Silver Hair: 5 Things to Expect When You Go Gray

silver hair trends
One of the most requested services at our school’s clinic floor, is root touch up’s and gray coverage all over colors.  For decades , women have turned to their stylist to erase those pesky grey hairs and give them luxurious shine.  So you can imagine the surprise many of us face when clients suddenly start pouring in and begging us for silver and white platinum blonde services.  As big name celebrities like P!nk, Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, and Rihanna started “going gray” the trend exploded, making silver hair one of the most requested services in the industry. Since then color manufacturers have responded with all new products to help achieve the best silver and white colors possible, though the advancements do not equal faster more effective services.

What do you need to know about Silver Hair?

Silver hair can be fun and incredibly beautiful but comes at a great cost, both to your hair, and especially your wallet.  Even at our school, these services can rack up a pretty big bill, so we’re going to give you the run down of what it means to have gray hair. From the consultation to home care, we want you to come prepared for a long, and possibly expensive journey.


When going for a service of this magnitude, you absolutely should request a consultation prior to booking your appointment.  It may be hard to wait patiently for your awesome new look, but without this crucial aspect of the process, you may end up even more disappointed when you show up and are turned away or can’t afford it.  The consultation is so important because it will give you and your stylist a clear idea of how you are going to achieve the look. These color services often do not happen in one sitting (which will be explained more later), and after looking at your hair, he  or she can give you a better idea of how long it will take to achieve the look.  This will also give them a chance to give you a rough estimate of how much it will cost.


When it comes to lifting hair, stylist follow a level system that determines how dark, or pigmented your hair is, and use it to determine how you will lift or process when bleaching.  Someone with naturally black hair is a level 1, while someone with natural light blonde hair is considered a level 10. In order to get hair to a silver or white tone, a stylist has to lift your hair to near a level 12.  So if you have dark brown or black hair, you may want to strongly consider what color you are wanting to achieve.  Already having hair color in your hair also greatly affects how well you will lift, especially if you have box color or henna color on you hair. A hairstylist cannot safely lift someone from a lower level to a level 12 in one sitting, and to do so would be highly irresponsible.  Even if they were able to achieve it, your hair would be compromised to the point of breaking off.  So the darker your natural hair is, the longer the process will take.  Do not risk the health of your hair out of impatient impulse.  Develop a game plan with your stylist, plan out when you will come back to be lifted again, and be sure to do at home and in salon conditioning treatments between services.  If you are unhappy with the color your hair turns out to as you are being lifted, ask your stylist if you can apply a toner or a semi permanent vivid color in the meantime. Try to understand that this is simply part of the process of getting silver hair, and it is better to be safe than hairless!


As we said before, if your hair is previously colored before trying to go silver, this will have a major impact on how the process goes or if it is achievable, especially if you have been using difficult to remove colors or box and henna dyes.  These affect what color the hair turns as it is lifted, and some pigments left behind by the dye may decide whether you are able to be silver or not.  If you have been coloring your hair jet black for the past few months, you may not be able to safely become silver. This DOES NOT MEAN you shouldn’t tell your stylist so they will do it anyway!  You need to be very specific about everything you have been doing to your hair prior to trying to go silver.  This includes perms, relaxers, keratin treatments, along with what color services you have had and what brand color you have been using. Not being forthcoming about the truth of your hair may result in catastrophic consequences in regard to your hair’s health.  You are responsible for letting your stylist know your hair’s history, it is not something they can always figure out simply by seeing and touching it.


If you are at a high enough level to go through with the service in one appointment, be ready to be there a while. This type of service is a double process, so it takes substantially more time then your typical all over hair color.  This also means it will require a lot of product to achieve, meaning you may be charged extra than you are used too.  This is again why we highly recommend a consultation so you are prepared financially for your appointment


When going for silver hair,  it’s not a matter of getting the service done then having it for the next few months,  color like this requires constant maintenance.  You can expect to come back AT LEAST every 4-6 weeks to have your roots re-bleached, and your hair toned again. That all of course depends on how you care for your hair and how often you shampoo it in between visits.  If your stylist recommends product for you, LISTEN TO THEM. It is not just a sales pitch. At the very least you are going to need a purple shampoo, which is shampoo with pigment in it that lightly tones your hair as you wash it.  You will only use this about once a week, but it will be necessary to make your silver last as long as possible.  They will also likely recommend so form of moisture or reconstructive treatments, in order to aid in the health of your hair. No matter how careful your stylist is, you should be prepared to notice a change in the texture or feel of your hair. Bleach is bleach, and no matter what they do, it will damage the cuticle in some way.  It’s a sacrifice you have to be willing to make, so don’t jump down your stylist throat if your perfectly smooth healthy hair changes a bit in the process.


Silver hair is a stunning and fun trend that we love to help clients to achieve, but we hope this gives you some insight into the process of going silver.  Instagram and Facebook photos make it all seem so easy, but in reality it is a very lengthy and delicate process. Also be aware that not all photos you see online are real.  Remember we are in the age of Photoshop, filters, and in some cases, beautiful pastel and white hair photos have turned out to actually be synthetic wigs.  Ask your stylist if it is doable before you ask them to do it. Follow their instructions and you’ll be on the path to having beautiful silver hair!