5 tips for making sure your gray hair holds color the next time you dye it

If your gray hair won’t hold color, it might be because of one of these reasons:

  • You made a mistake when you were using the dye on your hair
  • You chose the wrong color
  • Your grey hair has a more porous texture than the rest of your hair


porous hair

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 But don’t worry, I’ll give you 5 tips for making sure that the next time you dye it, your gray hair holds the color and it’s perfectly even.  


As the saying goes, we don’t deal with gray hair anymore: we dye it

In other times in other places, gray hair was a symbol of wisdom and respect. Having gray hair gave you a certain social status, a place of knowledge where others came to you for advice or to hear about your life experiences. But, these days, things are different.

And as soon as the first gray hairs make their appearance, we want to hide them, instead favoring our lost youth.


But, gray hair can be very rebellious. They’re a land that’s hard to conquer.

Do you know why?


 Because gray hair is hair that has lost its pigment or melanin with the passage of time. And that turns into rebel hair that has a hard time holding color because of its porous texture. 


As we age, our hair naturally produces less oil. Our scalp becomes drier and our hair thicker. That’s why gray hair is more resistant to color.

That lack of natural oils gives gray hair a more rugged exterior that tends to reject the color that you use on it, especially at your roots.


 But, there’s a solution to everything, so if you want to defeat gray hair, stick with me, because I’ll tell you how to use dye and other secrets for making sure that pigment holds in even your most difficult grays.  

I can assure you that if Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, you can conquer a few finicky gray hairs.


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5 professional tips for making sure your gray hair holds color

A good general is able to convince their soldiers to give their all when in battle. You can do the same with your grays.

Because the key is to prepare your gray hair to receive the color. This formula really is magic and with it, you’ll make sure your gray hair holds color and that your dye lasts longer in it.


There are a few ways to prepare your gray hair before using dye on it, but I chose two of the most effective ways to do so to tell you about it.


1- Use color without developer in the areas where you have gray hair

What does using color without developer mean?


 It means that during this first step, you’ll use a little bit of your dye on your hair, without mixing it with the developer that comes with it.  

Once you’ve used it on your gray hairs, you should leave it in for 5 minutes, then move on, without washing it. Use the rest of the mix in the right proportions.


It’s important to follow the proportions that the dye recommends, which is usually 1 to 1 or 1 to 2.

That would mean that you either use the same amount of dye to the developer or half the amount of dye as a developer.


2- Use a 20 or 30 volume developer on your gray hairs before dyeing them

With this method, instead of using the dye on your gray hair first, you’ll fill it with the developer, then dry the hair using a blow dryer.

Once it’s dry, you’ll go ahead and use the dye as you normally would.

Do you know why using a developer-first can help with making your gray hair hold dye?


Because by using it on your gray hairs and then applying heat, you’ll make your hair swell and the cuticles will open, allowing the dye pigment to penetrate your hair fiber more easily, completely covering your gray hair.


3- Meticulously apply the dye

apply the mixture before half an hour

I know that we all live at the beck and call of the clock. I know that we wish the days were 30 hours long instead of 24 so we could get everything done we need to, but the reality is that everything has its time and place.

If you’re going to dye your gray hair, and you choose to do it a few minutes because you need to run to a meeting, it isn’t going to go well.


The technique of using dye on gray hair takes time, in order to make sure the results are the best they can be.

Although it is very important to get all of the dye onto your hair in less than 15 minutes,  it is also important to make sure that every single hair has direct contact with the product. 

How can you make sure of that?


By dividing your hair into thin sections, where you’ll use the product, then move on without using the dye brush on the same section so many times.

I mean that  it’s most important to brush the dye onto each section of hair once or twice, making sure that it touches every single piece of hair, especially the gray ones/  


You should also be very careful with how long you leave the dye mixture in your hair. If you leave it in for too long, the color molecules will continue growing and it won’t be able to get inside the inner layers of your hair cuticle.

And as such, your gray hair won’t hold the dye.


Once you finish using the dye on your hair, cover it with a shower cap to make sure the dye doesn’t lose its effect and that sections don’t come uncovered by the dye.


4- Respect the amount of time the dye needs to be in your hair for the gray areas

beauty salon

Does the phrase “haste makes waste” sound familiar?


As much of a hurry as you’re in, if you want things to go well, which in this case means that your gray hair ends up holding your dye, you need to give the dye enough time for it to work.

You need to set aside at least 35 minutes for dyeing your hair since that is how long the product needs to really change the color of gray hair.


5- Choose the right color for working with gray hair

igora, inoa

There are some colors that because they lighten your hair more, are not as good at covering it.

That’s because if a dye is designed and recommended for, say, making your hair extra light blonde, then it isn’t going to be as good at covering gray as it is at lightening it.

An extra piece of advice?


 Try to avoid very light colors because this rule means that the lightest colors are going to give your gray hair the least amount of coverage.  


If you’re dealing with stubborn gray hair, you can choose a darker color than the one you’ve been trying to use. One option is to use a darker color, and another is to use a warmer color, such as colors with golden or reddish highlights, or both highlights together.



What do you say, General? Are you ready to send your troops to defeat gray hair?


Now you know that you have the best weapons for guaranteeing your success in battle.

Use either developer or dye on your gray hairs before using the dye mixture on your hair, correctly distribute the dye on your hair, leave it in for the proper amount of time, and opt for a dark color or a color with warmer highlights to ensure perfect coverage of your gray.


Defeating the gray has never been so easy. With this advice, your hair won’t just hold color, it will also look brighter and more attractive.

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