Dye planning

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Cat's Guide to Dyeing your Hair Silver

Published on 8th October 2010

Hey all! I’m Cat, 23 and a bit of a hair nut. I’ve dyed my hair all colours countless times in the past few years and over the past year I’ve had a fixation of having silvery grey hair and now achieved it twice, in between which I was honey blonde, black, navy blue. So going from silver to black and back again wasn’t easy, but I know enough on how to achieve it and I thought I’d share!

I naturally have honey blonde hair but I’ve dyed it so much over the years it has been a long time since I’ve seen that colour! I always seem to be working back to white/silver from a dark colour but this time round I’ve done it gradually and it you want your hair to survive it’s a good idea!

I always start with L’oreal Perfect Blonde Maximum. It’s more expensive than your usual box of hair dye by a few pounds but it is worth it!

This stuff whether you’re black, brown, auburn or whatever naturally or dyed will lift you colour to some form of orange bright yellow blonde. Unsightly and mildly damaging to your hair but this is only stage 1.

If you’re not bleaching your hair in one go, use a light shade of blonde from Nice n Easy to eliminate the orange yellow tones of the L’oreal lightening kit. Always choose one that says ash in the name because this then means it has a toner in it that will be blue or purple that will eradicate the yellowy brassy tones in your hair.

If you have any roots of your own hair not dyed or all of your hair is your own and it’s any colour from mousey light brown or lighter then you may not need to start with something as harsh as L’Oreal Perfect Blonde. Schwarzkoff’s XXL Live will do the trick as well.

I tend to use this after using the Perfect Blonde if my hair was fairly dark and has only lightened to bright yellow, not a white blonde yet. Use the XXL Live 00A Absolute Platinum (Around £5 from most places in UK) and it will lighten your hair to a nice white platinum bleach blonde.

I used it last night to lift and lighten my colour after bleaching and to also bleach some of my roots I had previously missed. Everything went platinum using just one application of it. Great product! But if your hair is any longer than shoulder length get two boxes.

By now you will probably have very very WHITE roots, and your lengths will be fairly platinum blonde/white with a bit of a brassy tinge still.

Two ways to eradicate this is to use a very very light ASH blonde from Nice n Easy’s hair dye range which will tone your hair, eradicate brassy tones and probably lighten your hair further if possible. This however is lightening and dying your hair yet again so be prepared for very dry damaged hair!

If you hair is fairly bleached and only has a little yellow to it however you can get away with just using a straight toner on it which will actually just tone your hair and deposit tiny amounts of colour to counteract the brassiness whilst conditioning your hair.

Me after dyeing my hair white/silver the first time :)

This is done using semi-permanent hair dyes (sometimes called conditioning creams).

Common brands sporting everything from platinum white, silver/grey to shocking pink and blue are:

Special Effects, Stargazer, Renbow Crazy Colour and La Riche Directions.

All usually are 88ml-100ml tubs/pots/tubes. They all usually cost around £4 a go and condition your hair whilst depositing colour.

I’ve so far tried Stargazer, Renbow Crazy Colour and La Riche Directions. Crazy Colour and Directions are the best two I’d say by far, and Directions is definitely the best for toning hair and dying it silver/grey.

For medium shoulder length hair I’d advise at least one pot of Directions (88ml) Silver. When you get it you’ll see it’s bright navy blue in colour. Don’t worry though, your hair won’t go blue!

After bleaching and so on to get rid of the brassiness wash your hair with a pH balanced shampoo, towel dry and apply directions silver to your hair all over – roots, tips, lengths. Be very thorough and use it liberally. Cover your whole head. This is not just toning your hair killing all yellow tones but then left on long enough will deposit enough of the blue to appear grey/silver. How white, grey or silver it goes is determined on how long you leave the semi-permanent dye on.

It says on the pot to leave it on 15mins, and I did this when I had light blonde hair and I did notice a slight lighter difference to my hair, but for dying it silver and toning I left it on for around 45mins. All yellow tones were eradicated, my roots were definitely silver white as was most of the rest of my hair, even the stubborn bits on the lengths of my hair.

However my hair is more platinum WHITE with a silver sheen to it so to achieve a darker colour either reapply again for the same amount of time (as I am going to do) or leave it on even longer. Don’t worry about leaving it on and your hair going blue.

I find purple toners deposit their colour quicker and easier than blue ones and even if the blue is left on for hours and tinges your hair the blue will fade in a few days/washes and steadily become silver.

Maintain your hair by using intense conditioning hair mask treatments several times a week to replace it’s moisture lost in the bleaching process and top up the silver toner whenever you feel the colour is going back to white.

For deep conditioning I’d recommend any of the big tubs by Tresemme – great price for a great product that lasts ages. A cheaper but just as good option is the Boots Naturals Honey Mask for Dry Damaged Hair. Comes in a big tub as well and is only £2 if I remember! Lather your hair liberally in it, wrap your hair in a towel and the heat your your scalp and the hot water from the shower will act with it to nourish your hair further. Leave the conditioner/towel on for a few hours then rinse. Voila new happy hair!

Enjoy having awesome silver hair!

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  • Always do strand and sensitivity tests when using a new product.