Gray Color Just Took A Big Leap Forward

Published by: Matrix Team
Oct 18, 2021
1300 Matrix Covering Gray Before and After
Every colorist knows if their gray coverage game is strong there will always be clients wait-listed to sit in their chair. Pro colorists also know that top-of-their-game gray coverage is about much more than simply hiding unwanted silver strands. “You have to focus on hair health, underlying pigment and root-to-tip consistency to provide clients with truly top-level gray coverage services,” says Global Head of Matrix Education Community, Alfredo Lewis. While your know-how is always the most important factor of any gray coverage technique, there’s a new extension to a favorite SoColor collection that supports your efforts by hitting every essential element of gray coverage success.
 
"The new SoColor Pre-Bonded Extra Coverage Neutrals are game-changers,” says Lewis. “To keep hair healthy, they are formulated with bond-protecting concentrates that protect the inner hair structure. There’s nothing to add—it’s all in inside--and your clients’ hair integrity is protected color after color.”
 
For consistency, the entire Matrix SoColor Permanent and SoColor Sync Demi-Permanent palettes are “pre-paired.” This means they’re matched perfectly so you get seamless color from scalp to ends that lasts and fades on-tone.
 
There are the four new Extra Coverage Neutral shades that are designed to neutralize the unwanted undertones that are revealed when hair is lifted and subsequently produce unwanted warm or brassy results. Lewis offers the rundown: “The new Neutral Jade shades—504NJ and 506NJ—neutralized the underlying red pigment often found in darkest natural shades,” he explains. “The 506NV Neutral Violet neutralizes the underlying yellow undertones found in lighter natural levels. The 507NW Neutral Warm can be combined with the rest of the NWs in the palette to produce beautiful, balanced gray coverage. The existing Neutral Ashes—504NA, 506NA, 508NA and 510NA—neutralize underlying orange pigments.

Ready to see some of the new SoColor Extra Coverage Neutrals in action? Here are some real resultsincluding formulas and how-tos, on real life clients!

matrix look 1 beforematrix extra coverage look 1 after

COLOR MELT

Starting Level: 7/70% Gray

Underlying Pigment: Light Orange

End Level: 8

End Reflect: Neutral Warm

Formulas:

Formula A: SoColor 507NW + 20 Volume (6%)

Formula B: SoColor Sync (1:1) 6WN + 8WN + 10 Volume (3%)

Formula CSoColor Sync Clear

Step 1: Section It

  • Divide the hair into four quadrants. Create a radial parting from ear to ear.
  • Create a vertical parting from the top of the head straight down to the middle of the nape.
  • Create a vertical parting from the top of the head straight to the front hairline.

Step 2: Apply It

  • Outline all four quadrants with Formula A.
  • Apply Formula A to the base of the hair globally.
  • Once you have applied Formula A to the base of the hair, return to the back two quadrants. Use diagonal back subsections that are about ½ inches thick, omitting the first subsection near the hairline.
  • In your next subsection, isolate your slice in foil.
  • Apply Formula B to the mid-lengths right below Formula A. Bring Formula B through the rest of the mid-lengths until you reach the last 4-6 inches of the hair strand. Overlay Formula C onto the last1 inch of Formula B, through to the ends. Use your fingers to melt Formula B and Formula C together, blurring the line of demarcation. Fold the foil and move into your next subsection.
  • Make sure to alternate each 1-inch subsection in a 1:1 ratio, using one foil to isolate and color melt and leaving the rest of the hair out. Continue with this technique throughout all 4 quadrants, alwaysstarting at the bottom and working your way up to the top of the head.
  • Process for a total of 45 minutes at the base, and 20 minutes on the mids + ends.

Step 3: Complete It

  • Once processed, rinse the hair with lukewarm water. Shampoo and condition the hair with Matrix Total Results Color Obsessed. Style as desired.

matrix look 2 beforematrix look 2 after

PRE-PAIRED

Starting Level: 4/50% Gray

Underlying Pigment: Red Orange

End Level: 6

End Reflect: Neutral Warm

Formulas

Formula A: SoColor Pre-Bonded 506NJ + 20 Volume (6%)

Formula B: SoColor Sync (1:1) 6N + 8N + 10 Volume (3%)

Step 1: Section It

  • Divide the hair into four quadrants. Create a radial parting from ear to ear.
  • Create a vertical parting from the top of the head straight down to the middle of the nape.
  • Create a vertical parting from the top of the head straight to the front hairline.

Step 2: Apply It

  • Outline all four quadrants with Formula A.
  • Apply Formula A to the base of the hair globally.
  • Apply Formula B to the mids of the hair globally.
  • Apply Formula B to the ends of the hair globally.
  • Process for a total of 45 minutes at the base, and 20 minutes on the mid and ends.

Step 3: Complete It

  • Once processed, rinse the hair with lukewarm water. Shampoo and condition the hair with Matrix Total Results ColorObsessed. Style as desired.

matrix look 3 before 350matrix look 3 after

GRAY COVERAGE + BALAYAGE

Starting Level: 6/30Gray

Underlying Pigment: Orange

End Level: 8

End Reflect: Neutral Violet

Formulas

Formula A/Root Touch-upSoColor Pre-Bonded 506NV + 20 Volume Developer

Formula B/Foilyage: Light Master Pre-Bonded + 40 Volume Developer and Light Master Pre-Bonded + 20 Volume Developer

Formula C/Toning Gloss: SoColor Sync Pre-Bonded 10M 

Step 1: Section it

  • Section the hair into four quadrants.

Step 2: Apply it

  • Apply Formula A to the regrowth area, taking diagonal partings and using1/8-inch sub-sections.
  • Working in the back, start at the napetake a 20-inch horizontal slice and backcomb. Apply Formula B using a balayage brushing andfeathering technique in foils. Continue through bothback quadrants.
  • In the front, take a diagonal back 2-inch section and use the sametechnique used in the back to apply your lightener. Continue in thefront two quadrants.
  • Let the lightener process until you reach a pale yellow and remove.
  • Apply Formula  base to ends and process up to 20 min.

Step 3: Complete it

  • Once processed, rinse and shampoo with Matrix Bleach Finder and condition the hair.

matrix look 4 beforematrix look 4 after

GRAY COVERAGE + CONTOUR LIGHTS

Starting Level: 6/80% Gray

Underlying Pigment: Orange

End Level: 9

End Reflect: Neutral Violet

Formulas

Formula ASoColor Pre-Bonded 507NW + 20 Volume Developer

Formula B: Light Master Pre-Bonded + 10 Volume Developer

Formula C: SoColor Sync Pre-Bonded 9GV + 10 Volume Developer

Step 1: Section it

  • Take a triangle section in front fringe area from brow to brow.
  • Section the remaining hair into 4 quadrants.

Step 2: Apply it

  • Using Formula Bplace foils into front hairline, using a medium weave technique.

Use the following placement:

- 5 foils in the fringe

- 3 foils in each temple area – diagonal back partings

- 5 foils at each side of the natural part

  • Apply Formula A at the regrowth area in between all foils and throughout the entire head.
  • Process highlights and base color simultaneously.
  • Apply Formula C base to ends on highlights and process up to 20 min.

Step 3: Complete it

  • Once processed, rinse and shampoo with Matrix Bleach Finder and condition with Unbreak My Blonde Conditioner and style as desired.

matrix look 5 beforematrix look 5 after

RETOUCH AND REFRESH

Starting Level: 6/80% Gray

Underlying Pigment: Orange

End Level: 6

End ReflectNeutral Violet

Formula

Formula A: SoColor 506NV + 20 Volume Developer (6%)

Step 1: Section It

  • Divide the hair into four quadrants. Create a radial parting from ear to ear.
  • Create a vertical parting from the top of the head straight down to the middle of the nape.
  • Create a vertical parting from the top of the head straight to the front hairline.

Step 2: Apply It

  • Outline all four quadrants with Formula A.
  • Apply Formula A to the base of the hair globally.
  • Process for 20 minutes room temperature.
  • Lightly mist Instacure on the mids + ends.
  • Blend Formula A through to the mids + ends globally.
  • Process for a remainder of 30 minutes at the base, and 10minutes on the mid and ends.

Step 3: Complete It

  • Once processed, rinse the hair with lukewarm water. Shampoo and condition the hair with Matrix Total Results Color.

matrix look 6 beforematrix look 6 after

GROMBRE

Starting Level: 4/60% Gray

Underlying Pigment: Red Orange

End Level: 4/30% Gray

End Reflect: Neutral Jade

Formula

Formula A: SoColor 504NJ + 20 Volume Developer (6%)

Step 1: Section It

  • Create a circle section at the crown of the head, making sure to leave at least 2-2.5 inches out around the front hairline.
  • Create a straight-line parting extending from the area of the circle closest to the hairline through to the occipital bone.
  • Create a radial parting extending from the area of the circle closest to the left ear through to the end of the circle closest to the right ear.

Step 2: Apply It

  • Working in the circular section and beginning in the back of the head, use diagonal back ¼ - ½ inch subsections. Macro weave the hair and isolate in foil. Apply Formula A to the base, mids and ends of the hair. Continue with this technique throughout two bottom back sections of the circle until you reach the top of the head, leaving no more than 1 inch of hair in between each foil.
  • In the front two sections of the circle, continue to take diagonal back ¼ - ½ inch subsections. Macro weave the hair and isolate in foil. Apply Formula A to the base, mids and ends of the hair. Continue with this technique throughout two front sections of the circle until you reach the top of the head, leaving no more than 1 inch of hair in between each foil.

Step 3: Complete It

  • Once processed, rinse the hair with lukewarm water. Shampoo and condition the hair with Matrix Total Results ColorObsessed.
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