Why is grey hair sometimes resistant to colouring?
Grey hair lacks the pigment that is present within naturally coloured hair. Lack of colour pigmentation is usually age related (sometimes due to stress as well) and it not only causes a change in colour, it also usually also changes the texture and coarseness of the hair cuticle. Grey hair frequently has a thicker, ‘tighter’, layered cuticle, making it harder for the colour to penetrate and effectively deposit colour in the cuticle.
Some people find that their hair has some resistance to colouring, which can be overcome by extending the developing time by ten minutes and doubling up the colour application on the stubborn grey roots. Wearing a shower cap during the developing process will retain heat at the scalp and roots and speed up the developing time at the roots, which can also help with grey coverage.
Then there’s very resistant greys. Very resistant greys have thicker cuticles which don’t absorb colour effectively, which can lead to disappointing colour outcomes where the greys are still visible after colouring.
Pre-softening is a simple process which can be done before you colour to prepare your hair better for colour absorption. Pre-softening, as the name implies, will soften up those tougher, thicker, coarser greys. The trick is to open up and raise the hair cuticle through a pre-softening process before colouring so that the hair is better able to absorb the colour, and give you the grey coverage and colour you want.
The good news is that adding an extra step to your colouring process can get you the colour results you want, even if your greys have super thick, colour resistant cuticles.
Pre-softening with developer
Pre-softening with developer adds one extra step just before you colour to raise and prepare the hair cuticle for colouring. You need some additional developer on hand (we can ship an extra sachet for pre-softening in your Colour Kit for $2.95). Use your clean tint brush to paint the developer on to your greys. Leave it on for 30-45 minutes, blot it out with a face washer/damp towel, dry your hair and follow your regular colouring process.
What do you need to pre-soften?
You use 20 vol developer to pre-soften, applied directly to your most resistant greys. We will ship an additional sachet of developer to use for pre-softening, which will leave with you with one sachet intact for colour mixing (the correct quantity of developer is required to activate the colour).
How do you apply it?
Use the tint brush to apply 20 vol developer to your colour-resistant greys.
For how long?
You can use your hairdryer to add heat your roots for a couple of minutes during the pre-softening process, which will soften and lift the cuticle to enable colour absorption.
Then what happens?
The developer to activate and raise those extra tough cuticles a bit, making them more receptive to the colour, so that the colour can do its job and penetrate the cuticle and successfully deposit colour.
You can blot out the developer from your roots with a damp towel or face washer and then continue with your colour application. Double-apply colour to your roots and wear a shower cap during the colour processing time, and follow the slightly longer colour processing time for grey coverage.
We hope that helps you battle the stubbornest of greys. Knowledge is power and you can whip even the most reluctant greys into line with a little know-how and some strategic pre-softening.