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Does shades eq cream cover grey?

Going grey can be a natural part of aging, but not everyone wants to embrace the silver strands right away. If you’re looking for ways to cover stubborn greys between salon visits, using an at-home coloring product like Shades EQ cream is a popular option. But can it really provide enough coverage to mask grey hairs effectively? Let’s take a closer look at how Shades EQ works and its ability to conceal greys.

What is Shades EQ Cream?

Shades EQ is a professional quality hair coloring product produced by Redken. It comes in a conditioning cream formula and is ammonia-free. The cream is designed to penetrate the hair shaft and provide deep, even color from root to end.

Shades EQ is available in a wide range of colors from natural looking shades to vivid, fashion-forward hues. It’s formulated with a Protein-Enriched Pigment System that helps the color last longer and provides up to 8 weeks of fade-defying color.

Can Shades EQ Cream Cover Grey Hairs Completely?

Shades EQ cream has the potential to cover grey hairs completely, but results will vary depending on:

  • The percentage of grey hair – The more grey hair you have, the harder it will be for any color product to achieve full coverage.
  • How coarse or resistant your grey hair is – Coarse, wire-like greys are more difficult to cover than finer textured grey hair.
  • The exact shade you choose – Warm, golden shades provide more grey coverage than cool ash tones.
  • Your application technique – Applying correctly and thoroughly is key for maximum coverage.

In general, Shades EQ cream provides excellent grey coverage when used properly. But it may not completely blanket very resistant grey hairs in one application.

Tips for Using Shades EQ to Cover Grays

Here are some tips to get the most grey coverage from Shades EQ cream:

  • Choose a shade 1-2 levels lighter than your natural color – This helps provide opacity to conceal greys.
  • Pick a warm, golden hue – Ashy shades won’t cover grey as effectively.
  • Use the included application brush – The stiff bristles help saturate greys.
  • Section hair into quadrants – This ensures thorough, even application.
  • Saturate roots to ends – Don’t just gloss over the top. Processing fully is key.
  • Leave on for the full processing time.
  • Rinse hair with cool water – This seals in color and adds shine.

Shades EQ Cream vs. Permanent Dye for Grey Coverage

How does Shades EQ cream compare to permanent at-home hair dye when it comes to covering grey hairs? Here’s a look at the key differences:

Shades EQ Cream Permanent Dye
– Conditions hair while coloring – Can be drying to hair
– Ammonia-free – Contains ammonia
– Less commitment – fades gradually – Full commitment to permanent color
– More user-friendly application – Can be messy to apply

While permanent dye may provide slightly better grey coverage in some cases, Shades EQ offers a gentler and more conditioning coloring experience. Permanent dye can be harsh on the hair and scalp. Shades EQ gives you vibrant color with a smoothing cream formula.

How Long Does Shades EQ Cream Last on Grey Hair?

On average, you can expect Shades EQ cream color to last 4-8 weeks on grey hair before fading or root regrowth becomes noticeable. However, the longevity depends on several factors:

  • Your natural hair color – Darker hair holds onto color longer than light hair.
  • Your grey percentage – The more grey hair you have, the quicker fading occurs.
  • Shampooing habits – Frequent shampooing accelerates fading.
  • Heat styling – Using hot tools can cause color to fade faster.
  • Sun exposure – UV rays can speed up color fading.

While grey hair does present some challenges for longevity, taking good care of your hair and using color-safe products can help extend the vibrancy.

Will Shades EQ Cream Damage Hair?

One of the biggest benefits of using Shades EQ cream is that it conditions hair while coloring to leave your strands soft and nourished. The formula is free of ammonia and peroxide, two harsh chemicals found in permanent dye that can damage and dry out hair.

However, any type of chemical treatment does involve some risk. To minimize the chance of damage when using Shades EQ:

  • Do a strand test first to check for irritation
  • Carefully follow all timing and mixing instructions
  • Protect hair before and after with a conditioning treatment
  • Avoid overlapping applications
  • Wait at least 4 weeks between colorings
  • Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo
  • Limit use of hot styling tools

When used properly and with care, Shades EQ cream is formulated to give you vibrant, grey-free color while keeping your hair healthy and conditioned.

What Level Developer Should I Use With Shades EQ?

Choosing the right developer volume is key to maximizing your Shades EQ color results. Here are some guidelines:

Developer Volume When to Use
10 Volume (3%) – For subtle color enhancements and toning
20 Volume (6%) – Most common choice for full grey coverage
30 Volume (9%) – For lifting or lightening haircolor shades lighter
40 Volume (12%) – For maximum lift of 4+ shades when lightening

Most experts recommend using a 20 volume developer when applying Shades EQ for grey coverage as it strikes the right balance of coloring power vs hair health.

What If Shades EQ Doesn’t Cover All My Greys?

If you find Shades EQ cream isn’t covering every last stubborn grey hair, don’t fret! Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Try a warmer golden or copper shade – Cool ash tones won’t mask greys as well.
  • Bump up the developer volume – Increasing to 30 volume can provide more lift and pigment deposit.
  • Apply to towel-dried hair – Less dampness allows better saturation.
  • Leave on longer – Processing the full time is crucial for grey coverage.
  • Use permanent dye just on roots – Then maintain length with Shades EQ.
  • Add lowlights or highlights around your face.

You can also touch up roots in between full applications. Focus Shades EQ cream just on the regrowth for targeted grey blending.


Shades EQ conditioning cream color is an excellent option for covering stubborn grey hairs gently and effectively. While it may not blanket every single resistant grey on the first try, proper application and choosing the right shade and developer can help maximize coverage. With some strategic troubleshooting, Shades EQ can keep grey hairs blended while maintaining the health and vibrancy of your hair.