How to Dye Hair Grey Without Bleach

All you need to know about the procedure A to Z

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on How to Dye Hair Grey Without Bleach

Modern trends change each other so fast that it is almost impossible to keep up and stay tuned! Only yesterday we had one hair color popular, and today it is completely another.

With such rapid changes, no wonder it is hard to stick to what is the newest. 

However, one of the recent changes that are still in use is dying natural hair grey! Surprisingly, but what has recently been the worse nightmare of every woman (remember how vigorously everyone tried to color those grey hairs?) today is becoming a popular trend.

No wonder that so many ladies become curious about the same “can I dye my hair grey without bleaching?” question.

And below everyone can find the complete guide about how to dye your hair grey without bleach and lots of other handy information.

What Is Bleaching And Why To Avoid It

Everyone who colors their locks or did it before is informed about such procedure as bleaching. This process takes place when our natural color has to be lightened prior to the coloring, and it requires the use of quite strong chemicals to strip the earlocks of their pigment.

During the procedure, the tresses get covered with the alkaline agent for opening the cuticles, and afterward, the oxidative product is applied. Without it, the locks would not be able to get lighter.

This procedure is so strong that even pitch-black strands will get blonde after only several sessions! Nevertheless, because of the use of aggressive chemicals, it has quite a lot of downsides.

One of the major disadvantages is that bleached tresses end up being damaged both structurally and chemically. It is not that rare aftermath when people have brittle, dry, and prone to breakage strands after completing this procedure.

How to Dye Hair Grey Without Bleach

Naturally, since the appliance of bleaching agents is so harmful, everyone would prefer to keep their tresses as safe as it is only possible. Respectively, a question occurred of what covers gray without bleach.

Fortunately, it is not something magical or extremely difficult to perform. Dying hair grey without bleach is possible but the level of difficulty of this procedure will hang upon the state of your tresses and their color.

People with naturally lighter locks will almost have no problems with turning grey easily. Even one session can be enough to turn from blonde to silver greyish. However, if your strands are way darker (for instance, brown or black), the procedure of transformation can take more time and effort.

What Is Bleaching And Why To Avoid It
photo by Daria Shevtsova Pexels

Also, the state of the tresses matters a lot. If they are even a bit damaged, any color manipulations are very unwelcomed, even if they are about to be performed with the natural ingredients. The worse that may happen is that you will end up with completely destroyed strands that will need a lot of time, money, and patience to get them healthy and good-looking again.

So how to turn the tresses into that magical grey shade?

Well, dying hair grey without bleach can be performed in several ways:

Dye it

The simplest option for the lucky owners of the lighter manes, for instance, dark blonde or light brown. These people will not need to remove the natural pigment from their locks which means that simply applying a grey coloring pigment will most likely be enough.

Nevertheless, such a procedure has its nuances. Since most grey dyes are either semi-permanent or temporary, they will fade pretty fast. It means that the shade will have to be re-applied often enough. By the way, such pigments will not hide the natural color of the tresses completely. As a result, to get the desired grey shade, several sessions may need to be completed.

How to Dye Hair Grey Without Bleach
photo by Andrea Piacquadio з Pexels

In terms of this, please, be careful since even that bleach-free procedure can be harmful and damage the locks when used frequently!


A perfect variant for those who want this color to stay on their heads temporarily instead of becoming an irreplaceable part of daily life! Besides, this is a safer procedure since the product has no bleaching stuff in it.

Today one can find all sorts of grey color for the chevelure on the market so the only thing that must be done is to pick up the shade attentively.

Also, consider that such a product will stick only to the dry tresses, and it will not last long. And of course, protect your apparel when coloring since such sprays are very easy to get stained with.

Citrus juice

Well, lemons in particular. Make use of this how-to-get-silver-hair-without-bleach method for the lighter tresses, as well, since for the darker strands it may not be strong enough.

The procedure is simple:

  • Prepare a blend of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water, equal parts
  • Pulverize the mixture over the tresses covering them all way through
  • Keep your mane under the bright sun for half an hour, or make use of a blow-dryer
  • To finish the procedure, rinse the tresses and treat them with a conditioner.
Photo by Taisiia Shestopal

This method must be applied several times, twice a week for sure, to have a visible effect. Afterward, it is OK to dye the locks grey.

However, despite the approach uses natural ingredients, do not go for it too often! Citrus juice can easily damage the cuticles making the hair prone to breakage and causing the split-ends.

Homemade hair masks

For a gentler approach, why not benefit from do-it-yourself all-natural hair masks?

Just like the lemon juice, they will prepare the tresses for coloring and make the natural pigment lighter.

  • A blend of equal parts of apple cider acetum and water pulverized over the tresses will make them lighter. Use it a few more times over the next several weeks until the desired result is achieved. And remember that this mixture must sit on the locks for a few minutes only before you rinse it!
  • A honey mask will also work. Combine the sweet foodstuff with some cayenne pepper and cinnamon, and cover the previously oiled locks with it. For oiling, we would recommend using olive oil. 

Keep the mask applied until the desired shade is visible, and then wash the tresses with water. To moisturize the locks, treat them with the conditioner meant for the colored mane.

  • Baking soda and peroxide will become handy if you’re wondering how to dye hair silver without bleach. This variant is usually not advised for those who discolor their manes for the first time, but if none of the previously described methods worked, this might be the last possible option.
DIY Hair Masks You Need to TryDIY Hair Masks You Need to Try

Take one cup of soda and mix in three big spoonfuls of peroxide. Once it turns into a paste, cover the tresses with it for one hour a maximum. As a result, the locks must become one or two shades lighter than the initial native tone.

We would recommend conditioning the locks afterward since peroxide is a very drying thing indeed.

Please, remember that these procedures may not work on black and dark-brown tresses since they contain no chemicals and bleaching agents. However, these options are way safer and more caring for the locks so if your goal is to get the result with the minimal damage, that’s your choice!

How to Dye Black Hair Grey

If your locks are naturally pitch-black but you’d like to turn them into the ashy tresses, dying black hair grey might be the option. However, since this is not so easy to perform, a question occurs of how to transform black hair to grey.

Since grey hair dye won’t work on black hair, bleaching will be the only option.

How to Dye Black Hair Grey
Photo by Keenan Constance

For doing that yourself:

  • Buy the discoloring product, a gold-red corrector and a toner (to avoid sudden brassiness), and a 10 or a 20 volume developer.
  • 10 is good for the fine and fragile locks whereas 20 will work better on coarse and dark tresses.
  • Previously moisture the strands with the coconut oil to protect them from chemical exposure, and prepare the discoloring ointment. After a strand test, apply it over the tresses and keep for a maximum of fifty minutes. When the desired shade is reached, rinse and shampoo the mane remembering about the conditioner as the finishing option.
  • After discoloring, treat the damp chevelure with the toner+developer blend and check it every ten minutes. Once the desired color appears, rinse and shampoo the mane. 
  • Finally, apply the dye according to the instruction on the box.

The very same procedure can be used for dying African American hair grey if the tresses are black or very dark.

Remember: black to grey hair transformation can’t be performed without the previous discoloration! 

But if they are not and you’d rather like to dye such hair grey without bleach, feel free to blend a grey dye with enough conditioner until the desired shade is received, and apply that mixture over the locks according to the ordinary instruction.

What Happens If You Bleach Grey Hair

Sometimes we get bored with the new style pretty fast, and what if it happens after we color the tresses grey? What will bleaching do to grey hair?

Well, as everyone probably already guessed, adding more discoloring agents to the already discolored locks will simply turn them…white!

No matter how we bleach grey hair, naturally or chemically, their initial pigment is removed. When we re-apply the discoloring substance, the rest of the color will disappear living us, well, with the locks a-la Daenerys Targaryen.

Best Grey-Coloring Products

Trying Trendy Hair Coloring Wax | Silver Hair Color Wax 2018Trying Trendy Hair Coloring Wax | Silver Hair Color Wax 2018

People often get stumbled upon the same problem: what dye to color the mane into grey with? 

Well, if the decision was made to do it yourself, and ordinary dye is not an option for some reason, think of one of the following substitutes:

Arsty Color Wax

This wax with the temporary effect has no bleaching agents and contains only natural ingredients. It is easily applied and rinsed off which makes it a perfect choice for trying yourself grey.

Keracolor conditioner

This colorwash is two-in-one stuff: a color and a conditioner. Also, bleach-free and natural, it has a temporary effect but it’s very gentle with the locks.

Adore semi-permanent color

No bleach, peroxide, and ammonia, and the perfect silver shade as a result instead. However, it will work on the light to dark blondes only.

How to Care For Ashy Tresses

How to Care For Ashy Tresses
Photo by Tamara Bellis

Those foggy-shaded locks look magical and awesome, but they also require a lot of attention and care, no matter whether the procedure of transformation was done including the discoloration or without that part.

  • Go for the special color-safe shampoo. Other kinds will make the tresses fade faster and this is hardly what you would like to experience after spending so much time and effort on becoming grey.
  • Deep-condition the mane regularly since the colored locks are very fragile and vulnerable. Conditioning will nourish and moisturize them, and this is what your strands are looking for now so much!
  • Keep them away from the hot styling tools. Colored locks are prone to breaking and drying way more than the normal uncolored tresses. If we make them go through the hot styling procedures, it can destroy our mane completely.

Following these simple hints will let you enjoy the newly-colored chevelure and keep it healthy and good-looking longer.

We told you about how to turn hair grey without discoloring it and even how to make your hair grey without dye. Now that you know how to dye your hair grey safely, we hope there will be no problems with maintaining the freshly-dyed locks or undergoing the coloring procedure correctly.

However, if you are in doubt whether you will manage to complete the task successfully, it is always better to go to the professional and get your mane colored.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How long does it take to dye your hair GREY?

For the lighter hair, the procedure will take approximately 45-50 min. But for the dark locks, it will have to be done several times. When using DIY means, it may take weeks.

⭐ What is the best silver hair dye?

Adore Creative and Pravana ChromaSilk are among the best-working dyes for turning silver.

⭐ How can I go GREY without looking old?

Try to add highlight and lowlight, they will make the color more vivid instead of being dull.

⭐ How can I darken my hair without dying it?

For darkening, natural remedies can work, e.g. coffee, black tea, cocoa, or henna.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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