Shades Of Grey – Creating Silver Tones With Black

Colour Formulas, Experiments

“Grey is the new black!” – Rihanna 

So earlier this month hair colour chameleon Rihanna showed off her new grey-toned ombre hair colour. This prompted a discussion over at Aveda extraordinaire, Lupe Voss’s Hair Colour Magic Group where Lupe recommended mixing varying amounts of 1N (Black) and 0N (Clear).

 Creating Grey with DiaRichesse

I decided to test the concept of diluting black colour down to grey tones, using DiaRichesse. I began by mixing one full tube of the Clear shade with the dedicated 6 volume developer. The clear shade provides the perfect base for this experiment since it doesn’t contain any oxidative dyes, so we know all the tone is coming from the Black shade.

diarichesse grey

I continued by adding in Black in 1 cm increments to the colour mixture. Just one centimetre took the colour to a silver shade, similar to a 9.01 result. Adding 2-4 cm increased the grey tone taking the colour to more of a 9.11 reflect. Every extra centimetre of colour made the result noticeably darker, eventually taking the colour to a level 7 – 8 grey tone.

All of the swatches were developed for 20 minutes.

I love the frosty tones that I achieved with this mixture, and I think it would be a great toner choice on pre-lightened hair however: 

I would DEFINITELY recommend strand testing before using any of these mixtures –  they are blue based greys and if the hair is sensitised the blue tone may appear become more apparent. I hope to continue this experiment on human hair swatches to get more accurate results.   

Creating grey with INOA

I also replicated the test on a smaller scale using INOA Black, mixed with Level 10 and the 20 volume dedicated developer. The results I achieved were very similar to the above, perhaps not quite as ‘icy’ as the Dia Richesse colours, but still a great colour result and they might be a good choice for adding silver to natural white hair.

inoa grey

So… what’s your favourite formula for creating grey hair?


One thought on “Shades Of Grey – Creating Silver Tones With Black

  1. I created an icy grey on pre-ombre (bleached) hai using:

    Wella Ultra Violet Toner with 20 vol developer for 10 minutes (on the entire head)
    Wella Praline with 20 vol developer for 15 minutes (on the entire head)

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