A Guide to Covering Up Your Grays

Despite sassy silver hair role models like actress Jamie Lee Curtis, many women still consider a full head of gray something to postpone for as long as possible.

No matter what your age when you spot those first few gray hairs, you have lots of options for concealing them until the day you decide to proudly embrace them. Here’s how to keep your hair looking its best while those grays are under cover.

Pace yourself

A few strands of silver here and there don’t necessarily mean you need all-over hair coloring, stylists say. In fact, the best approach to stray grays in the early years may be blending them in with the rest of your hair through a combination of coloring and a good haircut.

Highlights (which you may also be able to achieve with a temporary all-over dye that mutes the gray hairs) or lowlights (dying strands of hair in a darker color) can camouflage gray hairs to blend in better with your natural color, without the bother of regular root touchups. But resist the temptation to pluck out wayward gray hairs that pop up: When the hairs grow back, they’ll stick straight up for all to see.

Permanent solutions

When your gray hairs become too numerous to effectively cover up with temporary tactics, it’s likely time to switch to all-over color. A good hair stylist can help you decide which shade will work best based on your original natural color and your complexion tone, and will also have access to professional dye products that are designed especially for gray hair.

Don’t let the luster of your newly colored locks make you forget that the hair underneath is still gray and requires special handling. Gray hair tends to be coarser and drier, so invest in a good moisturizing shampoo/conditioner and anti-frizz haircare products for a smooth finish.

Fast fixes

Need to cover up just a few gray hairs or some pesky roots right away? Try these temporary options:

  • Mascara in your favorite brand
  • Powder-and-brush combos such as Color Wow Root Cover Up or Madison Reed Root Touch Up
  • Sprays such as L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up or Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray Temporary Gray Coverage
  • Pens and sticks such as Oscar Blandi Pronto Colore Root Touch-Up & Highlighting Pen or Tween Time Temporary Haircolor Touch-Up Stick