Haircoloring Tips for Better Grey Coverage

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When coloring greys, you can run into a series of problems: hot roots, too much warm, too cool or an unwanted band. Lori Zabel, Redken Artist and Master Stylist at Dop Dop Salon, SoHo, New York, shared her tips and tricks for getting better grey coverage with haircolor at this year's virtual Redken Symposium. Check out her process, below.

Step 1: Prep hair. Cleanse.

Step 2: Formulate. Ask yourself, where are we and where do we want to go? What is the percentage of grey? And what color is mixed in with the grey? What level is it? Grey sometimes is not even, which means clients cannot use a box to achieve the same color and coverage.

Tip: Apply across the part line in vertical sections, making sure your brush is parallel to the hair.


Goal: Level 6

Currently: Level 5

Formula 1: 10-volume developer plus 6ABN


Divide hair into left and right sides. Start at the crown area (or where darker) and take diagonal sections. Work vertically so you don’t end up hunching over to get the underneath sections.

Apply using the brush parallel across the hair/sectioning line, from regrowth to regrowth. Don’t dab. When you take your next vertical section, you’ll see color has already traveled through.

As you get to a higher percentage of grey, change the formula.

Formula 2 (greyer areas): Equal parts 6NN and 20-volume developer

Work vertically, left to right, then right to left.


Covering Grey on Redheads

Formula: 6RO and 6NG on top of that (or something gold, something that isn’t brown)

Check on the color—if it’s too “hot” adjust, and add more 6NG

For the last 10 minutes of application on a redhead, take a clean brush and push the color out, away from scalp, to blend.