How to Make Gray Hair Shiny Silver, According to Experts

<p>Getty Images</p>

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There's nothing more luxurious than the privilege of aging, and we love that so many people are now choosing to embrace their natural grays. Additionally, we can't get enough of the trend of younger folks dyeing their hair to resemble those of their favorite silver foxes.

Regardless of whether you're sporting silver hair as a result of age or by choice, there are several ways you can make your grays pop. Apart from the obvious change in pigment, gray hair typically also becomes drier and coarser. As such, there are different ways to approach treatment.

We tapped experts Jonathan Colombini, Jay Small, and Shvonne Perkins for their best tips on transitioning to your natural grays, making them appear shiny and healthy, and caring for them.

Meet Our Expert

  • Jonathan Colombini is a L'Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist and colorist. He is also the owner of John Henry Salon in Malibu, Calif.

  • Jay Small is a celebrity stylist, educator, and co-founder of Arey.

  • Shvonne Perkins is a master colorist at Madison Reed.

Keep scrolling for nine expert-backed tips for how to make gray hair silver shiny.

Use Color-Depositing Products

In the same way you would use a purple shampoo to neutralize brassiness in blonde hair, it can also make silver hair retain its crisp hue by neutralizing yellow tones. Colombini recommended the L'Oreal Paris EverPure Purple Shampoo and Conditioner to keep gray hairs popping.


According to Perkins, it is possible to over-tone gray hair. She suggested doing every other shampoo with a pigmented wash and then every other with a moisture-based line and alternate.

Stimulate the Scalp

Small said that combing and brushing the hair daily is key to keeping gray hair looking its best.

"These techniques will help move natural oils from [the] scalp to [the] ends while also polishing the cuticle, leading to more vibrant-looking hair," Small explained. "This stimulation is also great for encouraging blood circulation near the hair follicle, which is essential to healthy hair growth."

Related: Is Your Scalp Actually Healthy? Experts Explain How to Know For Sure

Apply a Gloss

For an extra punch of shine, give your hair a gloss treatment. These can be done professionally at the salon, but many at-home options do the trick, such as the Madison Reed's Color Reviving Gloss in Crema.

Add in Some Highlights

"Even just accent highlights help to keep the gray light and bright and really pop, adding brightness and dimension around the face," said Perkins.

Related: 10 Highlight Ideas for Blending and Embracing Gray Hair

Spritz on an SPF

We protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays, and we should do the same for our hair.

"UV protection is important as oxidative stress from UV exposure can damage hair strands and cause an increase in free radicals in the scalp, stifling hair growth," explained Small.

He recommended using Arey's Live-In Mist leave-in conditioner as it's lightweight and features raspberry seed oil, which provides hair and scalp with protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Perkins suggested using a clarifying shampoo occasionally to remove build-up that affects the shade of your gray.

"That just keeps the canvas clean," added Perkins.

Related: The 12 Best Clarifying Shampoos of 2024

Take Supplements

Try an inside-out approach when taking care of silver hair.

"Seeing gray hair as a message from the body, we have found that the use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and peptides are the best way to replenish the body with what it's lacking," noted Small. "The Arey System includes a daily supplement, 'Not Today, Grey,' and topical serum, 'To The Root,' that work to address the causes of gray hair. With the ability to slow gray hair growth and re-pigment, along with helping the most common characteristics of aging hair."

Wash Hair Less Often

As hair becomes drier, Colombini suggested scaling back on how often you shampoo to allow the natural oils to coat and nourish your strands. "Over-cleansing silver hair can remove essential natural oils and cause it to look dull or dry," explained Small.

At most, Colombini advised keeping it to every other day. If you have textured hair, space out your wash days to once every one to two weeks.

Use Moisturizing Hair Products

In line with everything said about dry gray hair, it's important to use hair care that replenishes moisture levels. We're partial to Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask Baby Blonde and Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is "blondeing out?"

If you're concerned about your gray roots showing or a hard line of demarcation, Colombini recommended going half a shade lighter on your base with each salon visit. "Start to incorporate highlights, which can begin removing and lifting previous color out. We call this process 'blondeing out,'" added Colombini.

What's the best way to transition to gray hair?

One option is moving from all-over color to low-lighting, which means only covering or darkening a percentage of the hair and leaving the rest out to be gray naturally. "Over time, you do fewer and fewer color lowlights, decreasing the percentage of color-treated over time and allowing gray to become more predominant," explained Perkins.

Can toner make gray hair silver?

Yes, a silver hair toner or one that uses blue or purple pigment works to neutralize and eliminate yellow undertones. This can effectually turn gray hair silver.

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