Coloring Gray Temples

Hair color after usage
Q: I use L'Oreal Feria hair color (Cardinal) to color my hair but the gray at the temples either does not color at all or it comes out a very light red instead of the intense auburn of the rest of my hair.
I have tried leaving the color on the gray for quite a bit longer than on the rest of the hair but it still does not cover satisfactorily. What can you suggest? Should I try a different brand?

A: The problem you are encountering is actually a common one, which I know doesn’t make it any better for you.
Many of these hair color formulas use translucent color formulas to provide a more natural looking color result. This means that on naturally variant shades of hair – such as dark blonde to medium brown – a translucent red tone could be added, creating a vibrant auburn color. The lighter the hair’s original color, the brighter the resulting color will be.
Your problem is that the hair at your temples has become gray, which means that it has lost its pigmentation. When the translucent color is applied there is no base color to mitigate the results and so what you are seeing is the actual color of the hair color formula you are using.
If you read the packaging on most of these hair color formulas, they will list a color range for your natural hair color that will give you the color results you see on the box. Using the products on natural colors of hair outside those listed ranges will not yield the results shown.
One thing you can try to resolve the issue is to select a hair color that is very close to your natural, pigmented hair color (or a little lighter) and apply it to your temple areas in order to create a base tone in these unpigmented areas.
Apply the color using a hair color brush or toothbrush and apply it lightly, since you want some natural looking variation in the color results. Then once you’ve created a base color in these areas, apply your Feria color as directed.
You could also try other color brands, but in most cases, you will encounter the same problems.
As always be sure to read the directions and indications on your hair color before using, and check out the L’Oreal Paris website for questions and answers about combining the use of various hair color products. You should also note that many of Feria’s hair colors are not recommended for use on predominantly gray hair, which means that if your hair continues to go gray, you may need to find other color solutions.
Photo: ThamKC/Shutterstock
See also:
Going gray
Hair color and coloring
The different shades of gray hair
Is there anything I can use on color resistant gray areas to help the dye grab?