Turning gray hair to blonde can actually be easier than going blonde from a darker color, but also includes some unique challenges. Gray hair lacks pigment, so it is not usually necessary to double process the hair before going blonde in order to cover up existing color. The cuticles of gray hair, however, are much more difficult to penetrate than hair still in possession of its natural pigment, so it is sometimes more difficult to achieve full-coverage, long-lasting color. As with any hair coloring process, when turning gray hair blonde it is important to begin with healthy hair and take measures to protect the hair as much as possible from chemical damage.
Often, people who are dyeing their pigmented hair blonde need to “double process” their hair, meaning they must first strip away the current color before dyeing hair the desired shade. Since you are dyeing gray hair to blonde, however, you can skip this step because gray hair is essentially colorless. There is no pigment that must be overridden in order for the true blonde to emerge.
Despite the lack of pigment, gray hair can actually be quite difficult to color because it is much more coarse and difficult to penetrate. Before dyeing, it is generally advisable to treat your hair with a 20% peroxide solution. This lifts the cuticle and prepares the hair to readily accept the dye.
To dye gray hair to blonde at home, look for a product that is specifically formulated for gray hair, because it will take the specific needs of aging hair into consideration. You will need to divide your hair into sections during application to ensure complete coverage, and exceptionally long or thick hair may require two dyeing kits for full saturation. Always follow the directions carefully, but keep in mind that since gray hair is resistant to hair dyes you may need to leave the coloring agent on slightly longer than stated if you are not using a product specifically designed for gray hair.
Before you even begin the dyeing process, you should assess your hair and make sure it is fit for coloring. You should not recently have undergone a chemical process such as a permanent or chemical relaxing process, because these processes leave the hair weak and vulnerable. Gray and blonde hair both tend to be quite dry, so take care to condition your hair well and trim any dead ends before coloring. After you dye your gray hair to blonde, continue conditioning regularly and try to avoid damaging processes such as excessive heat styling. Shampooing as infrequently as possible with a formula designed for color-treated hair will help keep your new blonde color true and vibrant.