Hey, Fox Fam! We’re back with another color spotlight for you. This time, we will be giving you all of our best tips and tricks for achieving and maintaining silver hair using Sterling! Silvers and grays are notoriously tricky, but with some extra care this highly-coveted range of colors is definitely achievable.
Step 1. Lighten Your Hair
First off, let’s go over the basics! Sterling is our light, blue-based pastel gray shade. It goes on a soft silvery gray on platinum hair, and can have a blue, violet, or teal undertone depending on the base color you apply it to. Since it is a pastel, it does need the hair to be quite light to turn out best, so for the most clean and accurate results your hair should be at a solid platinum level first. We would generally recommend not diluting it, since the color is already quite light on its own and further diluting will make it more difficult to achieve. Even a level 9 can be too dark or too blonde-toned for Sterling to turn out right, and can cause a more visible difference in the undertone of the color.
Toner can be tricky too - it does deposit pigment in the hair strand, and since pastels like Sterling don’t have a lot of pigment in them to begin with, any color interaction that might occur will be very noticeable. If you’re able to get your hair to a sufficiently light level without the use of toner this will be your best option for the most accurate result with Sterling! Of course, we would always recommend that you consult with a professional cosmetologist if you’re feeling unsure about lightening your hair for personalized advice, or to have your hair professionally lightened to help ensure it stays healthy and safe!
Step 2. Decide Your Color Recipe
Is your hair blonde, but not quite platinum? If you’re closer to a level 8 (and don’t want to bleach further) , you can try for a darker charcoal shade instead! Try Sterling mixed with a few drops each of Transylvania and Sunset Orange for a darker gray tone: Sterling and Transylvania are both blue based, and since blue and orange are direct opposites, a small amount of orange added to your mix will help prevent the color from pulling too blue, and keep it in a more neutral gray range as you darken it.
If you’re in a level 9-10 range with a bit of a blonde tone still in your hair, you can get a slightly warmer gray mix that will be able to better cover a warmer blonde base. As you may know, any blue-based color has the possibility of fading in a more teal or green range on hair that has a blonde tone to it; after all, blue over yellow (blonde) makes green! To prevent a greenish fade, try warming up Sterling while still keeping it in a pastel range by mixing Sterling and Girl’s Night. Start with a half-and-half mix, and you can adjust the color from there to suit your taste!
Step 3. Maintenance
And as always, you can keep your color looking fresh by adding some Arctic Fox Hair Color to your conditioner! Frequent maintenance and color touch-up like this will help prevent the color from getting too into a blue range, and keep it vibrant for longer. Pastels do fade faster, since they have less pigment in them to begin with, so you will probably need to touch up the color more often than you would with more highly pigmented shades to keep the color looking fresh. With proper upkeep, though, this color can be easily maintained! Basics like washing your hair in cold water and paying attention to the ingredients in whatever hair care products you may use will always help preserve your color for as long as possible; if you need more tips, check out our blog post on how to get fade-free color!
Step 4. Customize It
Sterling has tons of uses just beyond going silver, though! You can mix just about any color with Sterling to create a smoky, muted version of the same tone. With a base of Sterling, a few drops of any other Arctic Fox color will give you a deep steely tone - try a little bit of Purple Rain for a smoky amethyst, or a dollop of Poseidon for a muted denim! You can experiment with tons of AF shades paired with Sterling to find the smoky tone you like best. Below: @courtneykay099 used 4 oz of Sterling and 8 oz of Ritual to get this gorgeous smoky burgundy!
Do you have any other tips for achieving silver hair? Drop them in the comments for other Fox Fam readers! And if you need any advice on how best to achieve and maintain silver hair, you can always send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help! Have a pic of you rocking Sterling? @arcticfoxhaircolor and tag it with #afsterling so we can see it! Stay colorful, fam!
Coley Baker is AF’s customer support guy, volunteer color tester, and resident Dungeon Master. His hair has been just about every Arctic Fox shade, so firsthand color knowledge is his specialty! He currently resides in north San Diego with his partner and dog, where they can usually be found being beach bums or rolling up new Dungeons and Dragons characters.