Q: I have been using L'Oréal hair color for a long time. I am now having trouble coloring my gray at the nape of my neck and
the front by my ears. I use 8g hair color. I have gone slowly form 6 to 9G and thought if I went back to 8G it would grab on to the
dye. Isn’t there something that I can use on the gray areas before I color that will help the dye grab? Everything I have tried isn’t
working. I don’t want to go back to darker hair because dark colors are to harsh looking for me and my skin tone. I would appreciate any help that you might have.
A: If your problem is what it sounds like, your gray hair is becoming resistant to the hair color you are using. This is a common
problem since much gray hair has a tighter cuticle layer than pigmented hair and chemicals have a harder time penetrating into the
hair shaft. The solution can be very simple if you have a beauty supply shop nearby.
Look for a product called “Gray Magic”. It comes in a small ampule and is designed to be added to
hair color to help the color penetrate resistant, hard to color gray hair. It is generally found in the haircolor aisle with the other
haircolor products and accessories. If Gray Magic isn’t available in your area, and the Beauty Supply doesn’t have a similar product
available, you can use a technique called “presoftening”.
Presoftening involves using hydrogen peroxide developer on the resistant hair to open the cuticle
layer prior to the application of hair color. Simply apply 10-volume peroxide developer to the resistant areas for approximately 10-15
minutes, the wipe the developer away with a clean dry towel and apply your hair color as usual. This should allow the hair to accept
the color more readily and give you more pleasing results.