By Kristin Limoges

Published on September 20, 2017

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Photography by PHUONG NGUYEN

As we’ve established time and time again, the French do it better—whether it be in cheese, wine, or beauty basics. But have you heard of their epic trick to coping with those first gray hairs (and the ones that pop up after that and after that and…)? It is, in classic French culture, super simple and super effective, as the French maestro Christophe Robin explains.

“For the first grays, it’s better to do it yourself,” says Robin. “This trick is great because when you go to the salon or do it at home normally, the color is applied all over and you should never do that just to cover a few grays.”  

Step 1: Head to the Drugstore

Don’t fret over those first gray hairs, instead head to the drugstore, grab a box of ammonia-free color, like L’Oreal Superior Preference—make sure it’s ammonia free so it doesn’t lift the color.

Step 2: Color is Everything

The color is very important. Robin suggests to pick a color two shades lighter than you think you are because, “You always believe you are much darker than you really are—always! And the lighter shade will always be more flattering.” But stick with simple numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4… because the 701 or 5 ½ or 8G have highlighters or reflections or shades added to them, and you don’t want that.

Step 3: A Dab’ll Do Ya!

Take a teeny pearl of each product: colorant, gel and/or powder, and mix it together. (Seal up the leftover separated products really, really well because you’ll use them again and again when you need them next time.) Take an old toothbrush and just paint your single gray strands. Leave on for how long the box directs you to, and then wash out.

Et voilà, not a gray in sight!

Get more about epic hair tricks:


Use This Japanese Technique to Get Perfect Hair
The Best Hair Products, According to Our Editors
The Right (French!) Way to Wash Your Hair