Aging gracefully often includes making the decision to let natural silver strands shine through. Whether you’re ready to embrace your grey hair fully or prefer a gradual change, blending grey hair with highlights can be a beautiful and stylish option. This guide explores the best techniques for transitioning to grey hair with highlights, ensuring a vibrant and multi-tonal look.

But worry not! Today, we’re here to bridge the gap between hair stylists and clients, bringing clarity and peace (well, at least in the world of hair!). Let’s demystify the tricky lingo and get you well-acquainted with the art of highlights, so by the end of this blog, you’ll not only understand what these terms mean but also how to effectively communicate your hair dreams to your colorist.

Table of Contents

How to Transition to Grey Hair

1. Grow Out Your Grays Gradually

Letting your grey roots grow out naturally can create a seamless transition. As new growth appears, the contrast between grey and previously dyed hair will gradually lessen. This method requires patience, as the full transition can take several months. To maintain a polished look during this period, consider using root touch-up products to camouflage the regrowth.

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2. Get Highlights or Lowlights

Adding highlights or lowlights in shades similar to your natural grey can create a blended, multidimensional look. This technique is particularly effective for those with lighter hair, as it helps integrate the greys more naturally. A professional colorist can strategically place highlights to complement your specific hair color and grey pattern.

3. Cut Your Hair Shorter

Opting for a shorter haircut can speed up the transition process. By trimming off the colored ends, you’ll reveal more of your natural grey growth. This approach is ideal for those seeking a dramatic change and can make the transition faster and more noticeable.

4. Use Blue or Purple Shampoos

Grey hair can sometimes develop unwanted yellow or brassy tones. Blue or purple shampoos and conditioners can help neutralize these hues by depositing cool pigments onto the hair. These products keep your greys looking fresh and bright. Be sure to follow the instructions to avoid over-toning.

5. Embrace Your Grays Confidently

Going grey is a natural part of aging. Embrace your greys with confidence and wear them proudly. Grey hair can be incredibly chic and stylish with the right haircut and styling products. Let go of societal pressures and outdated beauty standards—rock your greys with pride.

Benefits of Transitioning to Grey with Highlights

Adding highlights to grey hair offers several benefits:

  • Enhances Natural Beauty: Softer, lighter tones enhance the natural beauty of grey hair.
  • Blends Grays Seamlessly: Blending techniques create a balanced, blended appearance.
  • Gradual Transition: Highlights allow for a gradual transition to grey, avoiding drastic changes.
  • Reduces Salon Time and Costs: Highlights reduce the frequency of salon visits compared to full hair dye.
  • Adds Dimension and Volume: Highlights add depth and volume, making hair look fuller.

Choosing the Right Highlights

Go 2-3 Shades Lighter

Selecting highlights 2-3 shades lighter than your natural color creates a subtle, blended look with your grey hair. This prevents the highlights from appearing dull against the grey strands.

Use Ash or Beige Tones

Ash and beige tones are ideal for blending with grey hair, as they counteract any unwanted brassiness. Cooler ash tones, in particular, help maintain a natural look.

Face-Framing Highlights and Balayage

Place Highlights Around the Face

Strategically placing highlights around the face brightens your complexion and camouflages grey roots as they grow.

Ask for Balayage Highlights

Balayage is a highlighting technique that creates a soft, natural blend of colors without a stark regrowth line, making it perfect for grey hair.

Consider Glosses or Toners

Using toning glosses or treatments after highlighting can enhance the chosen tone while adding shine and luster to the hair.

Complementary Colors for Grey Hair

Jewel Tones

Rich purples, sapphire blues, and emerald greens add a luxurious look to grey hair. These bold colors create a sophisticated and polished vibe.

Warm Reds, Corals, and Pinks

Warm shades like red, coral, and pink provide a beautiful contrast to grey hair, adding vibrancy and youthfulness.

Plums, Wines, and Burgundies

Deep reddish purples and reds blend seamlessly with grey hair, adding richness and warmth.

Navy Blues and Forest Greens

Navy blues and forest greens offer a striking color combination with ash grey hair, providing depth and sophistication.

Soft Pastels

Dusty pastel shades like pale pinks, blues, and lavenders add a delicate, romantic touch to grey hair.


Shimmery metallics like silvers and pewters enhance the lustrous tones of grey hair, creating a modern, edgy look.

Caring for Grey Hair for African Hair Types

For Black individuals with grey hair, specific care is essential to maintain the health and vibrancy of their hair. Grey hair can be more prone to dryness and coarseness, making it crucial to use the right products and techniques.

Choosing the Right Relaxer for Grey Hair

Not all relaxers are suitable for grey hair. Using the wrong type can lead to undesirable effects, such as yellowing or increased brittleness. It’s important to select a relaxer that is gentle and specifically formulated for grey hair.

One example of a safe choice is using a no-lye relaxer, which is typically milder and less likely to cause yellowing. However, always conduct a patch test and consult with a professional stylist before applying any relaxer to grey hair.

Preventing Yellowing

Using the wrong relaxer or over-processing can turn grey hair yellow. This was the case with my mother, who has beautiful white-grey hair. She used a kid’s relaxer to straighten her hair, and unfortunately, it turned her hair yellow. To prevent this, avoid using products not intended for grey hair and incorporate a blue or purple shampoo into your routine to neutralize any yellow tones.


Perfecting Your Grey Hair Highlights at Perfektion Hair Salon


The decision to transition to grey hair with highlights is deeply personal. Whether you opt for subtle changes or bold transformations, working with a trusted stylist can help you achieve the look that best suits your style and preferences.

At Perfektion Hair Salon in Houston TX, we believe a thorough consultation is key to achieving the perfect result. We encourage you to bring photos and describe your desired outcome in detail, which helps us tailor our techniques to suit your individual style.

As you explore the world of highlights, remember that combining different techniques can create a truly personalized look that reflects your unique beauty. We’re here to guide you through each choice and ensure you shine with confidence.

Thank you for joining us on this detailed journey into the art of greying and hair highlighting. Whether you’re a seasoned salon-goer or new to the world of hair coloring, we at Perfektion Hair Salon are excited to help you achieve your dream hair. Ready to transform your look? Book your appointment today and let’s create magic together!


Is it better to have highlights when going grey? Highlights can help blend new grey growth, making the transition less noticeable.

How do salons transition to grey hair? Salons use techniques like highlights, lowlights, toners, and gradual lightening to transition to grey hair.

What do highlights do to grey hair? Highlights add dimension and contrast, making grey hair look more vibrant and youthful.

Is it better to go lighter or darker to cover grey hair? This depends on your skin tone and personal preference. Consult with a stylist to determine the best option for you.

How often do I need to touch up my grey hair highlights? Touch-ups are generally needed every 6-8 weeks, depending on hair growth rate and contrast between natural color and highlights.

Can I dye my hair after getting highlights to cover the grey completely? Yes, but consult a professional stylist to avoid damage and maintain highlight integrity. Dyeing may require more frequent maintenance than highlights.

Will highlights damage my hair? When done correctly, highlights should not cause significant damage. Use high-quality hair care products and avoid excessive heat styling to maintain healthy hair.

Embracing your grey hair with highlights can be a beautiful and empowering journey. With the right techniques and colors, you can achieve a look that is both stylish and uniquely you.