Here’s how to embrace your silver locks and keep them as healthy and stunning as ever.
Is Gray For You?
Pewter-toned hair can be just as dazzling as cascading auburn locks, but it might not work for everyone. Here are three things to consider if you’re thinking about going gray.
Is your hair thinning?
Is your hair thinning? If so, a super-light color like gray can amplify the sparse look. In this case, you may want to opt for a dark, rich dye.
Is your hair frizzy?
Since your gray hair is dryer, frizz is intensified, and flyaway strands are more obvious with light colored hair.
Is your skin tone olive or yellow?
Gray is on the cooler side of the spectrum, so it sometimes classes with, instead of complements, warmer shades of skin.
If your hair starts to show a blue or purple shine, use a clarifying and/or moisturizing formula shampoo every other wash. You can also mix half moisturizing shampoo with your blue shampoo.
Tips to Maintain Your Gray Hair
Choose the right shampoo.
Most experts recommend occasional use of a “blue shampoo” for gray hair, which is known to allow sterling strands to maintain their silvery sheen. Blue or purple shampoo guards against the yellowing that often occurs in gray hair when it’s exposed to environmental pollutants and the sun’s UV light. It’s important to rinse the shampoo out fairly quickly when you first start using it – otherwise you may be stuck with blue-tinted hair for a day or two.
Consider sunscreen - for your hair.
Gray hair lacks melanin – a natural sunscreen in most hair colors other than blonde. Products like a sun shield conditioning spray can prevent hair damage from UV rays, keeping your gray shade in perfect condition.
Filter your showerhead.
Just as the sun can yellow gray hair, minerals, chlorine, and hard water can also make the hue discolored. Purchase a showerhead that filters out chlorine and heavy metals to ensure glittery grays.
Gray hair simply isn’t as soft as your pigmented hair once was. Restore a silky texture by conditioning on days you don’t shampoo and massaging a good hair oil into your hair when it’s damp, avoiding the roots. Choose a conditioner formulated specifically for gray hair that will neutralize the discolored tone it’s prone to. Also use a deep conditioning treatment at home each week.
Gloss it up.
Gray hair can dazzle, and it doesn’t have to be dyed to do so. A gloss treatment helps to repair and deep condition hair and can either provide a tint, or play up your natural shade. For those with gray hair, a gloss will emphasize the different varying tones in your locks, giving your strands dimension instead of a solid opaque color.
Think twice about products.
Since gray hair is more prone to dryness, you’ll want to wash and style your hair less often than when it was pigmented. Another reason to style only a few times per week? If you use styling products with a hue, the tinted gel or oil can tarnish your gray locks. For those who style their hair multiple times per week, look for products that are colorless.