Why is Gray Hair So Difficult to Cover?

Gray hair is a telltale aging sign, and while some people embrace it, many rush frantically in the other direction. For those who wish to maintain a youthful appearance, covering gray hair is the first line of defense. However, gray hair is often difficult to cover, a condition known as “resistant grays.”
Identifying the reasons for gray hair and discovering practical solutions can help in the battle to cover this stubborn hair color.

Why is Gray Hair So Difficult to Cover
Some people embrace their gray hair.

First, it is important to understand why hair turns gray.  Melanin is a chemical that produces skin and hair pigmentation. People with more melanin have darker skin and hair, while people with less melanin have lighter skin and hair. However, as the body ages, it produces less melanin, and the hair becomes gray or white.

Some people gray prematurely as a result of genetics. If a person’s parents or grandparents developed gray hair at an early age, that person will most likely have gray hair at an early age also. Since this is a hereditary condition, the person’s children will also gray prematurely.

There are also medical conditions that contribute to gray hair. Thyroid conditions, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain skin conditions are just some of the medical problems that cause internal disorders that destroy the body’s supply of melanin, resulting in gray hair.

In addition, some people have gray hair as a result of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Treatments Gray hair is so difficult to cover because the hair cuticles for gray hair are tighter than those for pigmented hair. These tighter hair cuticles make it harder for hair products – such as chemical dyes - to enter the hair shaft. However, not all gray hair is hard to cover. While many people have “resistant” gray hair, some people don’t. And in those who do, some of the gray hair may be resistant and some may color easily.

There is an easy way to determine if gray hair is resistant. Whenever hair has been colored, within a few weeks, a few gray strands may be present. However, if a person colors their gray hair and then notices a lot of gray hair within just a few days – as opposed to a few weeks – that person has resistant gray hair.
People with resistant gray hair should color the resistant areas before coloring the rest of the hair, since it may take up to 45 minutes for the color to take. For example, most semi-permanent dyes should be left on the hair for 25 minutes, so allow apply the dye to the resistant hair 20 minutes earlier.

Many products can treat resistant grays.

There are also hair dyes that are specifically made for coloring gray hair. These products are designed to do a better job of covering resistant gray.

Some people “presoften” their resistant grays before coloring. This process involves applying 10-volume hydrogen peroxide developer on the resistant areas. After 15 minutes, use a towel to wipe the developer off the hair, and then proceed to apply the hair dye. Presoftening the resistant grays should make the hair more likely to accept the hair color.

Another option for coloring gray hair is to purchase a product like Nettle root extract powder - Anti Gray Hair - Anti gray hair serum, which is a combination of vitamins and herbs that have been formulated to prevent and reverse gray hair.

(Guest Post By Terri Williams)

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  1. Mandira3:14 PM

    I use hair darkening shampoo. It works like a shampoo and it is very convenient

  2. Christina3:15 PM

    quick n easy way is to buy a black hair colored spray n spray it on the area u want to cover. They are cheap as well. And hair dye doesn't work.

  3. The experts say it all depends on the type and quality of the dye. Natural dyes like henna or high quality and branded dyes do less damage than the low-quality dyes prepared from "bleaching type" ingredients.

  4. A new word that I've just learned from the article is "Resistant gray hair". I think I've some resistant gray hair and that's why I see a lot of gray hair after coloring my hair with some hair color. From now, I'll try to color the resistant gray hair side first


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