Grey is not a hair pigment in itself. The combination of naturally pigmented and white non-pigmented hair looks like a grey colour. But as more hair pigment reduces, the appearance turns grey to completely white. Grey hair is often finer and drier than naturally pigmented hair and requires more care for shine and health. By making some simple changes in our hair care routine, we can get that perfect silver mane.
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1. CHOOSE NON-PIGMENTED HAIR PRODUCTS
If you see your natural silver hair turning yellow, brassy tinted and are unable to guess the reason, check the product’s colour, as some of the hair care products have a yellow or golden tint in them, giving your hair brassy or blond-like results. It can be your shampoo, leave-in-conditioner, hair spray, etc…
2. PROTECTION FROM DUST
As grey hair is more vulnerable to dirt, shampooing and conditioning daily are suggested. Using products that are SLS, paraben and silicones free can ensure healthy silvers as these ingredients coat the hair shaft resulting in sealing out moisture and clogging follicles, further damaging hair. Using natural hair care products is highly recommended.
3. USING CLARIFYING SHAMPOO
The unwanted build-up on the hair must be removed from time to time to keep the silver hair healthy and glossy. The most common reasons for hair build-up are pollution, use of products containing silicon, use of styling products often, hard water etc. An excellent clarifying shampoo can be used twice a month to eliminate the product build-up on hair.
4. HEAT STYLING
Using hot tools can definitely cut your styling time in half, but they can degrade your hair’s condition if used too often or incorrectly. They can deplete the hair’s natural moisture content, making it less elastic, resulting in hair breakage. To avoid frying your mane use good quality heating tools with temperature controls and a heat-protectant styling product before blow-drying and heat styling.
Read How to Heat Style Gray Hair to know more.
5. UV PROTECTION
Grey hair can easily be tinted by external factors like sunlight, fluorescent lights and even UV light as it lacks melanin, a pigment that protects hair and skin from the sun. So it’s very important to use UV protectants on the hair daily. You can also use hats or swim caps to save it from damage.
6. ADD VOLUME TO GREY HAIR
As grey hair is more delicate and drier, switching to a grey hair-friendly volumizing shampoo and conditioner can add some volume and bounce to your hair but if you have fine hair stay away from shea butter and argan oil because the weight is too heavy.
Grey hair is prone to tangle and break. Be kinder to your hair while styling. When detangling, start with the ends of your hair using a wide-toothed comb, then slowly, carefully work up to your roots. Tugging your hair with a round brush while blow-drying or yanking a flat iron through frizzy strands can be tough on your silvers.
8. DEALING WITH DISCOLOURATION
Grey hair is prone to discolouration due to product build-up, swimming, heat styling or even by itself. Purple shampoos and conditioners are formulated with purple pigment that neutralizes yellow tones on hair.
9. HAIR MASKS
Once a week, applying a deep treatment maximizes the strengthening of silvers. Pre-shampoo treatments, masks and oils contain hydrating ingredients that replenish any moisture lost caused by heat styling. Pre-shampoo products are applied to dry/wet hair depending on the particular product’s instructions half an hour before washing.
10. HAIR OIL MASSAGE
I prefer hair and scalp oil massage half an hour before hair wash once a week. It helps in removing flakes from the scalp and strengthens the roots, boosting hair growth.
11. USING SILK PILLOWS
A cotton or flannel pillowcase can cause more damage to grey hair, as our hair changes consistency with ageing. It loses elasticity and is more prone to breakage. Cotton pillowcases also extract natural oils from your hair. Both polyester satin silk pillowcases and natural silk pillowcases benefit your skin and hair through reduced friction.
12. USING MICROFIBER TOWEL
The friction caused while using cotton towels will damage your grey hair causing more breakage and frizz; instead, use a microfiber towel. It promotes moisture retention, prevents dry, brittle hair, and dries the hair quickly. When towel drying, never rub your hair but gently squeeze.
13. ALCOHOL-FREE PRODUCTS
Avoid using hair products with alcohol as gray hair already struggles with moisture, and adding alcohol to your hair will only dry out even more. Apply an alcohol-free hair shine serum as it smooths hair and even treats common hair problems.
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Just like naturally pigmented hair, grey hair differs in texture, type and pattern and requires hair care products accordingly. If you have difficulty finding your unique needs, consult your stylist to identify your hair type and what products to use. Picking up a perfect hair care product suiting your hair type can be overwhelming initially but worth it!
If you know someone who is thinking of or is on a going grey journey, please share this post and spread awareness!