The Best Way to Cover Grays Without Going to a Salon

Photo: Sergio KurhajecBy Jenny Bailly

Colorist Rick Wellman of the Patrick Melville Salon & Spa in New York City offers his tips for getting rid of grays.

The Trick: Cover gray roots and revitalize natural color.

The Tools: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour in Deep Brown Black and Deep Cherry Brown ($13 each; drugstores)

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The Method: For Khadijah Queen, Wellman prescribes two shades of a permanent foam dye--dark brown for her gray roots and rich cherry for the length of her hair. "Foam dyes are the best choice for women who have very thick hair," he says. Why two colors? Applying brown from roots to ends could create a severe, monotone effect, and putting cherry or mahogany shades on gray hair can result in a pink tint. Together, though, the colors cover gray and create a vibrant shade with subtle dimension.

Step 1
Mix the dark brown dye in the bottle, dispense the foam into a bowl, and, using a two-inch foam brush, apply it to the roots, starting in the area with the most gray.

Step 2
While waiting for the dye to process at the roots, use a salad oil mister to spritz coconut oil on the length of the hair. This conditions dry ends and helps the dye glide through thick or coarse hair.

Step 3
After about 15 minutes, squeeze the dark cherry dye into one hand and work it through from midlength to ends. Wait another 15 minutes; rinse.

The Maintenance: In six weeks, Khadijah can touch up her grays with the same dark brown shade (using the foam brush to target only the roots). In 12 weeks, she can repeat the entire original process.

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