Salt and pepper hair is always in style. It looks good on all hair types, goes with all skin tones, and it couldn’t be easier to maintain. Plus — it’s well loved by celebs, so we’re never short of silver strand inspiration. If you’re ready to go gray, this is your guide to the salt and pepper hair color trend, and styling gray hair.
The answer is a resounding no. A combination of black and gray shades with traces of white hair, salt and pepper is a color trend that stays hot season after season. There’s nothing more liberating than embracing your silver hair. Especially if you’re rocking your natural gray hair color in one of the trendy men’s hairstyles below.
Graying hair contains less melanin, which protects from the damaging effects of UV rays on the hair’s keratin. Hair also gets thinner with increasing age. As a result it needs more UV protection and more care. We recommend a silver shampoo to emphasize the cool tones of gray hair. It's a good idea to scrub your scalp and hair follicles when you wash and follow with a silver conditioner. Our favorite styling products for salt and pepper hair are molding gel and pomade. Both are rich in oil, conditioning the hair and providing shine. For more tips see our men’s guide for styling hair to find the perfect style for your hair type.
We've rounded up 20 examples of ways to style salt and pepper hair to help you on your silver hair journey.
Once upon a time, Elvis Presley wore a quiff in the shape of a pompadour. Today, you can rock a softer, more modern version. The quiff is a great look if you have naturally straight, thick hair. It suits men of all ages and is versatile enough to work for business meetings or a night out.
If you have naturally curly hair, try a high skin fade. Only trust a barber who knows how to make seamless fades and who knows how to use the clipper to create clean lines.
We love seeing perfectly graying salt and pepper waves, especially since silver strands highlight the cut's dimension and movement. Ask your barber to spend extra time adding texture. Not only will it show off the variations of different hues of gray in your hair, it also makes it easy to style.
courtesy of @mabelsalontucson
If you like to rock a beard and have subtle grays, try a bearded crop hairstyle. Often paired with a fade on the back and sides and worn with a blunt fringe, the crop works with a short fringe cut towards the hairline or a longer fringe down on the forehead. This is a great cut for men with strong features!
Shorter on the sides with a little fullness and lift on the top, finish off your pompadour look with strong sideburns at the sides. If you have a square jaw, this cut will soften lines and your overall look.
This haircut is a classic style that features a short fringe. The perfect style for thin or thinning hair since it doesn't require much hair to pull off. To create an illusion of more hair atop the head, this look works amazingly well with those with gray sides and dark hair on top.
Working with your natural texture will help you cut down on your styling time significantly — it also helps to open up the face, making it more proportional to the longer length of the hair.
If you have dark hair, a shimmer of gray is the equivalent of natural highlights. The side swept undercut combines short hair on the sides and back with longer hair on top. Also known as a side part undercut, this works well with fade haircuts and on men of all hair types.
Short enough to manage thick hair and long enough to show off natural texture, the curly crop is a great way to show off salt and pepper curly hair. Extra volume and texture on top works well on oval-shaped and round faces — it draws the eye upward, elongating and bringing balance to the face.
A longer 'do is the perfect style to transition to gray hair, as grays blend gradually into your original color. If you have light, long hair that’s starting to gray, try the wavy and grown-out lock look! This is a low-maintenance and free-spirited hairstyle for those who don’t like to do a lot of styling, and blonde is an easy visual transition to gray.
A slightly longer version of the crew cut, try a side part cut with soft tapering, length on top, and a part that goes into a slight comb-over. The gray sides are kept shorter, and the top longer to accentuate the brown tones.
A salt and pepper comb-over is the perfect style to flatter thinning hair. Try a short comb-over that follows the natural part line, with hair combed-over slightly to one side. Add a perfectly groomed beard for a salt and pepper look that’s sure to impress.
If something clean, neat, and low-maintenance is what you seek, look no further than a salt and pepper crew cut. Paired perfectly with textured hair and kept short all around with no harsh lines, a crew cut helps you embrace your grays, making you look more youthful.
A clean-cut look with some edge, a short and textured cut works best on straight salt and pepper hair. Ask your barber to cut the longer, top portion into varying lengths for added texture to this short cut. The end result is a cool and casual, but polished look.
A perfectly coifed side swept ‘do is a timeless classic. Trendy and modern, this salt and pepper cut starts with the sides and back trimmed short and longer hair on top. Also known as the "one side" hairstyle, the look is achieved when the hair is swept and parted with volume and flow.
This 'do is short and neat all the way around, but natural enough to allow hair to do whatever it wants. If you have a round face, try a simple salt and pepper crew cut to highlight your features naturally: ask for your sideburns to blend down into this beard line.
If your salt and pepper hair is too short to part naturally, try a hard part: a hard part is a shaved line on the side of the head that separates two — usually different — hair lengths. A hard part can work with any hairstyle, but must be executed by an experienced barber.
Another quiff haircut we love is the side swept . The dense top with long strands of the quiff accentuate volume and movement; while streaky salt and pepper palette lends dimension to his side-swept style. Salt and pepper strands with finely tapered faded sides and a sharp line up make this a true gentleman’s haircut.
A uniformed side swept with fluff is what we call the pompadour-like quiff. This works especially well when done on straight strands. Big volume up top with sides that are taper-faded, this voluminous style is a must for those with salt and pepper color hair.
Just because you only have grays showing up in your facial hair doesn’t mean you can’t still crush the salt and pepper trend. A full-on salt and pepper beard is incredibly cool and a bold statement look to rock if you have the option.
If your natural hair color isn’t gray you might be wondering, how do I make my hair salt and pepper? If you have dark hair, you’ll need to dye or bleach your hair first, it’s best to see a colorist. To see a Davines stylist in your area for your next hair appointment, check our salon locator, and remember to only use a high quality product line for gray hair. All Davines formulas are free of harmful toxins and made from natural ingredients. Our products are made with renewable energy and packaging that minimizes the environmental impact. Our hair care isn’t just good for your hair, it’s good for the planet.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor