Grey coverage… or is it White Coverage?

Do you see grey or do you see white?

When a question comes up on grey coverage the first thing that comes to my mind is, “is it grey or is it white?” There is a clear difference between the two. When we lift color out of the hair with Enlightener, pigment leaves the hair in a certain order: Blue first, then Red and last is Yellow. When hair starts to grey, it is the opposite: Yellow first, then Red and last is Blue. That is why hair appears to be darker (see the top front panel on John). It isn’t reflecting light any longer because the yellow is gone - it has become absorbent.

http://www.wisegeek.com/why-does-hair-turn-gray-as-we-age.htm

It doesn’t mean that warmth will not happen when we apply an oxidative color, it is quite the opposite actually. It is unleashing warmth from deep within.

We have to adjust our formulation for each of these canvases. For grey hair, Aveda has guidelines to help achieve maximum coverage.

Example:

6N 40g

Dark NN 2 g. (guideline for grey coverage)

Dark BV 2 g. (standard amount)

20 volume 40ml.

Following these guidelines will help with any coverage issues you may fear.

Now for white hair (see the sides of John’s head), it COULD be a bit translucent and hollow. You would need to add YO pure tone to your formula to help reflect light and fill the hair, especially on your levels 7-10. This will prevent the light ‘mauve’ tones that sometimes happen during “grey hair coverage”. Here is another example for white hair:

7N 40g.

Light NN 8 g. (fill the white hair)

Light YO 8 g. (fill the white hair)

Light VB 8 g. (standard for a level 7)

20 volume 40 ml. (even lift, even deposit)

I understand how scary 24 grams of pure tone might sound to you, however remember you are putting this on a white canvas, meaning there is nothing there to absorb light. (This customized formula is not recommended by Aveda, it is what I do in the salon that works well.)

Your formula should always stand-alone. For example, if your guest has white hair in the front and natural hair in the back:

Front formula:

7N 40g.

Light NN 8 g. (fill the white hair)

Light YO 8 g. (fill the white hair)

Light VB 8 g. (standard for a level 7)

20 volume 40 ml. (even lift, even deposit)

Back formula:

7N 40g.

Light VB 8 g. (standard for a level 7)

20 volume 40 ml. (even lift, even deposit)

The formula is essentially the same, knowing that we have to add what ‘fixes’ the white hair in the front.

The only other variable to covering grey/white hair is application. That really is on us as technicians. White hair is very tenacious. You have to make sure it is saturated completely. Apply and then re-apply. If you see grey hair through your application of color, you WILL see the grey hair after you shampoo. (Ask me how I know!)

Have fun with grey coverage… or is it white coverage???