The Best Way to Hide Gray Hair

Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Evelyn Davies

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.

About the author

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Our writer Evelyn Davies is a traveling hairdresser with lots of hairdressing experience from all over the world. She also writes informative hair care blogs and has extensive knowledge of the industry. Evelyn has experience working as an artistic educator in the UK along with media hairdressing and writing for magazines. She has also owned her own salon for 4 years. On top of that, she now works freelance hairdressing in Amsterdam. Interested in business, the environmental impact of hairdressing, hair-related media, and all things hair. She also loves the outdoors, surfing, hiking, travel, and well-being.

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