8 Gorgeous Highlights Ideas for Gray Hair

Whether you're looking to conceal or enhance your silver strands.

Highlights Ideas That Look Gorgeous on Gray Hair
Photo: Getty Images

Few things are certain in life other than getting older. And with age comes life experience and physical change — including getting gray hairs.

While many of us will go gray, the journey to full-on silver hair is different for everyone. Some of us first notice a few white strands around our temples in our 20s, while others first notice a gray patch around the hairline in their 40s. Either way, whether you decide to conceal your grays with hair dye or leave them be is entirely up to you.

Since there's no wrong or right way to go gray, there are a number of ways to blend your silver strands into your existing base color so they're less noticeable, or enhance them so they're extra sparkly.

Whatever side you prefer, we tapped two colorists to find out the best highlights for gray hair. Ahead, all of the hair color inspiration you need before your next visit to the salon.

VIDEO: Tia Mowry Showed Off Her Gray Hairs While on Vacation

01 of 08

Silver or Ash Blonde Highlights

Kate Moss at the 2022 Met Gala
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

"Transitioning to gray using highlights can take years as highlights are very fine pieces of color and it takes a lot of them to accumulate enough saturation to break up the harsh line that occurs when growing out natural grays," says Emily-Claire Sacco, Colorist at Rob Peetoom Williamsburg. She recommends adding highlights to blend the grays, then toning them to ash blonde or silver.

02 of 08

Face-Framing Highlights

Kelly Hu attends Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles's 38th Anniversary Gala
Rachel Luna/Getty Images for Asian Americans, Advancing Justice League Los Angeles

These face-framing gray highlights brighten Kelly Hu's complexion. To ensure your gray hair stays soft, Sacco recommends using an ultra-moisturizing products to wash your hair. Davines Momo Shampoo and Conditioner are formulated to hydrate dry hair.

03 of 08

A Warm Demi Gloss

Andie MacDowell at the 75th annual Cannes film festival
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Brunettes who are transitioning to full-on gray, often have a harsh demarcation line separating their light roots and dark ends. For a softer, more seamless look, a gloss is a great option. "A demi gloss color will either enhance warmth or cool all your hairs down," says Kate Reid, KEVIN.MURPHY COLOR.ME Design Director & Education Manager. "This won't block out the gray, but adds a beautiful refinement to your existing color (and it would grow out with no harsh lines)."

04 of 08

Bold Chunky Highlights

JoAni Johnson at Harlem Fashion Row at One World Trade Center
Mike Pont/Getty Images for BET

"Consider taking thicker slices to create boldness and more solid areas," says Reid. JoAni Johnson's chunky highlights are a prime example of this technique.

05 of 08

Foil Highlights

Jennifer Aniston at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards
Steve Granitz/WireImage

"Add reflects or foil on deeper areas to create more lightness and brightness," Reid recommends. "The technique will depend on your starting depth and percentage of grey."

In-between appointments, Succo suggests using a root touch-up product like Color Wow's powder to you can keep your highlights blended.

06 of 08

Gray Ombré

Another on-trend way to go gray? Ombré highlights. For her film The Hummingbird Project Salma Hayek wore a lob wig featuring jet black roots that gradually gets more silver towards the ends. Her hairstylist Jennifer Yepez styled the wig in loose beachy waves to show off the various shades that make up her color.

07 of 08

Herringbone Highlights

Gwyneth Paltrow at the Harper's Bazaar Exhibition as part of the Paris Fashion Week
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

This technique consists of blending your grays into your base hair color. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker have both adopted herringbone highlights into their iconic blonde shades.

08 of 08

A Cool Demi Gloss

Blythe Danner at the "The Chaperone" New York Premiere
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Blythe Danner's silver-blonde is another example of how a cool demi gloss can seamlessly blend silver roots with a buttery blonde base. When caring for gray hair, Reid suggests using a color-safe shampoo that's designed to keep out brassiness such as KEVIN.MURPHY's BLONDE.ANGEL.

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