These days, there are seemingly endless ways to apply highlights. From balayage to babylights, we’ve got plenty of techniques at our disposal – each one offering its own, uniquely flattering effect. And, while not every process is perfectly suited to disguising gray hair, many can be adapted to meet your client’s desired effect. Here are four to try...
1. Traditional Highlights for Gray Hair
Traditional but never boring; classic highlights are applied from root to tip in an even pattern, then processed in foils to achieve a bright, luminous lift. Because they usually start at the root, they allow you to break up gray regrowth with a few lighter pieces, while giving the hair movement and dimension. If you’re working with blonde highlights, look to cooler tones, like ash or icy blonde. This way, they’ll be closer in tone to those natural silver, white and gray strands.
2. Balayage for Gray Hair
It’s a myth that balayage should only be swept through the mid-lengths and ends of hair. In fact, a few strokes starting at the roots can create a youthful, sun-kissed glow. Try placing some brighter pieces through the parting or temples with Blondor Freelights. It’s the go-to trick for clients with a low volume of gray hair that they want to lightly blend.
3. Lowlights for Gray Hair
Like highlights, lowlights can also be used to disguise gray hair. In fact, they’re perfect for covering gray on brown or red hair for those clients who worry blonde ‘lights will look unnatural. Tactically place them over gray strands to add richness and depth, using a demi-permanent color like Color Touch or – for complete coverage – try permanent Koleston Perfect.
4. Babylights for Gray Hair
Micro-fine highlights – aka babylights – are ideal for clients hoping to veil over a low volume of wispy grays. They mimic the sun-dappled, natural highlights you used to get on childhood vacations, and are just delicate enough to blend small, silver strands away. For coverage on heavier regrowth, you can also paint the babylights back-to-back, like @vivid.af did (below), so there’s almost no gap between each ribbon.