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Growing Out your Greys? Try These At-Home Grey Hair Blending Tricks the Pros (and Stars) Swear By!

Top colorists reveal the easy ways to embrace, mask and polish your greys for hair that wows — for less!

Whether its thanks to our lower-maintenance lifestyles, an effort to save time and money or simply feeling ready to embrace it, grey hair is having a huge moment. “We’ve been conditioned to believe that silver strands mean you’re old,” says Lorraine Massey, hairstylist and author of Silver Hair: A Handbook (Buy from Amazon, $9.99). “But with proper care and upkeep, grey hair can be chic, modern and empowering!” No matter where you fall on the embracing-greys scale — from starting the process to grey hair blending to sporting a full-on mane of grey — these tips ensure you and your hair (whatever the color) look as youthful as can be! Read on for simple tricks to everything from blending grey hair with highlights to toning grey hair and more.

How to blend grey hair with dark brown hair

Mary Steenburgen
Mary SteenburgenGetty Images

So you’ve decided to take the plunge but want to cover grey roots and stray silvers as they begin to peek through your dark brown hair? These temporary fixes will help you keep them undercover — dye-free.

Concealing stray silvers

While it might seem as though temporary color is the quickest way to mask greys in dark brown hair in the short-term, dye has a hard time adhering to the coarse and compact composition of grey strands. What can help: a hair “makeup” infused with argan oil, like Madison Reed Root Touch Up Powder (Buy from Amazon, $32). The oil’s fatty acids soften hair’s cuticle so color pigments can better absorb and cling to strands, while its included brush and spoolie allow for targeted application onto strays or errant greys along the temples and hairline. Simply load up the brush with powder, pull hair taut and press brush firmly into dry roots. For best results, apply a light mist of hairspray to hair before application.

If you have thin, straight hair, simply avoiding a straight part line can hide the newly silver strip along your roots, says Massey. Just crisscross the part by moving small sections of hair from one side to the other along the part line. For textured or curly hair, grab a few bobby pins close to the color of your dyed hair, then weave them through your roots, grabbing strands of hair from each side of your part (like you’re sewing a seam together). The “seams” and the pins hide roots!

Filling in a greying part

Not ready to part with your now less-than-natural dark brown hue, but don’t want to keep coloring your hair? Darkenyl (a potent blend of plant antioxidants and amino acids) may help. Applied topically, the compound has been shown to reactivate the cells responsible for pigment production within hair follicles, restoring color and preventing new greys from growing. One study found that used nightly, grey hair production decreased by 56 percent in four months. For best results, apply a dime-size amount onto a dry, clean scalp before bed. Find it in: The Inkey List Amino Acid Anti-Gray Scalp Treatment (Buy from Amazon, $28.79)

How to blend grown-in grey hair with highlights and lowlights

Olivia Colman
Olivia ColmanGetty Images

You’re growing those greys in, and now they’re noticeable. Hair colorist Mike Petrizzi of Chris Chase salon in New York City shares his tricks to transition blending grey hair with highlights and lowlights — for seamless style.

Merging strays

Infusing hair with a combination of highlights and lowlights provides a kaleidoscope of colors that subtly fuses greys with the rest of hair — no matter what color you had before. To do: Paint 1″ sections of hair with a permanent dye two shades darker than the color you’re growing out. Let process for 30 minutes, then wash and blow-dry. Next, use a highlighting kit that will lift hair two to three shades lighter and paint onto various ½-inch sections of hair throughout. Wrap with foil and let process for 45 minutes; rinse.

Nixing a harsh line

As greys grow in we end up with a pesky horizontal line of demarcation (where greys meet color). Creating a “root shadow” using demi-permanent hair dye can help. “It stains dye-resistant greys with a wash of color that gradually fades into the rest of hair for a softer grow-out period,” says Petrizzi. To do: Apply a dye one to two shades darker than your current color to roots, then use a clean toothbrush to bring it down to (and blend with) the demarcation line. Cover with a shower cap and let sit 30 minutes; rinse.

How to polish silver grey hair that has already grown in

Emmylou Harris
Emmylou HarrisGetty Images

You may notice your now-pigment-free strands are more prone to yellowing and “dirty”-looking discoloration. No more blending grey hair needed, but here are two easy toning grey hair tricks to ensure silvers shine bright!

Opt for a purple shampoo

Greys tend to oxidize quickly, causing hair to take on a yellow or orange tinge. Neutralize it with a grey hair shampoo, like Pantene Silver Expressions, Purple Shampoo and Hair Toner (Buy from Amazon, $14.99). The violet pigments instantly cancel out brassy, discolored tones. Even better? Pair with a purple-tinted conditioner like L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Purple Conditioner (Buy from Walmart, $17.24). The conditioner treats the coarser strands so they’re soft, healthy, full and lustrous. Use once a week in place of regular conditioner (overuse can leave hair with a purple cast).

Use this grey hair dye

Since white hues lack pigment, they easily pick up colors in the environment that make them look dull and “dirty.” Petrizzi’s fix? Saturate dry hair with a clear “top coat” like AGEBeautiful Ultra Bond Hyper Lift Creme Color+Clear (Buy from Sally Beauty, $5.69), checking hair every 10 minutes until the desired shade is reached. “The ammonium hydroxide acts like a bleach, without the hair-damaging effects, to brighten and whiten dingy hair,” he explains. Plus, silk amino acids in the formula seal hair’s cuticle, reflecting more light onto locks to boost shine.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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