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Learn how to effectively cover grays and the easy application process to achieve the best color result possible.


Hair turns gray when the body stops producing melanin. This absence of pigment can make strands look white, gray or silver depending on hair’s natural color. Factors that influence what causes gray hair include aging, stress, genetics and reactions to medication. Everybody is different and will go gray in their own unique way.


New to covering gray hair at home? We're here to help. Here are some gray coverage tips to keep your strands healthy and happy as you choose and apply your color and care for your hair.

Tips for Choosing a Formula & Shade

  • Start right by using a hair color that offers 100% gray hair coverage plus nourishing oils, like Garnier Nutrisse, Olia, and Color Sensation.
  • If you're performing a root touch-up application, use the exact shade you last applied for a seamless, natural look.

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Don't know what Shade to use?

Take our 1-minute hair color quiz to find and virtually try on your personalized shades for covering gray hair.

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Tips for Applying your Color

  • Before you start coloring, read the instructions in the hair color kit and determine the type of application you'll perform. The processes are easy but require careful attention, especially to the clock.
  • Perform a full-head application if you have never colored your hair, want to change your current shade to something darker, or have not colored in 3 months or longer.
  • Perform a root touch-up application if you are coloring your new growth at the roots with the same or a very similar shade as last time you colored.

  • If you're performing a full head application, buy two boxes of color for adequate coverage on course and/or long hair.
  • Use a rat tail comb - one with a point on its end - and clips or hair ties to easily and neatly divide your hair into sections before applying color.
  • Prevent stained skin by applying after color conditioner along your hairline and ears.
  • Start applying at the areas that have the most gray, that way color has longer to penetrate those strands.
  • If your gray hair has been resistant to color in the past, extend the color's processing time for 5 extra minutes.
  • If possible, avoid washing and styling hair for at least 24 hours after coloring.

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Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme

The #1 Nourishing Color Creme*, Nutrisse is formulated with avocado, olive and shea oils that go deep to nourish and condition your hair so it takes color better and holds it longer. You’ll get 100% gray coverage that is still translucent enough for your natural hair’s highs and lows to shine through. Available in a wide range of over 40 radiant shades.

*Nutrisse is #1 based on Nielsen sales data, units sold, full year 2020

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Nutrisse Ultra Coverage

Nutrisse Ultra Coverage is designed with CoverPlusTM Technology to target and erase your most stubborn grays, plus fruit oil concentrates to leave hair soft and healthy. Choose from 10 rich shades for maximum gray coverage and nourished strands.

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Olia is an ammonia free hair color powered by a 60% oil blend with natural flower oils to deliver brilliant color and shiny, hydrated hair. The drip-free formula is available in over 30 shades that provide 100% gray coverage and visibly healthy results.

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Everything You Need to Know About At-Home Hair Color

Whether you need help choosing the right shade, want to know how much time to budget or would like to learn how to make your color last, these tips and tricks can help. They simplify the process to make coloring hair at-home a breeze.