dyeing your hair all one shade, which can make all hair types look one-dimensional, try instead mixing your grays with highlights. This can give you a fun, more dynamic look and requires less scrambling when your gray begins to show as they’ll seamlessly blend in with your highlights.

This works especially well if you have blonde or otherwise light hair to begin with, since the lighter blonde strands will mix in well with silver.

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5. Embrace the Gray

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If you’re tired of constantly trying to cover up your gray locks, consider embracing them! More people than ever are embracing silver and gray hair, from teens to adults to seniors. Try going fully gray or silver for a silver fox look.

With young people trying out silver hair, this color can still make you appear youthful and vibrant.

The great thing about gray hair is that it loves to absorb color, so you could also try vibrant colors without lightening if you want to go out of your comfort zone. Now is the perfect time to try a color you’ve always wanted but never tried!

Remember that gray is beautiful! Whether you want to cover up or embrace your silver locks, there are plenty of options that can fit your hair type and your lifestyle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a natural look when coloring my gray hair?

Use a demi-permanent hair color that is one or two levels lighter than your natural color.

Can I have my hair colored, but keep some of the gray?

There are many ways gray can be blended into the hair!

I've read that permanent hair color is the best choice for hair with more than 40% gray. How can I tell how much gray I have?

If your hair appears almost half or over half percent gray, this means you have a high percentage of gray and may want to use permanent hair color. When in doubt, you can ask your stylist for clarification on the amount of gray in your hair from all angles you may not be able to see.

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