Your Guide to Gray Hair Products to Embrace Beautiful Silver Hair
More and more, Americans are choosing to let their natural gray hair show, and they’re finding an ever-expanding range of gray hair products designed to support the look. While coloring to cover gray has been a strong trend for decades, that trend has reversed itself over the last couple of years.
This is especially true among those who realize that beautiful hair is healthy hair, because it is easier to avoid harsh hair treatments and to use all natural products when you let your natural color shine through. Today’s scientifically formulated natural hair care products and their lab-tested synthetic competitors both understand the principles behind healthy hair better than the industry ever has before. That means you have choices for gray hair products that enhance the highlights and color textures that make your hair unique by encouraging stronger protein bonds, better moisture maintenance, and an all-around healthy approach.
Beautiful silver or gray hair starts with an understanding of its unique characteristics, so you know how to change your hair care routine to nurture the new look. The best part about going with your natural color? No more worrying about whether you are scheduled for your color touch-ups on time.
Hair that has lost some or all of its natural pigment tends to be drier than the other hair around it, which is why it often appears to have a different texture or even thickness. Many people notice individual gray hairs are wiry when they first pop up. Those who don’t still see a tendency toward more frizz and separation.
The key to healthy hair hasn’t changed just because the color has, though. That means you can get a more vibrant color from your hair while strengthening it and helping it blend into the rest with the right moisture management in your hair care routine. That’s the key to finding the best shampoo for gray hair.
It’s hard to predict exactly how hair will present after it changes color. Sometimes fine hair becomes thicker. Sometimes thick hair becomes finer.
It can come in with a different curl or wave pattern, or it can change color with very little impact on its texture. There’s just a lot of unpredictability when you’re transitioning to gray hair.
Even on the same person, individual strands can behave unpredictably, but nutrition and moisture are the key to encouraging hair development that evens textures out. A supportive product for daily styling can help with whatever texture blending you need in addition to that supplied by your hair treatments.
The texture changes that come with gray hair can bring new opportunities for some people. It’s tough to predict how your new hair’s characteristics will be shaped by the color change that comes with a lower melanin production, but often people with fine hair or hard to style textures find styling gray hair is easier, with results that last longer.
While hair can change its presentation to white, silver, or gray with age, the causes are the same regardless of how pronounced the color change. In some people, a transition to silver and then lightening to white is the natural, long-term progression as they age. For others, color changes tend to be more static.
Either way, they’re the result of biological changes that happen with age. Between the age of 34 and 44 most adults begin to produce less melanin in their skin and hair follicles. This leads to lighter and thinner skin, as well as to silvering hair.
Since different people experience these biological changes at different speeds, it’s hard to say exactly when gray hairs will start to pop up. One thing is for sure, though. Accelerating your hair regrowth cycle only accelerates your graying process.
Gray hair products that attempt to cover up color changes count on this, allowing you to spot treat color. If you have been using them for a long time, then you might need to take more care when transitioning to gray hair to maintain an even look.
Sometimes, premature graying does happen. These cases tend to start before the age of 20, and they are almost always due to an identifiable genetic tendency. Treating this kind of gray hair follows the same principles as hair that ages in during the expected time, though.
Some people believe stress can cause hair to whiten or gray faster. There is inconsistent evidence for this in the medical literature, but there is one method by which doctors are sure stress can accelerate your color change.
If your stress causes enough hormonal disruption to lead to hair loss and you are already beginning to gray, the hair that grows back will most likely be gray. As a result, it can seem like it is accelerating the change. In reality, shaving your head and growing new hair would have similar results.
Other links between stress and graying hair are still being investigated. For now, it’s an open question in the medical community. The important thing to remember is that the best shampoo for gray hair is the same regardless of the cause of the color change.
If you’re looking to intentionally transition to natural gray hair, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- It’s difficult to predict how much of your hair will regrow gray
- Color changes could be inconsistent, leading to new highlights and low lights in patterns you haven’t seen before
- You will need gray hair products from the first day to support your hair’s changing needs and make the most of the texture changes that appear
- Styling products will likely hold longer on gray hair, and may wear off inconsistently on hair with a lot of color diversity in some cases
- The best way to grow in a lot of new hair is a dramatic cut
If you have been treating your hair to color it, whether it’s to cover gray or not, the transition becomes a little tougher because you will want to avoid as much of the awkward phase between colors as possible. One way to do that is to treat the hair with a dye that silvers it, then let your natural colors grow in slowly as the dye wears off.
Another option is a dramatic cut. Going short and trendy gives you a chance to redefine your look, and with the right nutritional support you can grow it out into new styles while maintaining its strength and rebuilding its body, all while enjoying your new silver fox look.
Remember, the best shampoo for gray hair will be the product that provides additional nutrients and moisture, why balancing its hydration. Some salon products may even be available to encourage stronger bonds between molecules in your hair’s protein strands.
If you are slowly silvering and you want to accelerate the process, similar principles apply. The more hair you lose, the more you need to grow back, and some of it will be gray.
If you have ever colored your hair, you’re in luck because many of the chemical changes caused by regular coloring are similar to those that happen as hair grays. As a result, many of the best products to help with transitioning to gray hair are also products that support color treated hair.
This can be a huge benefit to those slowly transitioning to gray if they’ve been coloring hair, because often the same products can help, so your routine doesn’t need to change as much. Just as there are products designed to support your daily washing and styling routine, there are also long-term treatments that can help improve your hair health as you age.
Hair repair treatments and masques both provide long-term benefits. The key to selecting the right product is finding one with clinically evaluated ingredients that have a clear method of action explained.
Additionally, everyday hair treatments like shampoos formulated for dry hair or specifically for gray hair are essential. Let’s talk about some products you can use daily as well as some that can be used for regular treatments and repair operations.
One last recommendation for those who are transitioning to gray hair after a long period of color treatment and without a dramatic cut. You might want to invest in a color-balancing root concealer powder or spray to cover the awkward phase before you dramatically reveal the progress you’ve made in its stunning, balanced, and matured splendor.
From the right masque to the best shampoo for gray hair, it can be hard to pick the perfect products because they’re only branded as gray hair treatments part of the time. Often, they’re branded for a broader purpose, like intensive moisture support, nutritional balance, or bond maintenance.
The key to finding the products the right products when they are less clearly labeled is knowing your goals. It also helps if you know which active ingredients have clinical support and which ones are potentially dangerous to the health of your silver hair.
Here are a few recommendations to get you started as you explore gray hair products that work for your combination of texture, color, and hairstyle.
Paul Mitchell makes a rare oil intensive masque that is ideal for additional hair treatment above and beyond shampoo and conditioning. The formula uses marula oil to provide an intensive moisturizing treatment that also encourages stronger bonds by preventing the brittleness that comes with dry hair.
Regular treatments are ideal for maintaining an even hair texture across uneven coloring. Use it every couple weeks or as needed to make your shampoo and conditioner even more effective.
Keratase Resistant Cement Thermique is another must-have for your arsenal if you use any kind of heat treatment. Just as heat can further damage hair that’s been fried out by too many coloring processes, it can also make gray hair brittle.
In both cases, it’s because of the extra stress placed on dry hair by the heat, and this treatment is designed to help offset that stress. Use it for blow drying and other treatments that apply heat to the scalp to reduce the chances of brittleness or hair loss. It can also be used as a damaged hair treatment to help with recovery.
The Best Shampoo For Gray Hair
Generally speaking, keratin shampoos are going to be your best choice, especially formulas that avoid the ingredients that can damage gray hair. For more specific options, a lot depends on your hair care goals and other hair characteristics.
While the changes caused by gray hair are fairly common, your hair’s starting point dictates a lot of your individual needs after graying. There’s a lot of diversity in what works best for people as a result.
- Keratin Complex Bombshell Debrass is a great selection for those who need to control brass and shine, and it works as well on your red and blonde hair as it does your silver locks. That makes it useful while transitioning to gray hair if your hair is on the lighter side.
- Fanolo Zaffino Puro Keratin Shampoo is designed for vibrant color support for lighter hair, including natural and color treated blondes, silvers, and even white hair. Formulated to cleanse and support, it does not have any color altering ingredients that can lead to yellowing.
- Davines Alchemic Shampoo Silver is built specifically for gray hair support, providing the nourishment you need to make the most of natural silver tones. It also works with blonde colors, but the formula was built with a silver fox in mind.
Whether you’re double-checking your long-term conditioner or looking at new gray hair products, understanding what to avoid is a big part of keeping silver hair healthy. We’ve been comparing it to color treated hair because they share similar concerns about nutrition and moisture support, and they have similar no-go ingredients as well.
- Alcohols that dry the scalp and strip moisture from hair
- Harsh chemical treatments that take out moisture and weaken bonds, like bleaching
- Harsh color treatments that involve heat processes or caustic chemicals in general
- Sulfates and other irritants
- Oil reducing formulas and active ingredients
If you are coloring gray hair, look for color treatments that are designed to work with your specific hair needs. Not all coloring has harsh processes, especially if you are darkening lighter hair. Shopping carefully is the key to having vibrant hair after you go gray, whether you’re looking to keep the silver or not.