How To Fix Perm-Damaged Hair

Written by Evelyn Davies

So, you have damaged hair after a perm and are seeking advice on how to fix it? Luckily, I’m a hairdresser, and a writer, so you get a little professional advice.

First of all, the decision to perm your hair should not be taken lightly. This process can be destructive, and really needs a hair professional. Perming hair is a process. We put rollers in the hair and use a solution that breaks structure bonds in the hair. We then fix the hair in place with a second chemical process. (There are more steps to this but I’m simplifying the language for a non-professional.) Obviously, if we break bonds that give our hair structure, this process is invasive.

Woman with permed hair-back view

So, Do Perms Damage Hair?

Well, the answer to this is situational. As I say, it’s invasive to the structure of your hair, so factors need to be considered when perming. If your hair is damaged already, yes perms can damage hair further. If you don’t follow a stylist’s advice, yes perms can damage your hair. If the process has not been done correctly, yes perms can damage hair. If precautions are in place, you go to a professional, you have a good consultation, and your hair type and condition are considered in the perming process, the answer is no. Perms can give beautiful results, bringing the desired change in hair texture.

Damaged Hair After Perm Because it Was Washed too Soon

There could be a few factors to the ”damage” so let’s look a little further into it. Did you follow the stylist’s aftercare advice? Usually, I’ve seen stylists recommend not to wash the hair 48hrs after an in-salon perm. This is because the process is still setting in after you leave the salon, so it’s best to not wash it. Washing it can disturb the curl forming.

If it’s washed too soon and you have frizzy disturbed curls or lost your curl, you need to go back to the salon and own up. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for this. To perm again, in my professional opinion, you should wait for at least 2 months. However, depending on the state of the hair, a stylist may not be willing to fix it. That’s because it is in a really compromised condition, we may not want to put more invasive chemicals on your hair. So, listen to your hairstylist, we don’t make this stuff up.

gorgeous woman with permed hair experiences hair breakage

Hair Breakage After Perm

Now if this is the case, I’m sorry but you may have had a perm that wasn’t suitable for your hair condition. There is no quick fix for chemically damaged hair, and if it is breaking, it’s pretty serious. I recommend not doing any chemical treatments, and working on the strength of your hair. So, hair products/treatments for proteins are made to build strength and I recommend deep conditioning treatments.

Breakage can also happen when you have been coloring your hair at home with colors that contain metallic salts. All the more reason not to use store-bought color – the metallic salts can cause a reaction with the perm lotion and cause hair to break off.

Do I Have Hair Loss from A Perm

Hair loss can be a confusing subject. If your hair loss from a perm is not from the root, in the lengths, it may be breakage. So, if you’re not seeing thinner hair at the root or bald patches, refer to the above paragraph for breakage. You may have thinner feeling hair from it breaking off after a perm.

gorgeous woman with permed hair experiences hair loss

Hair Loss at the Scalp After a Perm

The PH level of a perm varies depending on the type of perm applied. An alkaline perm may venture further away from your scalp PH level, disrupting the scalp. This can also happen with acidic perms too. If the scalp gets irritated, it can cause damage to the skin, which is where the hair grows from. Then damages the hair follicle and causes hair loss at the scalp. Perming solutions are chemicals and there will always be risks when putting this on your hair/skin. However, it’s pretty rare to experience hair loss from a perm.

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How To Fix Hair Loss After a Perm

If you are experiencing thinner hair on the scalp after a perm, I’m sorry this is happening to you. If the hair loss is from the scalp and the hairstylist took your needs into account, it is just unfortunate that your scalp has reacted this way. It can happen sadly. The issue is at the scalp, so I recommend scalp treatments for hair loss. Nioxin has a fantastic range of products for this. Also, scalp massages stimulate blood flow and air to the follicles, which helps with hair growth.

What goes into your body comes out – eat a well-balanced diet. I have seen a friend lose hair due to a lack of folic acid in her blood. Which is found in leafy greens! If you are experiencing long-term loss or are extremely worried, go to a doctor… the scalp can also react to many factors in your life, and it could even be something that was always going to happen, with, or without a perm.

gorgeous woman with dry permed hair

Dry Frizzy Hair After a Perm

How frizzy are we talking about? If it is so dense you cannot get a comb through it, or it’s stringy and stretchy like elastic that doesn’t spring back to a normal curl form or hair texture, your perm may be over-processed. If it is just frizz and not damaged maybe you could re-perm in the future to re-form the curl, but you may have to wait a few months.

If it’s doing the chewy stretchy thing, where the hair sticks together, your hair is on the brink of breakage. Work on the internal strength of the hair, protein-rich penetrating conditioning treatments, and faith is all you can do.

Perm Gone Wrong Quick Fix

The only quick fix I can think of for a really overprocessed perm is cutting it off. There’s no magic formula for this, it takes time, and it’s why you really should consider the factors of having a perm. Do your research, and go to an experienced stylist that does perms. Cutting a lot of hair off can be liberating. If you cannot bear to be short there are some really great wigs on the market these days, and you could get your stylist to cut it like your hair before if you didn’t want people to know you have a wig, or you could have fun with it too and try different colors and textures.

gorgeous woman with frizzy permed hair

I Have Frizzy Hair After a Perm

So, curls are completely different to deal with compared to smoother natural textures. I would hope your hairstylist gives you some styling tips for dealing with curls after a perm because they do need a hand to style. Wash and go is a nice idea, but sometimes I find curly hair takes more work than smooth hair types. If you’re lucky, your perm may need a hand in styling and it’s more of a knowledge issue for you.

Tips For Washing Curly Frizzy Permed hair

Every stylist will have their favorite products for dealing with curls, so mine is personal to me and my clients, but I will explain why. I love OLAPLEX SHAMPOO after perms. Also, OLAPLEX no1 can be used during perming to help with the condition of the hair. This is because the products have a patented formula to rebuild broken bonds in the hair.

After permed hair is shampooed, only use a wide-toothed comb and a normal conditioner if it’s your first wash. If it’s after your first wash and you are frizzy, deep conditioning treatments can be used. I recommend a penetrating conditioner for building strength If you get breakage. If you’re not experiencing breakage, I recommend a conditioner for Moisture. Once your treatment/conditioner has been combed through and left on for 5-10 minutes, squeeze or blot the water out with a towel, DO NOT SCRUB.

Scrubbing can disturb the work you have done smoothing the outer layer of your hair with the comb. Your hair structure has scales called ‘cuticles’ They overlap and face downwards like roof tiles and protect the inner part of your hair, which is, where the perm has reformed the bonds. So, looking after the outside will look after the inside of the hair. Also, rough unsmoothed cuticles can cause frizz so comb through your conditioner.

Beautiful sportive woman with blond curly hair

Styling Products for Frizzy Permed Hair

So, you’re trying to tame the frizzy hair after perm curls with some products. I really like a bit of control when it comes to frizzy curls, so for me, I find oils and creams soften the hair but don’t really contain it. I really like a particular mousse called Sculpting Foam by Paul Mitchell.  That’s because this product is a styling mousse but it contains a leave-in conditioner. It controls and conditions, and it’s so flexible, I use it on straight hair too. So, no 80s perm crispy hair mousse here.

For extra condition after perms I love Sebastion Potion 9 as a detangler, leave in, curl crème. I sometimes use this in conjunction with a mousse but it totally depends on how much control you need.

Style Techniques for Damaged Permed Hair

So, once you have followed the steps above for washing and styling, I like to do a twist technique to guide the curls. Take sections of hair and twist them from the root around your finger to create a coiled effect. Once all the hair is coiled, air dry or diffuse. NO SCRUNCHING WHILE WET WITH HANDS. (Wet scrunching encourages frizz) Then once it’s dry, separate the coils with your hands. Hopefully, you should have smoother curls and less frizz. If not, your hair may be chemically damaged, please refer to the paragraphs above.

gorgeous blonde woman with permed hair

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark

Written by Evelyn Davies

So, you’re interested in professional color remover, and hairdresser tips for dark hair color removal? Well, you have just stumbled across some color correction advice straight from a professional hair colorist and hair blogger.

Removing dark hair color from your hair can be super challenging, even for hairstylists. So, I’ve put together a guide for different scenarios, helping you know how to fix too-dark hair dye. Maybe you want to know if you can lighten your hair after dying it dark, or how to fade hair color that is too dark, depending if you have permanent dark, temporary hair color, or toner, we have detailed how to fix hair color that is a too dark guide below.

How to Fix Hair Color That Is Too Dark

Frustrated girl with dark hair color

So, my rules are, to try to use the gentlest form of hair color removal for the scenario, removing dark hair color can really damage your hair.

If it’s permanent dark hair color, and it’s your only choice, use a bond rebuilder with bleach. You can color it all or gradually highlight the hair. Is it a one-off dark color/semi-permanent color pigment remover that could help remove tone without too much aggression? If it’s a toner, temporary or semi-permanent – shampoo, waiting, or a clear demi can help remove darker tones. But my number one rule is, always go to a hair professional, it could save your hair, and give you the best results. Read my reasons for this advice below –

How to Lighten Hair That Is Dyed Too Permanent Dark

In this scenario, I would judge what to do by 2 things. If the hair has been repetitively dyed dark over dark and if the canvas underneath is bleached/porous and possibly light.

If the dark hair dye is a buildup of years and years of dark permanent hair color applications, it will be super difficult to remove. It can be done but requires patience and money. As a stylist, I like to try and remove color in the gentlest way possible. For me, I like to use everything that could lift out a permanent dark color, before resulting in using bleaches. This is to keep the health of your hair, as removing color/lightening from permanent dark hair color is very invasive to the structure of the hair.

Use Hair Lightener to Remove Permanent Dark Color

So, you’ve tried everything to remove dark from your hair but lightening bleaches and it’s your last resort? Sometimes bleach is the only way to go with permanent hair color removal.

If you have to use a lightener, please consider working with a bond rebuilder while lightening the hair. This will help push the results further and avoid compromising the condition too much. My favorite on the market is Olaplex, I notice a significant difference in the condition of the lightened hair whilst using this bond rebuilder. Bleaches can lift color up to 9 levels, depending on color history so bleach is a powerful product.

Hairdresser correcting dark hair color

Using a Bond Rebuilder while Removing Hair Color That’s Dyed Too Dark

There are many bond rebuilders on the market, usually, they are added into a color formula or lightening bleach to help keep the hair in good condition while treating them with chemicals.

 It replaces broken bonds whilst coloring, so perfect to counteract aggressive bleaches. Please remember that using bond re-builders helps the process they are not a magic formula that means you can defy the laws of hair color, speak to your hair colorist about your hair lightening options. Also, bond rebuilders sometimes have a treatment-only option so you can top up the broken bonds in-between color treatments or, take a top-up product home to keep on top of your hair condition.

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark

If the hair Has been colored dark as a one-off and you were previously light, you may be able to use some more gentle forms of hair color removal, also if your hair is slightly porous, this can help with the color fading.

So, you tried something new and you can’t get on with it. Removal of darker colors is still difficult, but you may get away with the use of a color pigment remover. These claim to remove the artificial color pigment and leave the hair’s natural pigment. However, if you have used permanent color, that process sometimes removes your natural pigment slightly and replaces artificial tones in the hair. So, what’s left underneath may not be your natural tone. I recommend booking a color removal with a second color process to tone the results you get. Actually, with any color removal, I recommend 2 appointments in one sitting as it is color correction.

How to Remove Toner That Went Too Dark

Sometimes this can be a simple fix that requires patience. You can use more aggressive shampoos, or semi-permanent dyes, or wait for the natural fade of a toner.

It happens from time to time we experiment, and our results are not as expected. If you’re thinking toner made my hair too dark, I usually recommend a clarifying shampoo and a good hair treatment. Continual use of a clarifying shampoo can remove toners, but also remove moisture in the hair so please balance this with a good moisture treatment to keep your hair shiny and smooth. Toners are a semi-permanent tone, that usually fades out and lasts 2-5 weeks, so I would consider waiting it out too.

How to Correct Too Dark or Bright Hair Color That’s More Temporary

So, if your hair color is way too intense, but it’s a toner, semi-permanent or temporary color, I have seen hairdressers use an alternative technique with demi-permanent clear color.

The place where hair color particles sit determines if hair color is temporary, semi, or permanent. The stronger the color the deeper it goes into the hair structure. By using a demi-permanent, it can push out temporary or semi-color. Not always, but it’s worth a try, I have used a demi clear so it has no tone but gives the shine effect to hair and if you use this over light tones, can pull the toner out.

How to Avoid Hot Roots when Coloring Hair

Written by Evelyn Davies

Hot roots, what are they? How to avoid hot roots and a hair color guide directly written by a hairdresser. Maybe you need a little color correction advice or just need a slight formula tweak.

So, the term hot roots is an easy way to describe a color that has not quite gone the way you or your stylist was planning. I also refer to hot roots as root glow. It basically means the root of the hair is warmer, lighter, or brighter than the rest of your color, and it can happen for a number of reasons.

Hot Roots when Bleaching Hair

So, if you have bleached your hair with a lightener and your hair was previously natural, you can end up with a brighter cleaner blonde on the root and not throughout the mid-ends. Hot roots on a super light blonde may look like your mid-lengths are golden/warm, but it could be down to timing.

Hairdresser coloring hair roots of bleached hair

Why Did the Hot Roots Happen?

When lightening hair, heat speeds up the process, giving a stronger/lighter/brighter effect. So, if you apply a lightener to the scalp first before ends, you can end up with a “hot roots” effect. This is an example on virgin hair, un-chemically processed. The heat from the scalp will accelerate the lightening process, leaving you with uneven brighter blonde hot roots.

If the hot roots are bright and the ends appear warmer, the issue was – the application would have given a more consistent result if the lightener was applied around 1″ away from the scalp, focusing on the areas where it takes longer to lift bright. Then going back in on the root to lift the areas later. Reapplying bleaches on the mid-lengths and ends is not an advisable thing to do, so if you can avoid hot roots when lightening your hair, please try to.

Hot Roots on Colored Dark Hair

So, this example is when you colored your hair dark in the past, and originally it was great, but now you get hot roots and don’t know why. This can be one of two things.

1 – Permanent dark color reapplied over permanent dark color until it has built up over time in the ends, giving the desired lighter look on the roots but making them look like hot roots.

2 – trying to go a lighter shade over dark permanent hair color.

Scenario number 1 is maybe more for the home hair dye readers. Reapplication of dark over dark can create a dark build-up in the ends. Sometimes almost looking black. Making the roots stand out and hot. Coloring hair permanently dark adds tone to the hair, so if you continue over the same strands the color becomes dense. However, the roots have no previous color, so they can go the desired color, or glow brighter depending on the natural color.

Scenario 2 is going to require more knowledge than putting a lighter shade over a dark one. I wish coloring hair was that easy but it is not. You need a clean canvas to go lighter, so you will need to remove permanent color before going lighter, otherwise, you will just continue to get hot roots.

Roots Look Hot but Just Warmer

So maybe this situation isn’t a level of darkness issue and is more tonal. You have possibly decided to change your color to something warmer, but the color history in the rest of the hair dulled the effect, and the clean roots glowed and became hot roots.

How to fix the hot roots? For this example, it’s a little easier, you’re not looking to lift or darken the hair, but to just neutralize the hot roots. You could add what we hairdressers call a base tone, or natural tone to take the edge off the glowing roots.

How to Avoid Hot Roots Altogether

Well, if you’re not going for a color change and you know the possibility of hot roots can be an issue for you, I recommend balancing the color. By this what I mean is using a demi/semi-permanent on the mid-ends, and only permanent at the root. This way you avoid build-up and then avoid hot roots, so long as you stick to the same/similar shades.

My Advice for Your Hot Roots Research

Go to the salon. Speak to a colorist. This stuff isn’t as easy as putting paint on the hair and it magically changes, this is a study we have done for years. Researching the color wheel, and learning about chemicals, the structure of hair, and the laws of color, it isn’t easy for a stylist to correct, let alone somebody with no study in this field. This guide is to give you answers, not to encourage you to home color.

How to Repair Damaged Hair After Taking off Extensions

Written by Evelyn Davies

Had your hair extensions out and feeling like your hair is damaged? Maybe it’s feeling thinner, or matted, you may even have bald areas. This how-to repair damaged hair after hair extensions guide should give you an insight into what to do next.

So, hair extensions can add a lot of difference to your look and I foremost understand why they are addictive. I used to wear extensions for years and I’m naturally thin-haired. I’m also a hairdresser so I know the ins and outs of hair extensions. I’ve seen the damage caused by clients, by poorly applied extensions, or incorrect advice. Hair extensions need to be done well to preserve your natural hair.

Do Extensions Make your Hair Thinner?

attaching hair extensions in the salon

I think the answer to this one is they can. So, yes, but not usually. Some people I find get so used to the extensions that they feel they have hair loss after removal, so that could be why. Also, repetitive strain on the same areas of the head can cause hair loss. If the extensions are applied incorrectly with too much weight on your strands the hair extensions can damage the hair by pulling it out.

I’ve also seen neglect from clients and their bonds matte together. Or maybe you have had a weave and the roots are matted. Tying hair up against the fall of the extensions also can pull out hair. Not having breaks from hair extensions can cause damage and the sad part is people who have them probably have a thin hair type already.

How to Thicken Hair after Hair Extensions?

If your hair is thin at the root – it is an issue at the scalp. Thin hair after extensions can look patchy on the scalp, or, generally thinner all around. You need to look after the scalp and follicles. Regular scalp massages supply blood flow to the follicles and do not tie hair up tightly to put a strain on them. Also, scalp/hair growth treatments, maybe vitamins for hair growth and be gentle. Do not keep putting extensions in if you’re experiencing hair loss as it will add to the problem. Regular trims also help thicken the look of the hair.

Wispy Hair after Extensions?

So wispy hair can happen. This also can be normal. A set of permanent hair extensions can be in the hair while it grows for months. Over this time hair can lose its strong haircut shape so it may just need a cut. Also, sometimes to blend the extensions into your own hair an extensionist may cut into your hair to get a seamless blend. It may not be the damage after hair extensions you’re experiencing and more about getting a haircut.

beautiful blonde woman with short wispy hair

Do Extensions Damage your Hair?

So, having hair extensions taken out can be quite liberating after having them in for a while. I encourage regular hair extension wearers to have breaks from the hair extensions because it’s not advised to repetitively go over the same parts of the head. This is because it can cause alopecia from too much tension and pulls the hair out.

Damage Caused by Improper Hair Care Regimen

The damage can also be caused by a client’s home care regime, this is why is important to go to someone qualified that can advise you correctly. If you tie your hair up with extensions high or tight the pressure on your follicles can pull the hair out. Also, if a client does not brush hair through the bonds and goes to bed with wet hair, it can cause bonds to matte together causing pressure on the root.

Damaged Hair after Matted Extensions

Hair matting usually lies at the clients’ hands and it’s a nightmare for us hairdressers to remove. This actually can get so bad it needs to be cut away. That can cause hair to be knotted and picking away at it with a fine-toothed comb takes hours. It also can feel thinner after the hair extension removal because the old natural hair loss will have stayed in the matting, also the extensionist may cut the matting away because removal is not possible.

Does Hair Grow Back After Removing Hair Extensions?

The answer is yes. Not always but mostly. If you have hair loss warning signs then do not put another set of hair extensions in and give it a break. Look after your scalp, get a good haircut, eat a balanced diet, give yourself head massages and use professional quality shampoos/conditioners. My advice is to leave it alone to thicken and grow.

How Long should you Give your Hair a Break from Hair Extensions?

Personally, this depends on your situation right now. If it’s in between having new hair put in and you are not experiencing hair loss, I’d give a 2-4 weeks break. If your hair feels thinner but has no bald patches after removing hair extensions, I’d give it a couple of months. Check in after and see the difference. If you’re still worried, leave it alone for a longer period.

Then if you’re experiencing bald patches, I recommend giving your hair a rest until it grows back. You’re at risk of losing more hair, so stop trying to pinpoint why you have hair loss from extensions and learn from it. Maybe you need a new hair extensionist, maybe you need to change your hair handling at home, maybe you naturally suffer hair loss and it’s not smart to have hair extensions.

a model with restored hair after removing hair extensions

The Main Differences Between Box Dye and Salon Dye

Written by Evelyn Davies

Home hair coloring vs a salon. You’re wondering if box dye is worse than professional dye? And I wanted to do a write-up from a professional hairstylist’s point of view. The study of hair is our profession, and we come across these box dye vs salon questions regularly. Sometimes it can be frustrating to educate.

I thought I would list down a few of our reasons so you can make more educated choices. Box dye vs professional dye is a constant battle we deal with guests in the salon. The short answer to this – is there a difference between store-bought hair dye and salon? Is yes. Check out the guide below for my why’s.

salon hair dying

Box Dye vs Salon Dye Chemically

Cheap color = cheap ingredients. Box dye will not come with the quality in production as a professional salon brand. If you’re cutting costs, it will come with a different kind of cost–quality color.

Metallic salts, PPD, ammonia, peroxide. It’s chemical mayhem! If you want quality, you need to pay for it. Some chemicals will react with each other and even disintegrate your hair, some are suspected carcinogens, some are bad for the environment and the list goes on. It’s the same with products too, want good quality – pay for it. 

1 Box Dye Creates all – Fact or Fiction?

Before and after the chart those box dyes have on the back, you know where it’s blonde, medium, or dark. Weird how we don’t have those swatches in professional hair color ranges, and we just have a color chart.

That is because the box dye before and after is fake news for most buyers. Ever box dyed your hair and it’s not the color on the box? It’s a common occurrence. Using one shade to create similar results on everyone’s hair is obscene. Imagine how strong a box dye is, the aim is to create a very similar shade on different hair colors/types. So, the box dye will be using an unnecessary strength on hair types that do not need it. The box dye will aim to penetrate thick, stubborn, or dark hair types. Which can result in damage/buildup.

Hairdresser washing pink dyed hair

Does Salon Color Last Longer than Box Dye Color?

In short yes. The previously discussed issue of ”one strength fits all” in-box dyes and chemical quality. Salon professional hair color is tailored to your specific needs. There are so many variables in hair color formulation.

Using a strong hair dye can weaken your hair cuticle. This is a protective layer over the internal structure of the hair. Depending on strength color molecules sit in different areas of the hair. That’s why we get temporary, demi, bleach, and permanent color. Once weakened the cuticle will open and if it doesn’t close and seal, you can wave goodbye to long-lasting hair colors.

Bleaching Hair at Home vs Salon

Bleaching your hair at home is not a good idea. Box dye bleaches are going to have the issues we have mentioned in strength and quality but also in bleaching, I feel the professional knowledge and application come into play.

Bleaching, once it’s in, It’s permanent. it’s a very strong hair lightening service and we treat it differently to color because it is a lightener. When a lightener overlaps previously lightened hair repetitively, it weakens and damages hair, resulting in breakage. Box coloring with bleach is just a recipe for damage, and I do not advise it. Go to a professional colorist.

a woman with short pink hair daying and styling her hair in the salon

What is the Difference Between Home Hair Color and a Salon Color Application?

Box dye hair color is missing not only quality and strength options but application skills too. Professional colorists are trained to apply color in the salon correctly for your hair needs.

Classically lightened hair has strands – highlights. Not every client wants full blonde hair. Highlighting your own hair is extremely difficult, even we stylists would struggle to achieve that on ourselves.  Also, coloring hair has particular application methods too, repetitive overlapping can result in the buildup and permanently turn hair black, even when your chosen shade is not black. Ever got bright glow roots from box dye? Can be from scalp heat or build-up.

young woman in the salon with pink colored hair

Is it Really Cheaper to Box Dye Hair?

So, you box dye your hair medium brown, over and over and over. The ends are now black. You have roots and a weird gradient with dark ends… nice. Suppose the professional colorist has to fix it now.

You will need a color correction to even this out and fix it. Adding highlights may be an option to break it up, but you need to remove some of that stubborn depth. Hairstylists will more than likely need to use a solid professional color to do this, or lots of appointments. They are often being expensive. Or you can grow it out over years. That $10 box dye saved you so much money long term. Let alone regular appointments to top up fading color from damaged box-dyed hair.

woman in the saloon checking her short pink hair

Box Dye vs Professional Color

Box dye – cheap – for now. Professional color–guided, predictable, tailored, studied, safer, relaxing, service. I think the pros and cons say it all.

With professional color, you receive after-care advice, consultation of hair goals, guided expectations, a relaxed service for yourself, quality ingredients, realistic ideas, and a tailored hair color to suit your hair needs. When coloring your hair professionally at the salon, you are not only paying for a color, you pay for the whole service. Please don’t mistake our creative job for being easy to do, it takes years of study. This, you cannot buy in a box dye, so please if you can, go to a professional.

a woman with beautifully dyed pink hair in the salon

All You May Need to Know About Balayage Hair

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hairdresser. Creative writer. 

What is Balayage?

Balayage Is a French word, meaning sweeping. The technique we use to balayage color hair is a sweeping effect. Like freehand painting. Balayage can vary so I’m here to clarify some terms and misconceptions. You can get partial balayage, reverse balayage, ombre is a different look and highlights are different too. Usually, the balayage effect is darker at the root and lighter at the ends, but balayage can be created with lots of different color transitions.

Balayage Vs Highlights

Balayage can be done in a foil, meche, or paper like a highlight. It can look like we are creating highlights, but they’re different. A balayage in a foil is blended out at the root with the sweeping effect. This can also be called foilyage. Some stylists use backcombing too in this technique. The reason we use foil can be down to a few things.

  • Foils achieve a lighter blonde; you may need the incubation for more lift.
  • Control – This stops lighteners and colors from transferring onto sections of hair.
  • Bleach, some balayage bleach is for a free hand, and some is better in foil.

Highlights are vertical strands weaved in that are consistently the same from root to tip. Done in foil, meche, or paper. Sometimes you can get a dark-to-light effect in your hair from having a buildup of highlight history in the hair. So, we understand why this gets confusing. The picture below shows highlights that have built up to become a dark-to-light effect.

Woman with balayage hair in a saloon

Balayage vs Ombre

Ombre is a French word too. The word means ”shaded”. We use the word ombre in hairdressing to describe the gradual transition of color. All the ends are one tone there’s a more gradient effect. Again, this can be created with lots of colors, but usually, it’s a dark–light tone.

I understand why these terms are confusing but here we have pictures for a visual of an ombre look. As you can see there’s more of a fade and the ends are the same tone. When the hair is a balayage like the first picture the hair has a more vertical stripe from dark to light and multi-tones.

Balayage Highlights

Free-Hand Balayage

This is another technique we hair colorists use. There are a lot of lighteners we use for these effects. Generally, these looks do not get as light as in foils. Free-hand balayage can look a little gentler and more natural. We paint panels with our product and soften the area near the root by using a sweeping effect. We can also do this by painting strands on the root when we top up the balayage.

So again, lots of techniques. I have to say It takes skill knowledge and a creative eye for us to decide what step we need to take on you. Check out this free hand I created for a client.

reverse balayage hair

How Often to Touch-Up Balayage?

Well, this is a question with quite a lot of answers. It all depends on the look you have had, your natural color, and how rooty you like a balayage.

Some clients like to top up every 6-8 weeks, some come in every 6 months, some like to keep a sparkly toner and top it up every 3/4 weeks and some want the ability to grow it out until they fancy a change. The beauty of balayage hair is that it can suit high and low-maintenance looks and can fit into different budgets. If you want to top up regularly, tell your stylist, if you want low-commitment color, also tell your stylist.

How Long Does Balayage Take?

Again, this is a changeable answer. Something I have found with balayage is – It generally takes longer than highlights to create.

From the colorist’s point of view, balayage is a bigger job than highlights. It needs to blend nicely so we have to do more sweepy strokes, especially if we use foil. Now, this isn’t always the case – Sometimes free hand can be a pretty fast application, so it depends on what you want. If you’re thinking – of super fine blended strands and super light then be prepared to be in the salon a long time. Once you throw backcombing in too it adds time to our application.

Have a chat with your stylist in advance, send them your hair goal pictures and be honest about your color history, these factors can affect time in the salon and on balayage. Also, time = money so the bigger the job, the bigger the price tag. Be prepared to spend if you want super light detailed balayage.

What is Reverse Balayage?

This is a technique we use to add dimension and tone, usually darker. I love a bit of reverse balayage.

If your hair has got super light it can end up looking one color and need some low tones to pop out your light. I love this because personally, I think balayage’s should have that dimensional look to give them a natural feel. I even love it when we use this technique with fashion colors pastels and brights, you can add multi tones by working different shades through instead of lifting the hair.

balayage highlights on red hair

Partial Balayage – What Is It?

So, this is also a balayage technique but we don’t do the full head of hair.

Maybe you want to balayage around the face only like a natural money piece, or maybe you just want some lighter tones up top. The partial balayage is great for topping up a full balayage or creating a small change in the hair. Some people like to lift up edges only and some like a scattered effect. I hope this has cleared up a lot of your balayage questions and will help you decide on your new look. Happy coloring.

Professional hairstyle with balayage hair color

How to Color Gray Hair with Highlights

Written by Evelyn Davies

Highlights to blend gray hair? Lowlights for gray hair? Blending grey hair with highlights and lowlights? Transitioning to gray? You’re at the right blog post.

I’m a hairstylist who specifically works on gray blending and natural hair. One thing that I’ve noticed is an issue with covering or blending gray hair is permanent color. Yup that warm glow you get on your hair after the tone fades? One thing I have to say about permanent is that yes it changes your hair color permanently. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a color you want.

Woman with gray hair highlights sitting in the saloon

Highlights to cover gray hair

So, what’s the deal with the transition to gray hair with highlights?

I want to cover some color knowledge with you guys. Clearly to find this highlight to cover gray hair blog means you are doing something that isn’t working, or you’re trying to figure out what to do. So, dying hair 101 – Permanent color is something that adds tone, it penetrates deeper into the hair and changes it. In order to do this, it removes some of your natural pigments. When it does this it weakens the hair cuticle because it is more aggressive. The cuticles are scales that protect the internal part of your hair, strength bonds, keratin, etc. A lot of people try using permanent color to hide grays.

woman in the salon with highlights that cover gray hair

Covering gray hair permanently isn’t the answer

It’s a quick fix, that actually is very temporary. Let me explain why highlights are best for blending gray hair.

Once the cuticle is weakened, it’s easier to experience color fade. This is because the permanent color molecules sit under the cuticle once deposited in the hair. Once the color has faded you can be left with a warm glow. This is because some of your natural pigment has been kicked out and the ”permanent” tones have faded out. So, you can end up with cold and warm contrasts on gray hair.

Woman with highlighted hair sitting in the salon

Highlights to blend gray hair isn’t that permanent?

So, are highlights permanent? Since it stays light? And why are they better to blend gray hair? Does it fade warm too?

Yes, lighteners are permanent too. However – Bleaches do not deposit a tone, they just lift pigments out. This is why blondes need toners as a second appointment in the salon. We can lift hair super light (depending on the history) and these tones blend very well with grays. Once it’s light it is light. So even if you do have a toner that gradually fades, it’s a much better long-term solution for gray hair blending.

Highlights for gray hair… does it last longer?

Think about the way your gray hair grows – in strands. Work in highlights to work in strands with the way hair grows naturally.

The application of highlights is in a vertical stripe.  This grows out beautifully in hair. It works with the natural flow of gray hair and is less work long-term. Covering gray hair fully will leave you with obvious roots, horizontal lines, and a need to go back to the salon in 4-8 weeks. NO NO NO. Don’t get stuck in the roots trap.

pretty woman with highlighted hair in the salon

Toners over highlights for gray hair

So, you have decided to opt for the highlight option? Fab, but what toners are best too?

Well, the salon I love uses an acidic-based demi-permanent color. These systems add a tone and a translucent glaze over hair, meaning you can see different levels of lightness, but it adds a tone. What is nice about these colors is they do not lift the hair or leave behind a warm glow – unless you opt for warm tones. They gently fade lighter eliminating the risk of a harsh root line. So, ask your hairstylist about acidic demi tones.

middle-aged women with toner over highlights for gray hair

Best highlights for gray hair

Another tip I have for your highlights is to ask your hair colorist for fine gradual highlights.

Personally, I like to do this on most guests, even if they have no grays. Chunkier weaves and highlights grow out way more obvious. Unless you are lifting out permanent color and you above 50% gray naturally. So, a good colorist will blend foils with a gentle application. Instead of going full force and over-loading thick strands in the hair, try fine lights to help with the root blend.

Woman with highlights in Gays and Dolls Salon

Gray hair highlights

So, I hope I’ve covered some highlights for gray hair questions. All In all, I would recommend having a good consultation with your hairdresser.

Blending gray hair with highlights isn’t the easiest job. However, it can look naturally stunning, and gray is such a beautiful color. Asking your stylist, and picking their brain, or just booking in for a consultation to chat really can help clarify the best steps for you. Remember all hair is different. We have lots of tools to achieve the looks you love so explore your gray blending options. Happy coloring.

Older woman with short gray hair blended with highlights

Rose Gold Hair: Color Variations

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hairdresser. Creative writer. 

Rose gold hair is a hot trend that has been dominating the warm color pallet.

Blonde Rose Gold Hair

Blondes have the ability to guilt-free experiment with color.

Rose gold is great for those blondes with yellow tones in their hair. Instead of fighting it, a rose gold tone will work with it, meaning you don’t have to lift out those yellow tones that make your hair look brassy, leaving it in better condition, but also with a unique eye-catching color.

Rose Gold Hair Variations

Is it red? Pink? Or gold? This color leaves people struck on what to call it. It’s a mix of metallic gold with pinky-red hues. The color has the ability to be executed in many ways but I find the most popular is blonde rose gold. With so many different variations of rose gold, I decided to make this a simple guide.

Vintage rose? True Rose gold? Champagne? There are a lot of variations.

It is a hard color to a cocktail at the color bar. So, take a picture to your hair stylist if you have an image in your head. True rose gold to me looks like, well rose gold! But I have experienced clients asking for a champagne tone, and not having the result they asked for in their head. So always take pictures. There’s a huge spectrum of warm blondes.

1. Vintage Rose Gold Hair

This is my favorite version of rose gold.

Vintage rose gold hair has an undertone to mute it down a little. Giving it an aged vintage effect. Almost a matt neutral hint to move away from bold obvious reflections of color. It’s not as dense as some rose golds. I think it has a more expensive finish. With a really nice two-tone iridescent feel. Now, these words could mean anything to you as I’m a hairdresser but check my image below for a visual:

A woman with rose gold hair in a salon

2. True Rose Gold Hair

This is a classic mix of gold, red and bronzy.

True rose gold to me has a bronze undertone.

This gives it a bit more ‘spice’ than the vintage muted tone. It’s a little closer to warm metallic hair color. It’s a light bronze with a red/pink hue. Like a light copper. Making it subtle and unusual at the same time. Again, check out the image below for a visual of what I mean by true rose gold.

true rose gold hair color

3. Rose Gold Champagne Blonde Hair

This gives a nice more natural classy tone.

Now this color is not classed as a rose personally but it’s in the warm blonde family and it often gets tagged as a rose gold, so I want it to be featured. The champagne tones are a more yellow-golden-based tone. They can have a reflection of pinky silvery hues, which is why this tone kind of crosses into the rosy family. Check my image below for a clear visual.

Rose Gold Champagne Blonde Hair

4. Rose Gold Peach Hair Color

The bolder variant I see popping up on Instagram.

Peachy pinky hues are so delicately beautiful. They add a veil of sparkly warm fun to blondes. I have also seen these tones referred to a ‘rose gold’ and it’s a warm blonde so I can see why. There are no rules to what you want to call a tone, but I think it’s nice if you and your stylist can speak the same language. Check out what I’d call a peach below:

Peach pink rose gold

5. Rose Gold Brunette Hair

So, this is even MORE complex.

The problem with going a darker tone is you lose the brightness of the orange-red-pink hues in there. So, in order to have these tones peeping through, it may be realistic to lighten pieces of your hair for it to appear more obvious. It’s achievable but let me show you an image of rose gold brunettes. It loses the light behind the tone and doesn’t look as unusual.

Rose Gold Brunette Hair

As you can see, the brunette roses have multi-tones. To get that color to appear in your hair you may need to lighten it up. Also, we still have the different variations – though more subtle on a brunette tone. These tones can have more golds, reds, orange, pink, and even slight violets.

Looking after Rose Gold Tones

Getting rose gold can be hard and keeping rose gold can be hard.

I always recommend professional quality products for hair care. Washing less frequently in cooler temperatures helps with longevity. Also, heat protections and less heat styling can help. To top it up, toner conditioner treatments are perfect for adding hues at home whilst conditioning your hair.

Rose gold hair is a challenge.

Confusing right?? Try cocktailing it in the salon! We tailor every color.

We have to come up with the right formula for you. I’m hoping this guide gives you more clarity on what you’re looking for. Maybe even helps you and your hair stylist choose what’s best for you. And you’re ready and prepared to understand the process of getting rose gold hair.

Peek-a-Boo Hair Color Ideas

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hairdresser. Creative writer. 

blonde peekabo color in dark hair

Interested in the latest color trend? Need a new look? Peek-a-boo hair color peeked your interest? Below you’ll find some hidden hair color ideas to try.

First of all, this trend is fresh off the catwalks. The peek-a-boo hair trend is so recent, and if you want to be one of the cool kids I suggest jumping on the peek-a-boo bandwagon.  It’s a look that was about in the 90s returned in the 10s and is back in the 20s. An edgy alternative to the money piece trend, check out our blog to help you decide on your peek-a-boo hairstyle.

1. Peek-a-Boo Bangs

I think the look works really well for those of you that have fringe/bangs. A peek-a-boo panel adds an edge to a hair color that needs an injection of fun.

It is hidden hair color, that peeps through the rest of your hair. When you add a peek-a-boo hair color in bangs well, it complements the cut. Especially if you work a panel into the hair length and bangs. It draws the eye to different levels in your hair cut, gives a cool edge to your hair color, and expresses a quirky side to your personality. 

A girl with hidden hair color

2. Hidden Hair Color on Long Hair

This color technique works so nicely on you long-haired readers too.

The idea behind the peek-a-boo trend is it’s a little hidden. And long hair is great for this. Adding panels of peek-a-boo color underneath is very effective. You can hide it if you have a professional image to maintain, or you can style your hair to show it off!

3. Peek-a-Boo Highlights on Short Hair

a girl with hidden rainbow hair

The peek-a-boo trend can be more obvious on hair that’s layered or short. You want to tailor it more to your look.

If you want it more on show, ask your stylist to layer you up. If you are layered or short and want something subtle ask your stylist for finer panels for gentle pops of color. Really short hair can look patchy if there’s not enough length so best to work the panels in areas with length on shorter styles.

subtle highlights in short hair

4. Peek-a-Boo Hair Color on Dark Hair

I personally love the idea of peek-a-boo on dark hair. Sometimes we can get a little bored with our natural dark brunettes.

As beautiful as a brunette is, sometimes we want a little fun with our hair color. Peek-a-boo hair color is perfect for this. Dark hair can stay dark and you can add slices of colors you wouldn’t dream of doing usually as a natural dark. Because the color is partially hidden, you can play with tones that hairdressers would normally ban on your skin tones. YAY.

peek-a-boo color in dark hair
Image credit: @haircolorandsoul

5. Blonde Hair with Color Underneath

Blonde Hair with Color Underneath
Image credit: @angsbeautyworld

Blondes have so many color options with the peek-a-boo trend. Peek-a-boo highlights? Yes, please.

a woman with blonde peek-a-boo hair in a beauty salon

You guys are already light and bright, meaning you could have a peek-a-boo pastel, a vivid or a dark. You don’t need to pre-lighten the hair because you’re already light!! I quite like the non-commitment of having a toner color over your peek-a-boo hair panels. Something gentle for an interesting contrast. They fade out eventually so your back to blonde ready to try something new!!

Hiden underneat colors in blonde hair

6. Underneath Hair Color Ideas

There are a few color trends I noticed for the peek-a-boo shades, so you best get your hair stylist to pull the charts out for you.

Peek-a-boo copper hair. So coppery warm tones have to be the most ‘in’ choice on the peek-a-boo popularity list. It’s a versatile tone. Peaches are great on blondes, Vivid orange-reds in brunettes and sandy warms on redheads. But as always with color, these are just suggestions and sometimes the best looks are the ones not following the crowd.

Luminescent peek-a-boo. NEON is so cool on this look and there’s been a lot of neon peek-a-boos popping up on the gram. Electric blue? Zingy yellow, UV green? Do it! I dare you. Maybe this is a more summery look but we can work towards it to get our rave hair color prepared.

7. Subtle Peek-a-Boo Highlights

subtle peekaboo hair color

Going not too far from natural adds a beautiful dimension with a peek-a-boo color technique.

Go 1 shade up or down from your natural tone. It adds enough interest without being too ballsy. The panels can go a little chunkier with it being a subtle change and I really like the ‘is it? Or isn’t it’s colored, leaves a lasting impression anyways, and the best hair icons are the ones having you question what they did to get that.

subtle underneath color in long hair

8. Alternative Peek-a-Boo

a girl with peek a boo hairstyle

Weirdo that doesn’t follow the crowd? Hidden hair color ideas for you. Everything works. More is more.

Even though it’s a hot trend and you like swimming upstream, you can make your peek-a-boo color cool enough for the alternative kids. I’ve seen stylists play with root shading, hidden rainbow hair, clashing colors, and even emo-inspired raccoon tail peek-a-boos. Go wild, if it doesn’t work, it probably works for you.

Well, hope my writing has peeked your interest. (not sorry for using this twice or using it at all for that matter) Get peek-a-boo color planning, It’s a versatile trend for everyone!

Blonde hiden color in long dark hair
Bright highlights in long hair
Teenaged girl with peekaboo hair in the salon

What Extensions to Wear for Fine Hair?

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hair Stylist. Creative writer. 

So fine hair – it’s a pain, right? Fine hair needing volume? Wanting a guide on hair extensions for thin hair? Well, you’re at the right place!

Best Hair Extensions for Fine Hair

Fine hair that never grows? Hair extensions may be your only option for long thick hair. But there are so many types of extensions now. What’s best for your fine hair?

Hair Extensions have many benefits. Extensions can make your hair appear much thicker, longer, stronger and reduce daily styling times. Fine hair needs extra care because it’s delicate. You need to research what’s best for you.

worried young woman looking at her fine hair

Extensions Pulling on Fine Hair

Pay attention to your roots and scalp if you have fine hair.

You have to avoid putting too much tension on your delicate roots. The last thing you need is to lose hair from too much weight/incorrect application. So, here’s a list of the hair extension types I recommend for fine hair and their benefits.

Are Nano-Beads Good for Fine Hair?

Nano beads are good for fine-haired people because you have the guidance of a professional. They can advise you, check up on how it’s going, and know when it’s time to remove them.

I think these are the best option for an individual bond hair extension on fine hair. They are more permanent so you can’t take them out and they need to be applied by a professional. They come with a flexible silicone tip and are applied with a tiny bead. They move nicely with the flex-tip and do not put too much strain on the roots.

Please bear in mind your personality and lifestyle. If you don’t like spending time blow-drying, or, if you tie your hair high and tight regular, permanent extensions might not be for you.

Clip-In Extensions

Clip-in in extensions on fine hair – is it ok? The answer is yes!

These are wefts/rows of hair that you clip in and out as you please. These are great because you can choose when to put them in, take them out, and even how much you decide to wear. Perfect for tailoring it to your fine hair needs. I recommend having a break from extensions, especially on very thin hair, so the temporary nature of clip-ins is great.

Halo Hair Extensions for Fine Hair

Brilliant extensions to avoid pulling on thin hair.

These are super, non-invasive, temporary extension pieces. They suit fine hair types because they are temporary, with just a fine wire that creates a ‘hoop’ that sits gently on the head. Hair falls over the top and hides the hair piece. So, they are pretty good for those of you who want to avoid all clips, beads, glues, and braids.

Hair Pieces for Thinning Hair

Thinning hair has to be looked after. The last thing you want is to pull more out. The right hair pieces can help.

The world boomed with SOOO many hair pieces and it’s hard to know what’s best for fine hair. If your hair is particularly fragile, I recommend using something like a faux hair scrunchy. Avoiding heat styling. Tying it up loose and wearing a gentle hairpiece will help give your hair a break.

Top-tip – tie up your natural hair and tease it out a little around the roots, don’t wear it super tight. Tension can cause hair loss.

Ponytail Extensions for Thin Hair

There are a few fake pony methods. I think the best on fine hair is the one with the clip and wraps around it.

The tie around would put all its weight on your pony. Whereas when it has a clip the weight is distributed and isn’t as intense on one point. Meaning it isn’t pulling your hair around the edges as much. They are great for lengthening and thickening your pony and giving a quick effortless up-do.

Hair Extensions for Short Thin Hair

There are still extension options on short, thin hair.

This is the most difficult hair to blend. Because you’re short and thin, the hair may not be long enough to hide extensions. If you have a little length check out crown extensions that are textured for better blending.

Also, you may want to look into wigs. The wigs on the market for fine hair are of fantastic quality. Lace-fronted wigs are great for a natural appearance. And lace hand-tied wigs are very natural.

Or, there are headband wigs. These have a soft headband around the front to hide the hairline. Nice and easy, no faffing. So why not go for a wig until it’s grown? Then you can try one of our other options.

Hair Extensions for Thin Hair on Top

Thinning on top is never fun. But we got you covered – literally.

Bang and crown extensions are amazing for thickening the top. If you just need an extra boost on the top of your hair, try them out. They just give that fuller appearance. They thicken wispy bangs, plump up flat layers and hide gaps where your hair splits. There are even great options for thinning guys.

Hope this guide has given you the confidence to find the right hair extensions for your fine hair. Thanks for reading!

hair stylist installing hair extensions

Money Piece Hair Trend for all Hair Colors

Written by Evelyn Davies

Money-piece hair is the strongest color trend at the moment. This look can be as striking, subtle, and fun as you like! It’s been around since 2020, and it’s here to stay in 2021.

This trend re-started recently, super subtle on blondes, back when balayage’s boomed. It’s a face-framing effect that adds dimension to your hair. This has evolved recently into a more block color effect – It’s a stronger fashion look.

This evolvement then took on inspiration from the ’90s. With a stronger stripe, contrasting colors, and a blocky-looking finish, it has a real edge.

cute girl with money-piece hair outdoors

Let’s take a look at the cool different options for the money piece highlighting technique below.

Money Piece Balayage Hair

This look tends to have a more sun-kissed natural look. The money piece gently glows up the balayage you have. So, think face-framing highlights. The money piece is lighter or more prominent than the tones in the rest of your hair. Giving you a beach babe look. Who needs a holiday? Just go to your hairdresser and fake it till you make it! (Or at least till COVIDs over.)

Face Framing Highlights on Dark hair

Painting money piece on the dark has so many options.

There really isn’t a rule for this trend. However, natural blend money pieces are quite complimentary on you guys that are super dark. Say if you’re a nice deep chocolate brown think cool toffee tones. Or maybe on the warm spectrum delicious golden caramel hair color. Yummy. Feeling daring? The 90’s original dark hair and blonde money piece should have you itching to get to the salon.

money piece highlights on dark hair

Red Hair

It can be daunting choosing a money piece color on red hair.

If you’re a redhead and your dark/vivid depths, I like to work with coppery red oranges. These tones complement the existing color and add an equally exciting flare. Then, if you’re a more natural medium warm-to-sandy, I believe light warm peachy golden blondes look great on the money piece. Or you’re ready for something different. How about a bright red? Go all out.

The Perfect Money Piece with @Mirella Manelli | Kenra Professional

Blonde Hair

Money piece on blonde hair has a few tonal options.

Usually, I think the most complimentary look is a cleaner blonde around the face. Bright and sparkly. However, it does depend on your skin tone, and generally us hairdressers’ tone blondes for the desired result. Get your hairstylist to help you select the correct tone for you. Silver and platinum can be SOOO beautiful. Or maybe a pastel? Check out the next paragraphs.

Money Piece Highlights I YouTube video by Hair.com

young woman with money piece hair working on laptop

Money Piece Edge

The striking looks for the money piece in the hair are so versatile.

It can be a look that has a beautiful pastel hue on blondes to accentuate the hair around the face. Check out this striking yellow-blond money piece by Emily Davies hair. Or once the pastel faded Emily played with a more peachy tone. It- Pretty fun right?

a client with money-piece hair in the salon
a woman with money piece highlights

Money Piece ’90s

So, unfortunately, I’m old enough to remember the period this was first around ???? in the ’90s the classic was dark hair with a striking blonde blocky money piece. Think spice girls, boy bands, and platforms. We had all the good stuff then!!

little girl with money-piece hair pink

Money Piece Striking

Yup the block of whatever the hell you like on your face-framing streaks.

The money piece trend literally works with EVERY COLOR. That’s why I love it. There are no rules… Just a little guidance here and there. Sometimes if the colors clash, they can look even better. One thing I would say to be aware of is your skin tone. So, hold it up to your face. See how it looks.

Reverse Money Piece

So, this look is pretty much when your light at the back and dark around your face.

I like this option for you guys who maybe like blonde hair but the color isn’t the best for your skin tone. Solution? Have a complimentary darker or more tonal-appropriate money piece around your face. Pretty cool that it actually can allow you to try colors that maybe don’t suit you.

Well, there you have it, the money piece history tones on balayage’s, dark, reds, blondes, and fashion colors. Whatever you choose, have fun with your money-piece hair!

cute girl with money-piece hair pink

The Best Way to Hide Gray Hair

Written by Evelyn Davies. Hair Stylist. Creative writer.

attractive middleaged woman with graying hair smiling

Hair turning gray? Don’t you just hate it when your gray roots are so obvious? Need gray hair tips? What is gray blending? Gray dye for men? What’s the best option to cover your natural grays? Let’s explore the best way to hide gray hair.

First of all, color. Gray can be blended, covered, or even embraced. And covering gray hairs can be difficult. Gray hair can be more resistant and need extra help. A hairstylist can formulate the perfect strength of color to cover your gray. Meaning it will last longer, cover better, and avoid damage.

For all these options I recommend using a professional.

I get it – some of you guys can’t bare your gray. And that’s fine. Covering it can be high-maintenance depending on how gray you are, your color prior to turning grey, and your chosen tone.

I recommend not straying too far from your root color. Usually, hair starts to turn gray on the hairline. Not the most obvious place. Unless you tie your hair back – then you may be more interested in gray blending.

A woman with gray hair in a salon
A woman with blended gray hair

Take a look at the before and after by Chrissy Davies above – This was a grey blend to embrace the natural beauty.

Don’t be fooled though going from just a medium tone like this to a sparkly gray can be a considerable amount of time in the salon.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an image of the stages it takes to get from just a medium warm tone to a smoky gray.

Gays and Dolls salon

Best Way to Cover Gray Hair for Brunettes

If you are brunette/dark and have a few greys coming through (>5%), personally I think matching your natural dark is best. With a permanent color if you like to hide gray completely. Your hair has just begun to turn gray. It’s not overpowering and it just means the root touch up to hide gray hairs. Nice and easy.

The same goes to cover grays on medium tones/blondes. If your >5%, don’t sweat it! Just a matchup is low-maintenance enough.

Best Hi-Lights to Cover Gray on Dark Hair?

So, you have a natural mix. Super dark hair and super light greys. How are we going to blend this?

Sometimes I like to use a demi-permanent color to cover gray on dark. These are tones that leave a trace of color and they fade with time. They never fully disappear with washing but they are not so permanent. Meaning your grays don’t look obvious when you have roots. This is the best option for condition and shine.

Or, blend your brunette hair and gray hair with multi-tones, leaving some natural color in there.

You don’t need to always fully cover up greys. Multi-tonal looks are brilliant for grey blending. You don’t even need to go smoky colors if you don’t want icy tones.

Add a medium tone to marry light and dark colors. Weave fine hi-lights of dark, medium, and light tones. The dark will cover some gray, the light will blend some grays and the medium will help the color appear more natural. Check out some of my work below for a visual.

Woman with gray hair counseled by highlights

I’ve found this look on darker mixed grays by Chrissy Davies. It’s Using the cold color pallet but is still multi-toned with multi grays.

a middle-aged woman with blended gray hair

These types of colors need extra care in the salon and at home with gray toner products. I’ll speak a little about home care further in the blog… Hold on we got more info for you yet!!

Dark Short Hair Gray Coverage

So short dark hair with greys? Men wanting to cover greys? Here’s a little secret for you…

On short dark hair going gray, I like to either use a demi-permanent or Hi-lights/Low-lights. This is because short hair can show off an obvious root. We’re trying to hide grays. Not exaggerate them. Unless you are committed to 2-3 weekly touch-ups avoid full head permanent color.

Medium to Blonde Grey Hair Blend

These are nicer colors to blend with greys, and natural light, not so contrasting, just a heck of a lot easier to blend.

You can go full-force light and rock a platinum look!! You can go super-subtle and ashy hi-lights and low-lights. You got the best options for gray blending. Color your hair multi-silvers is a nice one and, in all honesty, I’ve been seeing more and more people embracing their grey.

The image below is a client that has a blonde mix to blend her natural blonde and greys by Emily Davies – melty goodness.

A woman with blonde grey hair blend

And Finally… Platinum Gray

Are you super white naturally? Lucky you. It’s such a beautiful color.

If you’re blessed with really gray-white hair, after toner in the salon using products at home can keep your hair clean, bright, and sparkly grey. Silver shampoos have boomed over the last few years. They are wonderful for enhancing grey tones.

Check this icy white hair I created below. I think it’s just divine.

a woman with super white hair sitting in a salon

Also, if you’re not embracing that gray and you want it at bay –

After a toner in the salon, use a color-depositing shampoo to prolong it. Color shampoos have an array of tones to add to your hair.

Maybe you have some grey hi-lights that need extra zaz. Some shampoos are gold, copper, and brunette for natural tones. If you’re feeling a little daring try a fashion tone! Whatever takes your fancy – You name it! Zero commitment because they fade out, fun because you get a clean pallet to try something new once you’ve finished a bottle.

I love a bit of pastel pink on white hair check this look I created below –

a woman with pastel pink on white hair

Toner Treatments and Conditioners

Not just shampoos – There are also some brilliant toner conditioners and treatments for covering grays. I usually prefer a toner shampoo. That’s because they’re generally quite deep conditioning, and I’m all for health. Again, not so committed because they fade. Low maintenance and fun!!

Color on White-Haired Ladies

Other than that, I’ve used lighteners and bleaches for brightening my clients with gray-white hair that’s a little dull. Or toned gray hair with a soft blonde toner. You still have color options but again remember straying too far from your natural means more maintenance – so maybe avoid them darks!

Hope I’ve cleared up some gray areas for you! Whatever you choose blend them hues.