30 Ways to Wear the Silver Balayage Hair Color Trend

woman with silver balayage hair



While it may sound slightly intimidating, silver balayage is actually a standard hue and technique subtly used in blonde hairstyles all the time to add extra dimension and light. (So subtle, in fact, that you probably never even noticed). It can be bold or daring, too—more on those examples later.

Most importantly, silver balayage works on all hair types—the balayage color technique, in fact, has always been popular for curly, coily, sleek hair and beyond, because the dark-to-light effect is easy to wear and maintain.

"Balayage is a technique, not a color," notes expert master colorist Lauren Paglionico. "To achieve silver, it’s best to highlight the hair using foils. Another way to achieve silver is with a double process application. This is when the bleach is applied directly to your scalp."

Meet the Expert

  • Gina Rivera is a celebrity hair artist and founder of Phenix Salon Suites
  • Lauren Paglionico is a master colorist and founder of Lrn Beauty.

Below, find 30 silver balayage hairstyles that are as good as gold.

Silver Balayage Hair

CHOOSING A SHADE: To get the ashy-silver look, a dark-hair base is perfect, so you might have to dye your hair darker to start. For an icier final product, light hair is preferred here, which might involve bleaching beforehand.

MAINTENANCE LEVEL: Silver hair can fade fast, so monthly touch-ups (or, alternatively, every six weeks) are usually ideal. And it's always a good idea to use color-safe shampoo and conditioner.

GOES GREAT WITH: Light-pink lipstick and flushed cheeks


PRICE: Depending on where you get this done, you can expect to pay around $150–$300 for balayage, and potentially more if bleaching or dyeing beforehand is necessary.

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Natural brunette? Keep your traditional brown for your roots, while "smoking out" your cascading ends (in traditional balayage fashion) for a super-cool, silvery masterpiece.

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Steel the Deal

If you're set on a hue that might be difficult to achieve—in this case, the client had been dyeing her locks black for years—hair extensions can be your very best friend. Here, the silvery-steel-colored wefts blend in perfectly.

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Ice, Ice, Baby

Make a statement with striking allover silver—and a balayage that gets icier and lighter towards your ends. Silver tones work best on hair that is natural with no existing hair color, Paglionico notes.

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Blended Brown

You don't have to dive right into something daring. Keep things subtle, like with this mushroom brown blended with silver balayage.

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Stormy Blonde

Ready for an update that won't affect your hair care routine too drastically? Take your usual blonde to the next level with simple silvery highlights combined with multifaceted lowlights.

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Cool All Over

Keep things cool all over. This style combines a warm base color with icy silver babylights throughout for a look that's balanced, bold, and unexpected.

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Silver Babylights

A blonde hue combined with silver babylights makes for a multifaceted, not-quite-platinum color we just can't put our finger on. And we're obsessed.

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Tousled Layers

Planning to make the chop? We have a soft spot for tousled, layered short styles to begin with—especially when there's silver involved. This look is all the inspiration we need to ask for a balayage bob next time we're at the salon.

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Afro Dreams

This silver afro is what natural hair dreams are made of. If you look closely, a reverse ombré technique appears to be at work.

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Mixed Blend

A mixed blend of natural-looking highlights and subtle silver ones creates a multifaceted, flattering color on just about anyone.

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Blue Steel

If you want to go all out—go big or go home, as they say—may we suggest a silvery ombré situation with different hints of blue on the mid-shaft? The striking color of the roots complements the icy vibes perfectly, too.

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Icy Blonde

Ashy blonde combined with hints of icy silver creates a striking effect on these voluminous curls.

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Dark to Light

Turn all the heads with a contrasting silver ombré—the dark-to-light effect is striking and gorgeous. (Especially with those tousled, touchable layers.)

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Blonde Beauty

Take a platinum—or otherwise blonde—'do up a notch with silver balayage ends, and dark, smudged roots for extra contrast and edge. According to Rivera, this process works best on a person with light blonde hair because they do not have to undergo an extensive pre-lightening process. "Every shade other than a light blonde must be pre-lightened," she says.

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Subtle Strands

A barely noticeable balayage with faint silver strands is a subtle, effortless way to switch things up. Get ready for lots of, "Something's different about your hair, but I can't quite place it."

Silver looks best with neutral and cool undertones or fair and olive skin tones. "The contrast of silver with your skin will make your eyes pop no matter what color they are!" says Paglionico.

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Ashy Brown

Meet a silver balayage that you can't even tell is silver. This ashy brown only has hints of silver ends—which makes for a wearable, practical, final result that still feels fresh.

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Silver Blonde

This soft 'do was done in just one sitting—on hair that had never been dyed before—and the combination of silver-blonde balayage and face-framing layers is giving us major hair envy.

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Short & Sweet

Keep things short and sweet with a soft long bob with chic, silver-hued layers.

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Blunt Ends

The only thing more striking than this color is the ultra-blunt ends. (How satisfying is this?) Proof that a super-blunt cut will make a cool shade shine even more.

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Subtle Silver Curls

Lighten an ashy blonde mix up with just a subtle hint of silver for a soft final look with tons of depth.

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Extra Smoky Bob

Rather than jarring, this deep yet soft, smoky shade is totally practical—and it's the perfect example of an ashy silver balayage coming to life in a wearable way.

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Dark Ash

Give a dark, natural brunette some extra depth with a subtle hint of silver balayage on the ends.

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Ashy Ombré

With almost three colors at work here (dark brown, ashy brown, and silvery ends), this wavy, effortless silver-balayage situation is definitely compelling us to make the cut.

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Melted Metallics

Of course, silver isn't the only metallic shade you can wear on your hair. "You can combine silver with any pastel color. It also looks stunning with champagne or pearl blonde tones," says Paglionico.

This melted look combines shades of quartz and amethyst, too, for an eye-catching, gemstone-inspired final product.

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Cool Curls

Feeling a little intimidated? It's okay to ease into it. Rather than painting every strand silver, go for the strategically placed highlight route instead, and get an equally edgy look (with less commitment), like this gorgeous curly style.

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Gorgeous Blend

Natural brunettes, this trend was made for you. A silver balayage blended perfectly into your natural hues will make for a low-maintenance look you'll be happy to occasionally touch up (or just let grow out).

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Pastel Smoke

You probably know about our lavender and pastel-hued hair obsession by now, and this is no different. Long beachy waves with a plethora of pastel hues combined with hints of silver highlights is giving us major unicorn-hair vibes.

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Face-Framing Highlights

Make your new metallic hue pop with face-framing highlights that cascade into a silvery-brunette hue on your shafts and ends. The contrast between the natural roots and the front highlights just makes 'em stand out even more.

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Natural Roots

Smudged roots, blonde shafts, and silvery ends? Sign us up any day of the week. The perfect beach waves are just the cherry on top (which you can replicate with our best tips here).

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Blonde Mix

The perfect way to take a dyed blonde 'do up a notch? Say "hello" to subtle hints of silver. Rivera cautions clients to seek out a colorist with the required knowledge of chemicals, as well as the appropriate technique required to achieve a gorgeous balayage.

"Your stylist can ensure that any pre-lightening that is required is achieved correctly utilizing the appropriate formulas and processing times that will minimize damage to the hair," she says. "A professional also will have the skill set to formulate the perfect shade of silver that you are seeking. This is especially important if you want to create special tones like gray."

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