What dyes last the longest on gray hair?

last longer

Do you want to know which dyes will cover your gray hair the longest?


Before I tell you everything I know about these kinds of dyes (and because of my experience, I know a lot!), keep the following in mind:

  • There are many different kinds of dye, but the ones that last the longest on gray hair are permanent dyes.
  • It’s also important to choose good-quality dyes like L’Oréal or Garnier to help the dye last a long time. Some of the biggest brands also have special lines designed for gray hair. I’m going to tell you about a few of them.
  • And lastly, if you want the dye to last a long time on your gray hair, then you need to be very careful about how you wash your hair and the products you use to do it.


I know what you’re going through because I see it every day in my salon and also because lots of my friends are also caught up in the eternal battle against their gray.

Gray hair can be hell to manage, whether you have 10 gray hairs, 30 or 100. They can make you look older and sometimes the growth at your roots can end up looking untidy or unkept.

 The million dollar question is: Why do some dyes last longer in some people’s hair than in other peoples’ hair? 


Let me tell you the story of two of my clients.

Amelia and Patrice are sisters and they’re only a few years apart. They started coming to my salon when their first gray hairs started appearing and they acted like coming to the salon was an outing for the sisters.

They took advantage of the time they were there to chat and get caught up with each other.

But, after a few months, I started to notice that they weren’t coming to the salon at the same time anymore.


  • Amelia came to touch up her dark brown shade 7 hair every five weeks.
  • On the other hand, Patrice, who had a chocolate brown shade 5 color, came in every three weeks.

Something was going on and we had to figure out what it was.

Because I was using the same brand of dye on both of them and I let it sit the same amount of time for both of them. So, something else had to be going on, but what could it be?


I started to suspect that maybe Patrice wasn’t doing everything she needed to take care of her color. I give my clients a list of things that they need to do every single time I finish dyeing their gray hair, so maybe she wasn’t following it.

Can you imagine what might be on that list?


Let me help:

  • Wait 48 hours to wash it for the first time
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo
  • Use hydrating masks every 20-30 days
  • Avoid washing your hair every day

As you can see, it’s not an incredibly complicated list, and it’s thought out to ensure that the dye I take so much care to apply correctly in the salon lasts as long as possible, so my clients get their money’s worth.


When I asked Patrice if she followed my directions, she answered timidly that the only one that she did follow was the first item on the list: waiting 48 hours to wash her hair after dyeing it.

But, it was clear that she wasn’t doing anything else on the list.


 So, I confirmed my suspicions. That’s why her dye didn’t last as long and her hair looked less bright than her sister’s. That’s also why her gray shone through quicker.  

Patrice kept using her normal shampoo, full of sulfates and she used hydrating masks twice a week.

And, so, of course her gray was coming back quickly.


It was like she was screaming, “Come back gray hair, come back!!”

But, it’s not the end of the world, she didn’t do anything horrible, I was just disappointed that she paid for my work and then didn’t take care of it, causing her to need to come back sooner.


It’s like if you hire a painter to repaint all the walls in your house, then you let your kids color on the walls with crayons every day. As good of a job as the painter did and as good as the brand of paint the painter used, the walls will still go back to being a mess quickly.

 The same thing happens with the dye for your gray hair. Even if you do it in a salon where they use the right, expensive dye, if you don’t take care of the color properly, it won’t last that long. 

It’s pretty straightforward.

Do you want to know what happened to Patrice after I had a little talk with her about all this?


I’ll tell you soon, but first, I want to tell you about:

  • The best brands of dye for gray hair
  • How to choose the right shade for hiding your gray
  • A few tips for caring for your dyed hair so your gray stays hidden longer


If you’ve been fighting with your gray hair for months to try to make your dye last longer, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Are you ready to take it on once and for all?


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Dyes that last the longest in gray hair

Once gray hair appears, there’s only one way to fight it: dye it.

But not with just any dye, you should first choose a permanent dye.

Do you know why?


  • Because permanent dyes contain ammonia, a chemical that helps to make pigment stay better in your hair.

That’s why permanent dye is the only kind that will work for covering gray hair.


  • Also, dyes that don’t contain ammonia aren’t made for covering gray hair.

How can you check to see which dyes contain ammonia and which don’t?


It’s easy, if you read the box of the dye kit you’re going to use, it might say: “semi-permanent” or “tone-on-tone.” If it says that, then you don’t want it.

Why shouldn’t you choose those kinds of dye?


Because if it doesn’t contain ammonia, then it won’t open your hair’s cuticle to set the pigment, so your gray will only stay dyed for two or three washes.

Then, your gray or white hair will start to appear all over again and you’ll have wasted your time and money.


  • Once you’ve chosen a permanent dye, you’ll probably be left with the question: Which brand of permanent dye will cover my gray for the longest time?

That’s a very good question. Let me give you an example.


I love the perfume Flower by Kenzo. Sometimes I don’t buy the original, instead I go for one of the many imitations out there.

In the first few minutes, the smell is almost exactly the same. But after two hours, it’s totally gone. That’s the difference between a good brand and one that’s not.


It’s not about marketing, but it is about what the brand comes with. Kenzo makes their dyes with a team of experts that know how to make a unique perfume that will last.

It’s the same when it comes to dye. If you want a dye that will last, then it’s best to choose a brand that’s known for the quality of its products. They might be a little bit more expensive, but they’ll be better in the long term.

What products do I use in my salon?


  • One of the ones I use is L’Oreal Age Perfect because of its high quality and long-lasting pigments, which are ideal for gray hair.
  • Garnier dyes also give good results, but you should choose their line made for gray hair.


Garnier has a line especially made for gray hair and an at-home color kit that includes oils for pre and post color care that protect your hair from any damage that the dye might do.


So, now you know that you should choose a permanent dye and if you can get one of the L’Oreal Age Perfect dyes, all the better.

But how do you choose the shade?


That’s what I’m about to tell you right now.


How to choose the right shade for covering your gray

Of course, you should choose a shade that goes well with your base color.


  • If your hair is dark brown, you can’t hide your gray with light blonde, it just won’t work.

If your base colors allows for it and your hair is more than 60% gray, then a blonde shade is right for you.

That way you’ll hide where the gray grows in at your roots without needing to touch up your color so often.


  • Choose the lightest shades possible, like 8, 9 or 10, which are ideal, since gray hair is light, the lighter your hair, the better it will hide your gray.

Try to avoid dark shades so you can avoid touching up your hair as long as possible.


And lastly, now that you’ve dyed your hair with a permanent dye from a good brand, how can you take care of your hair to make the dye last longer?

First of all, don’t wash your hair for at least 48 hours after you dye it. Then, what next?


Take the following advice.


3 secrets for caring for dyed hair to make the dye last longer

External factors such as your hair care routine are very important when it comes to caring for your dyed hair.


  • For example, the ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner can wash out color quickly, so you should use a sulfate-free shampoo.

That way, the dye will stay intact when you wash your hair and it will last longer.


  • Remember when Patrice used a hydrating mask on her hair once a week?

That is totally prohibited. You should only use a mask once every 20 or 30 days.

Because most hydrating masks create a film that sticks to your hair and when you rinse it, the dye goes with it.


 That’s why you should limit your usage of hydrating masks as much as possible, but if your hair is really dry, you can replace them with coconut oil, which will moisturize your hair without eliminating the dye.  

Coconut oil isn’t corrosive to dye, so you can use it up to twice a week.


  • And lastly, don’t wash your hair every day because that will make the dye dilute a little every single day. If your hair is really greasy, then you can use a dry shampoo to help preserve the dye for longer.


Now there are no more mysteries for you and not for Patrice either, since now she follows all the directions that I give her after I touch up her dye, so her dye lasts on her gray hair perfectly.

How long does your dye last on your gray hair?

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