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Gray hair usually sneaks up on us. Most women first notice a few, individual hairs between the ages of thirty-four and forty-four. After about thirty-five years of age, the human body stops producing melanin, the pigment cells in hair follicles. Genetics and ethnicity also play a role. As hairs naturally fall out, white, silver, or gray ones grow back in. Some women are happy with their gray. Others turn to permanent dyes to hide it. But by simply changing your hairstyle, you can easily draw attention away from gray hair if that's the route you choose.

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Where Are Your Grays?

Most women first see gray appearing around the temples. Over time, the gray hair growth starts to move upwards, and then it appears on the scalp. Some women experience an overall salt-and-pepper gray. You may notice them along your part at this point. These new gray hairs seem coarser, but they aren't. The texture is different because, as humans age, they generate less sebum, an oil that keeps the skin and hair lubricated. A hairstyle that didn't work well for you before may now work perfectly with the added texture provided from increased amounts of gray.

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Change Your Hair Part

The easiest way to hide gray is to change where you part your hair. If you have a middle part and you see gray popping up on both sides, try a side or angle part instead. You can change an existing side part to the opposite side to accomplish the same goal. Some women have less gray on one side than the other. The longer you wear a part in a specific place, the wider it becomes. The hair grows in flat, and the gray is more visible. By changing the part's location, new gray hair growth won't be as noticeable. Avoid a perfectly straight part, which draws attention to the gray roots. A messy part works better to conceal them.

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Add Volume and Height

Flat, slick hair accentuates gray hair, especially around the roots. Adding volume is a great way to play-down overall gray.

  • Create volume at the crown using a curling iron or rollers.
  • Crimping, gentle teasing, and back-techniques add height at the top and hide the gray.
  • Try applying a hair volumizing product to lift the roots and create height.
  • Dry shampoos also add volume.
  • Lean forward when blow-drying your hair to pump up the roots.
  • After washing your hair at night, pull it up into a bun using a scrunchie while it's still damp. Leave it up overnight. When you wake up and remove the scrunchie the next morning, you'll find lovely, voluminous waves and less visible gray.
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Updos and Buns

If you have an abundance of gray on the crown of your head, try an elegant updo. Comb the hair straight back and gather it into a bun on top or the back of the head. Make sure there's no part showing in the front. Add an accessory to complete the look. Try a French twist to add dimension, or if you have longer hair, a classy chignon bun is a stylish option. There are several variations on this classic style that feature an understated front and sides, and a beautiful twisted bun at the base of the neck.

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Braids

The more elaborate the braid, the more coverage it will have. Salt-and-pepper grays work especially well with this style. Braids create dimension and elevate the look. To hide gray hair that appears along the hairline, add a bang braid. Weave it through your hair to cover the hairline, then create a bun in the back. Swirl the braid into a bun in the back for a unique look. Combine braids with a volumized crown to hide grays on the top of your head. Add a messy bun in the back to complete the look.

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Graduated Bob

This hairstyle doesn't discriminate between thick hair, fine hair, coarse hair, curly hair, or super straight hair. It looks amazing on every texture and color, easily hiding gray hair. There are many variations and styling possibilities; it's no wonder the bob has been one of the most popular go-to cuts in recent years. A graduated bob gets its name from the stacked layers of the hair. Stylists cut the hair shorter in the back then follow a gentle angle along the sides, which become longer in the front. Some women prefer shorter back layers to create a more drastic contrast with the front.

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Layered Bob

There are many variations of the standard bob hair cut, but the layered bob is a standout for those seeking ways to prevent the gray from showing through. The layered style adds both texture and body, which creates movement and vibrancy. The perimeter lines around the edges are less dramatic than the graduated bob. Instead of a blunt cut around the bottom, the stylist uses a razor or shears to create a more textured appearance. A layered bob is a great option for straight hair, whether it is thick or thin. It also looks great tousled.

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Pixie Cuts

In the 1950s, Audrey Hepburn donned a pixie cut in the film Roman Holiday. Then in the 60s, Mia Farrow, Twiggy, and Goldie Hawn pushed this timeless trend forward. Today, the pixie cut is just as popular. Women love the convenience of this easy-to-care-for style. If you’re looking for both an updated, shorter style and a way to hide your gray, an asymmetrical pixie cut achieves both goals. To cover hairline gray, choose a style with bangs swept to the side. Add volume on the top with long tousled layers to hide grays on the crown. The close-cropped sides and back add impact to the cut’s silhouette. If your objective is to hide grays, avoid the straighter, sleeker pixie styles.

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Half Updos

This hairstyle has it all and camouflages the gray on the top of the head. It's best for women with long hair and works well for both casual and formal looks. Take a large section of hair in the front and comb it back loosely. Add sections from each side and create a messy bun on the top. Leave the remaining hair on the sides and in the back, and allow it to fall loosely. Add volume or tousle if the loose sections are too straight. Any gray hairs will blend in among the tousled strands. Try braiding the front side sections and volumizing the hair on the crown to create a more formal style.

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Taper Cut

If you're looking for a sassy, trendy haircut, try a taper cut. The hair on the top is longer, then transitions to shorter hair on the sides and back. Tapers were once considered a man's haircut. But, today, women are embracing this style as well. The cut offers a variety of lengths, from very short to long, tousled tresses on the crown. Layers add volume, dimension, and texture and hide gray. Long taper cuts are ideal for women with more gray because the layers blend in the colors naturally. This style works well for both straight and curly hair.

Trendy tapered cut Mlenny / Getty Images
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Fades

Fades are similar to tapered cuts, and like tapers, they look great with curly or straight hair. Hairstylists identify two different types of fades: high or short. High fades are more dramatic, fading about two inches from the top. Low fades offer a gradual fading on the sides and back of the head. For those seeking a more drastic impact, try a faux hawk fade. The cut features close-cropped hair on the sides and back of the head. Style the longer hair on the crown upward into a classic mohawk. This style effectively covers gray on the top of the head and makes hairline gray less noticeable.

fade hairstyle dramatic mohawk Elisaveta Ivanova / Getty Images
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Short Bob

If you're seeking a versatile hairstyle, try a bob. It works with all face shapes and adapts to curly or straight hair. Trendy short bobs not only hide gray hair, but they are easy to style. Whether you prefer messy tousled locks or you love the classic, smooth fullness of a rounded bob, you'll love how this style camouflages gray hair along the hairline or on the crown. Plus, this cut is one that you can experiment with to create a variety of looks suitable for any occasion. Undercuts can add a more dramatic effect.

versatile hairstyle bob trendy Happycity21 / Getty Images
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Pompadours

This style focuses on adding volume at the top of the head. Stylists achieve the look by backcombing the roots on the sides upwards to create height. Pompadours are elegant, edgy, and versatile hairstyles. Brush the front of the hair up and tease it to create a pouf, just above the forehead. If your gray is primarily along the hairline, this isn’t the best styling choice for hiding it. It works well for those who are seeking to hide gray on the top of the head, or for those who like to show the salt-and-pepper gray.

pompadour pouf height

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