Touching Up Grey Roots with Balayage, Good or Bad idea?

cover gray hairs with dye

It’s eight at night, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I’m both physically and mentally exhausted because today was one of those days at the salon where you feel like the whole universe is conspiring against you.

Want to know why I’m telling you this?


Because there’s nothing more exhausting than a client that wants to do something that you know won’t work on their hair, and even so, they keep insisting and insisting and insisting.


So, before I collapse from exhaustion: if you’re thinking about getting a balayage to cover your roots, the answer is a resounding “NO.”

Read that again. A balayage is not right to hide your roots growing in.

If you insist on getting this treatment done on your roots anyway, I can still offer you an alternative, which I’ll tell you about later on.


  • Yes, I’ve already heard it all because I imagine that it’s the same thing that I just spent three hours talking to Irene about in real life.
  • I know balayage is on-trend right now. Although, to be honest with you, influencers weren’t the ones that invented balayage. In the 70s, one French star, like Bridget Bardot, had this incredible style that truly looked like a master painter painted on it.
  • I know it requires less maintenance than highlights. I’m also aware that it produces an effect that looks natural like you never even got your hair dyed.


 A balayage is beautiful, but it doesn’t work well for covering grey hairs, and it doesn’t work well for managing root growth. That’s how it is, whether you like it or not.  


It’s like when you want to repair your damaged ends with moisturizing masks. Moisturization is excellent for the rest of your hair, but the only solution for split ends is to cut them. Whether we like it or not.

I know that it sounds terrible, but it’s the truth. If you want to hide your grey hairs or cover your roots growing in, you can use other techniques such as highlights, but not a balayage.

And there is an explanation.


So, if you’re thinking about getting a balayage to cover your grey hair, take five minutes and keep reading, because I’ll tell you:

  • Why balayage doesn’t cover your grey/white hairs
  • Alternatives to covering your grey hair with a balayage


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Now, of course, you’re the one that has the last word. At the end of the day, it’s your hair, your greys, and your money. But there’s no use crying over spilled milk, right?


Why balayage isn’t the best option for hiding grey hair

I understand your desperation because grey hairs aren’t pretty, and we live in a society where youth is overvalued.

So, it’s normal that you want to hide them to look young and attractive. But, a balayage isn’t the best choice for doing so.


Balayage is a technique that can be done with many different colors and looks great no matter what your hairstyle is.

But, do you have an idea about why I don’t recommend balayage for greying hair?


  • It’s for a straightforward reason: balayage focuses on the midsection and ends of your hair, while it usually doesn’t touch your roots. And roots are where grey hairs appear.

So, if you have many grey hairs, you’ll have to retouch your roots more often.

Can you imagine going to the salon every three weeks?


That would be how often you’d have to go to renew your color. And your bank account will start to diminish significantly, not to mention the damage it’d do to your hair.


  • Also, to apply the dye, you have to bleach your hair to then apply the new color to the mid-section and the ends.

Also usually, balayage creates the effect of lighter highlights with dark roots, so if your hair is brown or dark brown, it would be challenging to hide your roots, as opposed to someone with blonde or light blonde hair.

That’s why if you have a lot of grey hair, you’d have to retouch your roots often.

And the consequences can be very grave for your hair. Can you imagine why?


  • Because permanent dye has ammonia, and to be able to use it, you need peroxide. If you’re constantly applying peroxide to your roots, your hair will suffer serious damage.

You’ll start to see that your hair looks opaque and feels week at the roots within a few months.


  • Also, grey hairs are hairs that don’t have melanin, which is your hair’s pigment. So, for the grey hair to absorb the pigment in the dye, you need to apply peroxide to it, which breaks its cuticles to make it so it can absorb the pigment.

That means that if you dye your hair a few times in a row, your hair will be damaged from the roots onward.


 That’s why balayage isn’t the best option for hiding grey hairs. 

But, every law has its loophole, like my grandmother always said.


If, with everything that I’ve told you taken into consideration, you are someone who likes to go against the grain, there are a few options that allow you to get a balayage. Although I repeat, it’s not what I would recommend.

But, I understand your love for this technique.


So, if you insist on getting a balayage to hide your grey hairs, there’s always an option.

Can you guess what it is?


How to get a balayage to cover your grey hairs

Like I told you at the start, it was a terrible day at the salon, all because of one client. It’s incredible how just one person can exhaust you so completely.

After talking to Irene for three hours, I told her that the only way to do a balayage on her grey hair was to “raise” the balayage.

I finally left her speechless. My ears were genuinely thankful.

Do you know what raising a balayage means?


  • Generally, you do a balayage starting around your ears, leaving about 4-8 inches after the roots, depending on the person’s hair length.

That way, the roots are a darker color, and the ends are blonder.

 Raising the balayage means that you dye the hair starting 1-2.5 inches after the roots.  


That way, you can hide the grey hairs more efficiently, or if you choose a darker tone for your roots, you won’t damage the rest of your hair as much.

That’s what I did for Irene, although I told her that she would have to come back to the salon frequently. But, she wanted her balayage, and that didn’t seem like a cost too high for getting what she wanted. In the end, there’s someone crazy about everything.

It was her hair and her money.


  • There’s also another option, which is to bleach your hair to make it blonde. That way, you won’t see the roots as much.

But, of course, we’re talking about bleaching your whole head, so I recommend that you leave that to a professional.

If you go for this option, you won’t have to retouch your roots as often since grey hairs go unnoticed more easily in blonde hair.

Can I give you one more piece of advice?


You must prepare your hair before a balayage.

Apply a repairing product to your hair and let it sit for 30 minutes while you watch your favorite show.

You’ll see how your hair will be stronger, brighter, and softer in a short amount of time so you can balayage it.


Do you want to know what happened to Irene after a few months?



She admitted that she had made a mistake with her decision to get a balayage, and she deeply regretted not following my advice.

She couldn’t deal with needing to go to the hair salon every three weeks, and she also didn’t want to spend so much money on maintaining her highlights.


 Truthfully, I felt bad for her, but that’s why sometimes we hairstylists are so insistent about the advantages and disadvantages of some color techniques.  

Because not all techniques are for everyone.

But, we also can help find solutions. That’s why I do some highlight on her roots, which on her dark blonde hair, isn’t that much work.


Now it’s time to make the decision.

  • If you’re open to bleaching your hair to make it blonde so it’s less noticeable as the roots grow in, go ahead.
  • If you’re opening to going to the salon around every three weeks and spending that money, go ahead.


Now, make the decision knowing that balayage isn’t the best dye technique for grey hair. Whatever you do with that information is on you.

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