Embrace the Gray! Experts Spill on The Best Silver Hair Dyes

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Silver hair foxes, it’s time to shine. It’s one of the hottest color trends this year. But which is the best silver hair dye you need to get the shimmering gray look at home?

The best silver hair dye for you is the one that works with your natural color and skin tones. It also needs to be gentle on your skin and not dry out or irritate it (or turn it green!)

In Silver hair | How to get the gorgeous gray look at home, we told you everything you need to know about whether this shade is for you.

Now we’re here to give you the low down and high lights of the best silver box dyes you need in your life right now!

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What’s all the hype about silver hair color?

Silver is part of the awe-inspiring metallic hair color trend that’s taking us all by storm.

Smokey, Dusty, Graphite, Slate, Platinum, Steel….the spectrum of silver and gray shades, tones and coloring products are endless.

It’s versatile too. It’s great for ombre, it’s fab for balayage and we love it as a base mixed with pastel colors like dusty pinks and purples.

Gray hair dye is a more muted, less vibrant color with dusty gray tones. You can keep your color bright with purple shampoo. This will eliminate any yellowness as it gradually fades.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

silver hair color ideas pinterest board

Can I dye my hair silver at home?

We’ll be honest. Getting the glossy look is a labour of love. Being able to get this color at home all depends on the color your hair is now.

If your hair is brunette to black – you’ll need to pre-lighten your hair with bleach first to get the right base.

Your hair color will need to be almost platinum blonde. So it’s likely that you’ll need to bleach your hair more than once to get the perfect light hair base.

It’s best to ask your hairdresser if it is the right color for you based on your hair condition as this process will be super hard on your hair.

Check out our guide, How to bleach your hair at home, DIY style.

If your hair color is darker than light blonde, you’ll need to pre-lighten your hair with bleach too! Your hair will need to be super super blonde, almost white to get the true silver hue.

Dark hair will need to go through several processes to get the right base. Make sure your hair is in good enough condition to be up for it.

If your hair is light blonde and lighter – you’re good to go! Just select one of the top hair dyes below!

What is the best silver hair dye?

If you’re all set to go, here are some of the winning off the shelf silver box dyes that money can buy to turn you into a gorgeous silver fox!

And don’t forget to do a strand test beforehand to check the color is right for you!

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TOP PICK!

Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Bright Silver Steel

Schwarzkopf LIVE Ultra Bright or Pastel Grey Hair Dye, Pack of 3, Semi-Permanent Colour lasts up to 15 washes- 098 Silver Steel

Best for: a subtle silver sheen.

We tried this on platinum blonde hair and it created a gorgeously subtle, shimmering hue.

The colour is a little bit paler than the shade on the box – think platinum blonde with a silver tone – and it’s a much brighter colour than others on the list. This is the best one for us.

Pros

  • Highly praised by reviewers for application and color results.
  • Professional hairdresser recommends it to clients.
  • Achieves even gray/silver on ombre hair.
  • Creates subtle shimmer on platinum blonde.
  • Soft and less gray for a wearable look.
  • Ideal for a subtle sheen.

Cons

  • May appear paler than box.
  • Thick or long hair may need multiple packs.

#1 Garnier Olia Silver Hair Dye Permanent

Garnier Bold Collection, Ammonia Free Hair Dye, Permanent Olia Color with Non-Drip Velvet Cream Formula, 10.11 Lightest Silver Blonde

Features & ingredients:

  • Hair color powered by oil
  • Maximum color performance
  • Visibly improves the quality of hair
  • Pleasant and easy application with optimal scalp comfort.
YouTube video

Reviewers say:

“I got my hairdresser to strip my hair with bleach so I could use this hair dye. It was easy to use and smelt okay. It turned dark when i applied it which worried me but when it washed out it left my hair a lovely ashy silver!”

“I’ve had so many compliments about my hair since I’ve used this color! It also covered my left over blue hair that I couldn’t get out! Super impressed with it!”

“I used the Metallic Silver without bleaching my hair first just to see what it would do. I was amazed that it came out a lovely silver gray. It’s darker than on the box, but I expect it will lighten a bit with washing.”

Our experience:

This is a rich color with soft purpley undertones that came out darker on our pre-lightened hair.

Thanks to the oil-powered hair dye that conditions your hair while you color it, we found this hair dye left our hair feeling silky smooth and touchably soft.

It’s a lush color and if you want a result that has depth rather than a pale silver, this is the hair dye for you.

The purple tones give it another dimension that we adore and it’ll last longer because it’s a darker color. Win win.

Best for: Rich dark silver with purple hues.

#2 Schwarzkopf LIVE Intense Colour Urban Metallics, Dusty Silver

Schwarzkopf LIVE Urban Metallics Vibrant, Long Lasting, Permanent Silver Hair Dye, Infused With Coconut Oil Shiny Hair - Dusty Silver U72

Features & ingredients:

  1. Metallic tones with striking color intensity
  2. Maximum color depth
  3. Anti-fade effects
  4. A built-in metallic shine booster
  5. Contains coconut oil for nourishing
  6. Creates healthier looking, soft hair.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqveXOgp2jI

Reviewers say:

“I have been trying to go silver for ages and nothing has worked, not even spending a fortune in the salon.

I found this one and decided to give it a go and it worked amazingly! It was a little bit darker than i was expecting so next time I won’t leave it on as long.”

“Even if you want a lightish gray color I’d still recommend this over the other gray shades because at first it’ll be a slightly dark blueish gray but after a few washes be a nice grayish silver.”

“Just used this Dusty Silver and I’ve got to say I absolutely love it! I’ve been trying for this color for a while, shine is amazing!!”

We say:

This is one of two Schwartzkopf silvers on our list. They really have metallic hair colors nailed.

This one we tried on light blonde hair and the results were a real dusty gray.

It’s not as bright as some and it has undertones of blue which you’ll have to keep in check with a Silver hair shampoo.

If you’re looking for a cool, dusty gray color, then this is the best hair dye for you.

Best for: Dusty gray tones.

#3 L’Oreal Colorista Silver Grey Permanent Gel 

L'Oréal Paris Colorista Permanent Gel Hair Dye, Long-Lasting and Vibrant At-Home Hair Colour, High-Intensity Hues with Up to 3x More Shine, Colour: Silver Grey

Features & ingredients:

  • Long-lasting and bold color for all hair types. 
  • It comes with a post-dye conditioning kit with up to 6 applications. 
  • Intense, shimmering color.
  • The perfect long-lasting formula to create your own unique look.
YouTube video

Reviewers say:

“Loved the color result, but definitely recommend bleaching first to achieve this color – I’m quite ‘salt and pepper’’.”

“I was surprised by this color. It’s very nice and shiny looking, even after washing my hair every day, it did stay on my hair for a long time. Will recommend to my friends who like the color.”

“Absolutely love L’Oréal’s dyes the smell is gorgeous it left my hair feeling sleek and so shiny and the color lasted really well.”

Our experience:

We love L’Oreal’s Colorista range for it’s bright, bold, stand-out colors.

We tried this on pre-lightened blonde hair and it came out a lovely gray but quite a flat color. It’s not as shiny as on the box.

It did leave our hair feeling really soft and in great condition after the process. Something our very dry, pre-lightened locks were very grateful for!

They say this would make a great base for some pastel color washing. We agree!

Best for: A great base for adding colors.

#4 Schwarzkopf Ultra Bright, Silver Steel.

Schwarzkopf LIVE Ultra Bright or Pastel Grey Hair Dye, Pack of 3, Semi-Permanent Colour lasts up to 15 washes- 098 Silver Steel

Features & ingredients:

  • A cool metallic effect.
  • Maximum radiance and color depth.
  • Contains a built-in metallic shine booster.
  • Added coconut oil leaves hair gorgeously glossy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqveXOgp2jI

Reviewers say:

“I’ve tried several different hair dyes but this is far the best. It goes on great and I just love the color result.”

“This color is fantastic. It never really washes out, it fades and gets paler. I’m a hairdresser and recommend this hair dye to all of my clients.”

“My hair is blonde/brown ombre. I was so happy after using this as my hair is now a lovely even gray/silver color.”

Our experience:

We tried this on platinum blonde hair and it created a gorgeously subtle, shimmering hue.

It’s a little paler than the box – think platinum blonde with a silver tone – and much brighter than others on this list.

It’s softer and less gray than some of the others but because of that, it’ll wear well. For thick or long hair, you’ll need two or more packs for a nice, even coverage.

Best for: A subtle sheen.

#5 Garnier Colour Sensation Vivids Blonde Hair Dye, Silver Diamond

Garnier Colour Sens Vivid 100 Silver Diamond Blond, 1 Count (Pack of 1)

Features & ingredients:

  • Provides intense, long-lasting color.
  • The unique formula delivers up to 8 weeks of color. 
  • The after-care conditioner will leave your hair feeling soft with a smooth surface to reflect light.
  • Simple, indulgent home hair color application. 
YouTube video

Reviewers say:

“Color stays vibrant for about two weeks and then it starts getting a little dull. But it is with most products the same.”

“I am very happy with the shade of this. Best of all, my hair is in a really great condition after using this, not dry or frizzy at all.”

“I had bleached blonde hair so thought this would add a silver tint to it but it came out darker than on the box. It’s still a great, pale color and it was easy to apply.”

Our experience:

This hair dye is also a hair lightener so we tried it out on dark blonde hair to see if it would lift it a level or two.

Well, the result wasn’t anywhere near as light as the box, but it has added an all-over shine to our hair which we love.

It’s more gray than silver color but that’s because of the warmth that was already in our hair.

Make sure your hair is platinum blonde or bleached to almost white and you’ll get the silver-blonde color on the box for sure.

Best for: Bright white, platinum blondes.

#6 Knight & Wilson Colour Freedom Metallic Glory Silver Grey Permanent Hair Colour

Knight & Wilson Color-Freedom 150ml Silver Blonde Semi-Permanent Hair Color - Ultra-Vibrant Vegan Friendly Color Mask with Shine Booster Complex - Ammonia Free Color Lasts Up To 6-10 Washes

Features & ingredients:

  • Trend setting and unique permanent metallic Silver Gray color.
  • Achieve a True Metallic Silver Gray.
  •  Infused with Argan Oil and Shea Butter.

Reviewers say:

“I bleached my hair before trying this out and toned it twice with Jerome Russell’s silver toner which made my hair almost white. The end result was even and lovely color, I’m so happy.”

“I’ve always wanted to be a granny gray but only ever managed to go ash blonde. With this hair dye, my hair is now all over gray! I love this color!”

“I wanted to go this color for a long time and finally plucked up the courage. 3 weeks ago, I lightened my hair and it had some brassy orange in it but with this it gave an amazing color!”

Our experience:

This is a true silver-gray color that has an almost gun metal gray shine to it. We tried this on pre-lightened hair with some yellow tones in it. This color worked a treat.

It has slightly blue undertones which cancelled out our yellow and gave a fantastic cool hue to our hair.

It’s definitely worth checking out the other silver and gray shades in Color Freedom’s Metallic Glory range – graphite gray, silver steel, silver blonde and stone gray.

Best for: Cooler silver color.


TOP PICK!

Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Bright Silver Steel.

Schwarzkopf LIVE Ultra Bright or Pastel Grey Hair Dye, Pack of 3, Semi-Permanent Colour lasts up to 15 washes- 098 Silver Steel

Best for: A subtle silver sheen.

We tried this on platinum blonde hair and it created a gorgeously subtle, shimmering hue.

The result is a little bit paler than the box – think platinum blonde with a silver tone – and much brighter than others on the list. This is the best one for us.

Best silver hair dye at a glance.

Hair dyeLooks likeBest forBuy now
Garnier Olia Silver Hair Dye Permanent

Garnier Bold Collection, Ammonia Free Hair Dye, Permanent Olia Color with Non-Drip Velvet Cream Formula, 10.11 Lightest Silver Blonde

Rich dark silver with purple hues
Schwarzkopf LIVE Intense Colour Urban Metallics, Dusty Silver

Schwarzkopf LIVE Urban Metallics Vibrant, Long Lasting, Permanent Silver Hair Dye, Infused With Coconut Oil Shiny Hair - Dusty Silver U72

Dusty grey tones
L’Oreal Colorista Silver Grey Permanent Hair Dye Gel

L'Oréal Paris Colorista Permanent Gel Hair Dye, Long-Lasting and Vibrant At-Home Hair Colour, High-Intensity Hues with Up to 3x More Shine, Colour: Silver Grey

A great base for adding colours
Schwarzkopf Ultra Bright Silver Steel.

Schwarzkopf LIVE Ultra Bright or Pastel Grey Hair Dye, Pack of 3, Semi-Permanent Colour lasts up to 15 washes- 098 Silver Steel

A subtle silver sheen
Garnier Colour Sensation Vivids Blonde Hair Dye, Silver Diamond

Garnier Colour Sens Vivid 100 Silver Diamond Blond, 1 Count (Pack of 1)

Bright white, platinum blondes.
Knight & Wilson Colour Freedom Metallic Glory Silver Grey Permanent Hair Colour

Knight & Wilson Color-Freedom 150ml Silver Blonde Semi-Permanent Hair Color - Ultra-Vibrant Vegan Friendly Color Mask with Shine Booster Complex - Ammonia Free Color Lasts Up To 6-10 Washes

Cooler colour

Buyer’s Guide: How to choose the right silver hair dye for you.

Are you ready to ditch your current hair color and rock a stunning silver look? If so, then you need to find the right silver hair dye for you.

There are several factors to consider when selecting the best product for your hair type and texture, skin tone, and desired results. Here are some helpful tips on how to choose the right silver hair dye for you!

Hair Type & Texture

The first step to choosing the right silver hair dye is to identify your hair type and texture.

This means if you have thick, thin, curly, or straight hair, as well as whether your hair is light or dark.

If you have thick hair, then you’ll need a hair dye that’s strong enough to penetrate through your locks.

If your hair is thin, then you’ll need a lighter dye that won’t weigh it down.

You’ll also need to consider the condition of your hair. If your hair is damaged or fragile, then you should opt for a gentle, ammonia-free hair dye.

Skin Tone

Your skin tone is another important things to think about when choosing the right silver hair dye.

You’ll want to select a dye that complements your skin tone and highlights your natural features.

If you have warm undertones, then you should opt for a silver hair dye with golden or yellow undertones. This will create a beautiful contrast against your skin and give you a warm, glowing look.

If you have a cool skin tone, then you’ll want to choose a cooler toned silver hair dye with blue or purple undertones.

Semi-Permanent or Permanent

When it comes to choosing the right silver hair dye, it also comes down to whether you want a semi-permanent or permanent dye.

Semi-permanent dyes are perfect for people who want to try out a new color without committing to it long-term.

These dyes typically last between 6-8 washes and wash out gradually.

Permanent dyes, on the other hand, last longer but require more upkeep to maintain the color.

You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which one best suits your needs and lifestyle.

Strand Test

Before applying any silver hair dye, you should always do a strand test.

This will help you determine if the dye will work on your hair and give you the desired result.

To perform a strand test, choose a small section of hair and apply the dye according to the instructions.

Leave the dye on for the recommended time, then rinse it out and examine the result.

This will give you a better idea of how your hair will react to the dye and help you avoid any unwanted surprises!

Aftercare

After you’ve chosen the right silver hair dye and achieved a look you love, it’s important to maintain the look with proper aftercare.

Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for colored hair, and avoid washing your hair too frequently to prevent the color from fading.

You may also want to use a silver or gray hair toner to keep your silver hair looking fresh and vibrant.

How to dye your hair at home.

Silver hair dye FAQS

Do I need to bleach my hair to dye it silver?

The short answer is yes, you will need to bleach your hair to dye it silver.

Bleaching your hair before dyeing it will give you the most vibrant and long-lasting color.

If you’re looking for a more low-maintenance option, consider using a silver toner instead of dye.

Silver toners are less harsh on your hair and can be applied directly to unbleached hair.

However, they will only give you a temporary color change. So if you’re looking for a more permanent silver hue, bleaching your hair first is the way to go.

What level does hair need to be to dye it silver?

Ideally, your hair should be lightened to a level 8 or 9 before attempting to go silver.

This will ensure that the color takes evenly and that you don’t end up with any unwanted orange or yellow tones in your hair.

If your hair is darker than a level 8, you may need to pre-lighten it before coloring it silver.

Once you’ve lightened your hair to the desired level, you’re ready to start the coloring process.

Can I dye my gray hair silver?

Going gray is a normal part of aging, and many people embrace it as a sign of wisdom and experience. However, some people prefer to keep their hair color more youthful-looking.

If you’re in the latter camp, you might be wondering if you can dye your gray hair silver.

The good news is that yes, you can!

There are lots of ways to embrace your gray hair and even make it look fabulous.

Silver highlights are a great way of transitioning from gray to silver, and they can give you a whole new look.

Plus, they’ll help to disguise any grays that you might have.

Just keep in mind that your hair will need lots of toning, so be prepared to spend some extra time in the salon. But it’ll be worth it when you see how great you look!

What happens if you put silver dye on brown hair?

Unfortunately, the answer is not very exciting!

The silver dye will simply darken the brown hair, rather than giving it a true silver color.

To get the latter, you would need to lighten your hair first.

So, if you’re looking to go silver, be prepared for some bleaching – it’s the only way to achieve that perfect hue.

What is the longest lasting silver hair dye?

There’s nothing like a fresh dye job to give you that extra boost of confidence.

But if you’re looking for a color that will last longer than a couple of weeks, you’ll want to choose a silver hair dye that is high quality and long lasting.

Schwartzkopf’s Ultra Bright Silver Steel is one option that is sure to give you beautiful, silver locks that will last. This ammonia-free formula is gentle on your hair, and it won’t cause the unwanted yellowing that can sometimes happen with other silver dyes.

Plus, it comes with a conditioner to help keep your hair healthy and shiny.

If you’re looking for a silver hair dye that will give you gorgeous, long-lasting color, Schwartzkopf’s ultra bright silver steel is the perfect choice.

Parting words.

So there you have it, the best silver hair dyes on the market!

Whether you’re looking for a long-lasting color or a more natural option, there’s definitely a box dye out there for you.

And who knows, maybe you’ll even find your new favorite color.

So go ahead and give it a try – after all, life is too short to not experiment with your hair!

Author

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!