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“The color didn’t cover my greys.” These are probably the scariest words you’ll hear from a client. Resistant grey has always been a conundrum for many hairstylists, and for a variety of reasons, challenging to color.

Why Grey Hair is Resistant

So what makes grey hair so resistant to color? Sometimes it’s because the hair has so much product buildup that it has become impossible for color molecules to penetrate the hair cuticle. Residues from hair styling products and hard water minerals are just some of the common culprits. If the client is taking medications, it can also play a role.

Another reason is because grey hair is extremely hard hair. This means that grey hair has more layers of cuticle than pigmented hair, and those cuticle layers are very tightly packed down.

With the right tools and techniques, you’ll find that dealing with stubborn greys is not as difficult as many hairdressers in our field make it out to be.

Tips for Covering Resistant Greys

  • Before anything else, know the true percentage of grey hair present to determine your formula. Many people find that dropping down a half to a full level when formulating allows for ample pigment weight and better color deposit.
  • Clarify. Oway Htech Pre-Color Clarifying Shampoo is highly effective in removing all impurities and residues that can block hair color molecules from penetrating the hair shaft.
  • Use Malibu Crystal Gel if the client has hardwater at home or uses medication. It’s a powerful demineralizer that prepares the hair for technical services by removing minerals and oxidizers such as iron, lime, copper and even chlorine.


  • Pre-softening the hair is a technique used by many hairstylists for coarse grey hair. It involves applying just the color directly on the hair with no developer, letting it sit for a few minutes. Then, mix your formula and paint over previously applied hair.
  • Add Oway Hypercolor to your formula. Oway Hypercolor is a process accelerator oil that helps speed up processing time and improves grey coverage. Its formula contains 10 precious organic oils that encapsulate the hair color pigments in your formula, protecting them from premature oxidation while strengthening their wetting capacity. Because of this, pigments penetrate quickly and effectively into the cortex with the aid of low to medium heat.

BONUS: This process shaves off up to 75% of the normal processing time.

How to Cover Grey

Watch the video below for the step-by-step tutorial:

1. To determine the amount of Hypercolor drops needed, establish the formula (Oway Hcolor + Hcatalyst) to be used FIRST.     Example: 30g of Hcolor + 30g Hcatalyst = 60g Total Mixture

Then, divide the total amount of the mixture by 6. This will give you the proper number of the Oway Hypercolor Drops you need.

     Example: 60g Total Mixture / 6 = 10 Hypercolor Drops

2. Add Oway Hcolor into the bowl. Then, mix with Oway Hypercolor Drops PRIOR to adding the Oway Hcatalyst.

3. Next, add Oway Hcatalyst Developer.

    PRO TIP: Prior to adding the Hcatalyst to the bowl, massage the bag to ensure the precious essential oils and butters in the developer stay blended.

4. Mix the entire formula thoroughly with a whisk.

5. Section the hair and apply the Oway Hcolor formula to the new growth.

    PRO TIP: Ensure proper saturation of product by applying to thin sections.

6. Punch 12-15 holes in a plastic cap, then place over the hair.

7. Put the hair under a warm dryer.  Wait for 15 minutes, then allow 5 additional minutes to cool.

    PRO TIP: For clients with no grey, place under a warm dryer for 10 minutes, and 5 minutes to cool.

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