When it comes to covering up stubborn gray hair, henna and DIY dye just don’t cut it. The ashy, blended tone you envisioned can come out patchy and stark. At worst, these dyes might not even color your gray locks at all!
The best thing to do when you just can’t get your gray strands to take color is to turn to the big guns – professional hair color.
They’re more often than not more high-quality than the DIY dyes that crafty beginners rely on, and have a better shot at giving you the gray coverage you desire.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Professional Hair Color To Cover Grays
There are many things you need to think through thoroughly when scouting for the best professional hair color to cover gray locks.
The first one is a no-brainer, but it must be said.
You have to make sure it’s coming from a trusted and renowned brand.
Many top salons carry their own proprietary line of professional hair colors, so snag one manufactured by a salon or hair brand you have faith in.
Another critical factor is that the hair color is designed to give you the gray coverage you need.
Some dyes claim to provide bold, intense color, but won’t work on stubborn grays.
Look for one that mentions “100% gray coverage” on the packaging so you’re sure it will help address your issue.
Some hair dyes even provide a quick pre-treatment in their kits to help gray hair absorb color better.
Don’t waste your money on something that isn’t designed for your concern.
An obvious factor for picking out your dye is what color it is.
Make sure to choose the one you’re willing to work with in the long term – you can’t just change up your color every month.
This deals a lot of damage to your hair, which you can’t risk given that your mature, graying hair is likely dry.
When deciding on the color, you have to think about whether you want a cooler shade or to look more summery with warm tones.
You will also have to decide whether you want a subtle color to blend into your grays or color your entire head of hair to cover everything up.
If you want to merely blend your color into your graying locks, you should choose a cool and ashy shade.
And while it’s up to you to experiment and decide on your final color and tone, it’s best not to stray too far from your natural pigment’s color family.
Next, let’s talk ingredients.
Although it may be challenging, try to find a hair dye that doesn’t contain ammonia – a harsh chemical that roughs up your cuticle and causes a lot of damage.
It’s super effective for giving your hair permanent color, but whether it’s worth the damage is your call.
Instead, look for professional hair colors with nourishing and strengthening ingredients, like shea butter and keratin.
They help make your hair feel smooth and silky even if you’re putting it through a chemical process.
Length Of Time
Lastly, you have to think about how long you want your color to last.
You can go with a permanent color if you never want the color to fade, or something more temporary that will wash off in a few weeks if you’re simply experimenting for fun.
When Is Permanent, Demi-Permanent, Or Semi-Permanent Color Right For You?
Permanent hair colors last practically forever (well, until you get new hair growth), while temporary colors – like demi-permanent and semi-permanent colors – wash off over time.
Whatever you choose will depend on how long you’re willing to commit to your color.
Permanent color is made with a developer that lifts your hair cuticles so that the pigments can penetrate your hair shaft and stay there forever.
You should go with permanent color if you’re willing to sport that color forever.
It’s perfect if you’re not looking to retouch your color every couple of months and have no interest in experimenting with other shades.
The only con about permanent color is that you’ll see a harsh demarcation line once you have gray regrowth.
But it’s nothing a root touch-up can’t fix!
Demi-Permanent And Semi-Permanent Colors
Demi-permanent and semi-permanent colors, on the other hand, gradually wash out in a couple of months, so they’re perfect if you like trying out new colors now and then.
These temporary dyes are healthier for the hair because they have little to no ammonia.
So if you want zero hair damage, check them out.
Best Professional Hair Color To Cover Gray Strands
Here are some highly recommended professional colors to cover your gray hair:
Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color Permanent Hair Color with 3D Gel Technology & Keratin
Color 100% of those pesky gray hair strands while strengthening your locks with this permanent hair color by Revlon.
It’s designed to cover your gray hair from root to tip, so you can hide your regrowth gracefully.
It leaves your hair strong and moisturized, thanks to an infusion of silk amino acids and keratin.
They also work to add shine and silkiness to your strands.
This ammonia-free dye was created with a unique 3D color technology that allows for more dimension in your color – not just a flat, solid shade.
- It covers gray strands from root to tip
- Nourishes the hair with keratin and silk amino acids
- Designed with 3D color technology for added dimension
- Doesn’t contain any ammonia
- Has a strong, chemical-like odor
Schwarzkopf Keratin Color With Anti-Breakage Technology
Another hair color that covers up those persistent grays is this permanent color cream by Schwarzkopf.
It comes with a pre-color serum that conditions your hair and allows coverage to be even across gray strands.
This hair color is made with a special K-bond Plex anti-breakage technology, preventing hair breakage by up to 80%.
Thus, it makes your hair look fuller and more lush since you won’t have to deal with hair fall and split ends.
- Colors stubborn gray hair
- Contains a pre-color serum for added conditioning
- Made with K-bond Plex technology to prevent breakage
- Your hair will look full and lush afterward
- You need more than one box if your hair falls past your shoulders
L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Color
If you’re prone to making a mess while coloring your hair, you’ll enjoy this permanent color crème by L’Oreal.
It has a thick, non-drip cream formula that allows for fewer messes on your bathroom floor.
This crème is a brilliant option if you have dry hair that needs extra nourishment.
It’s infused with ceramides, collagen, and keratin to strengthen your strands while moisturizing them for added softness and shine.
- Has a thick, non-drip formula for fewer messes
- Infused with ceramides, keratin, and collagen for strength and nourishment
- Leaves a rich and vibrant color even in gray hair
- Conditions your hair before and after your coloring job
- The color may end up darker than in the packaging
Elgon Moda & Styling Cosmetic Hair Color Cream
Get the richest, boldest color possible with this pigmented color cream by Elgon.
It leaves your hair with a nice, solid color while softening and conditioning it with its unique silk protein complex.
This Italian-made hair color creates a hydrophobic barrier around your hair to keep your color intact even as you wash with shampoo.
The antioxidants in the formula also help to prolong your color’s lifespan.
The dye also leaves a protective barrier on the scalp to avoid staining.
- Pigmented cream gives rich, solid color
- Has a silk protein complex to soften your hair
- Creates a hydrophobic barrier around your hair to prevent fading
- Made and dermatologist-tested in Italy
- You need to purchase a separate developer to use it with
Pravana ChromaSilk Hair Color
This creamy, permanent hair color by Pravana isn’t just good for your hair – it covers up all those gray strands too!
It’s formulated with keratin and silk amino acids that add an exquisite shine to your locks.
These nutrients also help the color adhere to your hair shaft effectively.
This formula contains low ammonia levels, so it won’t rough up your cuticle as much.
That means your hair will incur minimal damage.
- Gives you 100% coverage of gray hair
- Contains keratin and silk amino acids for exquisite shine
- Has low ammonia levels, so you incur minimal damage
- Doesn’t contain irritating chemicals like parabens and phthalates
- Your final hair color may not match exactly as advertised on the bottle
Zotos Agebeautiful Liqui-Creme By Zotos Professional
This Zotos permanent hair color covers up your grays while fighting the signs of hair-aging.
It’s infused with melanin, silk proteins, and keratin peptides to replenish your aging hair with the essential nutrients it needs to make it strong again.
It also has vitamin E to care for both hair and scalp.
All these ingredients work together to keep your hair strong, shiny, and silky-soft.
Another thing I love about this dye is that it comes in a liqui-crème consistency that makes it a breeze to apply even to thick hair.
It also has a pleasant floral fragrance, unlike other dyes that smell like chemicals.
- Contains melanin, keratin, and silk proteins to strengthen aging hair
- Infused with vitamin E for healthier hair and scalp
- Liqui-crème format makes it easy to apply
- Has a pleasant floral fragrance
- 60ml may not be enough for long hair
Schwarzkopf Professional Igora Royal Permanent Color Creme
Hate patchy results when you try coloring your hair?
Try out this Schwarzkopf color cream for a change.
It’s designed for perfect distribution and equalization of color, so the pigment spreads evenly across your hair even if your strands are extra porous and damaged.
The formula leaves your hair soft and silky to the touch, never dry or fragile like other permanent hair dyes often can.
These crème colors are vibrant and vivid.
And unlike many hair dyes, they’re true-to-swatch and don’t go darker or lighter after you apply them.
- Spreads evenly even on super porous strands
- Leaves your hair soft, never dry, and fragile
- Comes in 110 different vibrant colors
- The colors are vivid and true-to-swatch
- Doesn’t come with a developer
Rusk Deepshine Pure Pigments Conditioning Cream Color
This permanent cream color by Rusk utilizes advanced innovations in the hair care world, from unique marine ingredients to the latest color technologies for a grander result.
It’s designed with a unique Micro Pure Pigment Technology that allows the pigments to penetrate your hair shaft better, giving your gray hair 100% coverage.
It’s also infused with an advanced marine therapy complex that consists of exotic ingredients like sea kelp and algae, which add shine and strength to your hair.
They also seal your hair cuticles to smoothen them out.
- Made with Micro Pure Pigment Technology for better color absorption
- Uses advanced marine therapy to strengthen and smoothen your hair
- Leaves your strands with a luminous shine
- Gives coverage to 100% of gray hair
- Difficult to find in retail stores
Joico Lumishine Permanent Creme Color
Hate seeing dull, lifeless hair in the mirror?
Try out this permanent color by Joico.
With its unique ArgiPlex technology, the dye promises insanely luminous shine, making your hair look healthy and glowy after coloring.
The formula has low ammonia levels, which means it deals minimal damage to your locks.
In fact, it actually reduces breakage by strengthening your strands.
You’ll also love this cream if you hate that strong odor that box dye usually emits.
The formula has a fresh and floral scent with notes of bergamot, sandalwood, and iris.
- Has reduced ammonia levels for minimal damage as you color
- Made with ArgiPlex technology to give your hair immense shine
- Strengthens your strands to minimize breakage
- Emits a floral aroma with notes of bergamot and iris
- This product isn’t cruelty-free
John Frieda Precision Foam Color
Coloring thick hair can be challenging.
Sometimes, the dye doesn’t spread evenly, which causes a lot of patchiness.
And since your hair is long and thick, you can’t keep tabs on which sections aren’t saturated enough.
Avoid this dilemma by using this non-drip foam from John Frieda.
Its thick, foamy consistency makes spreading and saturating every strand a breeze – all without making a mess on your floor.
This permanent honey blonde color gives your grays long-lasting tones and colors, so you never have to worry about touch-ups.
- The thick, non-drip foam makes application easy and even
- Comes with a conditioner to hydrate your hair after coloring
- Provides long-lasting color even on grays
- Vegan formula that’s never tested on animals
- You may need two or more boxes for super long hair
Clairol Nice’n Easy Permanent Hair Color
If you have a sensitive scalp and hair that’s prone to breakage, you’ll love this permanent color by Clairol.
It’s perfect for those with delicate skin and hair conditions for a number of reasons.
First of all, it’s made with the revolutionary ME+ hair molecule, which lessens the chances for any allergic reactions to the dye formula.
It’s also designed with damage-blocking technologies to prevent breakage and maintain your hair’s integrity.
This hair dye gives a natural but gorgeous dimension to your color, blending in three other tones and highlights to some depth.
- Contains the unique ME+ molecule to prevent allergic reactions
- Has a damage-blocking technology to retain your hair’s health
- Blends tones and highlights into your color for natural dimension
- Conditions and softens your hair in each step
- Emits a chemical-like smell
WELLA Color Charm Demi Permanent Hair Color
With this permanent hair color by WELLA, you can hide your grays without making your hair look stark or unnatural.
It helps add lowlights and tone your hair evenly to blend well with your grays, adding depth to your overall shade.
This formula doesn’t contain any ammonia, so you don’t have to worry about how much damage your hair cuticles have incurred.
It also has a fresh, floral smell, which makes for a pleasant and relaxing coloring session.
- Tones your hair and creates lowlights for added color depth
- Perfect for a more natural, blended hair color
- Formulated with ammonia for less hair damage
- Has a subtle yet pleasant floral aroma
- Fades faster than the indicated lifespan
What Precautions Should You Take When Applying Hair Color?
There are non-negotiable prep steps you need to take before applying any color to your hair – the most important of which are the ones that maintain the health and integrity of your mane.
It’s essential to moisturize and strengthen your hair before and after you take it through the chemical process of dyeing it.
Pampering it with a protein-infused deep conditioning masque before your coloring sesh gives it a better chance of dealing with the damage of your color treatment.
It also brings your hair back to life after you color it.
Right before you color your hair, make sure you take extra precautions not to make a mess in your bathroom and on your clothes.
Hair color comes with a lot of staining, so you have to be very careful.
Wear gloves and an old T-shirt you don’t mind ruining when you’re ready to color your hair.
This lessens the chances of staining your hands and clothes.
If you’re worried about staining your skin, you can rub vaseline over your hairline and nape.
A cape is a terrific idea, too.
If the bathroom tiles are your primary concern, then you can go the extra mile and plaster newspaper all over the floor to prevent staining from spills.
Coloring gray hair is never a walk in the park.
It’s probably the most stubborn hair type to dye.
But with the help of top-class professional hair colors, you can get the job done.
If you’ve had zero luck with your usual drugstore dye, check out any of the professional hair dyes mentioned above.
They’re developed by top companies, professional stylists, and respected hair experts, so you know you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Some of them will strengthen your hair, while others claim to create the richest, most vibrant color, but all of them are designed to provide excellent gray coverage.
If you’ve been looking for the best professional hair color to cover gray strands, I hope this post was helpful.