Can you bleach gray hair

February 11, 2020

Learn how to bleach your gray hair

Yes, you can indeed bleach gray hair. However, the results you will achieve from bleaching gray hair can be vastly different.

For one, natural gray hair can be of two types. You either have a gray that’s gray or you have white hair. For entirely gray hair, it has likely lost its yellow pigment, leaving behind blue and red. If you bleach it, what you will get is a warm golden brown. The intensity of it will depend on how much you bleach it. As for white hair, it means your hair has no pigment left. So, even if you bleach it, the hair color will stay white.

Which brings us to the question of why you want to bleach gray hair. Well, the clear objective must be to give it a color that doesn’t look like your now somewhat unruly growing gray roots. If that is your reason, we have some tips that can take away your worries.

Dye Your Hair With Semi Permanent Colors

If your gray locks are about 20 to 25 percent gray right now, you should try out semi or demi-permanent hair dye. Pick out the ones that are closest to your natural hair color, and this way, you can blend in your gray hair without causing damage to it.

What is the difference between semi and demi-permanent hair color, you might wonder? Well, both types of dye are free of ammonia. However, as for semi-permanent dye, it has a substantial percentage of hydrogen peroxide. It merely spreads the hair cuticles better, so a stronger color could be injected. It means your semi-permanent hair dye will last twice the time of your semi-permanent hair dye. Semi-permanent hair dye is usually shiny and rich in color, but it washes out with 12 shampoos at max.

If you want to stay dyeing gray hair, starting with non-permanent gray hair, a dye can be a good practice. If you use semi-permanent dye, your hair probably won’t look completely gray. However, it will change the tone a bit. It can also have this highlighting effect against the already dark grays.

You will see that when you have reached the end of your semi-permanent hair dye cycle, you will have a better idea about what to do for the ultimate hair color. 

What about Permanent Hair Dye?

Usually, demi-permanent hair dye is enough to take care of gray hair. However, the more time passes, the deeper your gray is going to get. At one point, a demi-permanent hair color might not be enough to cover it entirely.

You might want to switch to a permanent hair color then. By then, you would have already tried semi and demi-permanent hair colors, so you will know what suits you and looks good on your hair. Permanent hair color usually has ammonia. It is the one ingredient demi, and semi-permanent hair color lacks. The ammonia opens up the cuticle and seeps more in-depth into your hair, allowing the color to leave a more lasting impression.

Permanent gray hair dye can be better in the sense that it doesn’t require the same amount of attention as semi or demi does. You don’t have to worry about it fading quickly, and it takes a long time before you have to dye it again. You can touch up permanent hair dye once in a while, and you should be ready to go for a while.

Trying Out Highlights And LowLights

If you have long hair, you can add small bouts of highlights to the gray area. Adding a few highlights will break the gray up and make it look stylish.

Highlights also have the added advantage of making one’s hair look fuller than it is. Usually, one long, deep hair color can look dull, especially if it’s gray. If you make a good choice in highlights to match with the gray, it will appear as if your hair has more volume. It’s one color over the other, and it creates the illusion of lift.

You can also use silver shampoo, silver gloss, and toner to upkeep your hair if you have reached a point when you don’t have the time to dye your fading gray. Customers quite prefer Jhirmack Silver Brightening Ageless Purple Shampoo Set. For gloss, you can use John Frieda Luminous Glaze Clear Shine Gloss and Wella Blonder Permanent Liquid Toner for toner.

The Right Shampoo

In between all the dyeing, you should never forget about the shampoo. Every time you use hair dye, you deal with some amount of damage to your hair. If you do it the right way, the damage is minimum, but it’s still there. At least try to use the right shampoo so any damage done to your hair can be dealt with in time.

Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo is the obvious choice for anyone looking for a good shampoo for dyed hair. It’s made explicitly for gray hair and protects color-treated hair.

Best hair dyes to bleach gray hair

Here comes a review some of the hair dyes that will be good for your gray hair.

Joico Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color


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Joico Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color is one of the most sought after semi-permanent hair dyes in the market. It will wash off precisely after 12 shampoos. The color payoff is frankly incredible. It leaves an intense, vivid shade behind that’s simply the work of a professional formula. We have yet to see anyone who isn’t satisfied with Joico

  • Intense color
  • Fades nicely
  • Makes a beautiful silver color

Wella Color Charm Demi-Permanent Hair Color


For semi-permanent hair color, this is our absolute pick. It’s free of ammonia and lasts for a long time. It’s expected to last about 20 shampoos. After you’ve used it, you will notice not only brighter hair color, but also more refreshed one

  • Free of ammonia
  • Refreshes fading hair color
  • Lasts longer than semi-permanent hair dye

Il Salone Milano Professional Permanent Hair Color Kit


It’s an intense silver hair dye as it is a moisturizing gloss. It’s a full permanent hair kit that not only has a beautiful, natural gray silver hair depositing dye but also moisturizing oils that leave behind a shiny gloss once you use them. The lack of chemicals ensures no damage is dealt with your hair despite how strong permanent hair dye can be

  • Professional hair color cream made in Italy
  • Free of parabens, paraffin and ethyl alcohol
  • Gives you soft and shiny hair

The final words

If you use permanent hair dye, your gray roots will start showing in about four to six weeks. You will have to touch up during this period. If you use semi-permanent hair dye, you will wash off your dye in six weeks anyway. So, you can re-color your hair.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you're comfortable with the plan before you start. Once you start dyeing your hair, it can be hard to stop.