Hair Color Do’s and Don’ts: How to Dye Gray Hair Over 50

Hair Color Do’s and Don’ts: How to Dye Gray Hair Over 50

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Hair Color Do's and Don'ts: How to Dye Gray Hair Over 50

Our hair changes color as we age. A natural pigment called melanin gives our hair its color. When the production of melanin slows down or stops, hair turns gray. When that happens, a lot of women dye their hair or go to the salon.

Some women see gray hair as a sign of wisdom and maturity, others dye their hair to look younger. If you prefer to dye your hair, it can be a great way to bring out your natural beauty and boost your confidence.

However, it is important to know about gray hair and the problems that can come up when coloring it, whether you just want to hide a few gray hairs or a lot of them. 

However, there are certain challenges and considerations that come with dyeing gray hair. Today, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts for dyeing gray hair over 50, helping you achieve the best results possible.

The Challenges of Dyeing Gray Hair

Gray hair poses unique challenges when it comes to dyeing. One of the main challenges is that gray hair tends to have a coarser texture and is often more resistant to color penetration. This means that the dye may not take as easily or evenly as it would on hair that still retains its natural pigmentation. 

Additionally, gray hair can have a tendency to turn yellow or brassy when exposed to certain hair dyes. 

Getting even color distribution is one of the hardest parts of dying gray hair. Gray hair can be more porous and absorbent, resulting in uneven color absorption. It’s important to choose the right hair color and follow the correct application techniques to minimize this issue.

Another challenge is the potential for color fading. Gray hair is often coarser and drier, which can cause the color to fade more quickly. This means that regular touch-ups and proper maintenance are essential to keeping your color looking vibrant.

You can go into the dyeing process with realistic goals and take the steps you need to get past these problems if you know about them.

How to Choose Right Hair Color for Gray Hair

When it comes to choosing the right hair color for gray hair, it’s important to consider your skin tone and natural hair color. It’s generally recommended to opt for a shade close to your natural color or a few shades lighter to create a more natural look.

Warm tones tend to work well with gray hair, as they can help counteract any yellow or brassy undertones. Shades like golden blonde, caramel, or warm brown can be flattering for those with gray hair.

On the other hand, cool tones like ash blonde or cool brown can help neutralize any red or orange undertones in gray hair. These shades can create a more sophisticated and elegant look.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional colorist who can assess your hair and provide personalized advice on the best hair color for you.

Professional vs. DIY Hair Dyeing for Gray Hair

Professional vs. DIY Hair Dyeing for Gray Hair

When it comes to dyeing gray hair, you have the option of visiting a professional salon or doing it yourself at home. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your preferences and capabilities before making a decision.

Visiting a professional salon can be beneficial if you’re unsure about the process or if you want a more dramatic change in hair color. Professional colorists have the expertise and experience to create the desired result, ensuring that your gray hair is dyed evenly and beautifully.

On the other hand, DIY hair dyeing can be a cost-effective option that allows you to have more control over the process. There are many quality hair dye products available for at-home use, and with proper research and preparation, you can achieve satisfying results.

If you decide to dye your gray hair at home, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and perform a patch test to avoid any adverse reactions. It’s also a good idea to have a friend or family member assist you, especially when applying the dye to hard-to-reach areas.

READ ALSO: How Women Over 50 Can Seamlessly Transition to Gray Hair

Preparing Your Hair for Dyeing

Before dyeing your gray hair, it’s important to prepare it properly to ensure the best results. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup or residue. This will help the hair dye adhere better to your hair.

Apply a deep conditioning treatment to hydrate and nourish your hair. This will aid in defending it against potential harm from the dyeing process.

Apply petroleum jelly or a barrier cream along your hairline and ears to prevent the dye from staining your skin.

Divide your hair into sections using clips or hair ties. This will make it easier to apply the dye evenly and ensure thorough coverage.

It will be easier to dye your gray hair if you follow these steps. The color will also last longer and be more even.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dyeing Gray Hair at Home

Step-by-Step Guide to Dyeing Gray Hair at Home

Dyeing your gray hair at home may seem daunting, but with the right preparation and technique, it can be a rewarding experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve beautiful, salon-worthy results:

Choose the right hair dye. Select a hair dye specifically formulated for gray coverage. Look for products that contain nourishing ingredients and offer long-lasting color.Mix the dye. Follow the instructions provided with the hair dye to mix the colorant and developer together. Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands.

Apply the dye. Starting from the roots, apply the dye to your hair using a brush or applicator bottle. Work your way down to the ends, making sure to saturate each section evenly.

Massage the dye. Once the dye is applied, gently massage it into your hair to ensure even distribution. This will help the color penetrate the gray strands more effectively.

Wait for the processing time.  Follow the recommended processing time provided with the hair dye. Use this time to relax and let the dye work its magic.

Rinse and condition. After the processing time is complete, rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Apply the conditioner provided with the hair dye or use a deep conditioning treatment to nourish your hair.

Style as desired. Once your hair is rinsed and conditioned, you can style it as desired. Whether you prefer to blow-dry, straighten, or curl your hair, make sure to use heat protectant products to minimize damage.

With these steps and some patience, you can get salon-quality results at home.

Hair Color Do’s and Don’ts for Gray Hair

When dyeing gray hair, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind to achieve the best results. Here are some important guidelines to follow:


  • Do perform a patch test before applying the hair dye to check for any allergic reactions or sensitivity.
  • Do follow the instructions provided with the hair dye and adhere to the recommended processing time.
  • Do use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for dyed hair to maintain the vibrancy and longevity of the color.
  • Do consider using a purple or blue toning shampoo to neutralize any unwanted brassiness in gray hair.
  • Do seek professional help if you’re unsure about dyeing your gray hair at home or if you want a more complex color transformation.


  • Don’t overprocess your hair by dyeing it too frequently or using harsh chemicals. This can lead to damage and breakage.
  • Don’t attempt to dye your gray hair significantly darker than your natural hair color in one session, as this can result in an unnatural and harsh look.
  • Don’t expose your dyed gray hair to excessive heat from styling tools, as this can cause the color to fade and become dull.
  • Don’t forget to protect your hair from the sun by wearing a hat or using products with UV filters, as sun exposure can cause color fading and damage.
  • Don’t use the wrong color: Choosing the wrong hair color can result in an unnatural or unflattering look. Always consult with a professional or do thorough research to find the right shade for your gray hair.

Expert Tips for Maintaining Color-Treated Gray Hair

Once you’ve successfully dyed your gray hair, it’s important to take proper care of it to maintain the color and overall health of your hair.

Invest in quality shampoos, conditioners, and styling products specifically formulated for color-treated hair. These products help lock in the color and prevent fading.

Excessive heat styling can cause colors to fade more quickly. Limit the use of heat tools such as blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. If you must use them, apply a heat protectant product beforehand.

UV rays can fade hair color, so protect your hair by wearing a hat or using a leave-in conditioner with UV filters when exposed to the sun.

Harsh chemicals found in certain hair products, such as chlorine in swimming pools or certain styling sprays, can strip color from your hair. Be mindful of the products you use and take steps to protect your hair when necessary.

Using these professional tips will help your dyed gray hair last longer, looking bright and beautiful for longer.

READ ALSO: Gray Hair Tips: Why You Should Love Your Silver Strands Even More

Hair Care Products for Color-Treated Gray Hair

When it comes to caring for your color-treated gray hair, the right hair care products can make a significant difference. Here are some recommended products to consider:

  • Color-protecting shampoo and conditioner: Look for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair. These products help maintain the color and integrity of your hair.

  • Deep conditioning treatment: Treat your hair to a weekly deep conditioning treatment to keep it hydrated and nourished. Look for products rich in moisturizing ingredients, such as argan oil or shea butter.

  • Leave-in conditioner with UV protection: Protect your hair from the damaging effects of the sun with a leave-in conditioner that contains UV filters. This will help prevent color fading caused by UV exposure.

  • Heat protectant spray: When using heat styling tools, always apply a heat protectant spray to minimize damage and color fading. Look for lightweight sprays that won’t weigh your hair down.

Your color-treated gray hair will stay bright longer if you use these suggested hair care products

Natural Remedies for Gray Hair Color

Natural Remedies for Gray Hair Color

If you’re not keen on using chemical hair dyes, there are natural remedies that can help enhance the color of your gray hair. Here are a few options:

  • Henna: Henna is a natural dye that can add color and shine to gray hair. It’s available in various shades, and its conditioning properties can improve the overall health of your hair.

  • Coffee or Tea Rinse: Brew a strong pot of coffee or tea and allow it to cool. After shampooing your hair, pour the coffee or tea over your hair and let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing. This can help darken and enhance the color of your gray hair.

  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties, which can lighten the color of your gray hair. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto your hair and sit in the sun for a while. Rinse thoroughly afterward to remove any residue.

  • Rosemary and Sage Infusion: Boil a handful of rosemary and sage in water, strain the mixture, and let it cool. Use the infusion as a final rinse after shampooing. This can help darken and enrich the color of your gray hair.

It’s important to note that these alternatives may not provide the same level of coverage or longevity as traditional hair dye. Consult with a professional colorist to determine the best alternative option for your gray hair.

Closing Thoughts

Dyeing gray hair can be a transformative experience, allowing you to express your personal style and enhance your natural beauty. 

Whether you choose to visit a professional salon or dye your hair at home, following the right techniques and using quality products is essential for achieving the best results.

Ultimately, the decision to dye your gray hair is a personal one. Embrace your gray hair journey and choose a hair color that makes you feel confident and beautiful. 

Whether you decide to embrace your natural gray or opt for a vibrant new color, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and empowered in your own skin.

Remember, maintaining color-treated gray hair requires dedication and proper care. 

About me

Schellea Fowler, the visionary founder of Fabulous50s, brings over three decades of small business leadership and expertise to her legacy. Not only has she excelled personally, but she has also become a mentor, generously sharing her wealth of experience with emerging entrepreneurs. After retiring at 50 in 2016, Schellea’s commitment to continuous growth led her to pursue additional qualifications. A qualified fitness instructor, she is presently continuing her master trainer program, specializing in exercise for older adults. Through Fabulous50s, Schellea remains devoted to her vision of empowering and inspiring women to embrace and celebrate their current stage of life. Her additional qualifications include: Neuro Athletics Coaching Certificate (NACC) from Neuro Athletics, Meditation Teacher Training from Yoga Coach, Fashion Styling from the Australian Style Institute, and Advanced Personal Colour Analysis from AOPI.
Above all, Schellea’s mission is simple yet profound: to support women in embracing the aging process with confidence and grace.

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