Are Highlights The Best Way To Stylishly Flaunt Your Gray Hair?

Are Highlights The Best Way To Stylishly Flaunt Your Gray Hair?

One day your hair will be completely gray. Whether that gray is actually a white or more of a steel color, you will have to wait to find out. Regardless, you cannot dye your hair forever, and it is becoming more and more in fashion to let that gray hair shine.

However, be that as it may, transitioning to gray hair can be painfully awkward. Then there is also the fact that gray hair can look dull and bland. The solution to making your gray hair beautiful might very well be to get some highlights.

Highlights, Lowlights, And Streaks

There is a wide variety of different highlights that you can choose from for your hair. If you are looking into highlights, then you have likely at least heard about lowlights. Then there are also streaks, which is what people normally think of if they hear the word highlights.

Any of these highlights might be the right choice for you, but first you should know the differences between them. With both highlights and lowlights, only part of your hair is colored. Essentially highlights lighten the color of your hair in certain places while lowlights darken the color of your hair. Lowlights are often great for gray hairs, but highlights require care or they look unnatural.

Streaks, on the other hand, are just that. Most often, the streaks start at the roots of your hair and go all the way down to the bottom of your hair or close to it. They are meant to contrast with your natural hair color.

Streaks can be one color, or they can be done using multiple different shades. Steaks, in particular, can have three or four different shades to them, sometimes being entirely different colors than your natural hair.

However, highlights and lowlights are more often made to blend and to transition smoothly from one color to another. Most often, just one shade is used for these since the goal is to try to make it look like your hair is naturally that way.

Highlights, lowlights, and streaks are all different kinds of highlights. Any kind of highlights can look amazing with gray hair, so your options here are endless. However, knowing what category of highlights you are most interested in is a good place to start and can help you to narrow down your options.

Are Highlights The Best Way To Stylishly Flaunt Your Gray Hair?

Various Highlighting Options

There are many specific highlight patterns that you can choose from that can complement your gray hairs beautifully. Knowing what these highlights are called can help you know what to ask your hairstylist for.

Highlights can color the top part of your hair close to the roots, or they can color the bottom of your hair near the tips. If it is done correctly, the subtle change in shade can look like you simply spent a lot of time in the sun to make your hair naturally that way.


One of the simplest highlights is called a half-head highlight. For this type of highlight, the entire top layer of your hair is highlighted while the hair underneath is left alone. This type of hair highlighting can look amazing if your hair is more of a dark gray.

By getting a half-head highlight that is closer to white, the darker hair underneath can peek through and it can have a stunning effect.


Streaks can be thick or thin and can be any color. If your hair is still in the act of turning gray, these can do a marvelous job of helping that transition to be smoother. These streaks are most often applied to the top of your hair only.

Sometimes streaks are of just one color, maybe two, but at other times streaks can be of four or five different colors. Whatever your original hair color is, streaks can always be something that goes good with your hair even if your hair is entirely gray.  


Balayage is the most similar to what is called hair ‘painting’ since it involves the hairstylist freehandedly painting hair. This can be done to look like an ombre, but it is not always done that way. Essentially the hairstylist takes strands of hair and paints them with colors almost at random to achieve a natural effect.

With balayage highlights, most often the highlights often start about halfway down your hair. This is part of what makes this kind of highlight unique. However, you can request them to start closer to your roots if you prefer. Or, you can request coloring only closer to the tips if you prefer that too!

One variation of balayage is called foilyage. The basics of how the highlights are placed are the same. However, with foilyage highlights, once the color has been added to the hairs they are wrapped in foil. This gives these colors more intensity for a more dramatic effect which can look great done right on gray hair.


This technique is a perfect highlighting option for gray hair, especially light gray hair. For babylight highlights, a very light blond color is chosen. An almost pearl color with just a hint of yellow works great and gives your gray a bright, sunny look.

Babylights also make your light gray hair look shiny, and they are also really good at not fading. This could look good on you even if your original color before you turned gray was not blonde.


One thing that highlights can do is that they can be used on either the lower half or on the upper half of your hair. For example, to really show off your grays, you can color the bottom of your hair a shade or two darker than your hair that is near the roots.

This makes your gray more obvious, and it can look quite stylish. On top of that, when your hair keeps growing out it will be less noticeable. This allows you to wait longer between your touchups if you decide you need any at all.

On the other hand, lowlights can be applied to the hair at the roots and not at the ends. This makes your hair start off darker and then lighter towards the ends like hair usually seems. This can look equally amazing, but it does require regular touchups to the roots to look right.

What Color To Use For Your Highlights

New findings suggest how stress may trigger gray hair

You can get highlights of any color you want, but there are some colors that simply won’t go with your natural hair color or your facial features. To determine what color you should use for your highlights, you should first take your natural hair color into consideration.

Blond hair looks great turning into gray. Streaks are one of the best options almost no matter what shade of blonde you were originally. You can get gray streaks of various shades once you have enough gray in your hair.

This will let you hide the last of your blonde hair and go to being completely gray. Highlights like pearl colors and shade with just a hint of yellow to them are perfect here. Even some shades of silver can look quite stylish.

Dark hair going into gray hair can look a little off without some help. Going a few shades lighter with whatever highlights you chose to go with can be the solution. Dark gray hair that is more gray than anything else can often look good with some streaks that are a few shades darker as well.

The hardest original hair color of all to find the right color for is probably red hair. Depending on the shade of red, you may look good with some strawberry blonde highlights. Add to that a touch of silver or other cool colors to soften up the reddish as you gray.

For hair that is entirely gray, you still have plenty of highlighting options. Most of these involve going with different shades of gray or white. However, other colors like very light blonde highlights can look nice too. For a more ‘wild’ style, you can even show off that white by contrasting it with a streak of red or even pink!

How To Get Highlights

While you can do your own highlights at home, highlights are much more difficult to do properly yourself. Not only do you have to get only the hair you want to be highlighted, but it is much more important to get just the right shade.

When you go to your hairstylist to talk about highlights, the first thing that they will do is look at your natural hair. They will also look at the length and the type of your hair since different hair textures will take color differently.

The rest of the hair that is not meant to be colored is covered up with some form of foil or a cap so that it does not get affected. This can take more time to apply the highlights since covering up the part of your hair that is not getting dyed can be a bit tedious.

Doing this to yourself can make your arms ache. A hairstylist will also be able to see the top of your head much more easily than you can and will have experience with what the right highlighting colors are for you.

You can do highlights on your own hair and in the comfort of your own home. Highlighting your hair is certainly more difficult to do than simply dyeing your hair, but it is still possible. The best way to go about it is by getting a highlighting kit.

There are many different kinds of highlighting kits available, so you will need to know exactly what kind of highlights and what color you are looking to use. These often come complete with caps, the color, and some form of coloring tools for you to use.

Related Reading

How To Care For Highlighted Gray Hair

Caring for highlights is somewhat the same, no matter if your hair is gray or brown. However, it is even more important to properly care for gray hair that has been highlighted than it is if your hair has not turned gray yet.

Gray hair is much more likely to be damaged when it is colored, and it needs a little more coddling to stay healthy. You can start by changing out your shampoo. You should not only have a shampoo that is compatible with your coloring, but it should be one specifically for gray hair is possible.

Shampoos that are made for gray hair often have some color to them. This can be purple or some other color but, as strange as it sounds, this brings out your gray better. These colors prevent your gray from turning dull and faded.

Another way to care for your highlighted gray hair is to take cool showers, not hot. Hot water will fade your highlights faster and can also dry your hair out. In fact, you should try to keep any heat to a minimum as much as possible.

This includes styling with hot irons to either straighten or curl your hair. Since gray hair is already missing the melanin, it is more prone to being damaged, so just take extra care of it.

Final Thoughts

While getting highlights in your hair is certainly a great way to flaunt that new gray, there are a few extra tips on how to show off those new highlights to their full advantage. The simplest way that you can show off your new hair color is to change where your part line is.

You might not think of your part line as something that would make a big difference, but it truly can. If your hair is parted in the middle, switch to a side part or visa versa. Or, switch to a hairstyle with no part at all. This small change can give you a whole new look with almost no effort.

Another easy way to show off that lovely gray is with new hair accessories. This is especially useful if you tend to wear the same barrette or hairband almost every day. Change things up with a new clip or with a hair wrap.

Applying a gloss is yet another simple way to show off your gray. There are plenty of these available, and they help give your gray hair that shiny look. You can also achieve this shine by using a hair serum. This latter option will help more with any frizz you might have too.

Whatever you decide to do with your head of gray hair, do it proudly. Confidence, or a lack of it, is what truly makes or breaks a hairstyle. Remember, you are beautiful!

Previous article The Importance of Sunscreen for Bald Men
Next article 10 Products To Dye Your Hair Gray At Home
Christopher is the founder of Hair Loss Geeks, which launched back in 2011. At the time there wasn't any credible information on the internet about hair loss. As someone suffering from hair loss himself, Christopher began his extensive research journey. After launching the site, he later graduated from Boston University in 2012 with his PhD in Biochemistry. What started off as a hobby project quickly became a bigger focus as it grew. Christopher hopes everyone can learn from both his experience and research.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here