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DIY Hair: 8 Gorgeous Ways to Rock Gray Hair

I love to dye my hair all colors of the rainbow. I love all things vintage. I also enjoy creating art, taking photos, and doing it myself.

Oh, the ways you can gray. I'm only 23, so why do I have so many?! I've been plucking out my stray grays for several years now, but in reality, I could just be dyeing my hair gray so they blend in. Actually, this whole gray hair thing could be pretty cool!

Regardless of your situation, if you're looking to go gray, there are tons of different ways to rock it. However, it takes a bit of work to get there.

Dyeing Hair Gray Is Harder Than It Seems

So going gray isn't as simple as dyeing your hair any other color. It's a mixture of bleaching and toning, and maybe a BIT of dyeing depending on the shade you want. It's hard, and it's a big commitment. So be sure that you're ready to have various stages of bleached hair, and get ready to condition the crap out of it.

Really, you'll bleach to a light blonde and try to tone out the brassiness with purple shampoo or toner. Some people even opt to mix a bit of purple or blue hair dye in to neutralize yellows and oranges. It takes a lot of lifting to get to the right shade for toning, and then some dye to get to the gray you're aiming for.

That being said, if you're starting with dark brown or black hair, be patient. It took me 5 bleaches over the course of 5 months to get to a platinum blonde. I really tried to take care of my hair between bleaches by letting up on the shampooing and using olive oil and coconut oil to deep condition.

8 Gorgeous Gray Hairstyles for All Ages

So you've decided you want gray hair . . . but what kind? Here are eight awesome looks for gray hair—from a full dye job to subtle ombre.

You don't have to have an AARP card to rock a full head of gray hair!

You don't have to have an AARP card to rock a full head of gray hair!

1. Whole Head

The most obvious choice is to dye your whole head of hair, but this is a pretty drastic change for timid types. It takes a bit of work to accomplish, as well. You'd have to spend some time being blonde and lightening up your color before being able to tone it to the gray of your choice.

Short Hair With Frosted Gray Tips

Short Hair With Frosted Gray Tips

2. Frosted Tips

I've never been able to wear a pixie cut, but I think this style is killer. The frosted gray tips look amazing! If you've got a short do that you're looking to grow out, try bleaching and toning for these cute silver tips.

Layered Gray Hair Dye

Layered Gray Hair Dye

3. Layered

Layer up the gray like this chick by dyeing it on your upper or lower layers. There are lots of options here—you could leave your hair as its natural color while going gray on bottom, or even bleach it to platinum so you can have gray and white layers.

Dip-Dyed Gray Hair

Dip-Dyed Gray Hair

4. Dip-Dyed

Dip-dyeing is pretty easy because it doesn't require as much technique or skill as other dyeing methods. You just . . . go in a straight line. And, you're not actually dipping, you're painting. Grab a dye brush and paint the bleach on to the desired height, wash it out and tone it up! Simple.

Gray Highlights

Gray Highlights

5. Highlights

Another low-key way to add gray is to tone it into your highlights. This model still has some ash blonde in her hair, which you can see around her roots. Bleach in some platinum highlights and tone away!

Rooty Gray Dye

Rooty Gray Dye

6. Rooty

My favorite method—rooty! I naturally have dark hair, so going full-head any color results in a terrible root line after a few weeks. By mixing the color in this way, it's way less noticeable when your roots start growing in.

Subtle Gray Hair Dye

Subtle Gray Hair Dye

7. Subtle

Noticeable, but not in-your-face. This is another great look for the low-key dyers. This gray is a little darker, so I'm willing to bet there was a TOUCH of black or purple dye used.

Ombre Gray Hair

Ombre Gray Hair

8. Ombre

Another easy-upkeep option for going gray is the ombre. As your hair gets longer, your roots will not be an obvious mess! Marie Negron is awesome at getting people gray and silver, so you should definitely check out some more of her work for ideas.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Alex Rose


Amparo Hudson on March 26, 2020:

I want to do my hair platinum with black. How would I go about this?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 20, 2019:

Sally's Beauty has several - Ion Titanium is one I have used before!

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on April 19, 2019:

I have looked online for gray hair color but cannot find any. Do you know where I can purchase this product?

Amy on September 10, 2018:

Bleach the crap out of it, and then use Wella t14 toner to get a 'pillowcase white'

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on October 06, 2017:

Do you remember how Marilyn Monroe used to die her hair "pillowcase white"? That was the name she gave it. I wonder if you can offer tips on how to get that color?