A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye - Hairstyle on Point (2023)

Published By Brooke

Updated 02-26-2023

To the hair trend whose presence has graced every listicle, every millennial's Pinterest board, and nearly every salon across the world – this one's for you. We've featured the best gray hair dyes before, but this time we're getting down to business with all there is to know about #grannyhair.

What is #grannyhair?

Gray hair dye immigrated on the same ship as metallics and pastels, and millennials haven't thrown it back out to sea just yet. For a few years now, people in their teens, twenties, and thirties have tested the waters with gray hair dye, stripping their natural locks of any pigment and opting for a risky new color. From platinum silver to the deepest charcoal gray shades, take a look at the sleekest silver hair colors, or jump down to our DIY Guide.

Shades of Gray

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Is there a perfect formula of how to achieve long-lasting shiny silver and gray shades? Can girls with dark hair get any temporary options of arctic fox colors? Actually, it all depends, but we’ve got a full pack of trendy gray hair dye ideas. From professional silver hair balayage hairstyles to low-budget Got2b metallic permanent hair dye options, choose the one to your taste:

Smokey Silver

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The blonde hair blue-eyed look is classic, but silver-toned blonde spices it up while still testing out the gray hair trend. With layers and volume, you’ll achieve that sophisticated professional fleur that takes Millennial silver hair up to the next level.

Soft Silver Blonde

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If you have naturally dark hair, try out an all over gray. It'll blend nicely when roots start to peak through.

Dark Gray Ombre

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An ombre gray like this would require some serious elbow grease from your hairdresser. From bleaching to coloring, to blending dark roots, this ombre belongs all over Instagram.
The color charcoal is everywhere now, but it's completely versatile between work and play.

Smoky Steel

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Ladies who love to play with hair color, try a cold blue-gray for a refreshing summer look.

Shadow-Root Silver

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Dark and colored shadow roots are super popular and add an edge to sleek silver locks.

Gray Balayage

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We're totally obsessed with this silver and navy balayage. The best part is – you can throw in any bold hue, and it'll blend beautifully.

Gray Blonde

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Ordinary light blonde is boring. A bluish-grey hair dye isn’t. Even without any twists like this floral braid, such a semi-permanent color is gonna stand out.

Champagne Blonde and Gray

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This champagne blonde and gray lob is a great example of how you can introduce a gray hue into your natural style gently and gradually. The ombre technique highlights the beauty of your hair giving it a bright touch-up.

Dishwater Blonde with Silver Sprinkle

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Dishwater dyes look much more attractive than you can imagine. The proof is above: perfectly blended grey hair with highlights and brunette strands. Isn’t it the best one we can find in the salt-and-pepper collection?

Salt and Pepper

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Unlike the previous silver hair dye, this long-lasting color looks less natural but still more eccentric and sophisticated. Can be easily paired with any hair length – just make sure it suits your skin undertone.

Platinum Highlights

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A short side-parted bob for naturally dark hair will look wonderful with platinum highlights.

Ash Gray and Pearl Blonde

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Keep things simple but include meaningful details in your silver shade look.

Rooty Pearl Blonde with Metallic Sheen

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This pearl blonde is possible to achieve on some hair types only. If your hairstylist says you can get it – don’t miss a chance.

How to Get Gray Hair – Salon vs at Home

You've decided – gray hair is a go. But we'll warn you… achievingthe right shade of gray isn't one of those DIY projects you throw together after watching a couple YouTube tutorials. It's a process, and inevitably, there are fewer risks if you hit up your salon to do the dirty work.

But we know we have some dare-devils who will go gray from home regardless, so we have some guidelines to help you do it as safely as possible. We encourage you to follow the steps below if you want an overall gray color, rather than a platinum, balayage, or ombre.

The Prep

Recommended Products:

  • Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle
  1. Start conditioning treatments as soon as you decide to go gray.
  2. Lay off the heat, and wash less frequently.


Recommended Products:

  • Olaplex No. 3(after bleaching)
  1. You won't achieve the smoky, smooth gray color unless you completely get rid of the pigment in your hair, so you'll need to get it bleached. This is the trickiest part, and we highly recommend going to a hairdresser for this step. For more details on bleaching your hair, check out How to Get White Hair: The Process From Start to Finish.
  2. Once your hair is lightened, it's a good idea to wait a few days before coloring.

Going Gray

Recommended Products:

  • Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids Silver(for medium gray)
  • Ion Shark Blue and Titanium (for a dark gray)
  • L'Oreal Paris Feria Pastels Hair Color, P1 Sapphire Smoke (Smokey Blue)(for smokey blue)
  1. Gather the following items: rubber gloves, vaseline, a comb, four hair clips, a towel, and the hair color of your choice.
  2. If you're braving box color at home, try a test strip first. Your final product fully depends on your base hair color and the current state of your strands, so by experimenting on a small section underneath, there won't be any surprises when you apply the hair color.
  3. Separate hair into four even sections (2 on top and 2 on bottom), and clip.
  4. Line the outside of your hairline with vaseline to ensure the hair color doesn't dye your skin.
  5. Mix hair color, and apply all over. Start at the roots and work your way down the strands, coating one section at a time. Each formula is different, so be sure to read the directions to determine how long your color needs to process.
  6. Once the color has developed, rinse out with water, shampoo your hair, and condition it.


Recommended Products:

  • Pureology Purify Shampoo
  • Pureology Precious Oil Softening Conditioner
  1. Use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair.
  2. Trim your hair as needed.
  3. Touch up color as it fades with the same box color you used the first time (usually around four to eight weeks).


Who are gray hair dyes best for?

Consider your skin tone when choosing a gray hair dye. Silver grey and metallic permanent hair color will look best on women with olive and fair skin with yellow undertones. Those who have a pink undertone should better avoid the color – even the best gray hair dyes may appear red and irritated with a cool grey hue.

How do you go gray after years of coloring?

Making your hair gray after years and years of coloring can be done following different strategies:

  • the cold turkey method: implies just letting the dyed hair grow out or cutting it out if the length allows;
  • the salon transition: means a hairstylist blends your dyed hair to match your natural hair
  • the dye-strip technique: which is a formula made of professional methods combined for a smooth transition to grey hair.

Thus, you can switch to gray hair color in an instant with a dramatic haircut and a multi-faceted shimmering permanent hair dye. However, in this case, you have to use a moisturizing hair care system (with bamboo extract, argan oil, etc) for keeping your hair healthy even under the harsh chemicals of some hair dyes.

Still, we would highly recommend you to go grey gradually adding highlights and lowlights and stretching the color along the length of your hair.

Which grey hair dye is best?

If you’re going to get a long-lasting color within the comfort of your house without a hairstylist’s assistance, you’d better use a tested and high-quality hair dye.
Our best gray hair dye top choices are:

  • Got2b Metallic Permanent Hair Color
  • L'Oréal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color
  • Clairol Color Crave Temporary Hair Color Makeup

For those bold souls willing to try the beloved gray hair trend — let us know by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook @hairstyleonpoint. We're dying to see how it turns out.

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