Gray is a huge trend in the hair world now. Even celebs and influencers pay big bucks to have their mane sport a dusky gray or metallic silver hue.
But those who are a bit older and are graying naturally might not be as enthusiastic to see silver strands in their hair.
Sure, graying is a natural process of aging and is a symbol of wisdom, but not everybody loves it – and that’s alright.
Whether you’re in your golden years and constantly have gray root growth, or are in your twenties going through premature graying because of stress, there’s always a way to hide your gray.
Camouflaging your gray roots usually means dyeing them your natural shade.
But it’s not exactly the healthiest option out there for your gray strands.
In this post, we’ll be talking about how to cover gray hair without dye.
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Why Not Use Dye To Cover Up Grays?
Permanent dye has a reputation for being damaging to hair.
It contains ammonia and peroxide, chemicals that lift your hair cuticle to penetrate and color your strands.
Lifting your cuticles means breaking them down and destroying them, leaving you with dry, coarse, and porous hair.
After coloring your hair with permanent dye, your strands will be left incredibly dry and brittle.
It will be prone to breakage and shedding, which is a no-no if you’re trying to look more youthful with a thick mane.
Plus, gray hair is already dry, to begin with.
As you get older, the glands on your scalp secrete less and less sebum, so your hair won’t be as moisturized as it once was.
Coloring with harmful, damaging dyes will only make your gray hair more damaged and fragile.
Another reason why dye isn’t the best option for covering grays is that gray hair is known to be resistant to color.
This is due to its coarser, drier texture, which dyes can’t cling to properly.
Related Post: Why Won’t My Grey Hair Dye?
Sometimes, you can go through the whole process of dyeing your hair, only to wash out the product and see your grays intact.
So, dye might not work as well as you assume it can.
Plus, dyeing your hair can be expensive depending on the salon you go to or the permanent dye you buy for at-home coloring.
It can also be time-consuming since it takes hours to do.
How To Cover Gray Hair Without Dye
Fortunately, dyeing isn’t the only way to cover gray hair.
Here are some of my favorite ways to cover gray roots – and believe me when I say every single one is super fast and easy!
Part And Style Your Hair Differently
Coloring your hair one way or another is not the only thing you can do to conceal those grays.
The quickest, easiest way to hide your gray hair is to change your hairstyle and parting.
This can make your gray hair disappear in mere seconds.
Let’s say your gray hair is only visible in one area of your hair, like your middle part.
What you can do to hide those grays is flip your hair over and create a deep side part instead.
That way, you’ll rock more volume, have a brand-new look, and keep your grays hidden all at the same time.
This is a great way to tackle gray hairs because you don’t need any products or heat to do it.
That means your hair is less likely to be damaged, and your scalp won’t be vulnerable to irritating ingredients.
Use Color-Depositing Shampoo Or Conditioner
Now, let’s go through the hair products that can help you temporarily cover your grays.
One of the most popular ways to do that without dye is with a color-depositing shampoo.
Shampoos like these contain color pigments to tone the hair and remove brassiness.
That’s why purple shampoo is so popular.
They’re also used to keep your hair color vibrant between salon visits, so those with colored hair love it.
But aside from just toning and intensifying your bottle shade, color-depositing shampoos also have the ability to color hair, especially if your starting shade is light, like gray.
One nice color-depositing product that can help hide grays is the Keracolor Color + Clenditioner.
It’s very popular because of its wide range of colors, from Espresso to Honey to Ony Black.
This non-lathering product doubles as both a cleanser and conditioner for your hair as it colors it simultaneously.
It contains keratin, shea butter, coconut oil, rosehip oil, and more nourishing ingredients to keep your hair healthy as it covers your grays to blend with the rest of your hair.
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If you’re looking for a color-depositing product that’s a little more wild and more adventurous, I recommend the Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask.
This deep conditioning mask can color light-colored hair in vibrant fashion colors.
This one in pastel purple is my fave.
This color-depositing mask contains apricot kernel oil and vitamin E to nourish and soften your hair, which is a must for coarse gray locks.
It’s also formulated with Moroccanoil’s signature ArganID™ technology that infuses argan oil deep into your hair strands for immense moisture and shine.
So not only will you cover up your grays with a fun color – you’ll be caring for your strands’ health too!
Related Post: Best Color-Depositing Shampoo For Gray Hair
Use Root Spray Concealer
Another tip on how to cover gray hair without dye is to do a couple of spritzes of root spray concealer.
Root sprays are great if you have lots of grays in your hair – even past just your roots.
Its biggest strength is that it has the power to conceal large areas of gray in your hair with just a few spritzes.
But because it covers a large space, it might not be as precise as other products, which we’ll talk about later.
One of the best root sprays I’ve tried is the L’Oreal Magic Root Cover Up.
This spray is super lightweight and dries quickly, so it never feels sticky or greasy on your scalp.
It’s also free of harsh chemicals like peroxide and ammonia – the dangerous chemicals that damage your hair when you dye it.
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Using this root spray will last you until your next wash day.
To use your root spray, shake the aerosol can it comes in and then hold it about 6-12 inches away from your hair.
Carefully spray the color onto your roots going down to the mid-lengths of your strands for better blending.
When using root spray, make sure you only use enough to cover your grays.
Don’t spray too much product, or else your hair will look wet and matted.
Use Temporary Concealing Powder
You can also use a concealing powder on your grays to cover them up without staining your skin.
Since its coverage area is much smaller than a big root spray, you can be more precise with how you apply this.
It’s also less messy since it’s not in a liquid spray form.
If you have an extensive makeup collection, you can even use some of your eyeshadows and bronzers to hide your grays.
Simply pack on the powder on a brush or sponge and pat it into your gray hairs.
But if you want a high-quality root powder designed for hair specifically, you can consider trying the Clairol Temporary Root Touch-Up Concealing Powder.
This light, water-resistant formula can make your hair look naturally gray-free and blendeed together nicely.
The best part? You can use it on your brows, too!
To apply, press your hair flat against your scalp and use a brush or sponge to tap the powder into your locks.
Flip your hair by section and do it across your entire head.
The powder is designed to bind with the hair’s surface, hiding those grays until the next time you wash your hair.
Do A Quick Touch-Up With Hair Mascara
Speaking of makeup, mascara is another great way to hide your gray hair.
But not just any mascara – one that is designed for your precious locks.
Hair mascaras are perfect if you want to be extremely precise with which strands you want to color.
It can reach those roots and strands that are difficult to access with a spray.
And a little goes a long way with hair mascara, so you don’t have to worry about using too much of it.
My favorite hair mascara is the Greyfree Gray Root Touch-Up Temporary Hair Color.
It’s super pigmented and comes in a range of colors that go from light blonde to deep black.
You can even use it for your lashes and brows- it’s a super versatile product.
When it dries in your hair, it feels incredibly natural.
There’s no buildup or stickiness whatsoever.
It’s also rub-resistant and water-resistant, so it’s going to stay locked in your hair until you wash it thoroughly with shampoo.
Use A Root Touch-Up Pencil
Another tip on how to cover gray hair without dye is to color in the grays with a root touch-up pencil.
The root touch-up pencil is super-precise in concealing the grays.
Not only is it great for shading gray hair strands to hide them, but you can use it to enhance your hairline and sideburns as well.
With a few short, soft strokes, your hair will look naturally thicker and gray-free.
Plus, since pencils are small and compact, you can easily bring them around with you when you’re out, unlike root sprays that might not even fit in your purse.
One of the most popular root touch-up pencils is the Cover Your Gray Waterproof Hair Color Touch-Up Pencil.
I love it because it’s waterproof, so unlike the rest of the products above, it stays in your hair even after your first hair wash.
It lasts up to three shampoos, so it’s less of a hassle to color your grays every day.
It’s also sweat-proof and rain-proof, so you don’t have to stress about the color melting down your scalp and face when you’re working out or stuck in a storm.
Use Black Tea Or Coffee
If you’re hoping to go as organic as possible and are not a fan of extra hair products, you can always opt for two things that are probably already in your house – black tea and coffee.
Traditional dyes are laced with so many chemicals, but these natural “dyes” are completely free of those irritants.
Black tea contains tannin, a molecule that gives the tea its dark, black color.
Tannin is known to sometimes stain things, like countertops and kitchen surfaces.
And it can stain your gray hair too.
Coffee does the same thing.
It has a naturally dark hue, which is great for covering up dyes.
You can use either one for the following method:
- Brew a strong cup of coffee or tea. For black tea, brew about 3-5 teabags so that it’s super potent. For coffee, use double the grains you usually use for brewing. You can also add other herbs to darken the liquid even more, like sage.
- Let the tea or coffee cool, and then pour it into an applicator bottle.
- Apply directly to your gray strands and let it sit in your hair for at least one hour. You can even leave it overnight using a plastic cap if you want the best results.
- When you’re ready, jump in the shower and rinse your hair out with cold water.
Note, however, that since these are natural ingredients and not hardworking chemical dyes, your results will likely be subtle.
You can do this process multiple times until your grays are covered to your liking.
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Quick Reminders For Temporary Gray Coverage Products
Interested in trying out any of the temporary coverage products listed above?
Here are a few extra reminders about using them:
Blend the products with your hair shade nicely by experimenting with shades.
Choose a color that’s one shade lighter than the color you’re going for so that it blends together naturally with the rest of your hair.
So if you have dark brown hair, you might want to opt for a medium brown tone for your hair mascara, or powder.
Wait until your hair is dry before applying any product to it.
If you use your root sprays, pencils, and concealers on wet hair, it won’t be as effective, and you’ll be throwing the money you spent on those products down the drain.
Temporary gray coverage products are terrific compared to dye because they’re cheaper, healthier, and more convenient for everyday use.
While they do have some cons (they’re not long-lasting like dye is!), it’s always worth it to keep your hair health intact.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having gray hair.
But it’s also completely valid and understandable if you’re not ready to transition to that color yet and want to cover them up for now.
And you don’t even have to use damaging dyes to do it.
Choose any of the methods above to cover up those grays – honestly, they’re all so effective that you can’t go wrong.
They’ll be your go-to methods until the day you’re ready to embrace your gray locks.