The silver strands in your ebony mane need the best hair color to cover gray for black hair. See the best gray-nixing dyes and gray-blending tips in our guide!
What’s the Best Hair Color to Cover Gray for Black Hair?
- Permanent color gives you full gray coverage that lasts the longest
- Demi-permanent color temporarily blends grays into your hair color
- Temporary root touch-up products disguise grays in between salon visits
Covering grays in dark hair is no easy feat. You want the absolute best hair color to cover gray for black hair, and we’ve come up with a list to give you exactly that!
When it comes to gray coverage for black hair, you have a few options. Typically, you’ll choose between getting permanent color to completely conceal grays, demi-permanent color to blend grays, or temporary gray coverage products for last-minute touch-ups.
All of these options have their uses, but it’s helpful to know all the details so you can choose what’s best for your mane.
Best: Permanent Color
Permanent color is going to give you the most complete and total gray coverage – up to 100%. If you want silky ebony color with zero gray visible in your hair, this is the way to go. Permanent color also lasts the longest, remaining on your hair until you cut it off or dye it again.
But permanent color has some downsides, too. It lasts a lot longer because it penetrates strands more deeply (and causes more damage in the process). Plus, it has to be used with a peroxide developer that can also damage your hair.
Great: Demi-Permanent Color
Demi-permanent color is a great option if you’re not looking for that 100% gray coverage, or if you’re thinking about slowly transitioning into your natural gray color. Demi dyes don’t penetrate strands deeply, so they leave grays tinted but not fully covered. This is called “gray blending.”
Demi-permanent color’s downside is that it’s not as long-lasting as permanent color. It’ll fade and wash out slowly over about 25-28 weeks. But the reduced staying power (and ammonia-free, no developer application) means less damage for your hair.
Good: Temporary Root Touch-Up Products
Temporary root touch-up products are the next line of defense after permanent and demi-permanent dye. These products are formulated for short-term 100% gray coverage. They’re great for use in between salon visits or while you decide which color option is best for you.
You can find a range of root touch-up products to cover gray for black hair. Powders, spot-application color, liquids, gels, aerosols, and more are available in black colors to hide gray roots or strands. Look for waterproof formulas for the best results!
Here’s the Best Hair Color to Cover Gray for Black Hair
Now that you’ve seen what your options are for the best hair color to cover gray for black hair, we can’t wait to show you our favorite products in each category!
Take a look at the top 3 products for permanent, demi-permanent, and temporary root touch-up products below. You’ll see the details for each product, including price, customer reviews, application tips, and more!
Best Permanent Color For Gray Coverage
Use these permanent dyes to fully cover gray and achieve that inky, glossy black color without a hint of silver. Permanent hair color bonds strongly to stubborn grays and deeply penetrates them to infuse rich, ebony color from the inside out. Permanent color is the overall best hair color to cover gray for black hair.
While it’s definitely the most effective method to cover up grays, it’s not without its drawbacks. Permanent color usually contains ammonia (but the Revlon dye below doesn’t!) that damages hair upon application.
It also requires you to use an alkaline peroxide developer to let the dye penetrate deeply into the hair, which can leave your hair weaker, brittle, or damaged.
Stick around after our product round up to get tips on making your hair color less damaging and giving your strands extra TLC post-color to keep them healthy!
1. Revlon Colorsilk Permanent Hair Color
Revlon Colorsilk Permanent Ammonia-Free Hair Color ($11) gets an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars with nearly 40K reviews on Amazon. This 100% gray coverage dye has the added distinction of being ammonia-free, something you rarely see in permanent hair color. This means it’s less damaging for your hair – a big bonus!
Of all the effective products on our list, this one is the overall best hair color to cover gray for black hair. It offers permanent, total gray coverage for the darkest hair.
It also contains strengthening keratin and silk proteins to repair damage and leave strands strong and soft.
This kit comes with everything you need – no-drip color formula, developer, gloves, post-color conditioner, and detailed instructions. Users say it’s amazingly simple and mess-free to use!
2. L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Triple Hair Color
- 100% gray coverage
- Moisturizing, no-drip color
- Strengthening pro-keratine
- 3-step dye process
- Not the cheapest option
L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Triple Care Hair Color ($9) is the next pick on our list for great permanent color to cover grays on black hair. This dye has earned awesome reviews – 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 27K reviews shows us how much customers love this nourishing color!
This is a mess-free, non-drip formula that contains moisturizing ceramides, smoothing glycerin, and strengthening pro-keratin.
You get 100% permanent gray coverage black color, a gentle cleansing moisturizing shampoo, and a deep conditioner to follow up with in the kit. The 3-step process for this color really does seem to make a difference.
It can be tough to achieve a true, inky black color with zero gray visibility, but this dye gets it done and leaves your hair feeling soft and healthy in the process. Definitely give it a try!
3. Dark & Lovely Fade Resist Conditioning Permanent Hair Color
- 100% gray coverage
- Conditioning formula for softness
- Lasts up to 8 weeks
- Not as long-lasting as other options
- Not ideal for fine hair
Dark & Lovely Fade Resist Conditioning Permanent Hair Color ($5) is our second runner up for the best permanent gray-coverage color for black hair. Users give it a nice rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars with 12K+ reviews because it seamlessly covers grays and is formulated like a conditioner for the softest, healthiest strands.
This conditioning formula contains shea, avocado, and olive oils to moisturize and seal your hair during the coloring process.
It was originally formulated to be gentle and hydrating enough to use on relaxed and natural hair, so it’s one of the most nourishing color options we’ve come across.
You’ll get up to 100% gray coverage with this color that lasts for up to 8 weeks. It’s permanent color, but the gray coverage may not last beyond that 8-week mark.
With this drawback noted, it’s a low cost option that still gets the job done and leaves your hair feeling ultra-moisturized and undamaged afterward!
Best Demi-Permanent Color For Gray Blending
Not looking to totally cover your grays, but blend them out a bit so they’re less stark against your black hair? Use these demi-permanent dyes to blend your grays into the rest of your black hair.
Demi dyes bond to gray strands without fully covering them, turning them a softer black or charcoal color for less contrast and a more natural look than 100% gray coverage permanent dye.
Demi-permanent dye has the benefit of being less damaging for your hair than permanent dye since it’s ammonia-free and doesn’t require the use of an alkaline developer.
The results don’t last as long as permanent dye, however, so you’ll need more frequent touch-ups to keep your grays camouflaged.
1. Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Dye
- Contains coconut oil and aloe
- Vibrant color up to 28 shampoos
- Ammonia-free formula
- Won't completely cover grays
- Lasts about 8 weeks
Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Gray Blending Dye ($9) is our number one choice for demi-permanent gray-blending dye for black hair. This color earns 4.5 out of 5 stars with almost 4K reviews on Amazon and does an amazing job camouflaging grays to make them less noticeable in black hair.
It’s a really nourishing color formula that contains coconut oil and aloe vera to deliver deep hydration and protect your strands from damage.
The results of this demi dye last up to 28 shampoos, so depending on how often you wash your hair, you could enjoy the results for up to 8 weeks!
You won’t achieve full gray coverage with this demi-permanent dye, but your results will be more natural and dimensional. This color helps you create natural highlights using your lighter grays with color on top.
Best of all, it’s demi-permanent so it’s ammonia-free and much less damaging than permanent dye!
2. Wella ColorCharm Demi-Permanent Hair Color
- Contains nourishing shea butter
- Creamy no-drip formula
- Sheer gray coverage for blending
- Requires use of 10-vol developer
- Not as gentle on hair
Wella ColorCharm Demi-Permanent Hair Color ($8) is our runner up in gray-coverage demi dyes with 4.5 out of 5 stars from customers. Wella is a household name in salons worldwide and this product offers that light, slightly-sheer gray coverage you expect from a demi-permanent color.
You’ll be able to easily blend out the appearance of grays in your black hair with this formula and achieve a richer, deeper shade of black all-over. It contains nourishing shea butter to leave your hair feeling healthy and soft afterward.
This formula does require you to use a low-volume developer (10-volume recommended) so it’s not quite as gentle as some of the other developer-free options.
However, users love the creme formula once mixed with developer since it’s so easy and less messy to apply for complete coverage and zero patchy spots.
3. Reshma Beauty Natural Henna Hair Color
- Made with natural henna powder
- Less damaging formula
- Deep, rich black color
- Takes 30 minutes
- Paste formula can be messy
Reshma Beauty Natural Henna Hair Color ($8) is a different option for those who want the most natural black color with as little damage to the hair as possible. Natural henna powder combined with 6 other natural ingredients ensures your strands feel healthy and strong after dyeing.
This natural dye gets 4.3 out of 5 stars with 2K+ reviews. It’s not quite as popular as the traditional dye formulations, but it’s comparable in terms of how long it lasts and processing time.
If you’re moving away from unnecessary chemicals in your hair products, this is an excellent option!
It takes 30 minutes to blend out your grays and apply rich, natural black color to your hair overall after mixing this powder into a paste. Users remark that the color is unexpectedly rich and it may only take 10-15 minutes to achieve optimal results!
Best Temporary Gray Coverage Products
Sometimes you just need to spot-cover grays quickly without worrying about applying permanent or demi-permanent color. In those cases, you’ll want a quick temporary fix on-hand to cover up grays before you head out the door! These products have been ranked as the top picks for fast gray coverage for black hair.
These products are amazing when you’re in between salon visits and just need a little root cover. They’re also ideal to have around if you haven’t decided yet if you’ll embrace your gray or color it.
Try one or all three – these are the best of the best for black hair!
1. L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Rescue Coloring Kit
- Precision applicator with soft bristles
- Easy targeted application
- Rich, long-lasting color
- Contains ammonia
- Takes 10 minutes to process
L’Oreal Paris Magic Root Rescue Root Coloring Kit ($13) is the undisputed champ for covering grays in black hair temporarily. This handy kit earns 4.4 out of 5 stars with 11K+ reviews on Amazon because users truly love it. This one is a little different from other temporary products because it’s actually “permanent” color.
It’s a low-ammonia formula that doesn’t allow the black dye to penetrate your hair quite as deeply as true permanent color. It takes about 10 minutes to process, then you rinse it out and enjoy the results for about a month.
You get a quick precision applicator with soft bristles to spot-apply color where you need it, which is much less damaging than applying permanent color all-over. Users love how easy it is to use over traditional color and how opaque the gray coverage is.
2. Boldify Root Touch Up Powder
- Waterproof, no-run color
- Travel compact with mirror
- Fills in sparse or thinning spots
- Sponge applicator can be messy
- More expensive than other options
Boldify Root Touch Up Powder ($16) is our runner up for the best temporary gray coverage product for black hair. This one gets a nice rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars with 10K+ reviews on Amazon, so you know it’s good stuff. It has the added benefit of helping fill in sparse areas if you’re dealing with hair loss!
This root touch-up powder is water-resistant and sweat-proof so you won’t experience any “meltdowns” while wearing it. It comes in a handy little compact with a mirror and spongy applicator for easy control.
The powder stays put for up to 48 hours! Users love how natural the black shade looks compared to other dark root powders.
We appreciate that it’s formulated with natural minerals and moisturizing squalene and glycerin so it won’t appear or feel cake-y.
3. Kiss Quick Cover Gray Hair Touch Up Brush
- Mascara wand applicator
- Small travel size
- Waterproof, non-hardening formula
- Doesn't last as long
- Tough to cover large areas
Kiss Quick Cover Gray Hair Touch Up Brush ($8 for 2-pack) is another gray-t product for black hair when you want to cover up grays temporarily. With 4.3 out of 5 stars and 3K+ reviews, it’s an easy-to-use product that people like using for quick root and strand touch-ups.
It comes in a travel-friendly tube with a mascara wand applicator that fits right into your purse or pocket. You take the applicator, brush it on where you need gray coverage, and enjoy instant results!
Users like that this product doesn’t harden on the hair after a few hours like some do. The formula is waterproof so it won’t drip or migrate during the day. We love that the brush makes detailed application to small areas easy!
More Things to Consider
While you’re here, take a look at these helpful hints and things to consider before you take care of those silver strands!
- Give your hair extra love post-color. The process of dying your hair, especially with permanent color, can lead to a lot of damage for your hair. Take advantage of the extras that come in your dye kit, like deep conditioning treatments or ultra-moisturizing creams. If your kit doesn’t come with anything extra, invest in a good deep conditioner and do a hair mask once a week for a month.
- Stop using sulfates ASAP. Sulfates strip color, especially dark colors like black, with every shampoo. By switching to a shampoo for colored hair, you’ll be able to prolong your gray coverage and enjoy rich, dark results without fading.
- Get highlights instead. Another gray-coverage option you have with black hair is getting highlights to conceal them. Highlights shouldn’t be too light if you want them to look somewhat natural with your black hair color. Try a light golden or ash brown highlight, deep red, or dark golden blonde to help blend out those grays.
- Consider embracing those grays. The appearance of gray hair may make you want to hide, camouflage, or cover them in any way possible, but take some time to consider how you feel about it. Graying is a natural process and it can get tedious micromanaging grays with dye and touch-up products on a regular basis. You might discover that you feel freer rocking your natural silver strands!
See? Covering grays in black hair doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Just pick the option you’re most comfortable with – permanent, demi-permanent, or temporary touch-up products – and choose the product on our list that best suits your needs.
With some extra TLC post-color, the right sulfate-free shampoo, and a little thought and consideration, you’ll be able to find a solution to your grays that works well for you. And if you discover that you quite like how you look with a little gray or the salt-and-pepper look, rock it with confidence!