Gone are the days of obsessing over every gray hair. Now, we’re calling those natural grays highlights. OK, not exactly but the herringbone highlights trend has colorists using each gray strand just like another one of the many highlights in your head of hair. We’ve seen this trend toward embracing gray hair in the past few years, especially during the pandemic lockdowns when it was harder and harder to book an appointment for gray coverage.

Colorist Tom Smith took to his Instagram to give us the scoop on herringbone highlights. He says there are three main reasons why this highlight trend works so well when you’re going gray. “It uses your natural gray hair as one of the highlight colors,” he explains. Herringbone highlights use that colorless strand and work with it, instead of against it. If you’ve ever tried to color a gray hair, you know how tough they can be and how quickly that dye can wash out anyway.

Next, Smith says is the “diagonal placement of the foils,” which resembles a herringbone, hence the name. This isn’t a new technique, he says, but it’s great because “rather than sitting the highlights on top of each other, they sit across each other.” This ensures a more natural-looking blend.

Finally, because you’re not trying to dye each gray hair, you’re likely to end up with a more low-maintenance look and “fewer appointments at the salon,” he says. This is even true for those with darker hair. “For very dark hair consider a gentler scattering of highlights to retain the depth but still make the retaining of your grey hair look intentional,” Smith says on Instagram. This way, there’s no need to run to the salon every three weeks for touch-ups! We love anything that saves time and money — and embraces getting older with style.

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