How to Dye Your Hair Gray

Updated on October 30, 2019
Carrie Morgan profile image

Carrie is a an actress, landscape architect and teacher. She enjoys writing, crocheting, painting and exploring new hobbies.

AFTER: Gray
AFTER: Gray

Transitioning to Gray

I started going gray at 23, and have been dyeing my hair various shades of brown for 30 years. I wanted to make the transition to gray (or grey), but did not want to go through the painful process of having a distinct line between my colored hair and my gray roots as they grew out.

Having a professional lift for existing color, bleach, and adding gray coloring can be extremely expensive. After watching many DIY videos and reading oodles of articles on dyeing hair gray at home, I decided to take the risk and give it a try on my own. I have been very pleased with the results and have found the transition to be surprisingly easy and fun.

I have outlined my process below and the products I used. I recommend you do your own research on the entire process to be sure you are comfortable taking the risks involved before committing to trying it on your own.

When Do I Try It?

Only when you feel comfortable with any possible risks involved. Find a time when you have a few days away from work and social engagements, so you can make corrections, if needed.

Before You Start!

1. Review this entire article and research the process on your own.
2. Purchase required products.
3. If you feel comfortable taking the risk, dive in and give it a try!

Products to Purchase

I purchased all of the products below at Sally Beauty Supply

  • Ion: Bright White Creme Lightener(8 levels of lift)
  • Blond Brilliance: Creme Oil Infusion 35 Volume Developer
  • Ion Color Brilliance: Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1
  • Ion Color Brilliance: Absolute Perfection Color Sealer Step 2
  • Wella Color Charm: T14 Toner(T18 if you want lighter silver/gray)
  • Wella Color Charm: 050 Cooling Violet Additive
  • 20 Volume Developer (small bottle is fine)
  • Applicator bottle
  • Gloves

If your hair is medium to dark brown or black in color, you need to remove color before bleaching. You might try Color Fix by One 'n Only. It comes with three bottles of solution (color reducer, conditioning catalyst, processing lotion). Follow directions on the box.

Coloring Process Steps

  1. Research and consult professionals, as desired.
  2. Purchase products.
  3. If you have medium or dark brown/black colored hair and need to lift existing color, do so a day (or two) before initiating the bleaching process. Be sure to condition hair between processes!
  4. Bleaching - Mix together the Blond Brilliance 35 Volume Developer and the Ion Bright White Creme Lightener (follow mixing ratio instructions on bottle). Add 1 packet of Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Color Sealer Step 2 and 1/2 bottle of Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1. Mix well and apply thoroughly to portions of hair you wish to bleach (and later color gray). Avoid getting bleach on scalp as much as possible. NEVER APPLY BLEACH TO WET HAIR! Carefully observe your hair, checking every few minutes to see that you reach the desired color lift without over processing. Do not process more than 45-50 minutes.
  5. Rinse bleach out of hair and apply mild shampoo to ensure all bleach has been removed from hair. Apply good conditioner and rinse. I bleached and colored my hair the same day, but use your own judgment with this.
  6. Mix entire tube of Wella Color Charm T14 Toner : 20 Volume Developer, (1:2), entire bottle of Wella Color Charm 050 Cooling Violet Additive (no extra developer for this), and other half of Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1. Mix well and apply thoroughly to hair. Leave for 15-30 minutes (follow product instructions), to reach desired level of gray (purple color will wash out).
  7. Rinse color out of hair and apply desired shampoo and conditioners.
  8. Enjoy your new look! The toner is a demi-color and will fade in time. You may wish to apply toner every few weeks until your natural gray has grown in. I like to use shampoo and conditioner for platinum blond or gray hair to keep the yellow/orange tones from creeping in.

Before & After

BEFORE: Brunette
BEFORE: Brunette
2 WEEKS AFTER: Gray
2 WEEKS AFTER: Gray

Use Shampoo and Conditioner Designed to Keep Your Hair BRIGHT

To keep brassy tones from creeping back in, use products designed for platinum or gray colored hair.

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.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)