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How does Clairol’s Gray Solutions work?

Posted Mar 05 2013 1:01am

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Qwerty’s questions…Clairol now has something called just Gray Solution with a retexturizing pretreatment. What does the Retexturizing Pre-treatment really do and will a regular perm hair color work just as well or will this product do better at keeping gray roots colored longer?

The Beauty Brains respond:

Let’s start by reviewing Clairol’s instructions for this product:

Step 1 Pretreat: Apply the retexturizing treatment to dry hair.
Step 2 Mix: Combine the color cream with activator (hydrogen peroxide solution.)
Step 3 Apply: Work the color mixture through your hair (this actual procedure varies depending on whether you’re touching up roots or doing all over coloring.

The Retexturizing Pretreatment is basically a solution of fairly concentrated positively charged conditioning agents (namely Quaternium-80 and Soytrimonium chloride) in propylene glycol.

This mixture can work three ways First, the propylene glycol is pretty good booster of water absorption and will allow the hair to swell faster and better and the aqueous mixtures of peroxide and dye intermediates to get inside the hair and do their thing. Second, it conditions the hair, making it softer and easier for the color to penetrate.
And third, because they are positively charged, these conditioners react with the colorants, locking them into place.

If you read the product claims carefully you’ll see that it promises to give you “long-lasting coverage of resistant grays” and that the color “lasts and lasts.” It doesn’t say how long it should last and it doesn’t make any comparative claims to other products.

We’ve never tested this product but if the pretreatment does truly allow more color to penetrate it would give Gray Solution an advantage in terms of color longevity. Of course no matter how long the color lasts, you’ll still have to worry about your roots showing as your hair grows out.

To be honest, we can’t tell you for sure that this is worth the extra money (Priced at about $30 it’s a bit more expensive than other hair colors). But if you’re having trouble with your grays being resistant, there’s enough science here to indicate that the extra step of the pretreatment may help.

Water, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Quaternium-80, Soytrimonium Chloride, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fragrance, DMDM, Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Sweet Almond Protein

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If you do decide to try Gray Solution please shop through our link and help support the Beauty Brains. Thank you!

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