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Exactly Which Hair Colors To Cover Greys With, According To A Pro

two women with hair color for grey hair
Like a jump scare in a teen scream horror movie, grey hair seems to pop out the second you let your guard down. One day you’re out living life, reminiscing about your teenage years and plotting what you’ll do when you “grow up,” and the next there’s a stiff silver hair visible at your part, reminding you that we all turn into wrinkled old ladies eventually. It’s no wonder women spend so much time and energy hiding their greys—wouldn’t you?

While more and more women are choosing to embrace silver hair as a fashion statement (yes, even their natural silver), there’s no wrong way to be a human with follicles. If you’re planning on covering those greys until your last day on Earth, we’re fully behind you. You just need to be strategic about the way you do it, choosing the best hair colors for grey hair that last and look good on you.

Tricia Cosgrove, L’Oréal Professionnel artist, gave us her best tips for finding the best hair color for grey manes. If you’re ready to trade ice queen in for dark brown-haired diva extraordinaire, keep reading.

What brand hair color covers grey best?

Many women tackle their greys in the privacy of their own home with box dye (if your new silver pals never see the light of day, do they even exist?) but salon hair color is unbeatable if you’re dealing with greys.

If you’re brave enough to hop in a cab to your favorite salon, we always recommend seeing a stylist for grey coverage. Those silver hairs are notoriously sneaky and prone to avoiding color altogether, which is why you need a professional’s eye to do a really thorough job.

“The best tip I have is to consult a pro! Professional hairdressers are well educated in the chemistry of hair color. This really isn’t the type of thing most people can tackle themselves, and corrective color gets expensive!” Cosgrove explains.

It’s not just the color of the dye that matters, either: Certain dye formulas cover greys better than others. Cosgrove recommends demi permanent shades with a push toward permanent if you’re still not happy with the results. As an added bonus, your stylist will be able to offer tips for keeping your grey hairs as a soft and manageable as possible. Who doesn’t want dreamy, silky hair?

What hair color is good for grey hair?

We’re set on the kind of dye, but now we need to determine which shade to go with. We think neutral shades like soft blonde, mushroom brown, light copper, and caramel blonde balayage are the easiest to blend grey into (and maintain over time without wanting to shave your hair off).

Plus, Cosgrove points out that it’s easy to overwhelm your face with color. Go lighter, then add more if you’re missing making a dramatic statement.

“I think the most common mistake is going too dark. It’s important to remember that as our hair loses pigment, so does our skin. A softer color than what we had before we went grey is probably best,” she says.

Between appointments, focus on using hair products that will help your hair last (and keep your greys totally disguised).

“My go-to is the Vitamino Color A-OX range,” Cosgrove says. “The color radiance protection in this line makes the shampoo, conditioner, and 10-in-1 spray a must for color-treated hair.”

Once you’re set on product, pick one of these colors to make you look ten years younger.

Soft Blonde

We’ve seen every blonde rendition on planet Earth, so believe us when we say this soft blonde shade is unique in both its neutrality and its dimension. Fight the urge to bleach your greys into next year with a platinum and choose this darker blonde, instead. A little warmth is never a bad thing and you can always ask to go lighter next appointment.

Mushroom Brown

Women of every age lost their minds over mushroom brown when the trend started online last year, happy to see a fairly natural-looking color win out over vivid blues and pinks. If your natural base color is dark brown, mushroom shades give you chance to fully cover those grey hairs without going too dark—just like Cosgrove advises.

Light Copper

More and more actresses of a certain age have been wearing light copper red hair to movie premieres and red carpets, which begs the question: What’s so appealing about being ginger these days? It isn’t just that the color is hugely flattering on fair complexions. Red is a minimalist, sophisticated color that basically demands respect.

One caveat: red hair is notoriously prone to premature fading, so make sure you’re ready for the commitment before you dive in. Like a fancy designer poodle, it’s so worth the love and care you’ll give it if you’re ready to commit.

Caramel Balayage

There’s no need for us to sell you on caramel balayage because it basically sells itself. This warm, lighthearted take on blonde hair suits every skin tone and makes you glow. Who wouldn’t want to try it?

How often should I dye my hair to cover grey?

Because grey hairs can be so sneaky, maintaining a lapse-less hair color schedule is probably the most important part of managing them. How often you’ll need to come back will depend on the gap between your natural shade and the artificial one as well as the technique your stylists uses—in other words, it’ll be a little bit different for everybody...but certainly not an opportunity to walk away for six months at a time.

To help you manage the maintenance, try to set up your next appointment before leaving your stylist’s chair. Trust us, it’s the little things.

Interested in coloring your grey hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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