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 . Aging hair is especially prone to damage.
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.
RECIPE FOR NATURAL LOOKING HAIR COLOR USING COFFEE:
To achieve a natural looking hair color (both photos, top-right), use this easy recipe. Place the following ingredients into a “squirt bottle” (NOT a spray bottle, but a bottle which can pour a small stream or a few drops at a time).
Please note: experiment with the following three ingredients listed below, and determine if you need all three, or just one or two. I had a 90-year-old cousin who, after shampooing, always dipped her hair in a bowl of coffee (instant coffee plus water), and her hair always had a beautiful light brown, natural-looking color. If using Ion Brilliance alone, follow the package instructions.
1. One tablespoon instant coffee plus 3 Tablespoons vodka**
2. Two tablespoons Fanci-Full  temporary coloring (color, your choice)
3. One tablespoon Ion Brilliance semi-permanent  coloring (color, your choice)
**Only use vodka if the mixture is going to set in a bottle for more than a couple days. If not storing, simply mix the instant coffee with water. The vodka mix is only important for long-term storage, because it prevents the growth of bacteria and mold and acts as a safe preservative.
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. 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.
In this photo, I simply wrapped all of my hair (after drying) into one single sponge roller on top of my head (overnight) after following all of the above steps for coloring and conditioning, followed by blow-drying. Since I have gray hair in 2 spots (temple areas), I used the color “scatter” method above in step #2 to blend it in with the rest of my hair’s natural color, as seen in this photo.
After implementing the above easy steps for a damage free, natural looking hair color that covers gray well, please share your experience or advice with the rest of us by leaving your comments at the bottom of this page.
 The Hair Boutique: http://www.hairboutique.com/tips/tip8078.htm
 Fanci-full temporary hair coloring can be purchased for a couple bucks at any big-box store.
 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.