Is it better to highlight or color gray hair? Choose here the best option for your hair

  • If you have light brown or blonde hair, and you’re obsessed with the health of your hair, the best option is to have some highlights. This way, you’ll be able to hide your grey hair. Of course, highlights need to be strictly maintained.
  • If you have dark hair, it’s best to dye all your hair to cover the gray, choosing a permanent color similar to your natural color.
  • Now, if you want to use gray highlights to cover your dark hair, you’ll need to go through a fairly lengthy process, including several sessions of bleaching. And I’ll talk to you about that later.


stop using hair dyes

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Believe it or not, hair color defines us. Try to think at that moment when you need to make a description of a person you know. What characteristics do you list first?

You’ll probably say something like “the blonde woman”, “the dark-haired man”, “the infuriating redhead”, etc.

All hair colors say something about people, no matter how stereotypical they are.

  • For example, redheads are fighters and bad-tempered, like Valkyries.
  • Blondes are sexy and brunettes are elegant and bright.


Once you go gray, things change. It happens that, with gray or white hair, you go straight to the definition of… senior.

 And that’s when you find yourself wondering, how do I cover my gray? Can I get some highlights or should I dye my hair completely?  


You’re not the only one.

The other day, a client came to the salon and almost desperately asked me: “Flor, I’m tired of my grey hair. Should I dye it completely or have highlights?


And my answer came right away: highlights.

Do you know why I recommended this option?


Because she was too young to dye her hair completely. Her hair is in optimum health, her base tone was quite light, so the few grey hairs she had would be perfectly camouflaged by the highlights. 


 On the contrary, I recommended a full dye to Marta, who had a lot of gray hair, i.e., more than 80%,   First, her hair was dark, so we should bleach it to make it as light as possible for highlights.

That process would take months and it was a time that Martha was not willing to wait.


Every hair and every person are a world. So, before you decide whether the best way to cover your gray is to make some highlights or to completely dye your hair, you should think about several things.

  • For example, how many grey hairs do you have?
  • What is your hair’s base color?
  • Do you want an immediate solution?

Are you willing to spend hours and money maintaining your new color?


Don’t be overwhelmed, because we’ll talk about all this next:

  • When it is convenient to hide gray hair with highlights
  • When it is better to color the hair completely to cover the gray


Whichever option you choose, you will achieve your goal: to beat the gray hair and the stereotype of the senior woman.

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When it is convenient to hide gray hair with highlights

hide it with highlights

Let’s start with the most important thing, what is the base tone of your hair? Do gray hairs on your light brown or blonde hair bother you?


Then, highlights are ideal for you.

 Grey hair will be perfectly camouflaged by the highlights, creating an absolutely personal look.  Also, hair growth will blend in with the highlights, so you’ll always be neat, even after two or three months..

But, you’ll have to pay a price to get that carefree grey look. A price that goes beyond the stylist’s fee. And it has to do with maintenance.


Highlights involve bleaching some sections of your hair to apply a new color. Therefore, that hair will be weaker and more dehydrated.

To help it recover, you’ll need to do intensive nourishing treatments once a week.

Also, because that hair was bleached, over time, some unwanted shades will appear, which you should keep at bay with a good purple or blue shampoo.


 But remember, to avoid contrast with gray hair, you need to have clear highlights. 

That’s why it’s not a good option if your hair is dark. If you decide to hide your grey hair with some highlights, you’ll have to do a complete bleaching of the hair, in order to bring it to a lighter shade and to have the grey hair blend with the highlights.

Why? Very simply, grey hair is usually white or grey.


If you have dark hair, you can’t achieve blonde highlights, because the contrast would be too much with the rest of the hair. In order to conceal grey hair, the highlights must be blonde, not mahogany or red, as grey hair would not go unnoticed.

So, if you have dark hair with grays, and you don’t want to bleach it, the best thing to do is to color it.


In which cases is it better to color the hair completely to cover gray hair?

the dye lasts a month

Coloring hair is effective on both dark and light hair, because permanent dyes cover 100%gray hair and leave a super shiny, even color.

It’s always advisable to dye your hair to the same base shade since, that way, gray growth will be less noticeable and you won’t have to touch it up every two weeks.


 If you have a lot of gray hair, it’s best to choose a dye that’s two or three shades lighter than your hair because, that way, there won’t be as much contrast with the growth of your roots. 

I have to be honest, though. You’ll have to touch up the roots every month, without exception.

Now, what if you dye your hair completely, regret it and want to cover up your gray with some highlights for good?


You’ll be facing a possible, but rather lengthy process. Highlights don’t look the same on natural hair as they do on colored hair.

It will be necessary to bleach your hair to a fairly light shade, to perfectly hide grey hair.

How many highlights sessions will you need to complete the process?


It will depend greatly on the products you use to sweep up the dye but, approximately, three to four sessions will be needed to achieve beautiful extra-light blonde highlights.

How long will it take?


That will depend on the health of your hair, if it is thick or thin, and how it has withstood the bleaching sessions.

Generally, the process will take between six months and a year because you should allow approximately two months between each session. In those two months, you’ll need to nourish and moisturize your hair so that it can withstand the next bleaching



  • If your hair is light or you’re willing to bleach it to hide your gray, the best option is highlights. Although they have to be strictly maintained, you only need to touch them up every two or three months.
  • If your hair is dark and you have a lot of gray, the best thing to do is color it, because you will achieve complete gray coverage. But, you will need to do a root touch up every month.

Dye or highlights, what is your choice?

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