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Last updated: October 06, 2022

5 Tips For Faster, Longer-Lasting Gray Coverage

Gray Coverage Tips Techniques Ricardo Santiago Joico Formulas
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5 Timesaving Tips For Gray Coverage With Natural Dimension

Now more than ever, it’s time to get prepared for the upcoming rush of root retouches with fast and reliable techniques to give our most loyal gray coverage clients the color refresh they’ve been waiting for. That’s why we’re breaking down how to quickly tackle overgrown, stretched-out roots and create natural dimension below!


Ricardo Santiago (@stylistricardosantiago) went live with BTC to demo how you can save time in the salon with express gray coverage services that last! 



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1. How To Tackle Overgrown Roots

Here’s how to prevent a line of demarcation when you’re lifting (not just depositing) longer regrowth. Create a formula for the first inch at the root where you will get a natural bump because of the heat from the scalp, then a separate formula for the rest of the regrowth for an even blend.


Here are a few different ways:

  • Bump the developer. For example: Use 20-volume at the roots (the recommended developer for gray coverage) and 30-volume from mids to ends.


  • Change the color formula. For example: Use a Level 5 at the roots and a Level 6 from mids to ends and blend them together.


  • Use the same formula throughout. Apply off the base first and then go back in and apply to the roots.


2. Prep Tip For Better Color Deposit

Properly prepping for the color service will help you save time later. Ricardo always preps his gray coverage clients with Joico Defy Damage ProSeries 1 Bond-Protecting Color Optimizer to protect, strengthen and rebuild bonds from the inside out. This helps achieve more lift and color deposit on stubborn grays without bumping the developer.


Try this: Working in 1 to 1.5-inch sections on dry hair, continuously shake the can and apply in short bursts. Then, evenly distribute the product with a boar bristle brush.


3. Bottle vs. Brush Application—What You Need To Know!

Here are some timesaving tips for both application methods.


Brush Application Tips + Tricks:

  • Choose The Right Tool: Use a wide color brush to get more coverage and work quickly, suggests Ricardo. He prefers feather bristles because they hold the color better.


  • Section Size Matters: Work in 1/4-inch sections (instead of typical 1/8-inch sections) to DOUBLE the speed of your application.


  • Blur Out Harsh Lines: After you apply with a brush, blur the base formula by blending with your fingers. Make sure to blend horizontally AND vertically for even saturation. Once you get enough product build-up, switch hands and stretch out the color.


Gray Coverage Tips Techniques Ricardo Santiago Joico Formulas
Wider brush = faster applications.


Bottle Application Tips + Tricks:

  • Formulate Faster: To save time, mix your formula in the bottle. Start with the developer first, then add your color. Ricardo drops in decorative rocks/marbles to help break up the color quickly.


  • Bottle Trick For Speed: For more color deposit and a faster application, trim the end of the bottle applicator at an angle and buff it so it’s smooth against your client’s scalp.


  • Application Tip: Apply liberally at the base with a bottle, then use your thumb to saturate and blend.


4. Rule Of Thirds: Dimensional Coverage Technique

Avoid the solid-color-all-over look that gray coverage can sometimes create by creating dimension with formulations. Ricardo alternates three formulas to create natural dimension, like a makeup contour kit—base color, lowlights and highlights.


Check Out The Head Diagram Below

Gray Coverage Tips Techniques Ricardo Santiago Joico Formulas Head Diagram


Tap The Beaker For The Color Formulas!

Gray Coverage Tips Techniques Ricardo Santiago Joico Formulas
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  • Formula A (base)

    Joico LumiShine Permanent YouthLock 6NNG + 20-volume LumiShine Developer

  • Formula B (teasy highlights)

    Joico Blonde Life Powder Lightener + 10-volume LumiShine Developer

  • Formula C (lowlights)

    Joico LumiShine Demi-Permanent DD Crème 5NW + 5-volume LumiShine Developer


5. Dealing With Stubborn Grays? Try This!

How to deal with those short, stubborn grays around the face frame? Use a perm paper or foil separating paper and press it into the hairline. This will push these pieces to lay flat with the rest of the hair.


Gray Coverage Tips Techniques Ricardo Santiago Joico Formulas
Paper trick for short, stubborn gray hairs.


Swipe For The Before & After 

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Watch Ricardo’s segment (starts at 56:53), plus 7+ hours of live education on express services, business tips and MORE—co-hosted by BTC’s Mary Rector (@marybehindthechair)!


Want even more Joico education? Visit Joico’s On Demand Education page now!

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