At first, blending your gray hair is easy. You can use a glaze, a root touch-up, or a color-depositing dry shampoo. But as the grays continue to grow, things get trickier, and at some point you’ll probably want to opt for highlights or a tint (or fully embrace those silver locks, of course). But deciding which method and shade to choose is the challenge. Do you stay true to your roots or do you choose something completely different? Go for an all-over color or something more edgy? Here, the hairstylists give us the details on lightening your locks to cover your grays. Refreshed and revitalized locks await.
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Most hairstylists we interviewed noted that baby lights were one of the easiest ways to blend grays. “The lighter highlights will help break up the contrast between light and dark hair, because the color of the highlights is closer to the color of light gray hair,” explains Gregory Patterson, celebrity hairstylist and color and styling expert for Sally Beauty. “That way the highlight almost acts as a bridge between the darker base and the light gray.”
This method works to some extent for all hair colors, but is most effective for those with lighter colored streaks. “The reason for this is that the baby lights are closer to gray hair as well as the base tone, giving it a more blended look,” explains Jamie Mazzei, creative director of NuBest Salon & Spa in Manhasset, New York. “For dark bases, we might consider baby lights, but with a darker color instead of blonde.” You will get a similar effect of more blended and dimensional color and less contrast between dark and light.
The highlights are the larger-area big sister of the baby lamps. “If you’re just starting to notice grays and aren’t ready to color your hair, starting with a few highlights to fade the gray is something I often recommend,” says Cindy Marcus, professional hairstylist in Las Vegas and editor of Latest Hairstyles. “This method helps camouflage gray hair by adding a contrasting light color. It won’t cover gray hair or make it invisible, but will make it less noticeable.”
As with fairy lights, the color of your hair will determine the color of your locks. “For example, if you are light brown, adding light blonde streaks will conceal gray hair better; however, if your natural skin tone is very dark, you don’t want to add such a light streak if it doesn’t suit you. not suitable.” Marcus adds. “If so, you can add a caramel highlight to your hair and it will have the same effect, giving the eye another color similar to the gray that is coming.” The dimensional color is also flattering and volumizing.
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Baby lights and reflections are subtle – and a silver coin is anything but. To achieve this look, your stylist will add a highlight highlight to frame the face on both sides. “A silver piece is a great way to keep light and brightness as a focal point on the face via your parting,” says Patterson. “It works because most women will see the slightest hint of gray right at the parting, so adding a bold piece will trick the eye into thinking ‘oh, she’s got a cool blonde.’ “Ask your colorist if this is a viable option for you.
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Dyeing your hair completely will always cover the grays. And if you choose a lighter color, your newly gray hair will blend more easily with your dyed hair. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider first, including the percentage of gray you currently have. “If my client has over 50% gray hair, meaning more gray hair than pigmented hair, I like to have a conversation about what the regrowth will look like,” Mazzei says. “If you have a high percentage of gray, you’ll notice a line as it develops.” According to Mazzei, this bothers some customers, while it doesn’t bother others. If you think you’ll be irritated, you might want to opt for the aforementioned highlights or baby lights instead. Growth with these techniques will be softer and less noticeable.
Depending on your natural color, going blonde may also take some time. You’ll want to work with your stylist to devise a color plan, and remember that patience is a virtue in any lightening process. When you’ve finished your look, you’ll have fair, shiny hair that blends grays easily.