30 Gray & Silver Highlights on Brown Hair (Trending Light & Dark Ideas)

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What Are The Best Gray and Silver Highlights for Brown Hair?

Silver and gray hair has been trending for some time now and we think it’s here to stay. While it’s ironic that most gray-haired ladies religiously visit their hairstylist to hide them, the younger generation is eager to flaunt these hues! Some ladies are beginning to make peace with their melanin-free hair and are looking for clever and seamless ways to grow their natural strands out.

Whichever hair journey you are on, there are a plethora of options for showcasing some stunning gray and silver hues. We scoured the internet and found some great hairstyles for you, and when I say great, I mean GRAYt!

1. Silver Babylights in Curly Brown Hair

Natural curls are the perfect canvas for some subtle silver highlights. They flow beautifully and naturally amongst the curls and look like perfect silver linings. Against the dark brown pallet they create some dimension and add that pop of color.

2. Ash Brown Root Melt with Platinum Balayage

A root melt is a great way to seamlessly blend in lighter tones with a natural tone. This technique makes maintenance a breeze and the soft blend is so natural and gorgeous. A silver balayage pairs perfectly with an ashy brown hue for a flawless natural blend.

3. Silver Money Piece on Ash Brown Hair

Sometimes a statement piece is all you need to turn heads. A money piece is a solid lightened section of hair that frames the face. It is easy and cost-effective and saves you hours at the salon. A silver-toned money piece that stands out on dark ash brown hair is a stunning combo when opting for soft, matte hues.

4. Silver Waves on Ash Brown Hair

If there is one perfect way to flaunt the brilliance that is silver hair, flowing waves is definitely it. The hair is smooth to enhance shine and the movement that is created showcases the hues flawlessly. Darker roots that gently disperse amongst a canvas of icy silver tones are absolutely worth flaunting.

5. Smokey Balayage Ombre

A gorgeous smokey ombre, seamlessly blended with some fine balayage looks so chic against an ash brown base color. This coloring is great for fine hair to add some dimension and fullness, style with some soft waves to really showcase this fabulous coloring.

6. Smokey Reverse Ombre

Change it up and do things a little differently by having the lighter, smokey blondes gently blend into dark brown towards the ends. This is a perfect coloring technique if your hair is naturally lighter or you want to start surrendering to those natural gray strands that have started coming through.

7. 50 Shades of Gray

A combination of silver and gray tones is great for naturally grey hair. The hairline is usually lighter than the back, so adding some silver highlights around the darker areas and gray lowlights around the lighter areas creates an even blend of icy hues.

8. Bold Silver Streaks on Ash Brown Hair

Create a stunning polarity by adding defined silver streaks against dark tresses of cool brown. A modern version of more pepper than salt, this color technique will spice up your look instantly.

9. Cool and Warm Highlights

Cool and warm on the same palette can absolutely work. When you start adding silver highlights to an already dyed head of hair, it is most likely that the undertones from the old color will shine through. Choosing the right toners will for sure help, but the dominant undertones will eventually surface. So play around with a palette of ashy browns and light silver to get a tasteful blend.

10. Icy Balayage for Brunettes

Brighten up your brunette locks with an icy balayage. Blend it into a subtle ombre to really brighten up those ends, creating a well-blended contrast. If you don’t visit your salon regularly then you won’t need to be too concerned with root growth, just invest in a good quality silver shampoo to keep your locks cool and bright.

11. Icy Gray Money Piece

The money piece is trending and the icy silver tones are trending, so one way to stand out is to combine those two great trends and rock a silver-grey bold money piece like this one! ash on ash works best, so make sure the surrounding color complements the icy tones by opting for a dark but ash brown color.

12. Icy Silver Ombre with Dark Roots

Such a stunning combination and contrast of metallic tones. Rock a flawless silver ombre that blends from smokey dark roots for an alternative but very chic color palette. The addition of soft flowing waves makes this color seamless and so satisfying!

13. Silver Accent Pieces on Dark Hair

Enjoy minimal color that makes a statement, by coloring strategically placed foils in sections of the hair where they will pop. Silver against dark creates that extra bang making this hairstyle artistic and exciting. The haircut is important too in showing off those bursts of silver, by texturing and layering in the necessary areas.

14. Silver Hair with Dark Ash Root Smudge

This look is bold and is more of an ombre than a balayage or highlights. It fades out perfectly by adding a dark smokey root smudge to compliment the silver tones. It is low maintenance and a brilliant technique to ease and disguise regrowth on darker hair. Once the ends are at the desired level of lightness, then the upkeep only requires root touch-ups along with a toner.

15. Smokey Babylights

Babylights are a perfect example of less is more. They seamlessly blend and are almost blurred into this head of ashy dark brown hair for an overall smokey look. They are a perfect way to start the transition from dark to light if that is your goal.

16. Bold Blonde and Brown Slices

For a bold look and color that really stands out, opt for thick ribbons of silver and ash brown to complement each other. The natural hair left in between will blend in well without taking away from the contrasting effect but will also prevent it from appearing too stripy. A perfect balance of bold and subtle.

17. Cool Dark Brown with Blended Smokey Highlights

Subtle is the keyword here. These highlights are almost hidden to create a flawless blend. This is a great technique for someone who adores their dark tresses but just needs an extra, gentle lift. They pop with the movement of the hair and create some dimension amongst the smokey dark drown.

18. Face Framing Balayage

A simple and effective way to upgrade your dark tresses is to focus your highlights around the face. You won’t be at the salon for hours but you will leave feeling like a new person. These silver accent pieces are great to showcase your gorgeous long tresses without spending a fortune.

19. Fine Gray Highlights for Short Hair

A great way to blend natural grays into brown hair is to add some fine scattered blonde highlights and tone them to a smokey silver. The regrowth will blend effortlessly and doesn’t need to be retouched as often on shorter hair.

20. Highlights and Lowlights

Enjoy a multi-dimensional head of smokey locks by alternating between light and dark. The strands blend into each other creating a soft blend of color and overall has that smokey light brown look with a pop of brightness. Wear your hair in curls so the light can hit those bright notes to add some shine.

21. Light Ash Brown with Fine Silver Highlights

Lighter tones can give off a subtle warmth which can actually work well with silver highlights. The key is in the blend to avoid bold and stripy. The silver highlights neutralize the warmth in the base and the warmth adds a complementary contrast to the silver highlights.

22. Metallic Gray Blend

Lighten your way out of warm reflects by slowly adding highlights toned with a neutralizing gray toner. They grow out seamlessly and with a flawless blend on dark brunette hair makes it low maintenance. Soft waves adds shine and dimension to your locks, showcasing a pallet of metallic hues.

23. Muted Gray Babylights

Enjoy tones of metallic gray by toning a full head of babylights to 3 levels above your ashy dark base, this way your hair can seem one color but as your locks move and bounce around, the different hues are highlighted but the contrast is muted. This coloring is unique,  easy to maintain and refresh when needed.

24. Scattered Fine Highlights on Gray Hair

Natural gray hair can look muted and flat, and a lot of the time the tones of gray are uneven and contrasting. To blend and even out those hues, you can add numerous fine silver highlights, scattered evenly around the head, and this will make the process of embracing your gray locks tolerable and trendy.

25. Silver Balayage On Dark Brown Hair

These very subtle silver highlights blend and flow softly into shiny, dark tresses. They are very fine and scattered to have a sunkissed look that is easily maintained. Gentle waves show off the contrast beautifully and create extra dimension.

26. Silver Balayage on Warm Brunette Hair

If you are drawn to the ashy cool tones of gray and silver but prefer a bit of warmth in your hair, then that is absolutely doable! In fact, silver highlights contrasted by a warm light brown base can look stunning. Opt for a balayage that blends onto an ombre, bringing the icy brightness to the mid-lengths and ends, the warm tones will softly peak through and break up the solid cool hues.

27. Silver Highlights on Brown Hair

This coloring is another option for ladies wanting to hold on to the warmer tones. Keep the base warm with a medium brown natural shade and lots of finely weaved highlights through the rest of the hair. The highlights can be toned with an ash blonde on a level 8 to get the silver hue without the contrast.

28. Silver and Gray Tones on Long Sleek Hair

Sleek tresses and also showcase gray and silver tones beautifully. Subtle silver streaks cascading down a mane of cool, dark locks is simply stunning. Add some texturized layering on the ends to shatter the silver tones so they stand out against the dark base.

29. Subtle Icy Ombre for Short Hair

Short hair is in and it can really rock an ombre. When you can get the silver-tone down pat, it can be showcased beautifully on a choppy, wavy bob. Regular trims and toning is all that is needed to keep this style looking superlative.

30. Subtle Silver Balayage

Show off a silvery, platinum balayage with an impeccable ashy brown root melt on long hair. Tone it to the perfect shade of silver and style it with a flat iron for a sleek enjoy a glossy finish. The hues that shine through when the hair moves are simply stunning.

Final Thoughts

Gray and silver tones are no doubt a top choice for hair color. As stunning as they look, they are not always easy to achieve and there are some things to consider before visiting your hairstylist.

  • Naturally gray hair lacks moisture and the strands are a lot coarser, so take this into consideration when choosing to grow out your gray hair. A toner or semi-permanent hair color will help seal the cuticle, so your hair can shine and hold moisture.
  • In order to achieve a flawless gray or silver hue, the hair needs to be lifted to a very bright white and with preferably no warm undertones. Gray undertones are blue, so therefore, if you are toning a yellow base, you will end up with a hint of green.
  • Gray and silver color can only be created with a toner or direct dye, so remember if you are on a budget, that a toner is an extra service.
  • Maintain and protect your metallic locks with a silver shampoo. Alternate it with your regular shampoo to avoid depositing to much pigment.

Any well-trained stylist will know exactly what to do and will guide you along the way. Sometimes it may take more than one visit to the salon, but the silver lining is that it can be done!

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Author - Lauren Holland

Lauren always knew she needed to work in an industry that would nurture her creative and eccentric personality. She has run her own business for 7 years. After 2 years attending college, Lauren found herself an apprenticeship with one of the top salons in her province. This salon was popular for their more alternative and creative hairstyle ideas, taking part in many international competitions, photoshoots and shows where bright colors and Avant Garde styling were always the theme. She fine-tuned her skills throughout her 5 years there, achieving many awards including national finalist of the Goldwell Color Zoom competition. After qualifying, Lauren stayed on and grew in leaps and bounds in her art, training new apprentices and meeting some local fame and influencers. She got to experience various facets of the industry and built up a strong clientele. Lauren eventually found her way to owning her own salon and, in this time, she specialized in bridal and formal hair. Living in the Midlands meant she was in the hub of the wedding industry and was involved with collaborative shoots and bridal shows.