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Last updated: December 30, 2021

The 7 Best Gray Coverage & Color Tips Of 2021

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Instagram via @jackmartincolorist

Clients With Gray Hair? Here’s Every Trick You Need To Know!

Gray has been a hot topic all of 2021 as more clients headed back into the salon to cover or embrace their silver strands. In response, we covered everything from speeding up gray coverage to men’s gray blending and even how to transition clients back to gray. To recap, here are the top seven gray coverage and color tips we’ve learned this year!


1. Use Perm Papers To Ensure Full Coverage

Applying a gray coverage formula around the hairline can be tricky, especially if you’re dealing with short flyaways that refuse to lay flat. The solution? Colorist Julie Facer (@headrushdesigns) says to use perm papers to hold the hair down. This allows the stubborn grays to fully process and helps you avoid any redos.


Instagram via @headrushdesigns



2. Do This To Avoid Hot Spots When Blonding

If you’re tackling gray coverage and lightening in one session, follow these key tips from Samantha Harman (@samanthasbeautyconfessions) to avoid dreaded hot spots!
  • Gray Coverage: Apply RUSK RUSKin10 10-Minute Permanent Cream Color as the base color and comb to blend it down (similar to a root melt) to prevent any lines. 


  • Highlights/Babylights: Avoid brushing the lightener up onto the base color to prevent unwanted warmth. 


  • Don’t Forget To Tease: When Samantha is covering grays and lifting in one appointment, teasylights are her go-to for a blended result. 


Watch the video for the full technique!

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A post shared by HAIRSTYLIST | EDUCATOR (@samanthasbeautyconfessions)


3. Prevent Lines Of Demarcation With Frequent Touch-Ups

Have clients come back for a touch-up every 4 to 5 weeks to prevent bands and uneven coverage. Coming in too soon can also cause overlap, so make sure your clients are on a monthly schedule.


During the touch-up service, Chrissy Danielle (@hairbychrissydanielle) simply applies the coverage formula to regrowth only and drags it down with a comb to blend. This root melt effect prevents lines and overlapping during the application.


gray coverage base melt and balayage foils in one service hairbychrissydanielle blonding tips and tricks
Instagram via @hairbychrissydanielle


4. Foil FIRST To Save Time

Celebrity stylist Jill Buck (@jill901) was losing time in the salon when she had to process gray coverage and blonding services separately. Now, Jill saves time by highlighting first and going in while the foils are processing with a 10-minute gray coverage color, like Joico LUMI10™!


Pro Tip: Applying LUMI10™ after blonding helps Jill avoid any unwanted warm spots from trying to highlight over the base color. 


Tap the beaker to get Jill’s gray coverage formulas!

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  • Formula A (Root Color)

    Joico LUMI10™ 5N + LUMI10™ Accelerator 

  • Formula B (Hairline Root Color)

    LUMI10™ 6N + LUMI10™ Accelerator

  • Formula C (Highlights)

    Joico Blonde Life + 30-volume developer

  • Formula D (Tap)

     Joico Lumishine™ Demi-Permanent Cream Color 6SB + 5-volume developer

  • Formula E (Toner)

    Joico Lumishine™ Demi-Permanent Liquid Color 6NW + 10NG + Clear + 5-volume developer


5. Use Gray Blending To Refine Male Clients’ Natural Color

Men want gray coverage, too—or at least a little refinement! Have you offered these services to your male clients? Guys are generally an untapped market when it comes to hair color, so talking to your clients about their grays can potentially make you more money in the new year! Using a color line like American Crew® Precision Blend, which processes in five minutes, will help get clients in and out faster.


Learn 4 gray blending techniques to try on your client’s hair & beard!



6. Do This When Transitioning Your Clients To Gray

If your client is thinking about wearing their gray, celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham (@traceycunningham1) recommends having the client grow their hair out first. This allows you to see their natural grays to better match their hair color for a natural look.


Need some formula help to get started? Tracey’s go-tos are these: 


  • Sterling Silver: 20 cc Redken Shades EQ 9N + 40 cc Shades EQ 9B + Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • White Gray: 4 oz Shades EQ Clear + a capful of Shades EQ 1B + Shades EQ Processing Solution


Tracey’s mom grew out her gray hair with Tracey’s full support! Instagram via @traceycunningham1


7. Use Purple Shampoo To Eliminate Yellow When Going Silver

Want to transition gray clients to sexy silver like Jack Martin (@jackmartincolorist)? Use purple shampoo! After lifting gray clients, Jack uses purple shampoo, like Schwarzkopf Professional’s GOODBYE YELLOW™, in thin sections to tone and remove the warmth between the roots and lightened hair.


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A post shared by Jack Martin (@jackmartincolorist)


Want more trending content from 2021? Click here to get the top 10 haircutting videos!