Gray hair is something that can occur for a variety of reasons, age, and stress, are on the more common end of the spectrum. However, a lack of certain nutrients or health conditions can also be the cause. No matter what the reason, it’s not uncommon to want to cover up gray hair, and the first thing that many people will turn to is hair dye. As always, we suggest that you use discretion and caution when using hair dyes. Additionally, it never hurts to visit a salon, as some hair dye procedures can be complicated (for information regarding some of the risks associated with dying, your hair check out our previous blog, What are the Risks to Dying your Hair?).

Permanent hair dyes

Permanent hair dyes are among the most complex when it relates to the chemical process. Permanent hair dyes are the best for covering gray hair because the color penetrates so deeply into the hair. Depending on the color you are going for, it will determine which application process to use as not all shades can be achieved with a single application. Your base hair color, color treatment history, and hair type can impact the dying process. If you are unsure, it never hurts to conduct research or visit a professional to help you get the look you want.

Temporary hair dye

Temporary hair dyes allow a person the freedom to experiment with their hair color without having to fully commit to the color. Temporary hair dyes only cover the outside of the hair, so that it is easily removed the next time the hair is washed. One thing to keep in mind is that temporary dyes can stain damaged hair over time and with continued use. Because temporary hair dyes cover only the hair shaft, it’s alright for covering gray hair, but it is by no means a lasting solution. You can use it to see if you’ll like the color and gauge if the color you selected is one that you want to go with before committing with a more permanent dye.

Semi-Permanent hair dye

A semi- dye is a middle ground between permanent hair dye and temporary hair dye. This hair dye type is ammonia-free and does not require the use of a developer. Semi-permanent hair dye is wonderful for touchups, and they can also add shine and gloss to the hair. You can have a lasting color that will stay in your hair through multiple washes (anywhere from four to ten). Semi-permanent hair dyes are also fantastic for covering gray hair. One thing to note is that damaged or porous hair could retain the color. Keep this in mind if you are banking on a temporary change.

Best ways to cover gray hair with semi-permanent hair dye

When choosing a color to help you cover gray hair, select a color that is one shade lighter than your hair’s natural color. This will prevent your hair from looking too dark. Unlike permanent hair dyes, the gray will return faster, but generally, semi-permanent hair dyes are slightly better for your hair as they do not contain ammonia.

Demi-permanent hair dye

This hair dye is sort of like a stronger form of semi-permanent hair dye. Like semi-permanent hair dye, it does not contain ammonia. However, Demi-permanent hair dye is mixed with a developer. This means that the color from the dye can seep deeper into the hair shaft meaning the color will remain in your hair longer (up to about 24 hair washes


Highlights create a unique look by incorporating different shades of color into one’s hair; this is a fantastic choice for disguising gray hair. It can also give the hair a more natural look. Another benefit is new hair growth is less apparent with highlights. Highlights are usually done with permanent color, but that can be altered more easily than a full coverage hair dye. One thing to keep in mind is that if most of your hair is gray, highlights will not be as effective at covering it, so you may want to opt for a semi-permanent or permanent hair dye.    

Useful information for your hair

One thing to also keep in mind is that your hair and scalp may become drier as you age (for more information about hair changes check out our previous blog, How Does our Hair Change as we Age?). A dry scalp can become itchy and irritated, and dry hair is more brittle. To combat this, you can apply a deep conditioner, or utilize hair oils.


After you have the desired color you want, the chances are that you want to keep it in as long as possible. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that are made for color-treated hair. Shampooing your hair less often will also help you keep the color in longer.

If you are looking for a shampoo and conditioner set that will help you get the most out of your color treatment, then look no further than the Vitalize Growth Support Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo enhances the color of hair, making it vibrant, and both products hydrate the hair and scalp so you can keep your hair healthy while providing a deep satisfying clean. For more information about how Vitalize can help keep your hair healthy, call 800-800-7577.

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