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Senior Beauty >> Easy Home Recipe for Natural Hair Color that Hides Gray or White.
Easy Home Recipe for Natural Coffee Hair Color Covers Gray, Looks Natural, and Won't Damage Hair.
Hide Gray Hair in Seconds with Safe, After-Shampoo, Brush-in Color Using Natural Coffee.

Written by Anne Copley, Yahoo Contributor, 3/14/2016

Hide gray hair in seconds with this safe, non-damaging, easy recipe containing an inexpensive mix of instant coffee and two other temporary hair coloring products. There are two easy ways to apply the color (described below), depending upon how much gray coverage is needed.

Permanent coloring damages hair
Permanent coloring damages hair, regardless of the experience level of the person applying it [1]. Aging hair is especially prone to damage[1].

However, semi-permanent and temporary hair colorings are available, cause no damage, are easy to use, and provide beautiful, natural-looking color that is very effective at covering gray or white hair.

Easy home recipe for natural looking gray cover hair color is below.

Using the below easy home recipe for natural-looking gray coverage, have the following items on hand:

  1. Vodka, prevents the growth of bacteria and mold, acting as a natural preservative.
  2. A "squirt bottle" (NOT a spray bottle, but a bottle which can pour a small stream or a few drops at a time),
  3. Instant coffee, any brand,
  4. "Ion Brilliance" or other semi-permanent hair color, I bought mine at Sally's Beauty Supply.
  5. "Fanci-full" or other temporary "squirt-on" hair color, available at most large department stores.

Please note: experiment with the three ingredients listed below in the recipe, and find the balance of ingredients that suits you the best. If using Ion Brilliance alone, follow the package instructions. You might find you only need one or two of the ingredients below. Remember, it's not permanent, and washes out after a few shampoos. If desired, this temporary hair coloring can be applied once every two or three shampoos or after each shampoo for a consistent color.

The author's 90-year-old cousin, Dora, always dipped her hair into a bowl of coffee (instant coffee plus water) after each shampoo. Her hair always had a beautiful, natural-looking, light brown color.


  1. One tablespoon instant coffee plus 3 Tablespoons vodka (natural preservative)
  2. Two tablespoons Fanci-Full [2] temporary coloring (color, your choice)
  3. One tablespoon Ion Brilliance semi-permanent [3] coloring (color, your choice)

There are two easy ways to apply the above-described hair coloring mixture containing coffee:

  1. Shower method. If most, or all, of the hair is gray or white, use this method, performed while in the shower. For this method, you must have on hand: 1) a dark-colored towel, a large plastic or stainless steel bowl (no glass or ceramic), and a mix of your ideal color using the above-listed hair coloring ingredients. After shower and hair-wash are complete, while still in the shower, simply pour 1/4 cup of the above-described coloring mix into the bowl. Add just enough water (one-half to one cup) to completely soak hair when it is mixed in the bowl with the coloring. Hold bowl in front, bend forward, and completely immerse hair and scalp into mixture so that hair is completely soaked down to the scalp with the coloring mixture. If it gets into the eyes, rinse face immediately under the shower. Do not rinse hair. Using hands, squeeze out excess liquid from hair. Immediately wrap hair in a dark-colored towel. Rinse the bowl while in the shower. 
  2. Brush-in method. If there are only a couple spots of gray to cover, use this method. Perform immediately after shampooing hair. Using a dark-colored towel (I use brown), towel-dry the hair. Next, use the squirt-bottle described above, containing the coloring mixture, and squirt a few drops directly onto the gray spots and rub it in with fingers to prevent dripping. If the color does not perfectly match the rest of the hair (this is common), sprinkle a few more spots, scattered about the head, and rub in. This next step (to be done immediately) will "streak" the coloring and cause it to blend seamlessly with your natural hair color, yielding an unnoticeable, completely natural looking gray cover. Lean forward (top of head toward the floor), and using a soft-bristle brush, brush your hair "toward the floor." Go completely around the entire head, brushing the hair downward toward the floor. Start in the front just above the forehead, brushing from the forehead to the top of the head (ends of the hair) using long strokes. Move around to the side, and brush from the ear to the top of the head. Eventually move to the back, brushing from the top of your neck, using long strokes toward the top of the head (ends of the hair). Do this all the way around the head until you are finally back to the front (forehead) where you started. Repeat one or two more times. It only takes 30 seconds (or less) each time.
If applying conditioner:
Conditioner causes hair to lose body and fullness if it is applied too close to the scalp. Conditioner is often unnecessary for short hair. For long hair, only condition the last few inches of the hair. It's easy. Here's how:

While hair is still wet after shampooing, coloring, and towel-drying, bend forward as far as possible, allowing all hair to fall forward toward the floor. Brush hair toward the floor with a soft-bristle brush, being very careful to not break the hair. Pour about a teaspoon of conditioner into your palm, and rub hands together once or twice lightly so that an equal amount rests in the middle of both palms. Next, put the last 3 or 4 inches of your forward-hanging hair between your palms, and rub the conditioner into the ends of your hair. Do not rinse, even if the box instructions differ.

If the last 3 or 4 inches of hair are conditioned, this will prevent tangles and damage from breaking while untangling hair. Always use a soft-bristle brush to untangle hair to avoid damage to the hair. This method of avoiding conditioners near the scalp allows the hair to be bouncier, fuller, and have more body.

The photo to the left is the hair of a 61-year-old woman. After following the above instructions for natural-looking hair color, and after blow-drying, the hair was simply wrapped into one single sponge roller on top of the head (overnight). The sponge rollers are great for hair because they do not break or stretch the hair. After implementing the above easy steps for a damage free, natural looking hair color that covers gray well, you will have younger, healthier looking hair, and are guaranteed to be very pleased with the results.

[1] The Hair Boutique
[2] Fanci-full temporary hair coloring can be purchased for a couple bucks at any big-box store.
[3] Ion Brilliance semi-permanent hair coloring is available at most beauty supply stores (i.e., Sally's) -- If using Ion Brilliance alone, follow package instructions.