What happens if you put silver dye on brown hair?

silver dye in dark brown hair

  • If you put silver dye on your brown hair, you’ll waste time and money because your hair will turn two different colors.
  • Your roots will be orange because the dye will lighten them, and the rest of your hair will remain brown.
  • However, if you want your brown hair to be silver, you must first lighten your hair by bleaching it. My advice is to do this process in a salon to prevent irreversible damage.


Have I saved you from a disaster?

Don’t thank me.

Thank your intuition that led you to look for what   would happen if you applied silver dye to your brown hair   before going for it.

Yes, female intuition works. Thank goodness.


If you want to sport silver hair, the solution isn’t to apply silver dye to your brown hair.

Unfortunately, hair colorimetry doesn’t work that way.

Theory tells us that   if you put silver dye to your brown hair, you’ll only make your roots reddish and the rest of your hair brown.  

Silver hair dye cannot modify the brown pigments in your hair.


Instead, to make your hair silver, you should bleach your hair until your brown hair is yellow.

At that point, you could put silver hair dye to turn your hair silver.


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Yes, unfortunately, you can’t dye your brown hair silver with “silver” box dye.

If you’re determined to get silver hair, you’re in for the long haul. If you’re willing to go for it, keep reading because I’ll tell you what the road will be like without any treacherous shortcuts.

Let’s focus on the present, that’s, your brown hair.

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Why you shouldn’t apply silver dye to brown hair

hairdresser applied a dye too dark

Once again, colorimetry comes to our help.

This science, based on the color wheel, tells us that   silver dyes work on very light blonde bases   to look even, vibrant, and unique.


Regardless of what you may find on social media, this is science.

Now, if you decide to disregard science, apply the silver dye to your brown hair and watch the results.

I can give you a preview to avoid disappointment: your hair will turn two different colors.

The developer and ammonia in the dye will lighten your roots and growth and turn them orange.



Because the roots are virgin hair. They haven’t undergone any coloring process. Therefore, they lighten quickly.

But your drama won’t end there. When you look in the mirror,  you’ll discover that your hair has two colors: your roots will be orange and the rest of the hair will be brown.  

And the silver?


No news about it. This will happen if you apply a permanent silver dye to your brown hair.

And if you apply a silver semi-permanent hair dye?


Things won’t get any better.

Semi-permanent hair dye doesn’t contain ammonia and isn’t applied with a developer. Therefore, it doesn’t penetrate inside the hair to modify the color.

In other words,   if you apply a silver semi-permanent hair dye to your hair, it’ll stay brown.  


You’ll have lost time, money, and illusions. Can you afford to lose any of them?

There’s only one truth.


  If your hair is brown or brown 4, and you want a silver mane, you’ll have to go through several bleaching sessions.  

You have to get to very light blonde 9 or extra light blonde 10 to finally turn your hair silver.

We have come the first part of the way. We could call it the acceptance stage.


Now, we can start with the next phase: the decision.

  • You can give up on having silver hair.
  • Or, you can accept that you’ll have to bleach your brown hair to sport silver hair.

What have you decided?

  If you give up on silver hair,   there are some interesting alternatives to make a change.

  If you decide you want to bleach your brown hair to transform it into silver,   we’ll move on to the third phase of the journey: action.


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How to go from brown to silver hair – Step by step

second time in 20 days

Right now, we are at the stage of the journey that requires action: bleaching your hair.

IT doesn’t mean that you are the one who has to take action.

That’s why, as a stylist, the first thing I’m going to recommend is that you go to the salon to have your brown hair bleached by a professional.


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During bleaching, the hair loses moisture and nutrients. It weakens.

Do you know what would happen if you bleached your fragile, dehydrated hair?


Your hair could break from the root, causing severe hair loss.

Therefore, if you have no coloring experience, go to a salon. A colorist will assess your hair health and know if your mane will withstand bleaching or if it’ll break when the chemicals are applied.

He or she may even recommend adding a product like OLAPLEX or BRAZILIAN BOND BUILDER to the bleach.


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Do you think you can bleach your hair on your own?


I don’t doubt your word or your self-confidence, but just in case, take a look at these questions:

  • Are you used to coloring your hair?
  • Do you know how to properly measure the proportions of the ingredients of any chemical process? For example, the proportions of developer and bleach.
  • Can you understand and pay attention to each step of the bleaching process?
  • Can you tell if the bleach is damaging your hair?
  • Can you tell when your hair is bleached enough during the process?
  • Do you know how to apply the bleach to the back strands?


If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’ll be better prepared to bleach your brown hair yourself.

But remember that   bleaching is a safe process if done by professionals.  

If you want to continue the journey on your own, that is, without going to a professional, here’s what’ll happen.


Bleaching brown hair to turn it silver

dye right after bleaching

Are you ready?


All right, let’s start with the planning.

You need to keep in mind your base color.

  •   If your hair is dark brown 3,   you’ll need three or four bleaching sessions.
  •   If your hair is brown 4,   you’ll need two to three bleaching sessions.
  •   If your hair is a light brown 5,   you’ll need one or two bleaching sessions.


Yes. It’s impossible to go from a dark brown to very light blonde in one bleaching session.

So, if this is your case, your path will be a bit longer.

  You’ll have to wait at least three weeks between each bleaching session   to avoid burning your hair.


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Once you’ve reached the highest blondes, you can apply the silver dye. It’ll be almost the end of your journey. I’ll tell you later why I say “almost” the end.

At this moment, you can choose to apply a permanent or semi-permanent silver dye. Here are some examples.

box silver hair dye

Permanent silver dyes

  • L’Oréal FERIA S 1
  • GARNIER OLIA 10.11.


Semi-permanent silver dyes



Once you apply any of these dyes, you’ll reach the end of the road: it’s not easy to maintain silver hair.

My recommendations?

  • Use sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, and masks.
  • Wash your hair less frequently and with lukewarm to cold water.
  • Protect your hair from the sun and chlorinated water.
  • Limit the use of heat tools.



If you want to transform your brown hair into silver, you’ll have to go through several bleaching sessions. Your mane could be deeply damaged.

Therefore, I recommend that you do it in a salon that works with Plex products.

These products are applied during bleaching to protect your hair core from drying and breakage.

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