As we get a little “longer in the tooth,” many of us have decided to embrace our gray. Others of us are putting up the valiant fight with monthly color and coverage. Ironically, the younger generation has really embraced their gray, or lack thereof, by furthering the silver blond trend, a bluish-tinted platinum recently seen on a handful of fashion models. It’s a beautiful hue, but very labor-intensive with much maintenance involved.

Editor’s note: for all you picky grammar girls, “blond” is the adjective, “blonde” is for a woman. So, it’s “silver blond hair” but “she’s a blonde” for the correct spellings. We’re only bringing this up after much discussion in our offices and because other grammar nerds may appreciate this topic!

Silver Blonde for spring: Lady Gaga was silver blonde in 2010.

Lady Gaga sported this trend five years ago in “Vanity Fair.” Image credit: Nick Knight for “Vanity Fair”

Silver Blonde for Spring

A 20-something with gray hair … I mean silver blond | Image credit: veryjane

Silver Blonde for Spring

This model has silver blond hair. Image credit:


We followed Louisville model Kylie Rhew through the silver blond color process, with the guidance and mastery of stylist Nick Carter over at Joseph’s Salon and Spa. Kylie has been silver blond for some time, and Nick is the only stylist who can do the color to her satisfaction. When she lived in Chicago, Nick flew up there to rescue her color after a serious of bad dye jobs.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Nick takes a look at Kylie's hair status.

Nick takes a look at Kylie’s hair status.

Kylie came to Nick on this day with three weeks’ worth of growth. She’s naturally a dirty blond, or, in hair terms, she is a level 7 (10 is the lightest blond, 1 is black). The process of dyeing her roots and “lifting” the color takes a minimum of three hours. (For some people, it can take five!) It is definitely bleach, not color, that is placed on the hair, which is a serious and harsh process … not for those with sensitive scalps or damaged hair. Also, short hair is recommended, as long hair tends to break off and turn extremely brittle during the process.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Nick Carter mixes the dye like a chemistry project, including sweetener to make it less harsh on the scalp.

Nick Carter mixes the dye like it’s a chemistry project, including sweetener to make it less harsh on the scalp.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Three weeks worth of growth.

Three weeks’ worth of growth

Silver Blonde for Spring: Nick meticulously applies color to all roots on her scalp.

Nick meticulously applies color to all roots on her scalp.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Then he applies color to all her shorter shaved areas of her scalp.

Then he applies color to all of the shorter shaved areas of her scalp.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Off to wait for the color to lift.

The wait for the color to lift begins.


  • Maintenance is every three to four weeks. This blond color does NOT look good with roots.
  • The process takes three hours if you’re just doing the roots. The first time takes longer, up to five hours.
  • The color and density of your hair determines how long the color will take to lift. The darker and thicker the hair, the longer it will take.
  • Note that most people with this hair color have shorter hair. That’s because it’s too damaging for long hair.
  • Your hair will be bluish for the first 24 hours, or until you wash it. There is a blue/gray tint to the dye, in addition to the bleach that is concentrated the first day.


Special attention to makeup is required to make it pop with this color hair; there needs to be color somewhere on the face. Focus on the eyes or lips, but not both. Here, Joseph’s Salon makeup artist Meagan did a light smoky eye using rose gold and a pop of fuschia lip color. Note that a smoky eye is not always dark. “Smoky is a technique, not a color,” according to Meagan. It means that the makeup is blended naturally with no hard lines. It does not mean a dark, kohl-lined eye necessarily. With a brighter lipstick, it is recommended to have a more neutral soft eye.

Products used: Aveda Rare Bloom Collection Spring 2015

Lip color: Magenta Berry with Dragonfruit lip liner

Eye color: Rose gold and coriander

Silver Blonde for Spring: Megan applies foundation and contours Kylie's face.

Meagan applies foundation and contours Kylie’s face.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Aveda's Spring 2015 Rare Bloom collection.

Aveda’s Spring 2015 Rare Bloom collection. The magenta lip color is Magenta Berry and the red lip color is Fire Poppy.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Neutral rose gold palette on eyes.

A neutral rose gold palette was used on her eyes.


Here is the finished product. The tint is actually still a little blue, as is normal for the first 24 hours after application, but it barely shows in this picture.

Silver Blonde for Spring; Kylie in a frontal pose.

Silver Blonde for Spring; Side view, rocking the new haircut.

Check out the side view … rocking the new haircut.

Silver Blonde for Spring; This is how she normally wears her hair, either in a top knot or a ponytail.

This is how Kylie normally wears her hair, either in a topknot or a ponytail.

Silver Blonde for Spring: Back view of the topknot.

Back view of the topknot

Thank you to Nick Carter at Joseph’s Salon and Spa and Kylie Rhew for letting us follow them in this process. Thank you also to Meagan Townsend for the makeup. Joseph’s Salon and Spa is located at 3938 Dutchman’s Lane. Call (502) 897-5369 to learn more. 

Photos by Krista Walker