How To Dye Your Hair Silver At Home [Expert Tips And Advice]

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Silver hair has got us obsessed and it’s making hot grannies out of all of us. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s never been a better time to go gray. All you want to know is, how to dye your hair silver at home.

This on-trend shade is one of the most striking hair colours to grace our insta feeds this year. The must-have hue has been all over the catwalks and sidewalks as a year round, sultry colour.

But just how easy is it to get this colour at home?

With our help – it’s easy! Read on to find out how!

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What color is silver hair?

Silver is top of the list of hair color trends this year.

And searches over on Pinterest are bursting with every kind of silver hue you can imagine.

Silver is part of the awe-inspiring metallic hair colour trend that’s taking us all by storm.

Smokey, Dusty, Graphite, Slate, Platinum, Steel….the spectrum of silver and gray hair dye shades, tones and coloring products are endless.

From smokey greys and ice silvers to mushroom greys, silver blonde and silver rose, we love silver for its versatility, depth and dimension.

It’s a color that’s great for ombre, it’s fab for balayage and we love it as a base mixed with pastel colors like dusty pinks and purples.

It’s no wonder silver is so popular right now.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

how to dye your hair silver at home silver hair collection pinterest board

How easy is it to dye your hair silver at home?

Getting silver hair at home is a labor of love. But with plenty of time, bags of patience and the right kit, it can definitely be done!

First thing’s first, your hair will need to be super super light to get the urban, ashy silver look.

So being able to achieve the right shade at home all depends on the color your hair is now.

If your hair is brunette to black hair – you’ll need to pre-lighten your hair with bleach to become a silver fox.

To get the sultry silver look, your hair color will need to be almost platinum blonde.

If you’re not already a super-light or platinum white blonde, you’ll probably need to go through the lightening process more than once to lift your hair to the perfect bleach base.

Bleaching your hair can damage it and dry it out, so have a chat with your hairdresser who will advise you if your hair is in good enough condition to withstand the process.

If your base color is light brown to light blonde hair, you’ll also need to pre-lighten your hair with bleach.

Your hair will need to be super super blonde, almost white to get the true silver hue.

If your hair is light blonde and lighter – perfect! Try out one of the top silver hair dyes to get the look at home.

If you’re not sure about bleaching your hair or you think you’ll have to lift it a few levels too many, try gray hair dye for a similar smokey effect that’s not as bright.

How to dye your hair silver at home step by step.

You don’t have to spend a fortune at the salon to get perfect silver hair.

But you’ve got to be ready to put the work in to get it right at home! Follow our easy guide to dye your hair silver like a pro.

What you’ll need

  • Clarifying shampoo to remove dirt, debris and styling products from your hair. 
  • A hair dye kit that will give you all the tools you need to apply it like a pro.
  • A hairdressers cape to protect your clothes. Towels will get stained and keep falling off.
  • A barrier cream to prevent the colour getting on your skin. (Vaseline will do!)
  • A wide toothed comb to separate your hair and comb through the dye.
  • A colour-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  • A well-ventilated room!

And your silver hair dye of choice. These are our top picks below. You can read more about each one in our Best silver hair dye reviews.

Best silver hair dye at a glance.

Hair dyeLooks likeBest forBuy now
Garnier Olia Silver Hair Dye Permanent
How to dye your hair silver at home
Rich dark silver with purple hues
Schwarzkopf LIVE Intense Colour Urban Metallics, Dusty Silverq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07MV2X548&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBHow to dye your hair silver at home Dusty grey tones
L’Oreal Colorista Silver Grey Permanent Hair Dye Gel
How to dye your hair silver at home
A great base for adding colours
Schwarzkopf Ultra Bright Silver Steel.q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06X91JJJY&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBHow to dye your hair silver at home A subtle silver sheen
Garnier Colour Sensation Vivids Blonde Hair Dye, Silver Diamondq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07CN62JYR&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBHow to dye your hair silver at home Bright white, platinum blondes.
Knight & Wilson Colour Freedom Metallic Glory Silver Grey Permanent Hair Colour
How to dye your hair silver at home
Cooler colour

Step #1. Prepare your hair

Before you start dyeing your hair silver, you need to prepare it properly for going through the harsh bleaching and dyeing process.

A few days before you plan to dye it, and in the week leading up to it, deep-condition your hair to make sure it’s strong and healthy.

Another thing to keep in mind is to never bleach your hair if it’s wet, oily, or dirty. This will cause uneven and patchy results.

This means washing it with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any buildup and residue.

Wait until your hair is completely dry and clean before you start the process.

Step #2. Bleach your hair

Bleaching your hair is a must if you want a true silver hue.

You need to lighten your hair to a pale, almost-white shade base before applying the silver dye on top.

Bleaching can be harsh on your hair, so make sure you use a good quality bleach that’s safe and designed to use at home use and to follow the instructions carefully.

You should also use a protective barrier cream around your hairline and ears to avoid staining your skin.

You’ll need a different volume of developer and bleach depending on how many hair levels you need your color to lift.

Leave the bleach in for the recommended amount of time depending on the amount of lift needed. Keep an eye on it as it processes.

If you have a dark hair color like dark brunette or black, you may need to bleach your hair more than once. This is only recommended if your hair is strong enough to take it!

If in doubt, see a professional colorist at your local salon who can help you out.

Step #3. Tone your hair

Once you’ve bleached your hair, you’ll probably notice some warm yellow or brassy tones in it.

This is totally normal! It means it’s time to tone your hair color.

You should use a toner that’s specifically made for gray or silver hair to get the perfect shade.

Apply the toner evenly to your hair, making sure to saturate every strand. Leave it on for the recommended time, and then rinse it off with cold water.

If your hair feels particularly dry or damaged at this stage – if it feels sticky when it’s wet, then it’s super damaged – then give your hair a week to recover before dyeing it silver.

Step #4. Dye your hair with silver hair dye

Now, the fun part begins. It’s time to dye your hair silver!

Make sure to choose a quality silver hair dye that’s designed to use at home. You’ll have everything you need to dye your hair in the kit.

Apply the dye to your hair, starting from the roots and working your way down to the ends.

Make sure to evenly saturate your hair with the dye, and then leave it on for the recommended time.

Rinse your hair with cool water until the water runs clear, and then apply a conditioner to keep your hair moisturized. Voila! You have silver hair!

Step #5. Aftercare

Your silver hair journey doesn’t just end with luscious silver locks.

It’s important to take good care of it to maintain the color and keep it healthy.

This means using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, avoiding hot styling tools, wearing a hat in the sun, and getting regular trims to prevent split ends.

You should also use a hair mask once a week to keep your hair hydrated and nourished.

Watch and learn: How to dye your hair silver at home full tutorial

Here’s a great video tutorial that guides you through how to bleach and dye your hair silver at home step by step!

HOW TO DYE YOUR HAIR SILVER AT HOME TOP TIPS!

1.Pre-Lightening Is Key

This color won’t show up on darker hair. The lighter the hair, the brighter the silver will appear. You can pre-lighten your hair using bleach or a high-lift color like a blonde shade.

2. Conditioning Is Critical

Use a deep conditioner a week before your appointment and continue to use it regularly to nourish your hair. This will not only protect your hair from damage but also help the color last longer.

3. Choose the Right Silver Dye

Look for products specifically designed for silver hair or those with a purple undertone. These dyes will help to neutralize any yellow tones that might appear after pre-lightening, delivering a perfect silver hue.

4. Time It Right

Dyeing your hair silver takes time, effort, and patience. Plan ahead and give yourself ample time, at least four hours, to complete the process.

5. Don’t Overwash

After dyeing your hair silver, don’t overwash it. The color fades quickly if it’s exposed to too much water.

6. Protect Your Silver Hair

Once you’ve achieved the perfect silver shade, you need to take care of it to keep it fresh.

7. Keep Your Roots in Check

The silver dye only lasts so long before your natural hair color starts to grow out. When this happens, you’ll need your roots touched up!

How to dye your hair silver FAQS

What color does your hair have to be to dye it silver?

Whether you’re a natural blonde, have brunette hair, or are a redhead, you can dye your locks silver as long as they’re light enough to begin with.

Keep in mind that the lighter your hair is, the easier it will be to achieve a true silver shade without damaging your tresses.

If you’re starting from a darker base, you may need to bleach your hair first to get the desired result. Go carefully – no one wants frizzy hair of any color!

How light do you have to bleach your hair to dye it silver?

The answer is pretty light!

In order for the silver dye to properly take hold, your hair needs to be a pale, almost platinum blonde.

This means that you’ll need to bleach your hair several times to achieve this level of lightness. 

If you’re worried about bleaching your hair so much, try on-trend gray hair dye for a more muted silver look.

Do I need to tone my hair before dying it silver?

Toning your hair before dying it silver will help achieve that shimmery, metallic look we all know and love.

It can also help neutralize any unwanted undertones in your hair, preventing it from looking yellow or brassy.

Plus, toning products can add some serious shine and softness to your hair, leaving it looking and feeling healthier than ever.

So, bottom line: if you want to get the most out of your silver hair dye, toning is definitely the way to go.

Will silver hair suit me?

Unlike the warm metallic tones of copper and gold, silver is definitely for cool types.

So if you have fair hair, eyes and complexion, you’ll look gorgeous with silver hair.

That’s not to say warmer tones can’t pull it off.

Darker greys with warmth like mushroom or adding a pastel wash over the top could work for you.

Find out your undertones with our handy checklist!

cool or warm undertones infographic

If you’re not sure what your natural colouring is, take our quiz!

Just answer a few quick questions to find out which hair colours suit you!

Which Hair Color Suits Me?

You can also try on some virtual hair colors with the Best hair color changing apps you need to use this year!

Can I just let my dyed hair go gray?

If you’re thinking of saving time and effort and hard earned cash by growing out your natural hair to gray, think again.

Natural grey hair isn’t the gorgeous silver shiny colour we’re all lusting after.

Typically grey hair is coarse and has hints of yellow tones.

Though you can keep brassiness in check with a good purple shampoo or silver shampoo.

Here, you have two options:

  1. Letting your roots grow out is of course doable but it will take almost forever and look horrendous quite frankly.
  2. See a professional. They’ll blend silver highlights or gray highlights into your hair to help it grow out but this is a super intense process that’ll take a few salon trips (and a lot of dosh) and they’ll recommend that you cut your hair short to save it from complete decimation.

Growing grey gracefully is not an easy process but the good thing is, it’s temporary.

Within a year to 18 months, you’ll end up with the hassle-free silver grey color that will make your life easier in the long run.

How long does it take to dye hair silver?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how long it will take, because it depends on a few factors.

First up is the color you’re starting with. If you’re already light blonde, you’ll have a much easier time getting to silver than if you’re starting with dark brown hair or black locks.

Are you used to dyeing or bleaching your hair yourself at home? You’ll probably get it done quicker – this isn’t really a good color to tackle for beginners!

Finally, the length of your hair will obviously play a role.

In our expert opinion having done the process a few times with other colors, you can expect it to take anywhere from a couple of hours to half a day.

But hey, good things come to those who wait – and trust us, silver hair is definitely worth the wait!

Why is silver hair hard to dye?

Silver hair is notoriously difficult to dye and there are a couple of reasons why.

First, achieving that perfect silver color often requires bleaching your hair to a nearly-white shade.

This means your hair cuticles are extremely open and can have a difficult time retaining color.

Second, silver hair tends to be more coarse and wiry than other shades, making it harder for dye to penetrate evenly.

But with the right preparation and techniques, it is possible to achieve that gorgeous silver hue you’ve been dreaming of.

How long does silver hair last?

If you take good care of your silver locks, and stay on top of your maintenance routine, you can expect your silver hair to last around six to eight weeks before you need to touch it up again.

But the real secret to keeping your silver strands vibrant and shiny is to invest in a high-quality toning shampoo that will keep brassy yellow tones at bay and your color looking cool.

How to care for silver hair.

Silver hair can be absolutely stunning, but it does require a bit of TLC to maintain its shimmer and shine.

Make sure to use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for silver hair to keep it from looking dull or yellow.

Also, avoid using hot tools like straighteners and curling irons too often, as they can damage hair and cause split ends.

You can also use a purple toning mask once a week to brighten and refresh your color.

Lastly, be sure to protect your silver strands from the sun and pool chemicals by wearing a hat and using a swim cap!

Following these steps can help your silver hair look its best for longer.

Parting words

So there you have it – silver hair is the trend of the season and it’s achievable, right at home!

Whether you want to achieve a gradient grey or a bold full coverage shade, we’ve detailed all of the steps you need to take in order to pull off the perfect dye job.

Before you dive in, it’s always important to understand your natural hair colour and condition before changing it.

Do some research on what shade of silver and which haircuts will be best for you and ensure to use quality products – that way your new look can last as long as possible!

We hope this post has provided helpful tips on how to dye your hair silver at home.

It’s a fun and creative activity that can provide both satisfaction and something Instagrammable after completing it.

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!