How to dye your grey hair blonde (without spending a fortune) 48



View Profile

This week, community member Lorraine asked us:

“Does anyone dye their grey hair blonde? And if you do, what do you use? I cannot afford the hairdressers any more so need to work this out”.

I thought I may be able to assist!

I so wish I had the definitive answer for you, but unfortunately, I have been trying to do just that for the last few years, with mixed results.

The sad truth is that whether I pay over $150 to hairdressers or buy a “do-it-yourself” product, it seems the result is blonde which quickly turns brassy! I even know a retired hairdresser who is bravely growing out her last attempt to achieve overall grey.

The hairdressing industry assumes we all wish to cover our grey. As usual, their assumption is correct for some, not all of us. They make the products they think we need and not the products we want. As with many other age-related topics, the “experts” fit us into a nice box and label it, never dreaming to ask us!

In my case, I love my grey, but on one side I am very grey, on the other, less so. Cruella DeVille is not my role model so I’m trying to even out the grey. One hairdresser gave me foils and because my hair is short, I finished up with lumps of white-ish hair. Two others used bleach all over, then added toner. In both instances, I finished up very brassy after the first wash. These three exercises cost me approximately $450, and yet only a day or so later, I hated the result.

Like you, I don’t have that type of money, particularly when I’m not happy with the result. So my solution these days is:

  • I use the very lightest shade of Nordic Blonde, by Schwarzkopf which has a beautiful toner, plus an additional toner for later use.
  • After I’ve used both the provided toners, I then use Live Colour “silver toner” also by Schwarzkopf.

This way, I retain the colour you see in my photo. I want to issue a warning at this point, I am not a hairdresser and I have no qualifications whatsoever to give advice on how to colour your hair. This is what works for me!


Do you face the problem of trying to get your blonde hair grey? What is your tip?

Karen O'Brien-Hall

I've had many careers in my life and loved each one! My new career blossomed when I retired and become an OAP. I am passionate about childhood literacy, books in general and my garden. I love Ballet, Opera, Concerts, Theatre, (both professional and community) and Movies. I tend to have opinions on most things and enjoy a good debate about the topic, not the person. In my thirties, I married my GOM (Gorgeous or Grumpy Old Man) the love of my life.

  1. This product Does work , have been using it several years and works every time , I have been grey since I was 26 !! Love it ….

  2. If you do not want it to go brassy you need to use a blonde shampoo/cond ….usually purple in colour, it works

  3. You need to use a dye with “ash” in it. I use Clairol Nice and Easy 102 Natural Light Ash Blonde. This eliminates the brassiness that usually happens if your hair was/is auburn or has red highlights. This product covers my grey nicely, sort of a caramel colour initially for a couple of washes then goes a nice natural blonde blending easily with the grey roots. The back of my hair is quite dark still underneath, but is now colouring up lighter with each dye of 102. Hope this helps.

    4 REPLY
    • Mine doesn’t colour at the back either, still auburn ….. I wonder why that is ? I usually us Loreal or Schwarzkopf No. 10, buy at Reject shop when it’s available usually about $7.00

    • Seems that lots of us who are auburn have the dark patch at the back. Like you I don’t spend much on my hair dye, the hair dressers charge the earth.

    • all those dyes make my hair go ginger after a few weeks and that never washes out ,so i have just gone whatever now

  4. Every 2 week have to have black put on my roots because my hair grows soo quick ..Its Snow White now ..I grew up with black hair and almost 67 and don’t want to go grey ….I would if I thought I would look good but not sure .

    5 REPLY
    • I’m a bit timid to do it ..I’d have to cut my hair which is to my Bra line ..don’t want to do that to start with ..

    • Why don’t you try on a wig to see what grey would look like on you. My 90 yr old Mum has a white wig to match her own hair and I tried it on to see what it would look like. I was amazed how much white hair suited me, it made my skin glow and I am naturally auburn.

    • Your hair looks awesome. You wouldn’t have to cut it. Just gradually get lighter colour. Eventually it would be natural

  5. I am lucky I have a wonderful hairdresser. She has been doing my hair for 26 years. My grey hair is patchy which is why I still colour it. When it is all grey I will stop. I have discussed with my hairdresser and we have a plan in place for when this happens. Meanwhile I get a lot of compliments on my colour. My hairdresser mixes my colour. As she says it works on my hair but will not necessarily have the same result on other hair. I also use a good shampoo/conditioner for blonde hair. I love my colour.

  6. Be careful with cheap hairdyes from those sorts of places as they are cheap for a reason and that is because they are or are nearly out of date. They go off after a while. I am a hairdresser by trade.

    2 REPLY
    • Ah the voice of reason at last…having spent 26 years looking after other peoples hair I am gobsmacked at some of these comments.

    • Ha! I couldnt believe some of the comments either. Trying to do it yourself unless you know what your doing is recipe for disaster and I have seen quite a few walking disasters. Without being too mean about it.

  7. I also use the silver toner it’s the best I have used, can’t leave it on for too long though or it goes purple on my hair, I only leave it on for ten minutes, it’s a nice soft tone and no yellow.

  8. go to price line buy 30 vol peroxide and choose a blonde colour of your choice…mix 50-50 my hair is lovely..this is the same solution used by hairdressers…you wont go wrong

    3 REPLY
    • just dont use any of the golden tones….you will not need to use a toner or fancy shampoos…I buy no name and my hair is in great condition…btw my hair is 90% white

    • Sorry, this is not what is used by the hairdressers. Hairdressers need to consider base colour, condition of hair, percentage of grey, length of hair, underlying colour pigments, medications taken, clients overall health, just to name a few. I don’t do my own electrical or plumbing, because I’m not trained in that field. Hairdressing is no different.

      1 REPLY
      • hair-dressing is not rocket science; we know our own hair better than they do! Sick of this rationale to make it sound like secret women’s business.. it’s only hair colouring!

    • well maybe I am just a talented person cause my hair turns out just how I want it and so does my family….and the ladies who work there are also a huge help….why should we pay hundreds for something most of us can do ourselves///…you must be a hairdresser?

      1 REPLY
      • agreed Annette, it’s ridiculous what they charge!
        Maybe if prices were more reasonable, we would go more often for a pampering session but to get charged $50-60 for a hair cut ?? pfft esp. when men can get their hair cut for $20 it seems unreasonable that we are charge a fortune

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *