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As you brush your hair, you notice a gray strand among your rich dark locks.
Immediately, you stop and panic. Should you pluck it? Hide it? Or maybe dye it instead? If you pull it out, will ten more grow in its place?
As you stress over your predicament, a sudden realization hits you. It may be time to embrace the way you’re changing.
After all, aging is a natural phenomenon we can’t escape. So we may as well make the most of it.
And we’re here to help you love this new color more!
Whether you own it or loathe it, worry no more because we got gorgeous tips to share with you!
Read on to answer the question how to blend gray into dark hair.
Our Natural Hair Color
Scientifically speaking, each strand of our hair contains pigment cells called melanin. This melanin produces melanocyte cells that can be found in each hair follicle.
These cells produce two different types of melanin:
- Eumelanin — dark colors
- Pheomelanin — light colors
“If there are only two types of natural pigment, how come more than two variations of natural hair color exist?”
The different natural hair colors are due to the varying amounts and mixtures of the two types of melanin.
- Black — has large amounts of eumelanin
- Brown — has an adequate quantity of eumelanin
- Blonde — has a very little eumelanin
- Red — mostly pheomelanin with a bit of eumelanin
What Causes Gray Hair?
When we were little, we watched as the hair of our parents and grandparents naturally transform, turning gray and eventually white as they got older.
We were curious about how and why it happened. We learned, over time, that it’s all part of the aging process and will naturally happen to everyone eventually.
So what is the primary cause of gray hair? Age is a significant reason, while genetics contributes to graying too.
When hair goes gray, it has lost most of its melanin. Gray hair has minimal melanin, while silver or white hair contains none.
This happens because the melanocyte cells in our hair follicles begin to die off as we age, resulting in the loss of melanin or color and leading to gray and, eventually, colorless strands.
Because of the combination of melanin in black or dark hair, this transition to gray is much more prominent.
But color isn’t the only change we have to deal with due to the loss of melanin. Gray hairs tend to be coarser, thinner, and rougher.
There are also a couple of other contributions to gray hair, especially if you are experiencing premature graying. These include:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Lifestyle (such as wrong diet and stress)
- Medical conditions (like autoimmune diseases and thyroid disorder)
The Gray Blending Technique
Nowadays, more men and women are hopping into the trend of embracing their natural grays.
To some, it feels like a liberating fashion statement, while the others have just given up on the maintenance.
Wherever you fit in those rationales, gray blending is the new movement emerging in the hair color scene, and it’s something you would want to try if you want to flaunt those grays gracefully and naturally.
However, do note that this shade is particularly one of the most difficult to achieve artificially,
Also, natural gray hairs are much harder to dye. Unlike most hair, the cuticles, or the outermost layer of natural gray ones, are thicker. And this makes it harder for pigments to penetrate.
The good thing is that you won’t always have to do overall coverage just to color and style those pigment-lacking locks. Instead, you can show them off and let them accentuate your look as it is.
How Gray Blending for Dark Hair Is Done
Gray blending is a technique that masks gray hairs by incorporating them with your non-gray hairs. You do this by using two or more colors for an overall multi-dimensional shade that blends with your natural tone.
To put it briefly, gray blending is the perfect answer to the question — how to blend grey hair with dark brown hair.
In essence, it’s like camouflage for your gray and white hairs by adding colors that are similar or close to your natural shades. This way, it appears less gray, white, or silver and lets you create nice texture and style.
Gray blending lets you make the most out of your natural look by allowing the grays to grow naturally.
And it’s not just about blending color, you can also add more flair to your hair by going to salons and seeing how you can amp up the overall look.
If it’s your first time considering the gray blending technique, consulting a professional is recommended to figure out your pattern correctly and find which style would fit you the best.
Why Should You Do it?
The gray blending technique benefits you if you want to embrace the grays and silvers and blend them seamlessly into your natural hair.
Here are some of the best reasons why you should do it.
- It calls for fewer salon appointments for touch-ups.
- It’s less damaging than doing an all-over color or block coverage.
- It’s a low-maintenance option as opposed to traditional gray-hair-covering dyes.
- It allows you to absorb and embrace a new beauty phase in your life.
9 Gorgeous Ways to do ‘Gray Blending’ for Dark Hair
Grombre is one of the most natural ways of blending gray into dark hair.
Grombre, or gray + ombre, can be anything from a gradual gray transition to a creative dip dye where gray is one of the colors of your hair’s growth.
Through this technique, blending grays into dark hairs is enhanced through an ombre effect and boosts your hair’s look by giving it texture and revitalized style.
You can also try an ombre with other base colors. As a neutral shade, gray blends with almost anything.
Do you want to try blending gray into dark hair as subtly as possible? Blend the grays with “baby” highlights!
This type of gray blending often requires hair dye as it conceals the grays starting from the top strands to blend them smoothly while scattering them throughout the mane.
Baby highlights are more subtle than regular highlights, and the grays may be more of an accent and not be as prominent. This is a good option if you have a few grays.
Now here’s where it gets exciting and gorgeous!
If you notice that you have a significant amount of gray hair, baby highlights might not cut it. You can opt for full classic highlights instead.
With this type of gray blending, you can flaunt your silver while blending them with your natural hair color. Classic highlights are a fantastic way to incorporate gray hair and allow them to shine.
Opting for more prominent icy streaks draws attention to the gray hairs rather than trying to conceal them.
Illuminated Black and Gray Hair
Illuminated black and gray hair is a coloring technique that illuminates the hair’s dark natural color without altering the base’s depth color.
This works beautifully for grey blending black hair because the infusion of icy gray and white is a stunning, stark contrast, lifting and illuminating the black hair.
Going for balayage is perfect if you want to mask the grays while creating a stylish silver-infused look. Balayage is a freehand painting approach to applying the lightener to your hair.
This technique allows you to cover a larger area of the hair. It will enable stylists to customize the treatment to suit every client’s needs perfectly, even allowing them to spot-treat specific areas.
It results in a very natural and fresh low-maintenance look.
Cold Turkey Method
If you want to blend your silver hair into your natural hair without chemical touch-ups or doing anything to it, you can try going cold turkey.
For this method, the only requirement is patience. All you have to do is let your hair grow naturally.
Be aware that going cold turkey can mean you‘ll have to undergo an awkward hair phase where your hair is mismatched.
Salt and Pepper Hair
Gray blending black hair may seem impossible, but thanks to the gorgeous salt-and-pepper technique, it is now one of the most sought-after hair color trends for those with many gray (salt) and pepper (black) hues.
Silver growth naturally stands out for people with naturally dark hair because it creates a stark contrast.
What better way to blend gray hair with dark hair than to let it grow, maybe tweak it a little to make it pop, and create a salt-and-pepper look?
Sometimes though, getting a good mix can take some time, and some gray hair growth can be awkward.
You can speed up the process by going to a hairdresser to have them adjust and color match the hair for a smoother transition and cleaner look.
Highlights and Lowlights
If you’re looking for depth and dimension, you can opt for a combination of highlights and lowlights.
This means combining lighter and darker shades to blend gray hair.
Highlights and lowlights create a stylish gray transition by using the gray hair growths to establish highlights and then shift to a darker shade of lowlights.
Combined, the highlights add dimension to your hair, while the lowlights give it added depth.
Dark Charcoal Hair with Grey Lowlights
If you want a gorgeous and dramatic look – try going for lowlights to blend gray with darker hair.
This look goes great with dark hair and elevates the grays with a deep base to give it a dramatic lift for gorgeous depth and style.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best hair colors to cover gray hair?
If you have blonde hair, gray or white hair blends seamlessly into your color.
But how to blend gray hair into brown or naturally dark hair seamlessly?
Less saturated shades of highlights and dyes can make the gray strands less visible. Butterscotch, light auburn, golden brown, ash brown, and pale brunettes are some of the best shades to conceal them.
Or you can try the different gray blending techniques to flaunt your grays instead of concealing them.
Is it possible to reverse gray hair?
If you’ve acquired gray hair through aging, natural transition, or genetics, it’s impossible to reverse since it has something to do with the hair’s natural melanin production.
How long does it take before grays hair grows?
It takes roughly six months to a year for a gray hair strand to grow.
Despite the lack of melanin, the structural proteins present in white hair are twice as active as they are in your natural hair growth. As a result, they grow faster.
Ready. Get Set. Go Gray
If you’re all set to love your grays, they’re sure to love you back!
Here are some tips to help you find a new way to transition your hair color and style.
- Let your roots grow a little
Give your stylists at least 12 weeks or at least 2 inches of regrowth. Natural gray roots help them identify your base hue.
- Trims matter
For your hair to grow out as healthy and as quickly as possible, it is necessary to do bi-monthly trims. Trimming helps to eliminate any previous color and frayed edges.
- Switch to color-safe hair products
Adjust your hair maintenance to keep the color light and cool by sticking to sulfate-free products and avoiding too much oxidation.
- Patience. Patience.
Understand that this transition is a slow process. Let your hair grow naturally, and avoid doing an overall color using permanent, demi-permanent, or semi-permanent dyes; these will setback your hair growth and change your natural hue.
Going gray is a decision that involves dedication, confidence, and a whole lot of patience, and it’s not an overnight process or a salon trip away from achieving beautifully gray-blended hair.
It will take a while, but it’s worth it.