Not long ago, grey hair was avoided at all costs. Today, though? Gray or silver strands are a bonafide trend. From grey ombre to all-over-silver to tinsel-like highlights, grey hair is here. Best of all, this hue is flattering on anyone, and there are so many styles you can try that make it feel fresh and modern.
Want to learn more about grey ombre hair? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know plus 30 grey ombre inspiration photos to show your colorist.
What Is a grey ombre?
One of the most accessible and beautiful ways to wear grey hair is via an ombre effect. Basically, grey ombre hair entails a blended color gradient where one part of your hair is one color and the other is grey. For example, you could have inky black roots that ombre into grey, or maybe you incorporate pastel at the tips while the rest of your hair is a silvery grey. There’s a lot of room for play with this look.
What To Know Before Getting A Grey Ombre
Head’s up: grey ombre hair color is a bit of a commitment—especially if you’re not already going grey and have dark hair. Like other light shades, including blonde, white, and platinum, grey requires bleaching prior to dyeing. This can potentially damage your strands, so make sure to use a hair care system like Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate. This three-part system includes a shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner that are formulated with citric acid and a bonding care complex to repair and fortify weakened strands.
Since lighter shades also tend to yellow over time, you’ll want to tone your hair regularly both in the salon and with a purple shampoo and conditioner system such as Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo and Conditioner. This duo helps neutralize brassiness and yellow so your grey ombre stays gorgeous.
How To Get A Grey Ombre
For the most gorgeous grey ombre hair, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a colorist. They’ll know exactly what to do to help you achieve the look you’re going for, and they’ll do it in a way that minimizes potential damage to your strands. You can bring in a photo—perhaps from our roundup of grey ombre hair colors—for inspiration.
Best Grey Ombre Looks
We’ve rounded up the most drool-worthy grey ombre ’dos on the internet for your viewing pleasure. If you haven’t been feeling inspired, you’re about to be.
Classic Grey Ombre
When in doubt, stick to this no-fuss classic grey ombre. Your colorist will begin with a grey base and create a slightly lighter, silvery shade on your mid-lengths and ends.
Subtle Grey Ombre
If you’re searching for something more lowkey, opt for this well-blended ombre.
Take your grey ombre to the next level with a holographic finish. While this might add extra maintenance to your care routine, the result is totally worth it.
Long Grey Waves
If your general vibe is “model on vacation” or “reality star turned beauty guru,” long grey waves might just be the best for you. Few hairstyles are more elegant or simpler than this look, which benefits from the addition of color-matched extensions for thickness. Clipping in an extra track or two will provide extra fullness, whether you’re wearing your lengths in a loose braid or long, beachy curls.
Short Grey Ombre Waves
Using a large-barreled curling iron, give your light grey lengths a gentle twist. To show off your hair color to the best effect, we advocate the generous application of shine serum, such as L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Huile Originale. Don’t forget to finish off your look with a texturizing spray for strands that look more voluminous and lived-in. Voila, instant Instagram model hair.
Dark Roots With Grey Ombre
Celebrity colorists nearly always have the same trick when it comes to hair color: Leave the roots slightly dark. While it may seem controversial, there's a reason behind the madness. Just the way shadows in a painting indicate depth, a dark root section adds three-dimensionality to your new color. That’s particularly true with brighter colors like silver.
As the hue fades into dark grey at the ends, you’ll be grateful for the notable variation in color. Trust us—the pros are never wrong, especially not when it comes to visible roots.
Black To Silver
You can double down on that dark root trick by adding black at the roots and fading into grey. It really makes for a gorgeous, moody ombre.
Brown To Grey Ombre
For another twist on this look, start with your natural brown at the roots and then fade into a grey as you make your way toward the ends. Talk about way easier upkeep!
Pin-Straight Long Ombre
When you’ve just left the salon, the only goal on your mind should be how best to show off this incredibly opulent ombre. Try opting for a pin straight look. Sleek strands have a reflective quality that your natural texture may not.
Pin-Straight Short Grey Ombre
Of course, you can always do a super straight short grey ombre hair style. To make the most of your silvery strands, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality flat iron (such as the L'Oréal
Professionnel Steampod) and a heat protectant spray. We recommend Biolage Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray. Section off your strands and straighten one at a time, finishing the style with a sharp center part (we always recommend using a long-tailed comb for maximum precision).
Short Silver Lob
The lob hasn’t shown any signs of going out of style. After your colorist completes your silver to grey ombre, ask for a single-length lob cut to show off that fresh hair color.
Lilac Grey Ombre
Instead of feeling overdone or cartoonish, the pairing of lilac and pale silver looks incredibly sophisticated. Plus, the purplish hue is ideal for all complexions. If you’re feeling really daring, try the look with hints of platinum blonde mixed in for variety.
Purple-Pink Grey Ombre Hair
One of our absolute favorite things about grey ombre is how nicely it plays with other colors. Try it with a pretty shade like bright pink or purple. Or hey, why not do both?
Purple Grey Ombre Hair
For a fun twist, try pale purple roots paired with a light to medium grey. It’s subtle, but will definitely make a statement.
Blue Grey Ombre Hair
If you’re not digging a purple grey ombre, how about blue? It’s the same technique, only it leans more “cool” instead of “warm.”
Grey To Yellow Ombre
Almost any color looks striking against grey, but yellow is definitely a top contender for the most head-turning!
Ombre French Braid
Have a fresh grey ombre you’re hoping to show off to the world? A simple French braid or Dutch braid (the same technique, just inside out) is your best bet.
Old Hollywood Silver Bob
What better homage to the silver screen than hair that looks like it’s straight from a black and white film? Since silver hair is already an eccentric move, we like the look of the hue in a retro style. With that in mind, a waved bob is an excellent choice.
There’s no such thing as too much ashiness when it comes to hair, particularly in more fanciful shades like grey. For an ultra-modern take on the color, ask your colorist for a matte finish that’s both fresh and youthful. No matter your hair length or style, you’re certainly going to be fielding compliments. This is cool girl hair if we’ve ever seen it.
Natural Roots With Blue-Grey Ombre
This hue feels fresh and has the shock factor, but without all the required upkeep. Have your colorist mix silver with an aqua blue, bringing the color up through your natural roots.
Icy Grey Ombre Effect
How gorgeous is this iced effect? This blue-leaning grey color woven subtly throughout works particularly well on cool blondes.
Icy Grey With Dark Roots
If you’ve got darker hair, you can try this same effect. For an easier dye job and less maintenance, just keep your roots darker.
Grey Ombre with Accessories
One of the simplest ways to play up your grey ombre hair is to incorporate an accessory or two. Depending on what you choose, it can really dress up your look for an event.
Subtle Silver Strands
The ultra subtle, tinsel-like silver strands woven into blonde hair creates almost a shimmery aesthetic. The key is baby fine highlights and routine toning.
Dark Grey Ombre
We’ve shown a lot of lighter gray or silver styles, but you can always take your color into a slightly darker territory.
Purple To Grey To Blue
Why not mix a few different shades into your grey ombre hair? This subtle blend of lilac, blue, and silver looks stunning.
Silver-Grey With Dark Blue Tips
For a real wow moment, try dark blue-dipped tips with your silver-grey hair.
Subtle Grey Ombre With Face-Framing Blonde
This greyish blonde ombre with face-framing blonde highlights incorporates two of 2021’s hottest hair trends.
Dark Ash To Purple Gradient
Step outside the box with this neutral to vibrant gradient, beginning with a dark ash grey at the root and finishing at the ends with a bright purple hue.
Grey To Red
Want a touch of warmth? Have your colorist add a touch of bright red to the ends of your hair.
Interested in trying grey ombre hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.