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Grey hair dye

senior woman short grey purple hair 

With hairdressers still unable to open, now is a great time to take the plunge and embrace the grey rather than resisting those dazzling flecks of silver. Perhaps you've nearly grown out the last remnants of your natural hair colour and want to boost your new hue, or you're speeding up the process and dyeing your hair grey? Whatever it is, we're here to cover some of the important stuff and guide you towards the best grey hair dye. 


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Before you dip your toes in...

four senior women with different grey hair types 

It's a good idea to thoroughly consider what effect you want to achieve from a box dye. There are some great inexpensive products out there but with such a wide range to choose from, it can often feel daunting when it comes to selecting the right one. Luckily we're on hand to help...

Our top 5 tips for dyeing hair grey:

1. Do your pre-lighten prep

If you're a home hair dyeing virgin, research is key! To avoid ending up with unsightly yellow locks (like a certain president), learn the difference between bleaching and lifting, how semi-permanent and permanent work and, most importantly, what toner is. If you're already all-over grey and fancy experimenting with, say, a more metallic hue, it would be sensible to use a semi-permanent dye so you're not stuck with it if it doesn't turn out as you imagined. You could be fed up with grey roots and want to speed up the process, in which case you'd have to bleach your non-grey hair and cover it with a shade nearer to your greying roots. Before deciding your path, do heed advice from a reputable source like your trusted hairdresser. 

2. Add some sparkle!

Block colour doesn't look natural, and even if 'natural' isn't your aim, a one-dimensional shade can wash you out and look very amateur, particularly if it's very dark. If you use metallic, silver or lighter shades, you'll get a slight sparkle to the finish, making it look less flat. If in doubt go for a silvery grey, as this shade will ensure your hair has some oomph and a covetable shine. You could also buy a kit for grey or silver highlights or a simple spray. That way you have more control over the finish and can add flattering highlights or create a two-tone look - we must say, the salt and pepper look is quite fetching! 

3. Tone it down

Grey and bleached hair can often be affected by the dreaded yellow tinge. Because grey hair lacks pigmentation, deposits left on the outer layer from hair products, medications, chlorine and more become visible, whereas pigmented hair covers these deposits up. Therefore, it's ESSENTIAL that you use a toner, in the form of a blue/purple rinse, shampoo or conditioner, as it will neutralise brassy tones, balance and brighten the overall colour, as well as strengthen it.

4. Manetenance

Dyed hair needs extra special care, but so does grey hair itself. Grey hair produces less sebum, making it drier, and mature hair, in general, tends to be thinner. These factors mean you must ensure you do weekly or bi-weekly hair masks with a deep conditioner and get regular haircuts to prevent more split ends. Use colour and heat protecting products (don't forget that toner, too!) as well as SPF hair products in the sun to protect your melanin-lacking locks.

5. Love the new you

Though picking up that first box of grey hair dye is daunting, think of it as an exciting venture. You're not letting go of your youth, you're welcoming your maturity with open arms. You're also making something of a political statement, one that shows you are confident in your natural beauty and unwilling to succumb to the pressures females face in a youth-driven society. Having a new 'do means you can have fun trying out different hair, makeup and fashion looks, plus, like we mentioned before, having grey hair is really on-trend. Hello, silver fox! 


Some words of wisdom from our trusted gransnetters...

 attractive senior woman smiling


  • "It's a very personal thing and depends on the shades of grey that you already are, as well as what you want to be. Also how much your complexion has changed. It's always best to talk to a trusty hairdresser. If you just want a bit of a lift, pure silver shampoos can take the yellow out after a couple of uses, helping you to feel a bit more sparkly."

  • "Dyeing grey hair immediately reminds me of the blue rinse favoured by Mrs Slocombe in 'Are You Being Served?' I think she also did a pink one if I remember rightly. Be warned!"

  • "Grey is very 'in'. I have noticed some young, natural blondes opting for the grey tones."

  • "I have salt and pepper hair that's not very evenly coloured. My hairdresser advised bleached streaks to ‘lift’ my grey, but I wanted dark blond too, to put a bit of colour back. I’ve tried both ways and he’s right. Extra silver works."

  • "Helen Mirren and Judi Dench both look stunning, and wear their grey with pride."


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How to get grey hair - the best products

wella colour fresh hair dye
Wella Color Fresh Schwarzkopf Metalic Silver

A semi-permanent silver toner which balances, boosts and leaves hair silky soft.

This permanent metallic shade is infused with coconut oil to make your silver hair shine.

Buy: £12.99, gooseberry

Buy: £4.50, Boots


jerome russell bblonde garnier perfect silver dye
Jerome Russell Bblonde Toner Garnier Perfect Silver

Refreshes your colour and corrects brassy tones. Suited to most greys. 

Illuminate whites and greys whilst banishing yellows. Contains fortifying oils.

Buy: £3.00, Amazon

Buy: £4.50, Amazon


fudge paint box colour-freedom metallic glory
Fudge Paint Box Colour-Freedom Metallic Glory

Tones down brassy areas, improves
strength and leaves hair velvety smooth.

Enhance your grey with a stunning metallic hue and be sure to turn heads.

Buy: £10.36, Look Fantastic

Buy: £7.99, Superdrug


 bleach silver shampoo bleach fade to grey toner
Bleach Silver Shampoo Bleach Fade To Grey Toner

Achieve salon standards with this silver shampoo - perfect for grey hair. 

A semi-permanent charcoal toner to add to lightened hair for an unusual grey effect. 

Buy: £6.50, Boots

Buy: £8.50, Boots


 arctic fox dye loreal grid
Arctic Fox Diluter L'Oreal Paris Colorista Spray

A vegan-friendly, semi-permanent silver glaze, best used on lightened hair.  

Not quite ready? Try a one-wash lasting spray colour in gorgeous granite grey. 

Buy: £19.99, Amazon

Buy: £5.49, Boots


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