Caring for Gray Hair: These Pro Hair-care Tips for Gray Hair Will Make Your Gray Hair Look Gorgeous by Belinda Lichty Clarke
“Going gray,” whether fully or partially, is inevitable, usually between the ages of 35 and 44. As we age, our bodies stop producing melanin, which gives hair color, and when that slows down, hair changes to gray, silver or even white. And while it’s common for people to describe gray hair as having a vastly different texture than born-with hair, the fact is, structurally, it’s not actually different, it’s the same composition.
According to an article in Good Housekeeping, while gray hair feels coarse and rough, the structure of the strand hasn’t actually changed. What is different is how the hair feels. When the melanin train stops, the hair follicles also produce less sebum (oil) resulting in a dryer feel and texture.
Treat Your Gray Hair With Care
When it comes to going gray, there is some evidence to support that your diet may have an impact. Good Housekeeping cited a study that found that a deficiency in vitamins key for hair health, such as vitamin B, folic acid and biotin, is associated with earlier graying. So while maintaining a healthy diet won’t reverse the gray you have, it may slow the onset of more.
Sonsoles Gonzalez, founder and CEO of Better Not Younger, recommends using products that are specially formulated for dry hair. “The shampoos and styling gels that worked so well for you in the past could be far too drying for today's needs,” she says. “Look for products that can help replace the hydration and deep condition regularly."
To help tone down brassiness, Gonzalez recommends Better Not Younger’s Silver Lining Purple Butter Masque with different butters (cupuaçu, murumuru, mango, macadamia seed and avocado) to soften and tone. “Use our deep-conditioning treatment in place of your regular conditioner as needed, depending on your hair's condition,” she recommends. “Extra-dry locks may need it up to twice per week, but if your hair is only slightly dry, go with once every week or two.”
According to Eufora hair care co-founder Beth Bewley, the yellowish or brassy tint is caused by various environmental factors including sun exposure, hard water, chlorine, air pollution, some hair products and even medications.
To remove the yellow tint, Bewley recommends Eufora’s Color Revive Blonde Treatment for both deep moisturization and removing the yellow tint. Used once a week this highly concentrated treatment will remove yellow and brassy tones that can make gray hair look dull. "Color Revive Blonde Treatment is a unique approach to the typical blue shampoos and conditioners,” Bewley says. “It's a concentrated treatment that can be used alone for powerful color care – adding tone and vibrancy while also removing unwanted brassiness. For a softer, more subtle result, it can also be blended in equal parts with your favorite shampoo or conditioner.”
Using the right products can definitely help improve the look and condition of gray hair. If regular shampoo seems to suck the moisture out of your hair, switch to a cleansing conditioner to plump up dry strands. Look for ingredients such as coconut oil or argan oil for added oomph. Stylists also often recommend a cleansing milk in lieu of traditional shampoo, because of it’s lighter weight and hydrating properties.
“When your hair stops producing its melanocytes, gray hair can become more wiry making it harder for moisture to penetrate,” explains Dr. Isfahan Chambers Harris, founder of Alodia Hair Care. "This is why it's so important to consistently use a deep conditioning masque such as Alodia's Nourish & Hydrate Deep Conditioning Masque after shampooing, to nourish and moisturize the hair strands."
Harris adds, “I also recommend layering your products before styling, using a water-based cream moisturizer such as her Nourish & Moisturize Hair Cream and topping with a lightweight oil such as the Nourish & Grow Healthy Hair and Scalp Oil to seal in the moisture and also impart shine.”
Experts also recommend scaling back on heat styling and hot tool use which can lead to more dryness and breakage. Using a leave-in conditioner combined with air-drying is a good way to treat your hair with kid gloves. If you’re feeling extra luxurious, you might invest in a silk pillowcase, which provides a smoother plane for your hair to glide across as you sleep. The theory is less friction equals less breakage.
Try one of these fabulous products for gray hair!
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