View Full Version : Gray hair that won't take dye?

July 27th, 2006, 12:55 PM

My gray hair is very, very dye resistant. Like, super resistant. I've had my hair dyed professionally a couple times and while my brown strands took the dye beautifully, it washed out of the gray very quickly.

I'm wondering if there's a rinse or something I could use on a daily basis that would cover up the gray a bit? I have hair that's light brown at the scalp and dark blonde at the tips (courtesy of lightening in the sun). The lower half of my hair is still colored from when the hairstylist dyed it for me a couple years ago (it grows s l o w l y).

I saw the threads on using coffee/tea rinses to tint hair and am wondering if something like that would work for me - like, pouring a coffee or tea concoction over my hair after my semi-weekly shampoos.

Anybody have experience with this sort of thing? Tips? Warnings?


July 27th, 2006, 05:23 PM
I find Loving Care doesn't cover past the second washing (but I confess I washed too frequently before I recently started CO). Could probably get better results with something stronger, but I'm not willing to risk further damage and "loss of life" to my already thinning hair.

Check out the Henna threads (just do a search). A lot of people on this site swear by it. Good luck!

July 28th, 2006, 04:43 AM
There's very little risk in trying a tea rinse. Here ( is one of the more detailed threads on this topic. However, I never got it to work. I don't know if my grays are dye-resistant (I strongly suspect they are), but they're certainly resistant to tea. I gave up after several months of no results. Now I'm looking into henna/indigo. Good luck!


July 28th, 2006, 10:13 AM
Awesome, thanks!

August 10th, 2006, 08:24 PM
I don't know if you want to do this but I used to do hair and the way it was taught to cover resistant hair is to first dab a cotton ball with the peroxide on your hair as a pretreatment for about 15 minutes, then apply your color. I know it probably would be more harsh but maybe a 10 vol. instead of a 20 vol. ignore if you feel too much for your hair.

September 2nd, 2006, 02:09 PM
I don't know what colour you are trying to achieve, but if you mix indigo and henna or check out www. there are lots of different mixes to achieve different colours and it seems to cover grey very easily.

December 5th, 2006, 12:39 PM
I also have grey hair and since my roots grow out so fast, henna just may be the thing to do weekly.

December 21st, 2006, 11:42 AM
I use catnip tea - one level teasoon of the organic cut and sifted herb from the health food store - it is really cheap too, to over 250ml boiled water - somewhere in between 250 and 300ml.
Cover and let steep for 30 min. I then deactivate it by straining it into a 2nd large mug - always tap the condensation from the cover - I use a saucer, into the cup or mug - it contains the volatile oils and cover again. When cooled strain into plastic bottle - if made in advance will keep up to a week or longer in the fridge.
Wash your hair then work the catnip through and cover with a plastic bag or shower cap.
Leave on 30 minutes then rinse.
If you like condition afterwards - I do not - it is not necessary - catnip conditions as well.
I do my hair twice sort of - I wash with my hair forward in the shower so I do the back, sides and length, pin it up, cover 30 minutes.
Then take down and do the front, top and sides and cover for another 30 min. with the length out of the bag.
Then I take the bag off and let it "cool" down and use some more on my extra grey places - sides and front - for another 10 min or so before rinsing it all out.
Result - no grey/white showing at all. Color - light blonde - catnip produces a light yellow dye or stain. Does not stain tub, shower, hands, scalp or fingernails.
I do this every time I wash my hair - time consuming but extremely worth it.

December 21st, 2006, 12:05 PM
There's lots of options in the Article on Hair Coloring with Herbs & Other Natural Ingredients *points to link in siggy* There's also a portion in the article on natural mordants (of which catnip has) which help dyes take better to hair.

You could also try a color depositing shampoo like these Jason products (

December 21st, 2006, 12:15 PM
Great point Nightshade - that is how catnip works so well. It has tannins in it but it only stains grey hair effectively with heat - body heat with hair covered works just fine.

December 21st, 2006, 12:23 PM
I tried the Jason shampoo for blondes twice - it made my hair stiff and dry. It contains chemical hair dye - basic yellow 57 as well as herbs but it did not cover my grey at all.
Note - all of the Jason color enhancing shampoos contain chemical hair dyes - which if ok if you want that in a product you are using.
They are also in all of the Aveda color enhancing shampoos as well as Artec.
All I am saying is that alot of these products despite their advertising are not as natural as they claim to be.

Arber Lune
December 26th, 2006, 03:32 PM
For those who want to use professional hair color services, there are tints now that hair extra dye stock in the hair color. It is made especially for resistant gray hair. It does work much better than regular tint.