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 a reason why you wouldn’t want to blend in your gray hair.

It’s also a beautiful color, gray hair has many variations, and we’re here to show you how to blend in gray hair. From platinum clean 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 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 common 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 to gradually lift out tone could be your answer.

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 for you who have a multi-gray and you’re not quite a natural light gray. It can also work well for those of you that are a lighter gray, then I would 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 rather look blonde than gray. It’s still good to blend gray hair with highlights this way.

Sometimes, you might just want to brighten up your already gray natural hair. 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. Highlights also work on those of you that have a small portion of natural gray hair. It can help blend areas of gray roots against the dark hair color. The best thing is to consult with your hairstylist to ask how to blend in gray hair. Highlights are useful 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 lighten your hair and you see your smokey root color coming through.

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 of natural your root color, softening the root line as it grows. Over time, this will become a gradual fade as you add less and less 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 gray, and you have gotten to a stage where you like the look of your natural gray hair.

Blondes over time can look brassy and against a cold gray natural color, 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 just use a toner on the blonde to smoke out the yellow tones and blend better with 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.

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

My word of advice is they tend to give less coverage than a permanent color on gray hairs. So, if you’re coloring the gray roots, you may see a variation of tones. This isn’t such a bad thing because gray hair blending can look more natural 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.

Blending gray roots in light brown hair has a few options – highlights/lowlights or lifting the brown out with 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 all over unless the lowlights are pretty dark.

Lifting the brown out with a lightener first will give a clearer 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. But, can be useful as a gray hair blending tool.

There are products that exfoliate the hair, and some that pull-out tones. These are not lighteners and are specifically designed to remove artificial tones. I find 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 prior to booking. I suggest not to have an expectation of a perfect removal of color pigment. And more to expect a gentle shift of 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 hair history, lightening hair to go gray may not be a fast option for you. But it can be an option for some, lifting up the hair super light gives a canvas for you add whichever gray tone you require, you do have to lift to a high level, so maintain cool tones can be difficult 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. 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 the list goes on. Book a consultation with your hairdresser. Do a strand test to check out the color history. Explore the options together, this guide will just help you ask questions for your gray hair blending goals. Happy gray blending all.

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.

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