27 January 2023

14 Expert Rules for Getting the Best Gray Coverage Results!

Everyone should have a Mr. Grey in their life… and Joico’s is superstar hairthrob, Eric Mayes, Expert Colorist for Vero K-PAK Color Age Defy, an authority on how take steely command of those un-pigmented tones that creep into hair (whether you like it…or not). Here, his pro tips to keep the look oh-so-interesting…

1. As clients age, they tend to loose tone and pigment in their skin as well as their hair. It is important to add tone (typically warmth) to the formula. This will aid in the end result complimenting their overall look and add tone and warmth to their complexion.

2. Consider choosing a shade that might be in the same family as their natural color, especially if that color/tone is still present in their natural color. In coloring a first time client that is 50-100% gray, choose a level that is one to three levels lighter than what their natural might have been. Going too light or too dark can make the finished look too severe.

3. For clients that are concerned with maintaining their natural color, a lighter level will not show the new growth as quickly.

4. A client’s eye color can help to determine what type of shade might be most complimentary.

5. Never use one single formula for the entire application… gray coverage is not simply to conceal gray hair! One should look to add dimension and interest every single visit. Highlights, even 5 foils incorporated into a global application of color, can add just enough interest to keep the hair looking fresh!

6. Start the application of the base color where the hair seems most resistant. This will vary with each client. This gives resistant gray hair the longest processing time possible and will ensure the best end result. Always process Age Defy color for at least 45 minutes for full development of the depth and tone. Up to 60 minutes for particularly resistant hair.

7. Be sure to apply the base formula at the front hairline away from the face. Tidy up the hairline with Vero Stainless Color Stain Remover by Joico prior to leaving the client’s color to process.

8. If adding accent placement to hair for the first time, especially clients with gray coverage needs… consider using VeroLight Powder Lightener with Vero Glaze developer (5 vol). It adds highlights where desired and lifts slowly and gently. Clients hair is left in impeccable condition.

9. But WAIT… don’t forget about those ends! A common mistake that I see in salons all the time is that colorists/stylists don’t approach refreshing the ends of previously colored hair correctly or at all. If one simply pulls through the same formula that was used at the new growth, the ammonia in that color could leave the ends exposed and with potential cuticular damage, not to mention leaving the hair without shine. Refresh/balance the ends with non-ammonia Demi-permanent color Vero K-PAK Color Chrome, to insure that the finished product has brilliance from scalp to ends!

10. Balayage is your also your friend when refreshing ends. It may not be necessary to pull a Demi color through all of the ends to balance the color…especially if the hair is in good condition and the appropriate approach was taken when previously coloring the hair. Selecting/placing panels of the refresh formula through the ends of the hair can add an additional element or dimension to the finished result.

11. When the processing is complete, emulsify the color at the hairline with water before rinsing to loosen the product and to release it from the skin. If stain remover is needed, use Joico’s Vero Stainless Color Stain Remover prior to the shampoo (if used), as the shampoo will set the stain into the skin and make it more difficult to remove at a later time.

12. A glaze at the end of the color service can add additional shine and brilliance to the finish result… Vero K-PAK Chrome, a non-ammonia Demi-permanent color is the best for this service!

13. Of course, the proper home care regimen is necessary to protect the hair and color between visits. If hair is lifted more than 2 levels, use K-PAK Color Therapy shampoo and conditioner. If hair is deposit-only or less than 2 levels of lift, use Joico Color Endure shampoo and conditioner.

14. Pre scheduling future appointments ensures that the clients color will look flawless at all times. For clients with 30% or more gray hair, a 3-4 week interval for maintaining their color is a must! Anything longer than that will leave the new growth exposed for all to see.

For more information, please visit www.joico.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Estetica's official newsletter and receive all the latest news and information from the world of hairdressing - no charge, spam free!