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Is matrix good for grey hair?

Grey hair is a natural part of the aging process that many people start to notice in their 30s and 40s. As we get older, our hair follicles produce less melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. With less melanin, new hair strands grow in lighter and take on a gray, silver, or white color.

While some people embrace their gray locks, others prefer to cover up the signs of aging. If you’re not quite ready to go gray, you may want to consider using a hair color product to blend away grays or enhance your natural color.

What is matrix hair color?

Matrix is a professional hair color brand offered in salons. Matrix hair colors come in permanent, demi-permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary formulas. They use ingredients like oxidative dyes, demi-pigments, and bleaches to alter the underlying pigment in your hair.

Some of the key features of Matrix hair color include:

  • Ammonia-free formulas to minimize odor and scalp irritation
  • Options for 100% gray coverage or subtle, natural-looking effects
  • Bonded protein and ceramide technologies to condition and strengthen hair
  • Vibrant, long-lasting color results

Matrix permanent and demi-permanent hair colors offer the most effective gray coverage, while semi-permanent and temporary formulas provide sheer color with no lift or deposit onto natural gray strands.

Does Matrix work well for covering gray hair?

Yes, Matrix hair colors are highly effective at covering gray hair. The brand’s extensive shade range and concentrated dye molecules can fully disguise 50-100% gray hair.

The key reasons Matrix works well for masking gray include:

  • Permanent hair color: Matrix SoColor and ColorSync permanent cream formulas use ammonia-free oxidative dyes to permanently and completely cover gray. The colors last 4-6 weeks and will not wash out.
  • Demi-permanent color: Demi-permanent Matrix Color Insider shades use a gentler demi-pigment technology to cover grays for 24-26 shampoos. Demi-color only partially penetrates the hair shaft for more natural looking results.
  • Thick creams: The rich cream consistency adheres well to stubborn gray hairs.
  • Vibrant dye molecules: Matrix uses highly concentrated, small dye molecules that easily penetrate into the hair cortex for brighter, truer long-lasting color.
  • Full shade ranges: Matrix offers over 50 permanent shades and over 90 demi-permanent shades to provide a seamless color match for any starting level.

The intensity of gray coverage will depend on your starting percent of gray and also on the specific Matrix shade you choose. For the most opaque results, select permanent color options.

Is Matrix hair color damaging for gray hair?

Matrix takes a gentle approach to hair color designed to strengthen and condition strands as it colors. When used properly, Matrix permanent and demi-permanent colors should not cause significant damage to gray hair.

Here are some of the key reasons Matrix can be a good option for fragile gray hair:

  • No ammonia: The permanent Matrix SoColor creams utilize an ammonia-free oxidative base. This helps minimize dryness and breakage.
  • Low pH level: Matrix hair colors have an acidic pH between 4.5-4.8 to help smooth and seal the cuticle.
  • Ceramide complex: Ceramide 2 helps replenish lipids and moisture to reinforce the hair structure.
  • Collagen: Hydrolyzed collagen fortifies hair to prevent split ends and reduce tangling.
  • Protein: Silk proteins from corn, wheat, and soy strengthen weak, porous gray strands.

Additionally, following your colorist’s timing recommendations and using the Matrix in-salon bonding regimen further helps maintain the integrity and health of colored gray hair.

How long will Matrix hair color last on gray hair?

How long the color lasts depends on the Matrix formula:

Matrix permanent hair color

Lasts 4-6 weeks with 100% gray coverage. Color touch-ups are needed as new growth appears.

Matrix demi-permanent hair color

Lasts 24-26 shampoos and provides sheer to moderate gray coverage. Roots will start to show after 4-6 weeks.

Matrix semi-permanent hair color

Lasts 4-12 shampoos with sheer color effects on gray hair. Grays are softened but not covered.

Matrix temporary/toner hair color

Lasts 1-2 shampoos only. Adds a hint of tone over gray hair.

Permanent color provides the longest lasting results, while temporary colors offer a very sheer effect that rinses out quickly. Demi- and semi-permanent fall between these extremes.

To keep grays fully covered, permanent Matrix color needs to be reapplied every 4-6 weeks as new regrowth appears. Touch-up frequency may be a bit longer for demi-permanent colors.

What are the pros and cons of Matrix hair color for gray coverage?

Here is a quick overview of some of the key pros and cons of using Matrix hair color on gray hair:

Potential pros

  • Excellent gray coverage from permanent shades
  • Ammonia-free, low odor formula
  • Available in over 50 permanent and 90 demi-permanent shades
  • Strengthens and conditions hair as it colors
  • Results last 4-6 weeks for permanent and up to 26 washes for demi

Potential cons

  • Requires touch-ups as new growth appears
  • Can be drying if not applied properly
  • Permanent color involves a commitment
  • Higher cost for professional salon application

Tips for Using Matrix on Gray Hair

To achieve the best results when using Matrix hair color on gray hair, consider these tips:

  • Pick permanent color for total coverage: Demi- and semi-permanent Matrix shades blend with rather than cover gray.
  • Select the right shade: Avoid going more than 2 shades lighter or darker than your natural level to minimize damage.
  • Do allergy test: Dab a bit of color on your arm 1-2 days before full application.
  • Use 10 volume developer: Matrix 10 vol with 3% peroxide is ideal for gray and highlighted hair.
  • Follow timing guidelines: Leaving color on too long can damage hair. Follow your stylist’s timing recommendations.
  • Protect hair: Use the Matrix Bond Ultim8 bonding regimen to protect fragile gray strands.
  • Deep condition after: Use the Matrix Total Results Mega Sleek mask to combat dryness.
  • Get touch-ups: Reapply permanent color every 4-6 weeks to conceal new growth.

How to use Matrix demi-permanent hair color on gray hair

For a gentler option to cover grays, you can use Matrix Color Insider demi-permanent cream color. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prep hair. Shampoo hair with Matrix Amplify Shampoo and Towel dry. For added protection, apply Bond Ultim8 Multiplier before coloring.
  2. Mix color. Mix the Color Insider demi-permanent color and 10 volume Matrix demi-developer according to brand guidelines.
  3. Section hair. Part hair into quadrants and use clamps to separate out the sections.
  4. Apply color. Brush the mixed demi-color onto the roots first, then through the mid-lengths and ends of each section.
  5. Process time. Leave the demi-color on for 25-35 minutes depending on level of gray coverage needed.
  6. Rinse. Rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Blot dry.
  7. Condition. Apply Matrix Total Results Mega Sleek conditioner and process for 5 minutes.
  8. Dry and style. Blow dry and style hair as desired. Avoid washing for 48 hours.

Should I get my gray hair colored at a salon or do it at home?

Matrix offers professional salon-quality hair color, so visiting a licensed Matrix colorist is recommended for the best results with gray coverage. However, Matrix also offers some at-home hair color options.

Potential benefits of salon Matrix hair color:

  • Expert consultation for the most flattering shade match
  • Customized color formulation
  • Proper application and timing for minimal damage
  • Available shade ranges not accessible at home

Benefits of at-home Matrix hair color:

  • More affordable and convenient
  • Allows you to color hair whenever you want
  • Gray blending colors may be easier to self-apply

To make the most of the salon experience, look for a Matrix-trained stylist familiar with coloring gray hair. Come prepared with photos of hair inspiration. For at-home, carefully follow instructions and do allergy tests.

How to transition gray hair to Matrix hair color

If you currently color your grays at home but want to switch to salon Matrix hair color, follow these tips for a smooth transition:

  1. Allow roots to grow out at least 1 inch so the stylist can see your natural hair color and percentage of gray.
  2. Make a consultation appointment to have your hair analyzed and discuss the right Matrix shade choice.
  3. Be prepared that your first salon color may take longer as the stylist transitions your hair.
  4. Know that the salon results will look different than your box color.
  5. Consider having the stylist trim your ends to remove dryness and damage.
  6. Invest in the Matrix at home care regimen to keep hair healthy between salon visits.
  7. Stay patient! It may take 2-3 salon coloring sessions to achieve your perfect results.

Booking a consultation before your initial salon appointment helps set the right expectations. Bringing in a photo of your desired outcome is recommended.


Matrix offers an impressive array of permanent, demi-permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary professional hair colors that can effectively cover gray hair. The rich, ammonia-free formulas provide long-lasting, vibrant results while also caring for and strengthening strands.

Both the permanent and demi-permanent Matrix color lines excel at providing complete gray coverage with a vast range of nuanced shades to perfectly match different bases. While permanent color lasts the longest and requires the most maintenance, demi-permanent offers excellent longevity with gentler ingredient formulations.

Using the Matrix system including prep products, bond builders, developers, and conditioners helps achieve optimal gray coverage while minimizing damage. Following the advised timing and getting professional salon Matrix color services can further protect the hair.

Overall, Matrix’s high-performing color paired with the brand’s reparative technologies allows you to cover grays while still maintaining healthy, youthful looking hair.

Matrix Permanent Hair Color Matrix Demi-Permanent Hair Color
  • Lasts up to 6 weeks
  • Covers 50-100% gray
  • Ammonia-free
  • Over 50 shades
  • Lasts up to 26 washes
  • Covers up to 50% gray
  • Less damaging
  • Over 90 shades

In the end, whether you’re just starting to go gray or are completely silver, Matrix offers the tools needed to transition gracefully while maintaining healthy, dynamic hair.