11 Best Grey Hair Dye Shades for a Silver-Hued Makeover

best grey hair dye

123RF.com (carther)

Nailing that trendy silver hair look at home is tricky–so make sure you’re using the best grey hair dye for your desired look and your hair type.

I’m focusing on semi-permanent dyes that are meant to last you months. If you’re looking for something for the weekend or a special event, your safest bet is temporary hair color. See the end of the article for helpful tips and tricks for best results for but let’s get right to the dye.

What Are the Best Grey Hair Dyes?

Bottle of Keracolor conditioner with blond to grey hair Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Gentle on hair
  • Can control how dark of a grey
  • Cruelty-free
Price: $22.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Lunar Tides silver hair dye Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smokey grey for magical vibe
  • Contains hydrating oils
  • Cruelty-free
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Viral Colorwash bottle with blonde and grey hair swatches Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shampoo and dye combo
  • Slowly builds color
  • Easy to apply
Price: $35.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
silver hair wax Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shows up over dark hair
  • Good for testing out the color
  • Simple to apply
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Pravana Chromasilk grey toner Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mysterious dark grey
  • Can control how dark of a grey
  • Can work as maintenance
Price: $9.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
white bottle of Adore hair dye Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Option of light or dark grey
Price: $5.94 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Manic Panic dark gray hair dye Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trusted brand
  • Gluten and cruelty-free
  • Unique slate shade
Price: $13.40 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Rootflage touchup powder with pink brush Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for covering roots
  • Temporary
  • Cruelty-free
Price: $22.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Silver box of Ion hair dye Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three shades of grey
  • Cool colors for brassy tones
  • No developer needed
Price: $11.53 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wella Blonder toner bottle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Less risk of going too dark
  • Tones away yellow
  • Best for ultra-light silver
Price: $9.45 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
l'oreal paris hair dye box Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes conditioner and serum
  • Multi-dimensional color
  • Unique steely color
Price: $4.52 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. KeraColor Silver

    • Gentle on hair
    • Cruelty-free
    • Can control the level of color
    • Extends the life of other dyes
    • Not a tradtional dye
    • Keeps adding more color
    • Best on light hair

    This conditioner plus color is a bit different than what you’d get if you went to a salon, but it could be exactly what you’re looking for. KeraColor Conditioner is extremely gentle as it’s a cleansing conditioner and not a straight-up dye. While it conditions, it also adds color. 

    This semi-permanent color builds over time as more dye is deposited. Basically, you can use this as your conditioner (or conditioner and shampoo) until your hair has reached the level of grey you’re looking for. After that, you can go back to your normal hair care routine (no sulfates please) and when you notice your grey is fading, you simply re-up with a wash of the KeraColor.

    You can’t get much easier maintenance than that when the dyeing process is the same as the maintenance process of most other dyes.

    KeraColor isn’t a lightener so this will work best with bleached or very light-colored hair. They have Silver (featured above) and a Silver Blue shade.

  2. 2. Lunar Tides Slate Grey Hair Dye

    • Trendy smokey grey
    • Cruelty-free and vegan
    • No developer needed
    • Too dark for some
    • Fades fairly quickly
    • Doesn't include bleach

    Looking for a dye that doesn’t need a developer? Try Lunar Tides’ Slate Grey. This smokey grey gives the granny hairstyle a mysterious, forest witch vibe to it.

    You’ll need pre-lightened hair for this to show up properly so make sure you break out the bleach. I like that they include a brush with a pick end for properly dividing your hair and that the dyes themselves contain safflower seed oil, rice protein, and oat protein for hair health.

  3. 3. Celeb Luxury Viral Colorwash in Extreme Silver

    • Shampoo and dye combo
    • Can control how dark you want your grey
    • Easy to apply
    • Vegan and cruelty-free
    • Pricier than some
    • Not a traditional dye
    • Too purple for some
    • May be a little drying

    For pre-lightened hair, this shampoo and dye combo from Celeb Luxury can add some serious neon and pastel color to your life and they also tackle a mean, steely grey. It won’t lighten your hair but with each wash, it will deposit dye that slowly builds up and when you’ve hit your desired color, all you do is swap out the Viral and swap in your normal shampoo.

    Unlike some others, Viral can produce a fairly vibrant color on the first wash if you let the product sit for 15 to 30 minutes making this a good choice for people who are looking for something a little more temporary. It will eventually fade but you can upkeep it by shampooing with Viral as needed.

    It seems to work best for folks with bleached hair compared to natural blonds, but will definitely produce color on both. 

  4. 4. Mofajang Hair Wax in Silver Grey

    • You don't need to bleach your hair
    • Simple application
    • Grey hair without the commitment
    • Comes out in the wash
    • Doesn't last
    • Adds texture like a wax
    • Application takes time
    • Can go through a lot for all over color

    You may not be ready to commit to the grey, and that’s okay. Go with a tinted temporary hair wax like Mofajang. You can test out how you look with granny hair using temporary dyes or simply use temporary hair color to satisfy your need for a fun new color without commitment.

    Mofajang is a popular favorite because their pigments even show up well over dark hair. No need to bust out the bleach for this hair color because you can slather it right on top. And slather isn’t inaccurate because it’s a thick hair wax that has the consistency of cake frosting.

    There are lots of different methods for applying this wax and what works best for you depends on your hair type so you’ll want to play around with it to see what makes your hair shine. It comes out in one to two washes, so it’s not a huge hassle. 

    This also makes it nice for using on younger ones since the change isn’t permanent and you’re avoiding a lot of harsher dye chemicals. 

    VideoVideo related to mofajang hair wax in silver grey2019-03-18T17:01:34-04:00
  5. 5. Pravana ChromaSilk Express Tones Smokey Grey

    • Cancels out yellow tones
    • Has good staying power
    • Add to conditioner for maintenance
    • Mysterious steely grey
    • Needs a developer
    • You really need light hair for this to work
    • Too dark for some

    Pravana Chromasilk Express Tones in Smokey Grey is a toner from Pravana’s Precious Metals Collection. It’s a toner so it’s designed to remove yellow tones from bleach-processed hair–but if you leave it on longer, you can get the lovely grey locks you’re going for. 

    It needs to be mixed with a Zero Lift Developer which activates the dye without lightening your hair, so you want to apply this to clean hair that is already pre-lightened. It has a steely gunmetal grey look that’s perfect for that strong, might-be-a-wizard look.

    The more you dilute the dye with the developer the lighter the grey and the more metallic of a finish you’ll see.You can also play with how long you leave the dye in. 

    It’s gentle on your hair and won’t leave it feeling like straw. This is one that definitely works best if your hair has been seriously bleached. The lighter the better. 

    As far as maintenance, you can mix this into your conditioner every one or two weeks and use it as a hair mask to keep your silver looking sharp.

  6. 6. Adore Platinum Grey Hair Color

    • Option of light or dark grey
    • Affordable
    • Easy to use
    • No peroxide or ammonia
    • A little thin
    • More blue than purple

    If you’re on a budget, check out Adore. Their dyes tend to be on the cheaper end of things and work just as well as average-cost hair color options. 

    They’re simple to use as you apply them either straight to pre-lightened hair or mix in a small amount of conditioner for a lighter result. The consistency of the dye can be a little thin so adding a creamy conditioner to thicken it up can make keeping the dye where you want it easier.

    Adore has two greys: the Platinum (featured above) for a blue-toned light grey and Titanium for a purple-toned medium grey. If your bleached hair has brassy yellow tones you’ll want to go with the Titanium but if your bleached hair has gone all orange, the Platinum can help balance that out.

  7. 7. Manic Panic in Alien Grey

    • Unique slate grey color
    • Trusted brand
    • Percentage of proceeds go to charity
    • Made in America
    • Needs heat to be as vibrant as possible
    • Needs to be over pre-lightened hair
    • Fades within a month

    I used a lot of Manic Panic back in the day so I can attest that their products work, even when used by unsupervised college kids. Their Alien Grey stands out from this crowd of the best grey hair dyes with its deep iron color.

    This one has deep blue undertones compared to the purple tones of other greys on here which gives it this unique shade. If you’re looking to pop in a room full of dyed grey hair, this would do it.

    Manic Panic dye works best on pre-lightened hair. Their dyes come out brighter when you apply heat to the dye by wrapping your hair in plastic wrap and using a hairdryer to heat it up. I’m not sure if this would do anything to a grey color, but if your first application is dull, try heat next time. 

    It does need upkeep as Manic Panic will fade after about a month. You can put this off by adding a little bit of the dye into your conditioner to boost the color with every shower.

  8. 8. Rootflage Silver Gray

    • Covers up roots as they grow in
    • Can be used for all over color
    • Comes out in one wash
    • Cruelty-free
    • A bit of a mess to apply
    • Works better for some than others
    • Very temporary

    If you’re not completely sure about taking the plunge into grey hair, there are some temporary hair dyes that can give you a glimpse into life with granny hair. Check out Rootflage which is a temporary hair powder that covers your hair instead of soaking into it the way permanent dyes do. It comes out in only one wash.

    It can be a little messy to deal with, but that’s the case with all temporary hair dyes whether they are powders, sprays, or waxes. I was able to get my hands on a media sample of this and while there is a bit of powder lost when applying, the large, soft kabuki brush helps to contain and evenly distribute the pigment throughout your hair. 

    The product is originally designed for camouflaging your roots as they grow in, making it an awesome tool to have in your kit for when you do go all-in for your grey hair and you’re trying to put off touching it up. 

    Rootflage is free of the nasty chemicals in hair dye that the FDA issues warnings about making this a good choice for kids as well.

  9. 9. Ion Semi-Permanent Dye (3 Shades)

    • Simple to use
    • Three shades of grey
    • Cooler tones balance brassy hair
    • Doesn't need developer
    • Best on light colored hair
    • Not a lot in a tube
    • Not as long-lasting as others

    Ion Semi-Permanent Dye has three shades of grey to choose from: Titanium (featured above) for a gunmetal grey, Violet Grey for a lighter, purple-grey, and Storm for a warmer mid-tone grey. 

    It works best on pre-lightened hair and if you have a yellow or orange tone, the cooler Violet Grey or Titanium dyes can help balance that out.  

  10. 10. Wella Blonder Permanent Liquid Toner in Pale Silver

    • Good for fully bleached hair
    • For a platinum silver color
    • Won't accidentally over deposit
    • Affordable and you get lots of product
    • Hair should be pre-lightened
    • Not for dark grey hair
    • Technically a toner

    If you’re looking for an ultra-light silver-grey, go with Wella’s Blonder Permanent Liquid Toner in Pale Silver. Yes, it’s technically a toner and will need to be mixed with a lower strength developer but it’s perfect for canceling out yellow from bleached hair on its way to blonde, but it will also get you to platinum silver shade.

    It’s important to note that this will only work on level 10 and maybe level nine blonde hair. It has to be very light to work with this permanent toner or else it simply won’t do a whole lot. If your hair isn’t quite that light, you can also add a stronger developer to it to try to get a little lift as it tones. 

    What’s nice about this toner is that it’s designed to be non-progressive so you’re less likely to over-develop and over-tone leaving your hair a slate grey when you were going for platinum–and that’s one of the worst feelings after you’ve gone through all the trouble of bleaching it. 

    Just be warned that this product will turn a shocking shade of purple while it works. That’s okay. That’s not the color it will leave your hair. Just follow the directions and you’ll be fine.

  11. 11. L’Oreal Paris Feria Smokey Silver

    • Brand you recognize
    • Easy to apply
    • Includes deep conditioner and serum
    • Affordable
    • Chemical heavy
    • Darker grey than others
    • Strong smell

    This dye is for pre-lightened hair and is a darker, more steely grey than some of the others giving it a more adult look. It’s a little less whimsical and more smokey and mysterious.

    L’Oreal Paris Feria Smokey Silver is simple to apply and use. It has built-in highlights to give your hair a multi-dimensional look instead of a one-color flat tone.

    This box won’t lighten your hair so make sure you’re checking the color chart on the side to see what color this dye will give you based on your current hair color. In my experience, their guide on what color you’ll end up with is surprisingly accurate. Make sure you take a good look at that image because the results between blonde hair and brown hair are very different. 

    Being a standard box dye, you’re looking at a lot of chemicals in here that a lot of people try to avoid. I know they aren’t great for my hair but I have used this brand several times to dye my hair and I’ll probably use it again. (They actually did a study that found the same pattern. In other news, water is wet.)

Feel Like Going Grey?

I love that we've taken this hair color we were taught to almost fear growing up and completely embraced it. 

Going grey is beautiful and if you don't have those streaks of tinsel in your hair yet, you don't have to wait. It's a dramatic look that just keeps getting trendier on celebrities and runway models.

What Makes Our Hair Turn Grey?

Other than bleaching and dyeing it, as we age, our hair begins to turn grey all on its own. 

Like our skin, our hair gets its color from different types of melanin cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Over time the number of melanin cells we produce in our hair begins to wane and scientists aren't really sure why. 

Grey hair is simply what your hair looks like without added pigment. That's one reason why dyeing your hair grey can be so tricky.

What Does the Dyeing Process of Grey Hair Color Look Like?

Despite the fact that we're all going to end up with granny hair in the end, grey hair is one of the trickiest hair dyes to nail.

Do I Really Have to Bleach My Hair?


Everyone, including blondes, will need to bleach their hair as light as they can get it without major damage if you want grey hair. 

Grey needs a very light surface to really shine so you need to really lift the color before applying any silver hair dye.

For those of us with dark hair, this might require a couple of processes. Manic Panic's Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit is a tried and trusted option for home dyeing.

Bleach is drying and can leave your hair brittle but you can help to prevent this by using a deep conditioning treatment the week before you lighten. 

Will I Need Toner?

Almost definitely. If you've ever bleached your hair before you know that you're going to end up with orangey-yellow hair if all things go well. Dyeing directly over that will lead to a dingy, too-yellow look. 

A toner cancels out the yellow tones by adding purple on top of it. This works because yellow and purple are opposite each other on the color wheel, as shown in Usability's page on Color Basics. Opposite colors are called complementary colors and when they mix, they tend to neutralize each other.

The toner will look really purple going on but don't worry, it will wash off and leave you with the perfect canvas for your silvery hair. I like B Uniq's Purple Hair Mask.

How Should I Apply My Silver Hair Dye?

Follow the directions on your grey hair color product of choice. They'll all be a little different. Just make sure you're sectioning out our hair and getting full saturation.

Is There Any Maintenance?

Once the color is on, the work isn't done. To keep your color looking fresh avoid sulfate-containing shampoos and switch to a shampoo that deposits more grey dye every time you wash. 

Enjoy your new grey look!

What Can I Do If Bleach Damages My Hair?

Try not to panic. We've all been there. 

Healthline lays down a good list of things to do and watch out for when you have bleach-damaged hair.

You definitely want to add moisture back into your hair with a product like Olaplex or oil of your choice. 

Avoid heat drying or heat treatments of any kind as they can dry your hair even more. 

Often these two steps along with a little time is enough for your hair to recover.

If your hair is so damaged that it will not air dry, even after hours and hours--it's time to go see your hairstylist for help.

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x