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Granny hair is STILL all the rage and to be honest, I kind of can’t believe it. When my hair’s looking good, I get asked about it several times a week by total strangers (online and in person). DIY grey hair is a little trickier to achieve than you would think, after LOTS of trial and error, I finally found a product that gets my hair the perfect shade of silvery grey that fades into a super light grey/ashy white!
The best part about this grey hair tutorial is you can pick up the products at your local Sally’s Beauty Supply – so you can totally do this on a whim instead of waiting for something to ship! Yeah, I’m an enabler. OR if you don’t have a Sally’s nearby, I found everything you need on Amazon too!
Check out the video below for my full hair history and instructions on how to get the granny hair of your dreams at home without breaking the bank! Or scroll down for the directions if video isn’t your thing 🙂
- A color applicator bottle
- 20 Vol Developer (I like the Ion Sensitive Scalp developer)
- Wella T18 Toner (I used one full bottle, it might be worth grabbing 2 – you can always return what you don’t need or just use it in a few weeks when you need a touchup).
- Shower cap (or plastic bag)
- Conditioner (I love this mask from Wella)
- Purple Shampoo (Shimmer Lights works well and is super affordable, just be sure to moisturize after)
And here’s what to do:
- Lighten your hair. Unfortunately this is a MUST – unless you already have PLATINUM hair, you have to bleach it to get silver hair. I don’t recommend bleaching it yourself unless you’re a professional. If you’re on a budget, visit a beauty school and make sure they know you need it bleached to a level 11 (the color of the inside of a banana). If your hair is dark, this may take a few tries so be patient and be kind to your hair…and scalp.
- If your hair feels a little sad after bleaching, I recommend waiting a bit before toning. Treat it nicely with a coconut deep condition (or any conditioner you have) and avoid heat.
- When you’re ready to color, shampoo your hair (but don’t condition). I like to let it air dry because blow drying my unconditioned hair is a MESS.
- Once your hair is dry, mix 2 parts developer with 1 part toner in the applicator bottle and apply to your roots. With my hair, I have to let the roots sit for a few minutes and then apply to the rest of my head. If you’ve never colored your hair before and don’t know how it will take, just do your roots all over and then apply to the rest of your head. You might have to adjust the timing a bit next time.
- Make sure your hair is FULLY saturated (you can gently use a wide toothed comb to distribute the toner if you’d like).
- At this point, you can put a shower cap on your head – or if you’re like me, use a plastic bag because you forgot to get a shower cap. I mainly do this so everything in my house doesn’t get stained.
- Let it process for anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Check it regularly to see how it’s looking and remember, you can always use a clarifying shampoo if it’s too dark.
- Once time is up, rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water. Then follow up with a conditioner.
- Try to wait a few days before shampooing again, and once you do use a purple shampoo.
To maintain your color, make sure you have a purple shampoo and/or conditioner. Shimmer Lights is great at color maintenance but it’s a bit too drying for me. I’m using the Matrix So Silver shampoo right now and it’s moisturizing but it’s not quite as intense as I’d like it to be – I may mix that with Shimmer Lights for something in between.
That’s it! Hopefully this all makes sense. Remember, I’m NOT a hair care professional so please keep that in mind – this is just my experience but it’s the best formula I’ve found for my hair.
For reference, here’s my hair after about a month and a half of fading – not bad, eh? It’s basically an ashy blonde now, so I’m ready for my next round of toning!
What do you think? It seems grey is here to stay so now’s the time! Need to think about it a bit more? Make sure to pin this post so you can reference it later when you’re feeling more adventurous!