Can I use grey dye on brassy hair? Yes, but the results may not meet your expectations

using purple toner on bleached yellow hair

  • If you use gray dye on brassy hair, your hair will turn ashy blonde. It’ll be light or dark according to your level of orange.
  • However, if you want to turn your hair gray by using gray dye on brassy hair, unfortunately, you’ll have to keep bleaching your hair.
  • If your hair is very blonde or very light, and you apply gray hair, it’ll turn gray.


So, if you ask me if you can apply gray dye on your brassy hair, my answer is yes, you can.

But I lack information about your purpose.

What are you looking for?


 If you want to use gray dye to turn your orange hair gray,  I’ll change my answer.

I’ll tell you that there’s no point in using gray dye on brassy hair to turn it gray. Why? Because your hair should be yellow, instead.


In a nutshell, if you’re looking for an ashy shade, gray hair dye will be your best option to neutralize the orange.

  •  If your hair is dark orange, It’ll turn deep ash brown.
  •  If your hair is medium orange,  it’ll turn deep dark ash blonde.
  •  Finally, if your hair is light orange, , it’ll turn deep light ash blonde.


As you can see, your hair will turn ashy regardless of your orange level. The change will be noticeable. However, your hair won’t be gray. Instead, it’ll be blonde with slight grayish undertones.

It’s two different results.


So, I ask you again, what’s your purpose?

  • Would you like to sport blonde hair with slight grayish undertones?
  • Or, completely gray hair?

Read on because I have the answers for both options.

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Gray hair dye on brassy hair to neutralize bright tones

orange to silver or gray hair

Yes, in this case, the  gray dye will tone your brassy hair because it contains several pigments: blue, violet, and green. 


You may ask me, “Alejandra, I learned at school that gray is formed by the combination of two colors: black and white.”

And that is true. That rule applies when you mix watercolors, oils, and even wall paints.


But it’s more complex in hair matters.

Scientists work with hair dye brands to mix, assemble, and test different proportions of violet, blue, and green pigments to achieve a gray dye. 

Why will a gray dye remove the brassy tones from your hair?


Because it neutralizes or cancels them out.

  • Blue neutralizes orange.
  • Violet neutralizes yellow.
  • Green neutralizes red.


Therefore, gray contains the three colors of the neutralization table that will turn your hair ashy.

It’ll be a special deep, intense, and somewhat grayish ashy.

How can you spot this gray hair color?


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You need to look at the numbers in each box dye.

All brands number the colors to identify them.

It could be a single number or two numbers separated by dots.

In this case,  you should look for the dyes that have 10.11, 10.12, 11.11, or 12.12. 


Bleaching orange hair to turn it gray

hairdresser covering highlights with dye

In this case, you’ll have to reach very high blonde numbers, which are:

  • Very light blonde 9
  • Extra light blonde 10


Both colors are achieved after several bleaching sessions.

This means that  your hair will go through several very aggressive chemical processes that could damage it permanently. 

Do you have experience in bleaching?


If you don’t, I recommend that you get your hair professionally bleached to avoid ruining it.

Alternatively, if you have bleaching experience, here is the step-by-step to bleach your orange hair and turn it gray.


What do you need?

  • Bleach powder
  • A 30 volume developer
  • Coconut or argan oil
  • Gloves
  • Hair dye brush



before applying it to the hair

Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours before bleaching to keep the natural scalp oil that protects it.

  • Comb and separate your hair into four sections, from forehead to nape and from ear to ear. Hold each section with hair clips.
  • In a plastic container, mix the bleach powder and the 30-volume developer and shake to blend.
  • Add a few drops of coconut oil to protect your hair during the chemical process.
  • Wearing gloves, apply the bleach from roots to ends and repeat on each section. When you have covered all your hair, put on a shower cap to maintain the temperature.
  • Leave the mix on for up to twenty minutes.
  • After the exposure time, rinse your hair with plenty of cold water to lower its temperature. Shampoo as usual to remove any residue of the bleach.


After your hair dries, you’ll have reached a very light blonde 9 or extra light blonde 10.

And then, it’s time to apply the gray dye to turn your hair completely gray.


Now,  if you didn’t reach a very light base, you’ll need to bleach your hair again. 

However, wait for at least three weeks to bleach it again to prevent breakage.



You can use gray dye on your brassy hair to neutralize the brassy tones and achieve an ash blonde.

But if you want completely gray or silver hair, you should bleach your brassy hair to a pale yellow. Only then, can you apply a gray dye.

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