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Can You Add Highlights to Gray Hair?

Growing up, you may have envisioned yourself with flowing locks of silver or gold in your old age. But as gray hair creeps in earlier than expected, a full head of bold highlights can help you envision that future color today. Adding subtle or vibrant highlights to your graying strands is completely possible to blend, brighten, or make the most of your new natural color. Let's explore whether it is the right choice for you and how to get gorgeous highlighted grays.

Is highlighting graying hair a good idea? 

Yes, highlighting can be a great option for gray hair! hairdressers have many techniques for blending your grays seamlessly or making them pop just right. Before scheduling your appointment, think about your goals. Do you want to blend away the gray for a more unified look? Or showcase sparkling strands of silver? Discuss these priorities with your colorist so they can recommend the perfect highlighting style and shade. Your desired look combined with hair health will help determine if highlights are suitable.

The benefits of highlighted gray hair

The advantages of gray hair with highlights are:

  • Adds dimension and thickness. Soft lights and darks make hair appear fuller and more lush by adding contrasts between the highlights and natural gray shades. This dimension creates the illusion of extra volume and body.

  • Creates extra body that flatters all face shapes. The subtle lifts provided by highlights lift the hair up and away from the face for a smooth yet voluminous look. This amplified body is flattering on rounded faces, square jaws, heart-shaped features and all varieties, bringing attention in a flattering way.

  • Allows personal expression. Choose from natural highlighting styles that seamlessly blend grays, or opt for bold pops of color interspersed throughout for a rebellious celebrity look. Highlights are a medium for self-expression through hair color.

  • Promotes self-acceptance and confidence during hair transitions. For those experiencing graying, highlighting is more than a temporary color fix and instead supports embracing natural aging gracefully. It boosts self-esteem during life changes.

Techniques for gorgeous highlights

When it comes to highlighting grays, your colorist has several placement methods providing different looks:


This freehand painting technique delivers a sun-kissed look as highlights fade to darker roots. It's one of the most natural highlighting styles perfect for blending or subtly enhancing your gray.


Babylights are very fine highlights added throughout to brighten hair without heavy contrasts. They create soft dimension and are gentle on fragile gray hair.


Foils allow for more precise highlights for gray hair with bolder contrasts. Sections of hair are folded in aluminum foil while dye processes, then released to reveal crisscrossing ribbons of vibrant color. This technique is best if you want dramatic highlighted looks.

No matter the placement method, discussing your preferences with your hairdresser ensures the perfect highlighted gray hue and look. Now you can appreciate your unique transition with added sparkle!

The right color for your gray highlights

Choosing the right highlight shade makes all the difference. Consider how you want your new hair color to complement your own gray:


Ash blonde, platinum, or pearl tones blend cool highlights seamlessly into silver hair with no brassy tones. These shades mimic pigmented gray for a cohesive style


Warmer caramel, golden, or honey highlights contrast beautifully with cool gray for depth and shine. Their sun kissed hues flatter many skin tones too.

Embracing gray

Play with highlighting placement—lighter shades around your face draw attention upward while interspersed colors amplify your inner celebrity. Have fun with your style!

Consult your colorist on what works best with your particular gray tones. A flattering highlight is key to adapting this change confidently.

Caring for gray highlights

Highlights require proper aftercare to last vibrant between salon visits. Protect hair health with gentle care:

  • Use color-safe, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner

  • Limit washing to preserve vibrancy, opting for dry shampoo on non-wash days

  • Rinse with cool water to seal the cuticle and lock in pigment

  • Deep condition weekly to combat dryness from the highlighting process

  • Apply a heat protectant serum before blow-drying to shield from heat damage

  • Schedule root touch-ups every 6-8 weeks with your colorist

Nurturing highlighted hair prevents brassy tones and breakage so your grays can glow beautifully for longer. Consistent care makes for low-maintenance highlighted hair between appointments.

When you may not be a good candidate?

While highlighting allows gray self-expression, it's not always suitable depending on hair condition:

  • Hair that's already very dry, brittle or damaged from prior chemical processes

  • Active scalp conditions like eczema or psoriasis that could worsen with chemical dyes

  • If you have recently done a perm, relaxer, or other chemical hair treatment

In these cases, practice patience or consider alternative styles like lowlights that are less harsh. Hair health comes before cosmetics, so discuss individual concerns openly with your colorist.

Common mistakes to avoid

With the right approach, you can avoid problems that lead to unsatisfying or damaging highlighted grays:

  • Skipping consultation with your colorist to understand your specific hair and goals

  • Jumping too light too fast without a gradual process

  • Ignoring necessary hair-care between appointments

  • Procrastinating on touch-ups for too long between visits

  • Attempting at-home highlighting

Be open-minded, follow your colorist’s advice, and commit to regular maintenance for highlighted grays you can truly love.

Visit Vibrant Salon the best hairdresser in Fredericton

If you want to highlight your gray hair, visit Vibrant Salon and Spa the best hairdressers in Fredericton. Our team of top rated hairstylists in the town are experienced in highlighting techniques for all types of hair.

Our expert colorists specialize in delivering your desired look, whether it's subtle babylights or bold foiled accents. Through personalized consultations, we will work with you to design a best highlighting style that suits your hair texture and style preferences.

Our careful, customized salon services focuses on enhancing your natural beauty both inside and out. Book an appointment now with our hair salon for a damage-free and stress-free highlighted gray makeover.

In Summary

Highlighting is an excellent way to artfully accentuate gray hair, whether your goal is subtle blending or an eye-catching two-toned do. When done properly according to your hair type with consistent care, highlights allow self-expression through forever-changing locks. Don’t be afraid to experiment with shades and let your creativity shine through! With the right guidance, highlighting is a low-maintenance, confidence-boosting way to enjoy the journey to silver.

FAQs About Highlighting Gray Hair

Is it better to highlight or color gray hair?

If you want to maintain some of your natural gray for a youthful, low-maintenance look blended with vibrancy, highlighting is a better option than full color. Hair highlights allow your silvery strands to show through while enhancing them.

What color highlights look best on gray?

The best highlight color depends on your particular gray tones and what results you desire. Discussing your goals with your service provider ensures tailored shades for your individual graying hair.

Should I highlight or lowlight my natural gray hair?

If you want to brighten hair and achieve dimension like the sun has kissed your strands, opt for highlights placed strategically throughout. Lowlights are a better choice if you desire richer, darker tones that minimize brassiness and make gray appear more as a solid color. Both can look beautiful - consider what style suits your features and expression!

Are blonde highlights a good choice for gray hair?

Blonde highlights can be a great option for gray hair depending on the goal. Cool blondes like ash and platinum subtly blend grays, while warmer honey and caramel tones provide bright dimension. The best blonde shade depends on personal preference, so consult a colorist to find the right match for your hair.


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