Forty-six percent of people agree, gray coverage is their reason for coloring their hair according to Modern Salon’s latest hair color research. So why not up your game this fall season with some quick tips you can use right now! Modern Salon Study

1.) Always Use a Neutral (N or NN) series
N or NN (more pigment) series contains all three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. This is needed because gray/white hair contains no pigment and will react more to cooler or warmer formulations/colors. We have all seen those older women with blue hair. Some color companies will provide a gray series or double series (NN) that contains more pigment and/or ammonia to open the cuticle and deposit the color. Feel free to apply a toner if your client does want a cooler or warmer look.
Pro Tip: If your client smokes, recommend a blue shampoo which will offset the yellow from the nicotine smoke. Create your client’s at-home blue shampoo by adding Color Balance Corrector, CBC to your favorite shampoo; you will gain a loyal retail customer!
2.) All Grey Hair Is Not Created Equal.
All gray (non-pigmented) hair is not created equal and will not react the same to tinting, bleaching, toning and various chemical services.  Coarse textured gray (non-pigmented) hair will always react slower and be more stubborn while finer textured gray (non-pigmented) hair will always react quicker to tinting, bleaching and toning or any chemical service. Keep in mind that on the same head of hair, you may have a mixture of fine, medium and coarse gray (non-pigmented) hair.  In some cases, you may have to treat these different parts of the head with separate hair color formulas (permanent or semi-permanent) to protect the integrity of the hair.
ProTip: Hard water and medications will also have an effect on any service so it is important to do a consultation every time.
Percentage Of Gray:
25% or less (peppered through out) – Need a permanent or semi-permanent color
75% (large amount of white/gray) – Need a permanent color
90% (mostly white) – Need a permanent color or most likely a heavy duty double N series
3.) Always Use a 20 Volume Developer
Gray hair tends to be resistant and typically takes longer to grab hold of the hair. Since there is no pigment, there is no need to lift.  You just need to open the cuticle enough to deposit the color.  If you feel you can get full coverage using a 10 or 15 volume then by all means use a lower volume.
4.) Mind The Hairlines
The front and hairline can either be more resistant or more porous because this is the first area to show gray. Determine the hair texture and if coarse, soften this resistant area prior to coloring by applying a 20 volume developer around the hairline and applying color to this area first. If the hairline is porous, try to either apply to this area last or use a lighter level or developer.
Another option:
Try our G.O.D., Gray Oxidizing Drops which contains all three pigments and contains the exact amount of ammonia to gently open the cuticle and deposit the color. Simply add the recommended drops to your formulation.
Gray Oxidizing Drops 1 oz.
Try our TRA, The Resistant Assistant which is a pre-softening spray you apply 5 minutes before your service to the hairlines and resistant areas. This contains ammonia and added conditioners to gently open the cuticle.
TRA, The Resistant Assistant
Pro Tip: Coloring hair is one of the best way’s to tame gray fly-aways as coloring breaks down the cuticle making it more pliable. Let your clients know this to add value to your service.
5.) Gray Blending
Another great option is gray blending for those who are price sensitive and are looking for a quick fix. This technique softens the contrast between their natural color and grey hair by either added highlights or low lights . For a small amount of gray, add highlights to the areas that are gray; for all over gray, lightly re-introduce his/her old natural color evenly throughout using some of the techniques shown below.

Gray Blending on Dark Blonde (Added Highlights to Mask Gray)

Gray Blending On Men (Combing Technique with Demi-Permanent Color)

Gray Blending On Men (Low Lights with Permanent Color)

Dennis Bernard