Covering Gray

I have sporadic gray hairs – like 10 or 20. How do I cover them? I don’t want to get the rest of my hair colored. – Michelle

Michelle –

There are quite a few products on the market for selectively covering gray hair. These products can also be used for root touch ups, and mustaches. Each product either blends (gives the hair a darker hue, but you can still see some white, it’s less noticeable) or covers (actually changes the color of the hair and you won’t see any white). Here are some suggestions:


There are some crayon products that you apply to wet or damp hair. They travel well because they aren’t a liquid, and they need water to activate. They apply more like a lipstick than a crayon. They are for blending color, and may come out of you use other styling products over them. We carry one called Roux ’Tween Time.


Like a regular mascara, these are for the hair. They dry quickly, are waterproof, and last between shampoos. Depending on how much you put on, you will get either a blending or covering result. The feedback from our managers is that, like regular mascara, it can get flaky. We carry one from Boyds called Brush It Away.


This is a mousse that has color in it. It is for blending hair color. Unlike a traditional mousse, it has little to no hold (depending on who you ask!!). We carry some from Roux.

Dry Shampoos or Powders

These are for blending hair color. They rely on the oils in the hair to stick (so if you have really dry hair, this isn’t a good choice for you). They are a matte finish and lack shine. However, they are great for traveling (again, no liquid) or camping. We carry one by Batiste called Colored Dry Shampoo. This is actually sprayed on the hair, unlike traditional shampoos. I had really positive feedback from somebody who didn’t want to wash her hair while traveling, and used it to cover roots.


I’m saving the best for last. This was by far the most highly recommended option with the best feedback. It is temporary color that covers, not blends. It doesn’t make the hair crusty or crunchy after it is applied. It dries quickly on the hair, and stays on until you wash again. It won’t rub off and is sweat resistant (I wouldn’t recommend getting your hair wet, however). Brushing your hair won’t interfere with the color, and you can put styling products on over the top. It is a semi-permanent color, but it won’t alter any color treatment you have on the rest of your hair. We carry Colormark markers. They also come in a liquid which resembles an eyeliner.

If you get more than “10 or 20” gray hairs, things get more complicated. Gray hair tends to be more wiry and coarse because the cuticle is more tightly compact. This makes it harder for the hair to accept color. And because gray or white hair is lacking in pigment, it is also lacking in a degree of your primary color. This means that color will show up looking one way on your non-gray hair, and completely different on the gray hair. Gray hair strands don’t color uniformly sometimes. If you really don’t want to be gray, you may want to consider seeing a stylist who is comfortable coloring gray hair. Whatever you’ve already learned about coloring your hair over the years may no longer apply to the gray, so be careful.

I hope this answers your question. Thanks for asking us.


Have a beauty related question? We’d love to hear it, and so would our readers. Email your questions to 

Ask Audrey

Have a beauty-related question? We'd love to hear it, and so would our readers. Email your questions to 

We’d love to help.

If you don't have a stylist or esthetician you work with, give us a call and we'll set up an appointment to help you with your skin-care or hair-care products. We have several make-up artists that are happy to help you find new colors and techniques that make you feel beautiful. Letting us know when you are coming in will ensure we can give you all our attention. This is a free service, and there is no obligation to buy our products.


This newsletter is a compilation of many voices and is not necessarily a single person. We have done our best to represent the subject matter as thoroughly as possible, but we make no guarantees. Please use this newsletter as only one of several sources, as it contains both facts and opinions.