Steel Gray Hair Color

Steel gray hair
Photo: Lena Ivanova/Shutterstock
Q: I have gray, almost white hair. I would love to find a semi-permanent color product that will color my hair a rich steel gray or a more natural solid gray, as opposed to 85% white hair (definitely no blue overtones). Is there such a product, anywhere?
A: The problem with attempting to color hair that is predominantly gray (unpigmented) is that the color that is applied tends to result in a flat-looking color.
Since gray hair is technically hair that has no pigmentation, getting a natural look means you need to have some slight variation in the shades of color. This is achieved with smaller percentages of gray hair by the use of translucent colors which leave the hairs color variations visible beneath the added color tones.
In order to get the steel gray hair look you want, you would need to be able to isolate and color random strands throughout the hair. In cases where the steel gray occurs naturally, it is because the gray hairs are evenly distributed among the pigmented hairs.
Your best bet will be to consult a professional colorist about your options. It is possible that he or she can recommend some color applications to give you a natural, non-white, look.
See also:
How to color hair
Are there different shades of gray hair?
How do I make my hair Santa white?
Is it possible to lowlight silver gray hair with steel gray for a darker gray result?