Gray hair is porous
What is porous hair? Hair stands have pores, which are like holes. There are a certain amount of pores in each person’s hair naturally. That amount is predetermined. However, there are also things we can do to our hair to cause more ‘holes’ or pores. Chemical services are one such thing. Just the same, the natural graying process makes hair more porous. The lack of pigmentation leaves gaps or holes in the hair strand.
When the hair strand is porous, it requires more color to achieve a certain result. The cuticle also has to be lifted more so that the color penetrates deeper into the hair strand. This is the reason permanent dye is a better choice for covering gray hair. It lasts longer and has a higher concentration of active ingredients which allow the color to penetrate and stick for a longer lasting result.
Gray hair lacks pigment
This one is obvious. Hair color is made up of layers of pigments of many different colors. This is why professionals who specialize in color application examine your hair prior to applying color. Base tones may be different than the color that the outer layers appear to be.
With gray hair or non-pigmented hair, there is no base tone or pigment visible. However, remnants of the layers of pigments that made up your former hair color are still there. The amounts and intensity of left over pigmentation or color, differ from person to person and can even differ from strand to strand on the same head of hair. This is why some people have very white hair while others have muted gray hair.
Because there is some leftover pigment, hair dye applied to gray or graying hair, may not be visible over the top of the leftover base color or colors.
If you are gray because you choose it in a bottle, have at it and enjoy the ability to reverse it while you can. But, if you are gray because Mother Nature came knocking and you don’t like it, you may want to, keep these four factors in mind. You should also be conscious of the fact that hair color specifically designed to cover gray hair may take some of the hassles out of it for you.
And last but certainly not least, you can always consult a professional colorist who is versed in applying color to non-pigmented or gray hair.