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How Do I Turn Gray Hair to Blonde?

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  • Written By: T. Alaine
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 05 July 2014
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Turning gray hair to blonde can actually be easier than going blonde from a darker color, but also includes some unique challenges. Gray hair lacks pigment, so it is not usually necessary to double process the hair before going blonde in order to cover up existing color. The cuticles of gray hair, however, are much more difficult to penetrate than hair still in possession of its natural pigment, so it is sometimes more difficult to achieve full-coverage, long-lasting color. As with any hair coloring process, when turning gray hair blonde it is important to begin with healthy hair and take measures to protect the hair as much as possible from chemical damage.

Often, people who are dyeing their pigmented hair blonde need to “double process” their hair, meaning they must first strip away the current color before dyeing hair the desired shade. Since you are dyeing gray hair to blonde, however, you can skip this step because gray hair is essentially colorless. There is no pigment that must be overridden in order for the true blonde to emerge.

Despite the lack of pigment, gray hair can actually be quite difficult to color because it is much more coarse and difficult to penetrate. Before dyeing, it is generally advisable to treat your hair with a 20% peroxide solution. This lifts the cuticle and prepares the hair to readily accept the dye.

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To dye gray hair to blonde at home, look for a product that is specifically formulated for gray hair, because it will take the specific needs of aging hair into consideration. You will need to divide your hair into sections during application to ensure complete coverage, and exceptionally long or thick hair may require two dyeing kits for full saturation. Always follow the directions carefully, but keep in mind that since gray hair is resistant to hair dyes you may need to leave the coloring agent on slightly longer than stated if you are not using a product specifically designed for gray hair.

Before you even begin the dyeing process, you should assess your hair and make sure it is fit for coloring. You should not recently have undergone a chemical process such as a permanent or chemical relaxing process, because these processes leave the hair weak and vulnerable. Gray and blonde hair both tend to be quite dry, so take care to condition your hair well and trim any dead ends before coloring. After you dye your gray hair to blonde, continue conditioning regularly and try to avoid damaging processes such as excessive heat styling. Shampooing as infrequently as possible with a formula designed for color-treated hair will help keep your new blonde color true and vibrant.

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Discuss this Article

Ahmerus
Post 3

I like what the post has to say about applying 20% peroxide to your hair. Peroxide is good for so many things. Some people use it for bleaching hair. It stands to reason it would work in favor of turning gray to blonde. It is worth a try. Coloring gray hair with blond dye seems more natural. The colors (or lack of color) are so close.

SpecialBug
Post 2

rburow,

The post recommends using two dyeing kits to cover the gray. Maybe your hair is not being saturated enough to cover and change color. It could also be that your gray hair has not been well conditioned. Conditioning prepares the hair to take in the dye. Try to have your hair well-conditioned prior to dyeing.

rburow
Post 1

Pigmentation determines hair color. I have always considered gray to be a color, but now realize, it is in fact "the absence of color" and has no pigment. Coloring gray hair blonde , as mentioned in the post, is easier than coloring dark hair blonde. But, my salt and pepper hair is very resistant to hair dye. The little bit of gray that I have seems to shuns color. On top of that, sometimes, after washing or relaxing, the gray turns a light purple. It is not that big of a deal since it comes out rather quickly with shampooing, but I don't like it! So, the gray turns purple easy enough, but does not take well to "color". What a drag!

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