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7 Effective Ways to Cover Gray Hair Without Dye

As we age those sneaky gray strands tend to sprout up before we know it. Not everyone wants to color their hair to cover up those gray strands.

Whether it is because they are staying away from chemicals or don’t want the upkeep of constantly having to retouch the regrowth.

And the look of going gray has become something of a trend. But what if you aren’t ready for that transition and don’t want to start coloring it? Also, many women wonder how to cover gray hair without using dye.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to dying your hair. But do they cover as well as traditional coloring? Are there tricks to keep the gray from being so noticeable? We will cover those questions as we look at the following substitutions for coloring.

How To Cover Gray Hair Without Dying

If you’re spotting some gray strands but aren’t interested in using traditional dyes, no worries! There are alternative ways to hide your gray hair without using hair dye. From quick sprays to clever new hairstyles, you can keep a youthful look without breaking out the color wheel.

#1. Spray On Root Concealer

applying hair concealer spray to cover up gray hair

There are various kinds of spray-on colors for your hair. They are aerosol spray cans that create a fine spray of color onto an overall more extensive area.

Temporary gray root concealer sprays like L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Gray Concealer Spray Dark Brown 2 oz can cover your gray roots instantly.

There will be overspray, so use a hairspray face shield while spraying and a towel over your shoulders.

This kind of spray is excellent for a quick way to apply concealer all over. This cover-up will create a full-coverage concealment until the next time you wash your hair. 

One of the popular picks in sprays is Rita Hazan for its waterproof formula and non-transferable color. It looks natural and will stay put until you wash it out. But I would consider the next product if you are looking for a more precise application to certain spots. 

How To Apply Root Concealer:

  • Clean, dry, and style your hair
  • Shake your concealer spray well
  • Keep the can 4- 6 inches from the hair
  • Hold the section you are spraying taut and angle the can
  • Spray onto the gray area using a back-and-forth motion
  • Let air dry and then re-spray until gray is covered

Pro Tip: Be careful to not spray too close to the scalp. If you use too much product it could make the hair look damp and then feel weird in the hair. 

#2. Root Powders

cover gray hair with root powder

Root powders for gray coverage are a great way to cover specific areas, such as the temples and hairline, and part lines. The powder formula creates a soft, weightless feel.

With it being a powder, it also doubles as a hair-thinning cover-up. Brands such as Clairol, Madison Reed, and Color Wow have been popular picks among gray-haired beauties.

They come in a small compact that is perfect for traveling. Some compacts come with a mirror for those quick checks before board meetings.

And the powder formula works great for an eyebrow filler as well. Clairol has thought of this and designed the brush that comes with the compact to do both jobs.

Generally, these powders are sweat proof but carrying the small compact will ensure any touch-ups are at your fingertips. If you get too much product in a particular area, blowdry the hair very lightly on low heat. 

 How to Apply Root Powders:

  • Apply to dry and styled hair
  • Load a small amount on the end of the brush
  • Hold section taut and firm 
  • Press brush down firmly on roots in a patting motion
  • On the front sides use a sweeping motion back toward the crown 

Pro Tip: Tap the brush lightly on a tissue to avoid getting too much powder on the initial pat. 

#3. Hair Mascara

Hair Mascara for covering gray hair

A hair mascara or brush-in color, is another way to cover those pesky grays without using dye. The wand on the mascara is similar to regular mascara and works fantastic on those wispy hairline hairs. It provides the perfect tool for precision in just coloring the gray strands.  

Many use the hair mascara with a root spray to avoid staining the scalp in noticeable front areas.

This dual technique also creates the most natural look since it prevents a line from happening along your hairline or too much product around the face. Some well-known brands are Mineral Fusion, Schwarzkopf, and Cover Your Grey

How to Apply Hair Mascara:

  • Apply to dry, styled hair
  • Start at the roots working your way down the hair strand
  • Let dry completely
  • Lightly blow dry on low heat for a few minutes to set

Pro Tip: The hair mascaras are great for your eyebrows. Used lightly and with very little product on the wand. 

#4. Color Shampoo

Color shampoo has been around for quite some time and is great not only for camouflaging gray but it’s a great pre-tester of color.

If you’ve never colored your hair and want to see what it may look like but do not want anything permanent, color-depositing shampoos may be your next purchase. 

These color-depositing shampoos are great for making your grays look like natural highlights.

If you want more coverage, leave the shampoo in longer and even put a plastic bag to insulate the hair for ten minutes.

These shampoos are recommended to use along with a conditioning shampoo in between washes. Brands like Pure Blends, Aveda Color Shampoos, and John Frieda are used by many.

If you try one and do not like it, shampoo it with a clarifying shampoo, and the color will come right out. 

How to Apply Color Shampoo:

  • Shampoo with a clarifying shampoo first
  • Using gloves shampoo the color depositing shampoo thoroughly 
  • Leave it on for 5-10 minutes
  • Use a plastic bag for more intensity
  • Rinse shampoo out
  • Apply color conditioner

#5. Temptu Airbrush Hair Coloring

If you really want to cover your gray as naturally as possible and with the fullest coverage, then Temptu Air is for you.

With its compact airbrush tool, you can deliver a micro-mist of vitamin-enriched color that will not transfer on your clothes and is water resistant.

It boasts of being free of paraben, talc, mineral oil, sulfate, ammonia, fragrance, and butane.  

This technique leaves your hair soft and touchable. It is a non-greasy, weightless formula that is never dull, dry, or sticky. And you don’t have to be a pro to use it.

There are multiple YouTube videos of people using this airbrush system not just for their gray hair but to fill in beards and mustaches. And they have a whole makeup line that even has a tattoo covering foundation.

How to Use Temptu Airbrush On Your Hair:

  • Apply to dry, styled hair
  • Hold the airbrush device 2-3 inches from the hair
  • For smaller areas use speed 1
  • For larger areas use speed 2
  • Lightly apply in even strokes continually moving while applying

#6. Hair Touch-Up Sticks and Pencils

Hair touch-up sticks such as Bumble and Bumble color sticks are another tool you can have in your hair toolbox. This alternative is for accurate placement to cover gray, especially around the hairline.

It will remind you of primary school, where you wanted to use those crayons, not just on paper. Now, you get to color your hair with hair crayons. 

Another popular choice for touch-up sticks is Everpro sticks. As they are wax-free and can be used together with their root spray for complete gray coverage.

Having the sponge tip on one end allows for great blending after using the stick’s angled tip.  

How to Apply Touch-Up Sticks:

  • Apply to Dry unless directions state otherwise
  • Hold the hair taut and apply directly to the roots to ends in a gentle manner
  • If the applicator has a sponge tip use that to blend, if not use a soft bristle brush

#7. New Hair Style

change hairstyle to cover up gray hair

Yes, it could be as easy as picking out a new hairstyle to cover those gray hairs. If your gray is concentrated in the front, why not try some bangs?

Creating a thicker bang area can mask what lies underneath. Adding some shorter face-framing pieces can hide those hairline wisps that shine too brightly. 

Try changing your part where the gray is not as noticeable. By switching your part, you not only hide the gray but also it will give you a lift.

Another masquerade for gray is to put your hair in a high ponytail or a French twist. This works great if your gray is concentrated in the middle of your hair.

How to Change Your Hairstyle To Cover Gray:

  • Consult a professional hairstylist to either add bangs or layers
  • Switch your part

Do’s and Don’ts of Covering Gray Hair Without Dye

As we have gone over, you do not have to use a permanent dye to cover those gray strands. Instead, try replacing the dye with one of the above-discussed approaches.

And many of these tools can be used in more than one usage. Some tips before you dive into all the beauties are:

Do Not Put on Wet Hair

Do not put dye on wet hair, you will just waste the product. The sprays, powders, and airbrushes are formulated to go on dry hair unless it specifically directs you to put it on wet hair, as some sticks do.

Go A Shade Lighter

Choosing a lighter shade will make it look more natural. For instance, a medium brown-haired individual should try a light brown color.

These are direct color deposits. So they will be darker than what you expect.

Experiment With Shades 

Everyone’s hair color is different. Numerous companies make these alternatives. Check out the reviews and pictures of real people using the product.

Picking a couple of shades close together can ensure that one or a combination of colors will match you perfectly. Escape the every 4-week touch-up and opt out of coloring your hair.

Gray is a crown of beauty an old proverb says. But if you are not ready for those pearly whites, try these tips. Your friends will wonder how you get away with not showing your gray. And it will be yours and yours alone best kept secret.