Maintain Silver Hair Longer With These Routines

Have you been holding off on trying the silver hair trend because you’re not sure how to maintain it? Or, is your hair already dyed silver, but you worry that your shiny tresses will tarnish?

Now you can stop worrying. Here is your comprehensive guide to caring for silver hair. First, you’ll learn how to get the look if you haven’t done so already (or pick up tips to use in the future for those who have already tried the color, but aren’t completely happy with how it turned out), then I’ll give you a couple of maintenance routines – complete with videos – to help you keep your silvery luminescence.

Going Silver

Before you go silver, understand that your hair needs to be very light. Stylist Sarah Namrood recommends your hair color be atleast level 11 before you dye it silver.

For people with especially dark hair, this may mean that you need to bleach, or lift, your color three or four times to get the strands light enough to turn silver without resulting in a yellowish or brassy hue. Also, for those who haven’t bleached before, you may need to bleach sections of your hair, such as roots or ends, an additional time to get an even shade all over.

Before you begin, be sure to follow safe bleaching practices. Get latex or rubber glove to wear while applying the bleach; choose an on scalp bleach since you’re working all over your head; wear clothes that can be stained or bleached; remove extensions, if applicable; and mix your products in a container that is big and sturdy enough not to spill.

Once your hair is bleached down to as pale as you can possibly go, you will tone it with purple/violet shampoo until you have reached your desired silver shade to get rid of the yellow or orange undertones. Don’t simply wash your hair with a purple shampoo and expect it to turn silver. You’ll need to sit with the purple shampoo in your hair for about an hour, and expect to use a lot of it.

You may need to play around with a few different products, as evidenced by this video by Tasha Leelyn:

She discusses toward the end of the video that she decided to use a color rinse as well to get the actual silver shade she desired. This may be something you’ll end up considering, as well. She chose Roux Fanci-Full.

Keeping Your Silver Polished

Now, one point to remember about silver hair is that the color rinses out fairly easily. The great thing about that is it means if you aren’t happy with the silver look, you don’t have to wait very long before it comes out and you can move on. If you want to keep it, though, you need to do some maintenance.

Below you’ll find a couple of videos that detail different routines for silver hair maintenance, followed by written versions.

From Helen Anderson:

  1. Wash your hair with a violet-toned shampoo. Let sit for two minutes before rinsing. Helen suggests Fudge Clean Blonde Violet-Toning Shampoo.
  2. Apply conditioner (Helen’s preferred one is Fudge Dynamite, a reconstructive conditioner). Add more on your tips than roots, since that’s where hair is normally driest. Leave on for five minutes before rinsing.
  3. Towel dry your hair, then brush out knots.
  4. While hair is still damp, apply a hair polish, such as IC Hair Polisher.
  5. Blow dry hair using a hair dryer with a concentrator attached, then style as preferred.


From Saaammage:

This routine is a lot more in-depth, and goes through everything she does to maintain her color, not just her daily routine.

  1. Touch up roots once a month.
  2. Bleach back hair every other month. Her stylist bleaches her down to light platinum blonde, then adds the silver dye after bleaching (they use Wella products).
  3. Her daily care routine:
    1. Apply coconut oil before shampooing (she buys it from Trader Joe’s) by rubbing the oil between your hands and then smoothing all over hair. Let sit for an hour.
    2. Wash hair with a purple shampoo. For shampoos, she uses Pravana Pure Light Brightening Shampoo (which she warns sometimes leaves a blue tint if left on too long, but works great for days where your hair has developed a yellow tint) or Jhirmack Distinctions Silver Plus Ageless Shampoo.
    3. After rinsing, apply conditioner, such as Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Intense Hydration Deep Hydrating Treatment Mask. Leave in three minutes and rinse.
    4. Towel dry hair and brush out.
    5. Apply a leave-in treatment. She recommends Alterna Caviar Repair Re-Texturizing Protein Cream.
    6. Add a hair serum. She uses Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum. You don’t need a lot, so be sure to follow the directions on the product you choose.
    7. Apply a gray rinse using a spritz bottle (will probably have to buy separately from your chosen product). She uses Roux Fanci-Full.
    8. Blow dry hair using lowest setting.
    9. If your hair is frizzy or needs a little bit more help, smooth on a bit more hair serum.

Quick Tips for Silver Hair

No time for watching videos or reading detailed instructions on how to keep up your silver hair. Here’s the essentials:

  • Accept that you’re going to be living with damaged hair. The required bleaching means there’s no way to prevent damage, but using good hair care products will help your hair maintain health in between.
  • Hold off on shampooing as much as possible. If your hair is oily, but not necessarily dirty, try a dry shampoo instead. This helps you keep your silver color longer.
  • When you do shampoo, use a toning (purple or violet) shampoo. Choose one that doesn’t turn to lather too quickly. If it does, the purple dye will wash out and lighten, which isn’t as effective.
  • If you find after using a toning shampoo that you have spots that seem a little more blue or purple than others, you may not be applying the shampoo evenly. Mix some water into your shampoo and the thinner texture will be easier to work through your hair.
  • Avoid heat styling. In addition to causing additional damage to your hair, the heat will also cause your silver color to fade over time.

Other Recommended Shampoos

Don’t like the options above? Here are a few more toning shampoos you can try that others have had success with:

Joico Color Endure Violet Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Bellami Tone Mi: Sky Violet Shampoo

Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Colour Enhancing Treatment for Blonde Hair

Treasure Your Silver

With proper maintenance, you’ll be rocking that silver hair for months to come. Have some tips to share with me about your experience with silver? I want to hear them!

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