Hair Color Ideas and Advice When You're Going Gray

Going gray is inevitable. And what you do when you start noticing gray hairs is completely up to you – whether you want to embrace the gray or cover with hair color, the right choice is what works for you.

If you’re wondering how to deal with your own gray hair, below are some hair color ideas for gray hair as well as tips and advice to make the most of your hair color.

Go for multi-dimensional colors

If you decide to dye your hair to cover grays, you should aim for a multi-dimensional color. Whatever shade you go for, multidimensional color will be more forgiving when graying, as the lighter strands will diffuse in with the other tones. Multi-dimensional color gives a subtle, natural look, but also adds depth. This can be perfect if your hair is starting to thin, as it gives the appearance of more volume. Whether you want to go blonde, brunette or red, work with your hair colorist to find the perfect mix of hues to match your skin tone and also help to blend any lighter gray strands.

Blend grays with blonde highlights

Blonde highlights can be a great way of camouflaging gray hair. Gray hairs will match the brighter, lighter tones of blonde highlights, so they won’t be as easy to see, meaning you can take fewer trips to the salon for root touch-ups. Highlights will also allow your hairstylist to target specific areas, so they can be more strategic about covering grays. With blonde highlights, you’ll usually have a softer, more diffused area around the roots, which means you’ll be less likely to have a harsh demarcation line when your grays come back through.

Try dark hair colors with warm undertones

Going grey doesn’t mean you have to leave behind dark hair. Whilst it’s true that gray hairs will contrast more visibly against darker shades, combining darker hair color with lighter tones can help to camouflage any stray grays.

Cooler-toned dark hair can wash some people out and make them look more tired, especially as we get older. So instead opt for a dark brunette with warm undertones, to bring a more youthful glow. Think warm chocolate browns with subtle caramel highlights, or luminous golden brown.

Embrace the silver

Sometimes, the easiest option when you start to go grey is to fully embrace the change – and dye your hair silver. This will give you a bright, statement look whilst also blending grays. Going silver might require some effort and maintenance if you’re only just seeing a few grays come through, but you’ll reap the benefits when your roots come in entirely gray. Then you’ll see just a subtle regrowth, meaning you won’t have to take as many trips to the salon for touch-ups.

Your hair colorist should be able to work with your natural gray regrowth to help blend the strands into the icy white, such as incorporating darker grey strands and hues. You might also need to use a color corrector to keep the right silver tone on your hair and banish any brassy or yellow tones.

Accentuate and blend grays with dark hair

Gray blending is the happy medium between covering your grays and having a full head of silver. It helps to enhance the natural gray in your hair, playing on the contrast and drama of silver tones against darker hues. To get the right effect, your hairstylist can work silver and gray highlights and balayage through your natural hair color. The result is gorgeous smoky hair, combining ashy tones and brighter strands.

It's a fantastic way of celebrating the natural graying process whilst still looking put together. You can work with where your grays are already coming through and go for chunkier sections for a statement look or spread them throughout for a more diffused, subtle feel.

Keep your hair nourished

You’ll probably notice that as your hair goes gray, it becomes coarser. The hair follicles will be producing less oil, which can make gray hair dryer than you’re used to. You should use a regular hair gloss treatment to deeply condition hair and get it back to a healthy shine and softness. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals and sulfates, and cut back on the amount you wash your hair with shampoo to prevent it from drying out.

Protect your hair from the elements

Gray hair is much more porous, which means it’s more absorbent. Because of this, gray hair can be more prone to discoloration, especially from pollution and smoky air, or hair products with artificial colors.

You can protect your hair from pollution with a hat or a scarf, and make sure to wash your hair with a gentle shampoo if you’ve been in a polluted area. You should also check your hair care products to ensure they don’t contain any colorants that will leach into your hair.