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ICYMI, gray hair is really on trend these days. Once upon a time, spotting gray hair meant immediately plucking it or scheduling a dye job to conceal your changing hair hue. But nowadays, it’s become more and more commonplace for those who are actually going gray—and not purposefully dyeing their hair that color—to embrace it with highlighting and lowlighting techniques that can help create depth and contrast. And we have to say, we’re quite the fan! Donning gray hair has become synonymous with embracing your natural beauty. Dig the sound of that? Keep reading to find out how to blend gray hair with highlights and lowlights to get the look yourself.
When it comes to gray hair, integrating a series of highlights and lowlights can help create a mixture of natural colors for a multi-dimensional ‘do that’s full of movement. This modern technique allows you to embrace your grays in a stylish way!
Since highlighting and lowlighting requires a certain skill to apply, this is often best left to a professional colorist. One thing to keep in mind when you request highlights from your colorist: Lightening even the skinniest of strands will require bleaching. Also, as with many highlight and lowlight techniques, you’ll want to consider your starting base color before diving into adding highlights and lowlights. Not sure where to start? Below, we share the best colors for each base.
If you’re a natural blonde…spruce up your gray-strewn blonde with a mix of hues. Ask your colorist to add in highlights and lowlights ranging from pearl to medium blonde. These natural-looking cool ash tones can help neutralize the golden blonde tint to help conceal any grays you may want to blend a bit better.
If you’re a natural brunette…you’ll want to play around with darker lowlights. Think: espresso! When you add bright highlights to dark hair, it will only accentuate the grays that you have.
If you’re a natural redhead…it may be time to implement a series of lowlights and highlights in the brown and blonde range. Not ready to kiss your fiery locks goodbye? If you only have a few grays, you can get a glaze to help mask them temporarily.
If you’re tempted to DIY your blended color, look for an at-home highlighting kit that comes with a highlighting cap for precise, even highlights that are perfectly placed. L’Oréal Paris Frost & Design fits the bill exactly.
No matter which color hair you start with, the maintenance tips remain the same. To help keep your newly colored hair looking and feeling its best, commit these three rules to memory.
1. Switch out the products in your shower. It’s time to make room in your shower for a shampoo and conditioner formulated for colored hair. Try the L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo and the L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner.
2. Up your hair’s hydration. Add a hair mask to your weekly beauty routine. Once or twice a week, swap out the L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner for the L'Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask and leave it on for three to five minutes, then rinse out.
3. Keep heat styling to a minimum. Excessive heat styling can damage your hair—no thank you! So, since you’ve embraced your naturally graying hair, why not do the same thing for your texture? Rock your waves or curls by air drying your strands. To create California girl beachy waves, spritz on the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray to towel-dried hair, braid your hair, then undo the braid once your hair has dried. For added volume, apply a dollop of mousse, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Ruffled Body Mousse, to wet hair, flip your hair over to scrunch, then let it air dry. And for a little smoothness, reach for a styling cream. Apply a tiny amount of the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Undone Style Cream to wet hair, then run a little bit through your ends once your hair has dried.
You see, blending your gray hair with highlights and lowlights doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. With the right colorist or highlighting kit and post-color hair care know-how, your gray strands are sure to look gorgeous!
For more advice on coloring gray hair, check out our article, 3 Tips and Tricks to Help Hide Roots Between Coloring.