How to Dye Hair Grey from Dark Brown

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Are you looking for a little change? Wish to find out how to dye hair grey from dark brown? Believe it or not, grey hair is actually in style these days. Now, going grey unnaturally can be easy for those who already have light-colored hair.

But for those of us with dark brown locks, this can be a little bit of a process. One that is well worth it, I should add. Let’s talk about the different ways and step-by-step processes to going grey!

how to dye hair grey from dark brown

How to Go Grey With Dark Hair

You may be wondering, how is it possible to dye your hair grey when your base is dark brown? No worries, it can be done! There are multiple options for you. Of course, you can go to a salon to get the work done professionally.

It can also be achieved from your own home. You can use the traditional bleaching method, but there are also some temporary hair sprays/waxes that can be used to lighten those locks. 

How to Dye Hair Grey From Dark Brown With Bleach

Looking to dye your hair grey at home? Not a problem. It is very possible to dye your dark brown hair at home with bleach to achieve that new, stylish grey look. Here are the steps.

Before you dye:

  • Spend weeks using conditioning treatments on your hair before dying.
  • Don’t be afraid to use those cheaper shampoos. This will help strip the color from your hair/dull it down a little bit in preparation for the bleach.
  • Do a skin allergy test before using the dye on your head. This should be done at least 48 hours before dying your hair. Do this by applying the grey dye and peroxide behind your ear.
  • Try not to wash your hair 48 hours before dying. This will make it easier for the color to be applied and attach to dirty hair. 
  • Decide how you want the color to look on your hair. Do you want to dye your hair a full head of grey? Or do you want darker roots that gradually fade into the grey color? This will help you to prepare correctly before dying. 

How to Dye Hair Grey From Dark Brown at Home

  • Make sure to be in a well-ventilated place. It is important that you aren’t inhaling the bleach and fumes from the hair dye in a closed-in space. I would recommend dying your hair in the bathroom and opening the windows. 
  • Make sure that you get your hair as light as possible before applying the grey hair dye. You may have to bleach your hair more than once to achieve this. (This is why it’s important to keep hair well hydrated before the bleaching process to prevent from damaging hair). 
  • Be careful when bleaching hair. Bleach can leave burns, so make sure to wear plastic gloves and wipe off any bleach that gets on your skin.
  • Bleach can also leave stains on dark clothing, so wear old/worn clothes—preferably lighter colors to avoid these noticeable stains. 
  • Be sure to use a toner after bleaching and before applying the grey hair dye. This will take away the yellow tones to get that flawless grey look.
  • Apply a cream such as Vaseline or Chapstick to your hair lining. This will make it easier to wipe off any color residue after dying. 
  • Follow all instructions carefully! 

What you will need:

  • Your chosen shade of grey hair dye (can be bought at any pharmacy/beauty store – any brand)
  • Bleach
  • Toner
  • An old towel to cover your shoulders
  • Vaseline or Chapstick
  • A plastic brush or applicator (some hair dyes will include this in the box so check the outside to see what is included)
  • Hair clips to section hair (optional)

And here’s the step by step process:

  1. First, you want to bleach your hair before dying grey. This will strip out the dark color from your hair. This step is necessary because you can’t dye a light color over a dark color without first bleaching/lightening. You may need to repeat this step twice if your hair is not reaching a light enough color. You want your hair to be as light as possible before adding on that grey hair dye. If you are looking to have an ombre-style of grey hair, then bleach the ends of your hair and leave your roots dark.
  2. Apply your toner. The purpose of toner is to prevent any yellow undertones. This will help the finished product to be a more vibrant and radiant grey color. After applying the toner, leave it on for about 20-25 minutes. 
  3. Apply Vaseline or Chapstick to your hairline and around your ears. You also can do this before the bleaching step, but that is optional. It is fine to do this just before adding the color. This will make it easier to wipe off any hair dye that gets on your skin, to prevent temporary staining. 
  4. Use the towel to cover your shoulders to prevent any hair dye from staining your skin. Also, old/worn clothes are recommended to prevent any staining to good clothes.
  5. Apply the grey hair dye. Make sure to follow all instructions on the package. Most of the steps will be similar among all brands, but some may have varying steps. So just make sure to follow the steps on your package carefully. To make the application process easier, separate your hair into sections using hair clips. Apply the dye to one section at a time.
  6. Some hair dye packages will supply you with a hair net. This is useful at the end of the dying process, while the solution is setting in your hair. This will simply prevent dripping. If your package doesn’t include this, no worries. Just make sure to set a towel down on the floor in case of any dripping. 
  7. Wash hair dye out. First, rinse out with water carefully. Then wash your hair with shampoo. You may need to do this a couple times until the color stops running through the water. Then, condition, blow-dry, and style!

How to Go Grey From Colored Hair

The process of going grey from dark brown hair that is artificially colored is very similar to if you have natural brown locks. You will want to follow all the steps above.

The only difference is that you will probably have to go through the bleaching process an extra time. This is because it is more difficult to strip out the color when it is already dyed a dark shade of brown, rather than the dark brown being the natural base color.

It is important to condition hair before bleaching and wait a day or two before bleaching again. You will still be able to achieve a nice grey color!

How to Dye Hair Grey From Dark Brown Without Bleach


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Now, for those of you who don’t live in areas of constant sunshine and nice weather, another option for getting those nice grey locks without using bleach would be to use temporary dyes.

Some options would be to use a grey colored spray. This type of product will wash out as soon as you shower but could be a good option for those of you that want to maintain your soft, healthy hair but still change up the color.

Best Washable Gray Hair Spray: High beams Intense Temporary Spray on Hair Color, Silver

You can choose any brand that supplies a temporary colored hair spray in a grey color. Although, if you want something a little more permanent, that won’t wash out as soon as you shower, try a temporary hair dye.

These don’t require bleach because the dye will go right over your base color and just won’t last as long as bleaching and permanent dye. Follow all the steps above, skipping the bleaching step. 

Maintaining Hair After Dying Grey

Color Protectant Shampoo/Conditioner

One of the best ways to maintain those gorgeous grey locks after dying your hair is to find a color-friendly shampoo. Purple shampoos are a great option. They will keep that light color locked in and maintained and also help prevent fading. 

Avoid Heat Styling if Possible

Keep your hair moisturized and use heat styling tools as little as possible. This will help to keep the grey color intact and fade at a much slower rate. 

Hair Masks/Shine Products

There are also some great color protectant hair masks out there. This is also a good option, combined with your color protectant hair shampoo and conditioner to prevent fading and loss of color.

You can also use additional products that are specific to help with shine and smoothness, which can be found in the form of sprays, leave-in conditioners, masks, etc. 


As you can see, there are many options for achieving that beautiful grey color if you have natural dark brown locks. You can use the traditional method, which involves stripping out the dark color using bleach, then applying toner and the grey hair color.

Or, you can lighten your hair using lemon juice or temporary dyes and colored grey sprays. Don’t forget to prep your hair using moisturizing masks and stock up on all the best products to maintain your new gorgeous locks.

My favorites are purple shampoo, a good shine spray, and strengthening/moisturizing hair masks. You’ll have that flawless grey-haired, radiant look in no time!

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