How to Fix Bleached Hair That's Turned Gray

By Molly Harris

Gray hair can be tricky to deal with. From time to time, natural gray grows out from the root or a shimmering silver exposes its undertones. Whether the hair has turned ashy and needs to be color corrected or a gray strands need to be temporarily re-colored, there are options to consider after first restoring and protecting bleached hair. Home solutions that will allow hair to heal before treating again are within easy reach, or possibly even in the kitchen pantry.

Hair salon. Coloring.
credit: Alex_Doubovitsky/iStock/GettyImages
How to Fix Bleached Hair That's Turned Gray

Color With Caution

When hair must be bleached before dying again, always allow enough time for the hair to restore itself to prevent follicle damage. Two weeks is usually enough time for natural proteins in the hair to restore itself. Avoid too much sun exposure or UV rays as well as tight hairstyles that can further damage or break brittle locks. Products such as hair masks can help hydrate, restore the proteins and protect hair during the recovery period.

When locks are ready to be renewed with color, choose a darker or warm pigment such as a deep red, brown or even a golden blonde that the hair will more readily take on. Schedule a salon appointment or consult a professional colorist before treating hair at home. Salon grade product, which can be purchased at the salon or at a local beauty shop, should be used to ensure healthy hair.

Cover Natural Gray

To prevent bleaching hair again, opt to naturally cover gray roots or hair in the meantime. Natural solutions can be performed at home to keep things in order until hair is strong enough to dye again. Brew a pot of strong black or sage tea to rinse hair with after shampooing. After several shampoos and rinses, the tea will darken gray hair. Another organic remedy is to use a henna paste. Apply to gray hair and let rest for up to an hour to darken strands of hair. For an emergency fix, apply colored dry shampoo or try a different part location, which will draw the eye from the problem area.

Color-Correct Ashy Gray

Hair that has been bleached for color treatment can sometimes turn an ashy or dull gray. While there should be a reprieve from bleaching hair too often, the color can easily be corrected. Wash hair with a fading shampoo (for semi-permanent dye) or with a color-removing shampoo (for permanent dye) to gradually wash color away. For a natural home remedy, use food coloring to neutralize the gray tone. If hair has been dyed silver or gray, blue or yellow tones may be present due to sun exposure or the minerals in water. Use a small dot of blue food coloring to cancel out yellow tones or a dot of red to be rid of blue tones.