How to deal with gray in very dark hair?

hairy situationhairy situation Registered Users Posts: 56 Curl Neophyte
I have very dark brown hair, about bra-strap length, and at this point have enough grays that I stopped plucking. I only have a handful of grays, though, mostly on the crown, and they look weird, so I want to color them. I hate going to salons and like to do everything myself, so I'm trying to figure out what will work.

I tried henna, which I used to love in the past, but it barely tinted my grays and soon washed out. Then, I thought I'd try and go lighter so the grays would blend a bit, so I did some highlights using a permanent drugstore color slightly lighter than mine, which reminded me that lightening very dark hair is not for the inexperienced, at-home colorist (Hint: Brassy) :wink: So then I decided to use a color of Robert Craig lighter than my natural hair so the grays would be light brown and look like highlights. The first time I used Golden Brown and it turned the length of my hair almost black. The grays near the roots were pretty much still gray :sad8: A few months later, I just tried again using Golden Chestnut, which worked nicely on the length of my hair but the grays near the roots didn't change color much at all.

Can I assume that Robert Craig isn't going to cut it on my grays near the roots? (I'm guessing that the greys lower down are more porous and absorbent) Will a higher concentration help? I got some more Golden Brown to try the darker color on my roots alone. How much should I really concentrate it to cover the gray? Any other tips?

Does anyone successful highlight very dark hair at home? I'm tempted to try streaking again (with light brown) this summer, if I can find a color that won't make my hair really brassy.

Comments

  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Registered Users Posts: 10,573 Curl Connoisseur
    Can I assume that Robert Craig isn't going to cut it on my grays near the roots? (I'm guessing that the greys lower down are more porous and absorbent) Will a higher concentration help? I got some more Golden Brown to try the darker color on my roots alone. How much should I really concentrate it to cover the gray? Any other tips?

    Does anyone successful highlight very dark hair at home? I'm tempted to try streaking again (with light brown) this summer, if I can find a color that won't make my hair really brassy.

    When you used the RC Color before, did you use it only on the roots for 30-60 min, and the length for only 10-15? That's what you should do. The roots are virgin and are more resistant. I can attest to RC working on very resistant gray hair personally. :oops:

    You can use the Golden Brown if you have it. It is important that you do a strand test on some gray and non-gray (older) hair for best timing. You will apply to the roots only for all of the time (between 45-60 min probably) and just apply thru the rest of your hair for the last 10 min or so (only if there is gray or it is faded, otherwise skip it but for every few months).

    You can apply heat to the roots with a heat cap if you want. That helps the color penetrate.

    In the future, you can use the Golden Chestnut for the length only, if the G Brown works on the roots.

    LMK if there is anything else I can help with. I have used RC's Color for over 13 years with success. No damage, no brassiness! :D
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
    3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
    My Motto: Strand Test! some hair pics
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] -- gone, but never forgotten.
  • hairy situationhairy situation Registered Users Posts: 56 Curl Neophyte
    I did leave it on a full hour on the roots (and 10-15 on the rest.) I also covered my head with a plastic bag, as they suggested.

    How do you apply heat? Would a blowdryer work? (Not even sure I still have one of those... I always let my hair dry naturally) Maybe I could go lie down next to a radiator :wink:

    I've tried the RC several times (last time was the fourth, did whole head first time, then roots only 2 separate times with the golden brown, left on an hour each time). but I haven't tried it at a stronger concentration yet. I LOVE the way it doesn't cause damage. The Clairol and L'Oreal products I've tried over the years definitely made my hair brittle, so I'm determined to figure this Robert Craig thing out! I just wish I could get it to cover my roots better....
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Registered Users Posts: 10,573 Curl Connoisseur
    Yes, I forgot to say that you can decrease the water from 3 to 2.5 oz. Last time, I actually reduced to 2 oz per Karin's instructions. Also, you can mix half the color, apply to the roots for 15 min. Then mix the other half and reapply to the same roots, leave it all on for the required time. This gives it a double dose of the most active period. I did this last time, and reduced the water-- it is a bit darker than usual but the gray is definitely covered. :lol: Next time, I'll just do the double dose and see what happens.

    For heat, cover with the plastic bag as you did, then wrap your head with a warm towel. Use an old towel you don't mind staining, dampen it lightly and throw in the dryer on high for a few minutes just to heat it up. Wrap and relax! ;)

    Maybe try that next time and LMK what happens. I hope you can get the Color to work for you because it truly is so much more gentle on the curls! :)
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
    3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
    My Motto: Strand Test! some hair pics
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] -- gone, but never forgotten.
  • hairy situationhairy situation Registered Users Posts: 56 Curl Neophyte
    I'm going to try reducing the water, and double applying next time. And that's a great idea about heating a towel in the dryer. It might be a while before I color again but I'll come back and post how it worked! Thanks for sharing your hard-earned expertise :)
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Registered Users Posts: 10,573 Curl Connoisseur
    You're welcome. :) I hope it goes better next time.
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
    3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
    My Motto: Strand Test! some hair pics
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] -- gone, but never forgotten.

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