25 Chic Gray Blending for Dark Hair Color Ideas

gray blending on dark hair

Well, it’s happening. My hair is slowly turning gray. I fought it at first and started coloring my hair more often, but that resulted in a lot more damage than I like to have on my hair. So, I dialed it back and made peace with the white strands that are stubbornly making an appearance more and more. In fact, every twelve weeks when I see my colorist again, she tells me I have even more grays that I did before. It is what it is.

Now that I’ve accepted that this is happening and I’m not going to dye my hair so much I completely fry it, I’ve been experimenting with gray blending for dark hair, or hair color ideas that will actually make these shimmery, silver threads blend in and look good.

The funny thing about acceptance, too, is that even when they don’t blend in very well and they stand out, I don’t mind as much. Certainly by the end of 11 or 12 weeks when my next hair appointment is imminent, there is no blending them. They’re on full display. And I’m starting to be okay with that, even if I am still going to color them.

If you’re also in the gray blending boat, this post is for you. I hope you find some hair color inspo here. Oh, because this post is so image heavy, some images may take a couple seconds to load. Don’t worry, they’re there 🙂

1. Gray Blending on Dark Hair:


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A post shared by Stevi Lloyd (@mane_beauty_bystevi)

This one is so good. Click through the pictures to see the before with the gray grow-out. Really beautiful work here. For more from this hair artist, head to their Instagram here.  

2. Smokey Gray Highlights:


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A post shared by Matrix (@matrix)

You can always lean in to the gray highlights by adding a lot more of them and make it a statement. With ash brown and grey hair color trending, you’ll save the condition of your hair and look like you’re right on trend. See more from Matrix on their Instagram here.

3.  Add Silver Highlights:


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A post shared by Jess B (@boddebinghair)

This gorgeous look was achieved by chopping off a lot of the old hair and adding some tiny silver highlights throughout to make the gray blend right in. You know, cutting off old hair also has an incredible impact on emotional recovery and health. Check out this article on how hair holds trauma and by cutting it, we can help our bodies release it.

4. Ash Toned Babylights:


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A post shared by Michelle Zhang (@michellezstyles)

Love this beautiful way to blend grays with dark hair. The ash toned babylights look intentional, which can balance out new growth of grays which can often be haphazard. I know my own grays are not growing in evenly like this. They are coming in in patches that concentrate in certain areas. Blending them in like this is essential to creating a nice color balance. Find more from this hair artist on their Instagram here. 

5. Silver Blonde Highlights on Brown/Black Hair:

Everything about this is gorgeous. The cut, the dark, almost black base color and the perfectly scattered and placed silver highlights. Masterful. See more from this hair artist here. 

6. Gray Blending:

This is one of several inspirational hair transformations by Houston based stylist Danielle. I love how she takes their natural hair and blends it to perfection. The grow out from this point is going to be so much more natural and easy. She’s honest about the process taking hours, but the results are really beautiful. Scroll to see the before here, because it looks a lot like how a lot of our hair looks as it starts to transition. Check out her Instagram here. 

7. Ash Babylight on Chocolate Brown:


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A post shared by Kim Love Litavec (@beautyconamor)

This is a great transition color idea for those of us that want to have more color in our hair and/or don’t have as many grays yet. I love the dark chocolate brown base with the ash babylights blending in the grays. See more from this hair artist here.

8. First Session Gray Blending:

I love that this shows a first session gray blending and yet it makes such a huge difference in how balanced the color is and how it will grow out, too. The dark base is a beautiful contrast to the variety of highlight colors that artfully blend in the gray. See more from this hair artist here. 

9. Gray Blending on Dark Hair with Highlights:

This is a huge color transformation, but it turned out so well. My hair is currently dark with some grays coming in and lots of highlighting. The grow-out of this color is brutal and it doesn’t look very good if I don’t touch it up every 12 weeks or less. I love this. See more from this hair artist here.

10. Foilayage for Gray Blending:

Hair By Nicki really knocked this one out of the park. The foilayage blends in the gray and will create a much more natural grow-out, too.

11. Gray Blending Balayage:


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A post shared by Emma Claire (@eclaire_does_hair)

This chic gray blended bob is so cute. Eclair_does_hair did an exceptional job of getting the brassy tones out and creating a subtle and well-bended gray balayage on dark hair.

12. More Gray Blending Balayage:


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A post shared by Larkin Cole (@hairby_lark)

I love how this looks on longer, slightly layered hair, like mine. The before picture here has more golden highlights and you can see why this is not the ideal color for blending in the hair gray. Go for those ash-toned highlights to blend with the silver and white grays. Beautiful work by Larkin Cole. 

13. Gray Highlights on Black Hair:


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A post shared by Elizabeth Ward (@lizbyers86)

So, here’s the thing: people are adding gray and ash toned highlights on their hair, without even needing to blend in the grays. I know this makes me feel a little better about embracing these new hairs coming in and blending them with my other hair.

14. Cut + Gray Blending:

I’m seeing a theme in my gray blending research. A lot of these women go for a big chop when they transition to a gray blending friendly color. Getting rid of those bleached out or discolored ends is going to be key for a healthier grow out and a shinier style. I am really considering a decent chop to my own hair because the ends are looking pretty fried. See more from this hair artist here.

15. Ash Toned Babylights:


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A post shared by Michelle Zhang (@michellezstyles)

Love this soft, pretty ash toned babylight which blends in the grays to her dark hair so well. Also, love that the stylist uses Davines, one of my favorite hair color and care lines. See more from this hair stylist here. 

16. Brown Hair With Gray Lowlights:

gray blending on dark hair

Obsessed with this color creation by @jessdoesyourhair. This would be the perfect solution for hair like mine, where I still have a lot of dark brown hair, but the gray is coming in patchy. This would blend it while chunkier highlights would help with the grow out. Great work .

17. Dark Brown Hair with Gray Blending:

I love this look. Either she is just starting to get grays or they’ve died the base her natural color for contrast and the result is this incredible contrast between the brown and gray highlights. See more from this hair artist here.

18. Gray Blending Highlights:

I have some variation of highlights in my hair, because I do like chunkier money pieces and strands of color throughout, so this is really my jam. It’s also fun and adds a youthful punch. If I saw this, I would guess the color was purposeful and not blending grays. See more from this hair artist here

19. Gray Blending Balayage:

If you’re a fan of fun color placement, like I am, and want to have fun with your color even with gray being blended in, this should really excite and inspire you. I just love this whole look and I think it would be very flattering on a lot of people. Check out @nikkiscandalous for more hair inspo like this.

20. Multi-Dimensional Gray Blending Color:

I really like how this one has a variety of colors blended in. We can still see some golden highlights, blonde, and also the ash toned, silvery blonde threads. Lots of dimension, color and fun here. For more from @deborahlynnhairartistry

21. Gray Blending for New Grays:

Are you just starting to go gray? You don’t need to do anything drastic just yet. You can blend in those silver strands with some strategic color placement and save your hair from unnecessary damage. See more from @andreaiveyhair here.

22. From Box Dye to Gray Blending:


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A post shared by Hair by Teira Redick (@hairbyteira)

Are you dying your own hair at home and still finding those grays peeking through? This is a beautiful example of how to blend in hair, even on hair that has been box dyed a lot in the past. See more from @hairbyteira here.

23. Darker Base for Gray Contrast:

In this example, the hair artist darkens the base to create contrast with the ash toned highlights and gray that is blended in. If you’re feeling like your hair has no contrast and you want more pop, this is a great solution. Find more hair inspo @karenlazo_ 

24. Gray Lowlights and Highlights:


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A post shared by Jennifer Koen Flowers (@jennkflowers)

The opposite of the example above, this client wanted an overall lighter hair color and this was achieved by adding ash toned highlights and lowlights. Beautiful. See more @jennkflowers 

25. Gray Blending Balayage:

Saving one of my favorites for last. Blend your grays, but keep it trendy and fun. This is absolutely stunning and I’m obsessed with it. Talk about embracing your grays. See more from @ritikacolorista here

Tips for Blending Grays:

As you can see, there are no rules here when incorporating grays. You can go lighter, darker, highlight, lowlight, balayage, you name it. You can still enjoy fun hair trends or you can go for styles and colors that are going to be low maintenance. One thing is for sure, getting grays is not the end, it is just the beginning of a new hair adventure.

I hope these ideas inspire you to embrace your grays in a new way and try something new. Remember to talk to your colorist about your unique hair type, hair color, hair condition, and gray placement when choosing a new hair color, but certainly take these pictures to them as inspiration.

Products for Color Treated Hair:

Remember to keep your hair healthy when coloring. I’ve been coloring my hair for many, many years and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to keep hair healthy or restore it once it has become damaged. Here are my favorite products (affiliate links used):

For more hair color inspo, check out these posts:

There are tons more hair color and hair style posts on the blog, too.

I hope you found the perfect hair color inspo today.

Have a fabulous day,






    April 18, 2024 / 6:06 am

    I’m solid silver headed and go every 6 weeks to touch it up. I guess I need to just go gray but couldn’t I throw in some pepper with my solid salt? I just don’t want to be solid silver headed.

    • Erica
      May 26, 2024 / 1:25 pm

      I hear you, I think you have to do what works for you. I know my colorist has said that she breaks up silver chunks with lowlights to create a pattern or to make it look more natural (if it’s growing in stripy the way that mine is), so I know that is an option. And, bonus points, lowlights don’t damage hair!

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