Here we explain the best hair colors to cover gray roots, what type of coverage will work best, and how to care for - and transition from – brunette to gray.
What color brunette will suit me?
Don't instinctively go back to a color that matches your former natural shade if you used to be a dark brunette. Dark shades can make older skin look drawn and tired. This is because the color of our skin changes as we get older: less-efficient blood circulation is responsible for the loss of that healthy pink glow associated with youth.
Instead, look for less intensely saturated shades which will also make any gray regrowth less obvious. Warmer tones are more flattering than cool ones, as they accentuate the blush of your cheeks and make your face appear more radiant and healthy. Colors like butterscotch, light auburn and golden brown, or ash brown for those with a cool skin tone, are all versatile brunette shades that aren't too dark and are some of the best hair colors to hide gray.
All-over color or highlights?
All-over color means more obvious gray roots and that tell-tale line of demarcation. Opt for lowlights and highlights instead, which are also great for the day when/if you do decide to make the transition into gray, as they can be subtly reduced with each re-coloring process.
The right highlights and lowlights work like makeup, bringing light to the face in all the most complimentary places. They are also great for bringing volume to the hair. As we get older our hair can become weaker and lose its natural body. Color (and the right hairstyle) can be used to add depth and dimension.
Going gray, hooray!
You're taking the plunge and growing out your color to embrace the grays? Colorists recommend using increasingly lighter shades of brunette before celebrating your silver side to make the transition more gradual. Semi-permanent hair color to cover grays can also be a way of slowly taking the step: as the color fades out, the grays gradually appear.
How to care for colored hair
If you're not ready to be a silver fox just yet, here's how to prolong your colored hair for as long as possible:
1. Tailored haircare for colored hair
Your first step is to start using a shampoo and conditioner designed specifically for colored hair. We recommend the Lumino Contrast collection by Serie Expert, which also includes a serum and a spray. If you've gone gorgeously grey, the Silver shampoo is perfect for you!
2. Don't over-wash
It seems obvious, but the more you wash your hair, the more quickly your new color will fade, especially if it's semi-permanent. You're also more likely to strip the scalp of the natural oils that keep the hair fibers moisturized.
Try using a dry shampoo as a replacement for a wash once a week instead. The bonus is that a powder, such as Super Dust from Tecni.ART, not only soaks up excess grease, but leaves your hair voluminous and with a matte finish.
3. Dry with care
Rubbing at your head roughly with a towel can weaken the hair and leave it unable to retain its color. Try to soak up excess water after showering by using downwards squeezing motions (to avoid literally rubbing the cuticle up the wrong way), ideally with a soft cotton material, not a coarse towel.
Image credits: L'Oréal Professionnel