How to dye your hair grey
First of all, dyeing your hair grey is not a walk in the park.
Brunettes will have a particularly tough time achieving the perfect grey hue because hair must be lightened to a clean, white blonde before you get started.
This involves a lot of bleach, and if you want grey hair from root to tip be prepared for a burning sensation around the scalp!
According to Elle Australia’s resident hair experts, hairdressers should only lift colour by three shades at a time, so if you have natural raven or ebony hair, going grey is going to take some serious time and effort.
Going grey before you set the right base colour will result in yellow tones peeping through which is not a good look for anyone. After the intensity of bleaching, it’s a good idea to treat your hair with a post-colouring serum like the Paul Mitchell Keratriplex Awapuhi wild ginger treatment which strengthens and hydrates brittle hair.
How to dye hair grey without bleach
If you want to achieve silver hair without touching bleach, it’s worth investing in a jar of semi-permanent wax hair colour cream.
The cream should be applied directly to hair and washes off in lukewarm water.
Vegan brand La Riche also make an ammonia-free semi-permanent colour that works well without bleaching, and suits blonde, light brown or chestnut hair best.
The silver shade lasts for between four and six weeks depending on how often you wash your locks.
Both products are available online from Melbourne-based cosmetics store My Beauty.
The grey hair spectrum
Stylists at Brisbane’s Not Another Salon are masters in grey hair artistry, and have helpfully broken down the grey shade into a spectrum of colours to help clients figure out which tone is right for them.
Grey shades range from blended white and silver to steel, ash and gunmetal.
Ombre colouring is hugely popular when it comes to grey dye jobs, with many colourists mixing pastel pinks and even deep navy and jewel-toned purples into the end of the hair for a look that really packs a punch and lasts for longer than grey all over.
The best grey hair styles for 2019
1. Dark grey roots and baby pink body
This graduated grey balayage style works best on short to medium length hair and fair skin.
2. Steel grey all over
A shocking silver steel looks incredible on women with a pixie crop or dramatic buzz cut, and the best part? It works wonders for almost any skin tone.
Jamie Lee Curtis famously rocked a pixie ‘do with salt and pepper flecks, looking utterly fabulous in the process.
3. Ash grey
Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix famously dyed her long locks ash grey, a tone which works wonders for her warm skin and deep brown eyes.
Thirlwall remained dark at the roots with grey tones layered through the mid-lengths of her hair.
4. Silver blonde
This beautiful colouring works best on long, straight or wavy tresses and nicely compliments fair to olive skin tones.
Jade’s bandmate Jesy Nelson recently went for a platinum silver blonde which makes for a striking contrast against her warm-toned complexion.
Being a member of the blue rinse brigade is no longer a bad thing, as the growing of number of stylish women opting for blue-grey dye jobs proves.
Pale skin is best suited to a deep navy base with grey overtones, but if you’re feeling truly brave an icy blue shade will really pack a punch in the sartorial stakes.
6. Black and grey contrasting ombre
This style works best starting dark at the root and lightening gradually down the length of the hair.
Ideally suited to longer styles for full dramatic effect.
Alternatively, you could go for a black colour all over and pepper the body with highlights of silver for an understated but on-trend look.
This can be achieved by lacing the hair with silver toner and layering deeper highlights on top.
7. Dove-toned white
As far back as 2015, grey hair was ‘going glam’ as social media became flooded with the hashtag #grannyhair.
After Jean Paul Gaultier’s catwalk at Paris Fashion Week was awash with grey haired beauties in April of that year, a bevy of celebrities started to rock the trend.
Nicole Richie sported a bizarre but beautiful dove white updo while Lady Gaga stepped out in floor-grazing ivory dreadlocks.
8. Purple washed grey colour
Purple works wonders with a touch of ash grey or silver.
The two shades make for a beautiful balayage or ombre style on almost every skin tone.
Go all out with a deep, regal purple along the bottom length of the hair, or take inspiration from Kelly Osborne who is regularly photographed with a soft purple wash which lifts her grey colouring perfectly.
Grey hair colour products: What to use for the hottest looks
- Paul Mitchell Keratriplex Awapuhi Wild Ginger Cream Rinse
This $65 AUD keratin infused serum strengthens and protects brittle or damaged tresses and is particularly useful after heavy bleaching.
Replenish thirsty hair with the ginger laced treatment for shiny, silky and healthy locks from root to tip.
- Kenra Permanent Colour
This silver-metallic shade created by colourist to the stars Guy Tang creates a sultry shimmering grey.
This product is a permanent colour which means it won’t fade as quickly as demi or semi-perm grey dye products, and is available to buy from Amazon Australia for $49 AUD.
- Wella Colour Charm Liquid Crème Colour
If you’re after a cool toned grey colour for a purple balayage or ombre, Wella Colour Charm in Cooling Violet is the product you need.
This piercingly icy shade works well as a toner for blonde hair, too. Leave on for longer if you want a full grey effect.
Get yours from Ebay Australia for $13 AUD.
- Clairol Colour Crave Hair Makeup
If you’re after grey hair for one night only, try Clairol’s Hair Makeup in Shimmering Platinum.
Simply spray on, dry under the heat of your blow dryer and wash out whenever the fun is over!
Buy from Target for $8 AUD.
- L’Oreal Feria Pastels Permanent Colour
If you’re 100 percent settled on turning to the grey or blue side permanently, look no further than home hair dye from L’Oreal Feria in Smokey Blue.
This icy shade is stunning if you’re after a cool toned steel, which looks incredible on pale skin.
Get similar from Chemist Warehouse Australia for less than $10 AUD.