Gray hairstyles aren’t just one of the latest hair trends for their head-turning hues. From gray blending techniques to “grombre” (a play on the words “gray” and “ombre”), it’s the equivalent of a community that embraces and accepts the natural transition of hair turning gray, silver, and white. In other words, gray hairstyles are an ode to the aging journey we’re all on.
Showing off your gray hair in all its glory is a shout-out to the world that you’re beautiful just as you are. It’s about not conforming to society’s ideal of beauty (translation: gray-free hair) nor feeling embarrassed just because your natural hair color is now close to white.
In fact, there’s been so much gray hairstyle appreciation these days, people are purposefully dyeing their hair this neutral tone, celebrities included. Cue Kylie Jenner’s gray ombre extensions, Ciara’s metallic gray pixie at the Met, and Kelly Osbourne’s silver strands. If that isn’t a call to go gray, we don’t know what is!
If you’ve ever wanted to try out gray hairstyles, read on to find your new ‘do.
Gray Hair Coloring Ideas
Who says gray hair has a limited color palette? Below, we show you how to work it, whether it’s to play up or play down this remarkable shade.
Cool-Toned Blonde Highlights
If you’re shy about flaunting your gray hairstyle, mix up your pearlescent base with cool-toned blonde highlights. Your colorist will probably recommend ice blonde, light ash blonde, and even platinum for an effortless color blend.
Gray Highlights or Lowlights
On the flip side, if you don’t have any white hairs yet but still want to dip your toes into the world of gray hairstyles, look toward gray highlights or lowlights (depending on your natural hair color). This colored hairstyle isn’t too much commitment while giving you time to decide if you should go full-gray at your next salon visit.
You’ve probably heard of balayage on brunette and blonde hair. But did you know this hand-painted technique can take your gray hairstyle to the next level, too?
Unlike conventional balayage, reverse balayage is all about being darker at the roots to spotlight your gray hair from the mid-length to the ends. It essentially adds depth to your mane for a gorgeous contrast between the bright and inky tones.
Pastel Ombre Hues
For a fun, lighthearted twist on any gray hairstyle, take the plunge with pastel ombre–colored hair. Unlike gray balayage, gray ombre is subtle, and the use of pastel hair dyes steps up your fashion game. Go wild with shades such as rose-pink, turquoise, lavender, and ashy blue, to name a few.
Gray Hairstyle and Haircut Ideas
The next time you want to talk gray hairstyles and haircuts with your hairstylist, consider these cuts.
Anyone can pull off a pixie cut given its many variations to fit different facial structures. For the most part, this short gray hairstyle ranks low on the maintenance meter, so that’s a big plus in our books.
There are tons of ways to work your pixie cut. Tousle or muss it to give off cool, grunge vibes. For thick, silver hair, thin it with an undercut to take off some of the extra weight.
If you want somewhere in between a pixie cut and a bob, go for a pixie bob. This trendy hairdo is highly versatile for anyone looking to chop off their mane. Whether it’s in the form of a textured shag or choppy bob, it will play up the natural texture of your gray hairstyle. In other words, you’ll look stylish with minimal effort.
A classic bob haircut is one gray hairstyle you can never go wrong with. Play it safe with the traditional chin-length bob cut. Or pair it with bangs, in which case, try them blunt, piecey, or even side-swept to amp up your chic factor.
If you’d like to add dimension to your short hairstyle, ask your colorist for highlights or lowlights to either blend in the gray or accentuate them with your gray bob.
Those who want to add edginess to their gray hairstyles will love the choppy bob. Not only is it low-maintenance, but the layered bob also gives your ‘do a volumizing appearance. Throw shadow roots into the mix, and you’ve got a multi-dimensional short haircut to keep things interesting.
For a classy medium-length gray hairstyle, you may want to consider the classic lob. It’s great for all hair types, particularly straight, thin hair.
If your natural hair color is of the dark variety — think brown hair or black hair — use it to your advantage. Here’s how: Let your base form shadow roots, accompanied by subtle or stark graduation to lightness. This will bring out the gray in your tresses while adding dimension for a voluminous look.
Have curly hair but want to take it easy on the upkeep? Then the A-line lob is for you. Long in the front and short at the back, this hairstyle avoids the dreaded triangular shape many curly-haired gals fear.
Shoulder-length lobs work well for a round facial structure. Meanwhile, chin-to jaw-length locks frame square-shaped faces nicely. If you have thick hair, ask your hairdresser for a long bob with layers to dial down the puffiness.
Those with long wavy hair can show off their natural gray color with an asymmetrical cut. This gray hairstyle features two different lengths — longer on one side and shorter on the other — with a deep side part for effortless glam.
We recommend tucking one side behind your ear to bring attention to your jaw structure. If you aren’t ready to go full-on gray yet, ask your colorist to keep your roots dusky for that showstopping transition from dark to light.
Braids are some of the best ways to express your creative side with your mane, especially if you have salt-and-pepper hair to create a striking visual. And the good news is, you have so many styles to play with, from simple Dutch braids to the eye-catching fishtail braid.
What better way to bring out the best of your long gray hair than with mermaid waves? Even if your hair type isn’t naturally wavy or curly, you can still tease them with a curling iron. Just remember to apply a heat protectant before you bring on the heat!
Take Care of Your Gray Hairstyle
Be it natural or dyed, gray hairstyles need a little extra in their grooming routine. That’s because silver strands are prone to frizz, dryness, and dullness, more so if they’ve been chemically treated.
Invest in haircare products that will keep your tresses smooth, shiny, and moisturized. Try a nourishing shampoo and conditioner duo, as well as other hydrating treatments like a leave-in conditioner and a hair mask whenever necessary.
For those who’ve bleached or color-treated their mane to achieve their gray hairstyles, purple shampoo can help keep brassiness at bay and extend your color’s longevity. If you want to use heat-styling tools, always apply a heat protectant, like our custom hair serum.
It’s Time to Get Your Gray On
As you can see, gray hairstyles aren’t solely reserved for older women; millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z have also fallen in love with them, too. Whether you want to change up your natural gray hairstyle or achieve a TikTok-worthy look, you’ll be spoiled for choices.
At the end of the day, your new ‘do will only look good if you put in the work to care for it. If you’re looking for products that are 100% customized to your gray locks, hit up the haircare range at Function of Beauty.