Growing out grey hair with highlights (everything you need to know about it)

let the hair grow in

  • In order to let gray hair grow into highlighted hair, all you have to do is not update your highlights.
  • Highlights are a hair dyeing technique by which you separate small portions of hair to bleach and dye them.
  • If you’re thinking about letting your gray grow in, you shouldn’t keep getting highlights.
  • Gray hair is hair that doesn’t have melanin. That’s why it doesn’t have color, and highlights and other techniques add color to it.

Do you see?


If you touch up your highlights, all you’ll end up doing is cover your gray hair and that’s exactly the opposite of what you’re hoping to do.


 If your hair has a lot of gray locks, then that means your roots already are gray, and you can start with this process.  

But that only applies if all of your roots are gray.


If some of your roots don’t have gray, then you shouldn’t stop getting highlights.

Do you know why?


Because your hair will look uneven and you won’t get the effect you’re looking for.

Of course, you’re probably asking yourself, if my roots are all gray, but the rest of my hair isn’t, then how do I fix that?


If you want to let your gray grow into your highlighted hair and even out the ends, then your hair colorist can bleach your ends and use a toner to even out the color.

Are you surprised?


If your roots are already white or gray and the rest of your hair is light because of the highlights, you can lighten your hair up to 3 shades in just one session of bleach. 

Your hair colorist will then use a toner, so the ends of your hair have the same gray or silver shade as the roots.

Of course, you should let a professional do this process.


You should get this done at a beauty salon.

 Under no circumstances should you do it at home. That could result in a true disaster. 

Now that you understand the basics, I’m going to give you more details about the process and tell you all the secrets so you can show off your new perfect gray hair.


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Letting gray grow in

stop using hair dyes

You’ve come to the right place if you’re tired of constantly updating your highlights and you’ve decided to let your gray hair grow in.

When you stop getting highlights, your gray will become more visible.

In the beginning, it might be annoying, and you might feel like you’re not taking good enough care of your hair.

But that will only last 4 weeks.


You should touch up highlights every 4 weeks, and since you’ve decided to let your gray grow in, then you don’t have to keep up with that schedule.

You’ll see that as days go by, your hair will start turning more white or gray until it loses all the dye your hair colorist used on it during your last highlights session.

Don’t freak out.


That’s exactly what you need to happen to be able to grow it out.

When your roots are totally gray or white, it’s time to go to the salon to even out the rest of your hair.


Evening Out Your Hair So the Ends Match Your Gray Roots

To do this, your hair colorist will use bleach on the ends of your hair.

But don’t worry, it will be a relatively light version of the bleaching process, since the hair colorist will use a 20 volume developer.

That’s because you bleach your hair anyway to get highlights, so it’s not as important to use as strong of a bleach, like a 30 volume developer.

The hair colorist will apply the bleach mix to your hair, then brush your hair out from your roots to your ends.

Do you know why they’ll do that?


It’s simple. Although you won’t apply the bleach directly to your roots, by brushing through your hair, the mix will be evenly spread throughout your hair to make for a natural transition between your roots and ends.

 Combing your hair like that will also help to maintain the almost striped effect you get with highlights.  

Once they’ve finished with the bleach – the process should take about 30 minutes – the stylist will rinse your hair.


And that’s when your hair colorist will use a toner to even out the color of your roots and ends.

Toner is a tool that you can use to cancel or even out colors.

Depending on what color your gray or white hairs are, your hair colorist can recommend different colors of toner.


Your hair might grow in white, gray or even yellow, and there are different toners for these different colors.

Here’s a little list of possible colors of toner.


If you have white hair, you can use:

  • Silver toner
  • Purple toner
  • Gray toner


If you have gray hair, you can use:

  • Gray toner
  • Blue toner
  • Purple toner


If your hair is yellow, you can use:

  • Dark gray toner
  • Purple toner
  • Blue toner


That way your hair will all be the same tone and you can let your gray, white or yellow hair grown in with no issues.

That’s another reason why you should do this in a salon.


Toners are very concentrated pigments and they’re hard to apply to hair.

You need to have a lot of experience with color to know which is exactly the right color and how long to leave it in your hair.

Just to give you an example:

  • If you use a dark gray toner, you need to leave it in for 20 minutes.
  • If you use a blue or purple toner, you need to leave it in for 3-5 minutes, constantly checking on the color as it develops.


So, if you don’t want a rainbow in your hair, go to a salon and let the professionals help you.



Letting gray roots grown into highlighted hair doesn’t require any strict maintenance.

But maintenance is something you should talk to your stylist about.


You’ll probably need to come back to the salon in 6-8 weeks so they can bleach your ends again and use more toner to even out the roots with the rest of your hair.

You should keep doing that until your ends are the same color as your roots growing in.

Yep, you read that right.


You should bleach your hair until it’s the same color as your hair growing in, that way you’ll eventually let it finish growing in without being able to see where your gray roots end and your highlights begin.


 As you can see, letting your gray roots grow in is a long-term project.  

How long exactly it takes will depend a lot on the base color you start with, but usually it takes a minimum of two sessions.

But it’s worth it!



Letting your hair go gray is a worldwide trend.

Although grey and white has been in style for a while, natural versions of these colors are all the rage right now.

The new slogan seems to be: “Enough with dyeing my hair.”


Remember to keep taking care of your hair since you’ll have bleached it several times by the end of the process.

You should hydrate it with reparative oils, heat masks, and keratin.

That way, your hair will look healthy and strong, and you can wear your gray proudly.

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