How to Blend Gray Hair with Highlights, Lowlights and More

One of the latest trends emerging is blending gray hair. Not surprising that we’re ditching the dye and going natural. Low chemical, low maintenance, and easy on the bank balance. It’s hard to find why you wouldn’t want to blend in your gray strands.

It’s also a beautiful color, gray hair has many variations, and we’re here to show you how to blend gray hair. From clean platinum grays to multi-toned gray hair, smokey ashes sparkled hues, and all the options for gray hair blending, this how to blend gray hair guide will show you the options for blending gray hair into dark brown hair, how to blend dark roots with gray hair, how to blend gray hair with lowlights and highlights and all things to transition to gray hair blending straight from the hairstylists advise.

How to Blend Gray Hair with Highlights

Using highlights to blend gray hair is a standard method to transition into a lighter tone. If you have dark hair that you want to gradually lift to a gray tone, multiple sessions at the salon for highlights could be your answer.

 
 
 
 
 
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Ask for highlights to blend gray hair. The highlights will put light vertical strands through your existing color and connect the gray roots to the ends. It works well if you have multi-gray hair color. It can also work well for those of you that are a lighter gray, so I recommend having a lot of highlights for blending gray hair.

Blending Gray Hair into Blonde

Maybe you don’t like your natural darker grays or would instead look blonde than gray. It’s still good to blend gray hair with highlights this way.

 
 
 
 
 
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Sometimes, brightening your already gray natural hair is the best way. Highlights for gray hair blending can lift out some of those flat peppery tones transitioning to a clean blonde gray rather than a darker gray. Blonde highlights also work on those of you with a small portion of natural gray hair. It can help blend areas of gray roots against dark hair color. The best thing is to consult your professional hairstylist to ask how to blend in gray hair. Highlights are helpful, but there are many options to consider.

Blending Gray Hair with Lowlights

Want to know how to blend gray hair with dark brown hair using low lights? Or maybe you want to lighten your hair, and you see your smokey root color coming through.

 
 
 
 
 
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If you don’t mind some of your natural color in the root, you could gradually transition to blend gray hair with dark brown hair using low lights. Use the dark tone you usually have, but do not paint it globally on the roots. Weave in lowlights and paint them. This leaves little gaps in the natural shade of your root color, softening the root line as it grows. Over time, this will gradually fade as you add fewer and fewer darker lowlights, avoiding blasting the hair with lighteners to lift out dark tones.

Blending Gray Hair with Lowlights on Blonde Hair

Maybe over time, you have just been lightening your hair blonde to hide your silver hair, and you have gotten to a stage where you like the look of your natural hair color.

 
 
 
 
 
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Blondes can look brassy over time; against a cold gray natural color, it can look unsightly. You can use lowlights to blend gray hair for blondes too. So, if you like a multi-tonal gray hair look, go for smokey ashy low lights. Add a toner to the lighter areas in between so it’s all cool looking, and use a silver shampoo once the color starts to fade. Alternatively, you could use a toner on the blonde to smoke out the yellow tones and blend better with the roots.

How to Blend Gray Hair with Dark Brown Hair

There’s an alternative to highlights and lowlights for blending gray hair roots into dark brown hair; explore your options with your hairstylist.

 
 
 
 
 
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There’s a hair color called demi-permanent color. These darker hair colors sit between a permanent color and a semi-permanent. They tone the hair but, over time, fade, leaving a trace of tone. They are perfect for blending the base color at the roots because it avoids harsh lines as it grows.

My advice is they give less coverage than a permanent color on natural gray hairs. So, if you’re coloring the gray roots, you may see a variation of tones. Gray hair blending can have a more natural look over time using a demi-permanent with dark hair, so stick at it.

How to Blend Gray Roots with Light Brown Hair

A mid-toned light brown color can have a few more options. Sometimes lifting dark hair to a lighter brown can give you options to blend gray roots on the second appointment.

 
 
 
 
 
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Blending gray roots in light brown hair has a few options – highlights/lowlights or lifting the brown out with a lightener and toning it back down after. Highlights/lowlights is a simpler approach; this gives multi-gray blending tones but will not go a cold tone unless the lowlights are pretty dark.

Lifting the brown out with a lightener first will give a more precise canvas to work on and lighter options. It’s much more complex, classed as a color correction, and will take time, so consult your stylist.

Removing Color for Blending Gray Hair

Another option could be to use a hair color remover. These can take out artificial tones in hair, but they have limits, and I have always found them a little unpredictable. It can be useful as a gray hair-blending tool.

 
 
 
 
 
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Some products exfoliate the hair and some that pull-out tones. These are not lighteners and are specifically designed to remove artificial tones. They are a slower, gentler approach to removing color in the hair.

So, if hair health is more important to you, you can use this to blend gray hair gradually. It will need a re-color over the top, so discuss this with your hair colorist before booking. I suggest not expecting a perfect removal of color pigment and expect more of a gentle shift of color. Use a good neutralizing shampoo to also assist in closing the hair’s cuticle and removing the color.

How to Blend Gray Hair Fast

My advice on blending gray hair is this – quicker is not always better for your hair. It can be done, but hair needs to be in good health to begin with.

How to Blend Gray Hair Fast

Fast gray hair blending can be either – go short with your cut, and chop out a lot of the color. Or, bleach the colored hair light enough to go gray. Depending on your hair history, lightening hair to go gray may not be a fast option. But it can be an option for some.

Lifting the hair super light gives you a canvas for adding whichever gray tone you require; you have to lift to a high level, so maintaining cool tones can be challenging to get them to stay. Also, using bond builders in our lighteners is important to maintain as much health as possible.

How to Blend Gray Hair

Overall gray hair blending is a complex treatment, and I do not recommend attempting to blend your gray hair at home. If you want an excellent low-maintenance look, go to a salon. 

We’ve talked to you about blending gray hair with highlights, blending gray hair with lowlights, removing color to blend gray hair, demi-permanent color, fast gray hair blending, and so on. Book a consultation with your hairdresser. Do a strand test to check out the color history. Explore the options together; however, if you want to reverse premature hair graying, try the Anti Gray 7050 hair supplement

Evelyn Davies

Evely Davies is a British writer and hairdresser who has experience working in hair media. She has written how-to articles, done education videos, photographic work,  covered live events, and so on.  She’s an all-around stylist and has worked backstage and on stage at high-end celebrity events and product launches. She’s also gone to the other end of the scale and cut hair on beaches, campsites, and hostels. When Evelyn is not behind the chair or writing, you can find her hiking, camping, and backpacking.