I've been obsessed with the silver/gray hair trend and I've been trying to achieve it for a few months now. Luckily, I'm extremely fortunate to have a mother-in-law who is a hairstylist and puts up with my demanding hair requests. I came to find out, this is a very hard hair color to aspire to and maintain. We tried out a few variations of hair coloring techniques before finally landing on this look. Today I'm sharing a couple of the challenges I ran into when trying to (intentionally) go gray and how you can get this silver/steel look (without breaking the bank or your hair).
Toner Didn't Cut It
I can be a bit of an over researcher. So, I did my fair share (and then some) of research on how to get silver hair before committing to it. In almost every instance, the solution was bleach, tone to a white blonde and then tone a second time with a gray toner. (Pause. If you're not sure what toner is, it's a dye product that can be put on the hair to cancel out and correct unwanted tones like gold, brass and orange). We tried this first. I ended up with a beautiful ashy blonde, but, not the gray/silver look I was going for. This leads me into my next point.
All Over Bleach
Toner will only take to pre-lightened hair. To get the flat silver look, you need an all over bleach. Bleach can be very damaging to your hair though; especially if you try to bleach already bleached hair, like in my case where I already have highlighted hair. So, I was nervous to commit to something that could potentially ruin my hair beyond redemption. Trust me when I say I cannot pull off a pixie cut if my hair gets fried. I also love the dimension that my hair has. And, knowing this silver look will be a temporary endeavor, I wasn't willing to flatten the color.
The Solution: Semi-Permanent Dye
The holy grail finally came in the form of Joico Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Titanium. Heres what we did to achieve this steely look:
- Heavily highlighted hair (more frequent highlights vs. chunkier ones) with a 20 volume developer. If you'd like an even more consistent gray you can ask your stylist to freehand between some of the highlights as well.
- Toned hair with a platinum blonde toner and volume 10 developer to strip out any of the golden/brassy color.
- Colored hair with Joico Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Titanium. We left the color on for 20 minutes and applied heat as instructed. A couple things to note with semi-permanent dye: 1. it will take to your lightened hair best; so, do not expect a consistent color if you do not have an all over bleach. It will help tint your natural hair as well though. 2. Semi-permanent slowly washes out over time so it will lighten with washes; don't be afraid when it looks like there is a lot of color in the water when you do wash it. But, less frequent washes will help you keep the color. A good dry shampoo will be your friend.
Stay tuned for another post on tips for maintaining your gray/steel hair.