A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye

Published By Brooke
Updated 06-16-2021

To the hair trend whose presence has graced every listicle, every millennial's Pinterest board, and nearly every salon across the world – this one's for you. We've featured our favorite gray hair looks before, but this time we're getting down to business with all there is to know about #grannyhair.

What is #grannyhair?

Gray hair dye immigrated on the same ship as metallics and pastels, and millennials haven't thrown it back out to sea just yet. For a few years now, people in their teens, twenties, and thirties have tested the waters with gray hair dye, stripping their natural locks of any pigment and opting for a risky new color. From platinum silver to the deepest charcoal gray, take a look at the sleekest silver hair colors, or jump down to our DIY Guide.

Shades of Gray

Ash Blonde Silver

A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Ash Blonde Silver | Hairstyle on Point
Posted on Pinterest by EllDuclos

The blonde hair, blue-eyed look is classic, but silver-toned blonde spices it up while still testing out the gray hair trend.

Shadow-Root Silver

A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Shadow Root Silver | Hairstyle on Point
Posted on Instagram by @angexla

Dark and colored shadow roots are super popular and add an edge to sleek silver locks.

Straight Silver

A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Straight Silver | Hairstyle on Point
Be Trendsetter

If you have naturally dark hair, try out an all over gray. It'll blend nicely when roots start to peak through.

Ombre Gray

A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Ombre Gray | Hairstyle on Point

Posted on Instagram by @loveisinthehair_byjanet

An ombre gray like this would require some serious elbow grease from your hairdresser. From bleaching to coloring, to blending dark roots, this ombre belongs all over Instagram.

Blue Gray

A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Blue Gray | Hairstyle on Point
Posted on Instagram by @barryfollett

Ladies who love to play with hair color, try a cold blue-gray for a refreshing summer look.

Gray Balayage

A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Gray Balayage | Hairstyle on Point
Posted on Instagram by @TikaBeautyHut

We're totally obsessed with this silver and navy balayage. The best part is — you can throw in any bold hue, and it'll blend beautifully.

Charcoal Gray


A Millennial's Guide to Gray Hair Dye | Charcoal Gray | Hairstyle on Point
Posted on Instagram by @kimwasabi

The color charcoal is everywhere now, but it's completely versatile between work and play.

How to Get Gray Hair – Salon vs at Home

You've decided – gray hair is a go. But we'll warn you… achieving the right shade of gray isn't one of those DIY projects you throw together after watching a couple YouTube tutorials. It's a process, and inevitably, there are fewer risks if you hit up your salon to do the dirty work.

But we know we have some dare-devils who will go gray from home regardless, so we have some guidelines to help you do it as safely as possible. We encourage you to follow the steps below if you want an overall gray color, rather than a platinum, balayage, or ombre.

The Prep

Recommended Products:

  • Pantene Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle
  1. Start conditioning treatments as soon as you decide to go gray.
  2. Lay off the heat, and wash less frequently.


Recommended Products:

  • Olaplex No. 3 (after bleaching)
  1. You won't achieve the smoky, smooth gray color unless you completely get rid of the pigment in your hair, so you'll need to get it bleached. This is the trickiest part, and we highly recommend going to a hairdresser for this step. For more details on bleaching your hair, check out How to Get White Hair: The Process From Start to Finish.
  2. Once your hair is lightened, it's a good idea to wait a few days before coloring.

Going Gray

Recommended Products:

  • Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids Silver (for medium gray)
  • Ion Shark Blue and Titanium (for a dark gray)
  • L'Oreal Paris Feria Pastels Hair Color, P1 Sapphire Smoke (Smokey Blue)(for smokey blue)
  1. Gather the following items: rubber gloves, vaseline, a comb, four hair clips, a towel, and the hair color of your choice.
  2. If you're braving box color at home, try a test strip first. Your final product fully depends on your base hair color and the current state of your strands, so by experimenting on a small section underneath, there won't be any surprises when you apply the hair color.
  3. Separate hair into four even sections (2 on top and 2 on bottom), and clip.
  4. Line the outside of your hairline with vaseline to ensure the hair color doesn't dye your skin.
  5. Mix hair color, and apply all over. Start at the roots and work your way down the strands, coating one section at a time. Each formula is different, so be sure to read the directions to determine how long your color needs to process.
  6. Once the color has developed, rinse out with water, shampoo your hair, and condition it.


Recommended Products:

  • Pureology Purify Shampoo
  • Pureology Precious Oil Softening Conditioner
  1. Use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair.
  2. Trim your hair as needed.
  3. Touch up color as it fades with the same box color you used the first time (usually around four to eight weeks).


For those bold souls willing to try the beloved gray hair trend — let us know by tagging us on Instagram or Facebook @hairstyleonpoint. We're dying to see how it turns out.

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