How-To: Cover or Enhance Gray Hair

“Gray hair is beautiful and it’s trending throughout the world,” says Colin Caruso, hair color expert and Artistic Director of Color for John Paul Mitchell Systems®. How do you feel about going gray? Whether you choose to embrace it or erase it, here are three ways to help you gray your own way.


If you want to cover gray hair completely, you have to use permanent color. The downside? New growth requires touch-ups every three to four weeks. Can’t make it to the salon that often? Here are some ideas from our pros to help in between visits:

  • Part your hair differently to disguise grow-out
  • Try bangs to distract the eye away from the gray
  • Hide roots with headbands, hair scarves or up-styles


If you don’t want to deal with the time and commitment that comes with permanent color, you can choose to blend grays in with a demi-permanent color. It’s ammonia free, so it doesn’t cover grays, but rather enhances them.

To combat gray hair’s tendency to adapt a yellowish tinge, use a purple shampoo and conditioner like Paul Mitchell® Platinum Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner at least twice a month to brighten and bring out the shimmery, silver tones in hair.


Highlights are another way to distract from grays by drawing the eye to places where you create light. Ask your colorist to incorporate lighter dimension near the new growth to make roots less noticeable. Try adding in golden blonde highlights for a mix of warm and cool tones that’s also an on-trend nod to Pantone’s 2021 Colors of The Year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.


Hair that is graying naturally tends to be drier and more brittle. Whether you choose to color it or gray gracefully, it’s important to use a hydrating conditioner such as Paul Mitchell® Instant Moisture® Conditioner every time you shampoo, a weekly deep conditioning treatment like Paul Mitchell® Super-Charged Treatment and a leave-in conditioner such as Paul Mitchell® Awapuhi Moisture Mist®, as needed, to keep strands soft and manageable.

Experience the smarter way to cover your gray with Color XG® CoverSmart, new vegan permanent hair color that provides 100% coverage, even on white and resistant hair. Find it at a Paul Mitchell salon near you.

Learn more about all our color options and hair services.

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