Covering Gray Hair and Redness

Reddish brown hair
Q: I am a 37 year old male who is getting grayer hair than he wants. I have tried products but they don't seem to cover the entire gray and don't last that long. I have tried coloring my hair and it seems to cover up more gray hairs but it makes my hair a reddish color.
I have light brown hair with a little red tint. I want my hair to look a natural light brown but coloring it makes it look more red than brown. What can I do to achieve a light brown look without the redness and hide the gray?

A: Because most of the hair color formulas targeted to men have such a limited number of colors and shades available, a man will often find himself with the problem of having to pick what is closest to his natural shade, even if it isn't very close at all.
In addition, because the products are marketed for at home use, they don't expect the men who buy the products to be interested in things like "base color" and therefore rarely include such information on the labeling.
It sounds like the problem you are experiencing comes from the color being used having a red base color which applied on top of your existing color (also with a red base) is emphasizing the redness of the hair. To counter this, you will want to select a hair color shade that uses either a neutral or drab/green color base which will counter the red of your hair and leave you with a more natural-looking brown.
This complicated aspect of choosing hair color to balance a natural overtone in the hair, is one reason why it is always advisable to seek a professional's assistance in coloring your hair. Don't let outmoded attitudes about men in salons keep you from seeking out the assistance of qualified and trained professionals.
If you think you can handle it at home yourself, be sure to review our articles on hair color fully to learn all you can before going to the beauty supply store and getting these products yourself. Focus especially on the articles concerning selecting the right shade and covering gray hair.
You will be dealing with separate haircolor and developer, and in your case you will need to select a 10-volume peroxide developer to mix with the haircolor in order to create a deposit only color.
You may also want to look for an additive you can mix into the hair color when it is to be used on graying hair. These usually are sold in small, single-use ampules or packets of ampules. The additive will help to soften the cuticle of the gray hair and allow the hair color mixture to fully penetrate and give even coverage.
Photo: Oksana2010/Shutterstock
See also:
How to color hair
How to cover gray hair with haircolor
What men should use to color their hair