A New Way to Go Gray in Style 

A New Way to Go Gray in Style 


When gray hair begins to take up more than just a little space on the head, clients have a few options. As a hairstylist, you should be familiar with covering gray hair in different ways and comfortable with matching your client with the best option. Whether the goal is to cover the gray hair completely or create a transitional blend of gray, warm tones and cool tones, there’s an option for any preference, hair length or hair type.

Lately, featuring or even showcasing gray hair has become more and more popular on the red carpet and natural-inspired hair is all the rage — and that’s no different for those who have gray hair. One hair color trend that features the natural growth of gray hair is particularly trendy this year. It’s called herringbone highlights and here’s everything you should know about creating, styling and managing the look!

What Are Herringbone Highlights?

The herringbone highlights color trend embodies a happy medium between covering gray hair and letting it shine through naturally. This particular type of highlights involves the use of professional hair color as well as the client’s natural hair color to create the resulting look. Herringbone highlights are aptly named after the popular black and white print that bears the same name. The hair look takes inspiration from both herringbone colors in the form of gray, plus other shades based on their natural color or intended results. Essentially, the herringbone hair look showcases grays as an accent or highlight color, alongside a mix of other shades to create a fresh take on gray hair. The trend looks great on both light and dark hair!

How to Create Herringbone Highlights

Stylists should be well versed in gray coverage as well as integrating gray hair into a client’s intended look. It’s all about choosing the right shades and using the best color technique for the job. The best way to start is by having a consultation to ensure the client is in the know about their upcoming appointment. During this time, the stylist and client can share information about the appointment. The client can share their thoughts on specific shades and results and the stylist can make recommendations and prepare accordingly.

When it’s time for the color appointment, the stylist should apply color thoughtfully in order to create successful herringbone highlights. For example, if the client has very light brown or blonde hair with gray streaks throughout, it’s a good idea to take inspiration from their natural hair color and choose shades that are a little lighter, a bit darker and very close to their natural color. As a result, the gray hair acts as a true highlight shade that accents the look naturally and blends well with the other colors.

Once each of the shades has been chosen, consider creating a natural-looking, blended color look by using a hand painting technique. This way, it’s possible to place the color exactly as intended and create a soft, blended look. Mix the placement of cool and warm tones against the grays to create a dimensional, one-of-a-kind look.

Styling and Maintaining Herringbone Highlights

Once the blended color has been deposited and washed out, stylists should style their client’s new look in a way that enhances the blended look. Herringbone highlights look great when paired with just about any hairstyle, but it’s always a good time for a classic salon blowout. Use a heat protectant to prepare the hair for blow drying and then work in layered sections from bottom to top. Using a round brush, create dimension and body within the hair by rolling the brush inward towards the head while drying. This will create a beautiful, face-framing look that will showcase the client’s face shape and make their herringbone highlights pop!

When it comes to keeping herringbone highlights looking great, the process is similar to most other hairstyles that involve professional color. Stylists should ensure their clients are using a salon-approved shampoo, color-friendly conditioner and other protective and nourishing professional hair care products. When clients include these products in their post-color maintenance routine, they are protecting their herringbone highlights and helping to keep their look vibrant and healthy between salon appointments.

In addition to using the right hair products, it’s also important to let clients know that minimizing the amount of heat on their hair can help make their herringbone highlights last longer. This includes blow drying as well as using other hot tools like curling irons, straighteners and more. Herringbone highlights look fantastic as part of a natural, heat-free hairstyle, too!



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