If your hair’s started going gray (or it’s already gotten there), you’re probably starting to feel like you’ve got an entirely different head of hair now! Gray hair is notoriously drier and more fragile than naturally pigmented hair, and your tried-and-true hair-care techniques might not work as well on it. But fear not! With the right care, your gray hair can look and feel shiny, healthy, and absolutely gorgeous.
10 Tips To Healthy, Gorgeous Gray Hair
1. Use purple shampoo and conditioner once a week
One of the best ways to keep your grays looking bright and beautiful is by using the right hair products! Gray hair has a tendency to develop brassy or yellow-ish undertones when left to its own devices (and treated with basic shampoos). Purple shampoos, however, actually combat this brassiness by depositing pigment with blue and purple tones directly onto your hair.
It is important not to overdo the purple shampoo though! Too much of a good thing will end up robbing your hair of its shine. Ideally, treating your hair to a once-weekly purple shampoo, followed by a hydrating conditioner, should do the trick.
2. Use shampoo and conditioner for your hair type
Simply going purple isn’t always enough. It’s important to make sure the shampoo and conditioner you are using are an appropriate match to your actual hair type. While yes, gray hair naturally tends to be drier than hair that still has its natural pigment, overall hair types can still vary quite a bit. If your hair is naturally dry, oily, or prone to dandruff, going gray is probably not going to change that, but can make these traits more noticeable. So make sure that whatever products you use are formulated for your hair type!
3. Get regular haircuts
Getting regular haircuts is key in keeping gray hair looking nice. Gray ends tend to get frizzy very easily, so keeping them trimmed is important! If you used to get your hair trimmed every 8 weeks or so, you may want to consider upping the frequency to every 6 weeks, to keep your hair looking fresh and neat every day.
4. Don’t over-process your hair
Over-processing hair can dry it out and damage it (whether it’s gone gray or not!). It’s okay to get your hair curled or blown-out for special occasions, but your hair will thank you if you give it a rest on those “regular” days in between. Regularly blow-drying, curling, or straightening your hair takes a toll on its overall health and appearance. Also, don’t overdo putting your hair up in ponytails or buns. Frequently tying your hair up in elastic can lead to breakage.
5. Use hair-protecting serums and sprays
Hair-protecting serums and sprays can give your gray hair a beautiful, healthy shine. And if you use heat to style your hair they are absolutely necessary to minimize damage to your strands – and to help you create a sleek style. An important note on serums and sprays: If your hair is naturally oily, only use these kinds of products on your ends. Adding anything with an oily consistency to an already-oily scalp will not end well!
Check out my recommended gray hair products here.
6. Maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and supplement with gelatin
The quality of your diet can actually make a big difference in how healthy your hair looks and feels. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of vegetables and healthy protein every day, and avoid processed food as much as possible. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water, too. Absolutely everything in your body runs better when you’re getting enough water.
Supplementing with gelatin can be a game-changer. Gelatin contains essential amino acids, and it’s great for your muscles, joints, digestive system, nails, skin, and, yes, your hair. Bone broth is a good food source of gelatin, or you can pick up supplements (collagen powder is a popular option) that can easily be mixed into hot beverages or smoothies. You can also prepare gelatin into your own gummies, jello, or even homemade marshmallows, to make your daily dose of gelatin as tasty as it is useful.
7. Keep your hair out of hot water
Exposure to hot water is not good for anyone’s hair because it’s incredibly drying and damaging. Since gray hair is naturally drier and more delicate, you’ll need to be extra mindful not to run the water too hot when you wash it. If you really want to indulge in that hot shower, put your hair in a shower cap while you do, so you don’t have to worry about frying it.
8. Avoid over-brushing
Hair does become more fragile and breaks much more easily as we get older. To prevent that excess breakage from happening to your hair, keep any brushing to the bare minimum required to keep tangles at bay and look presentable. Definitely skip the nightly 100 strokes Marcia Brady bragged about! Less is more when it comes to hair brushing!
9. Avoid rubbing and handle with care
Whether you’re washing and drying it, styling it, or sleeping on it, always handle your hair as gently as you can. Whenever possible, avoid rubbing or playing with your hair or itching or scratching at your scalp. And when you hop out of the shower or pool, gently blot your hair to dry it – don’t ever rub it dry!
If you tend to toss and turn a lot in your sleep, switching to a silk pillowcase can actually help you wake up to prettier hair. Cotton (which most standard pillowcases are made of) absorbs moisture and can actually contribute to your hair drying out. Plus, the friction of your hair rubbing against the cotton all night long can lead to frizzies and breakage.
10. Pamper your hair with deep moisturizing treatments
Give your hair a special treat every month or so and indulge in a deep moisturizing session. Deep moisturizing treatments can help to strengthen and guard your hair against breakage and damage. You’ll also walk away with hair that feels incredibly soft, and looks super shiny. There are great DIY moisturizers you can apply at home, or you can make an afternoon of pampering out of it, and have one done at your favorite salon.
Going gray is nothing to fear, and certainly doesn’t mean you can’t love your hair anymore! If you develop these excellent haircare habits, your hair will keep on looking gorgeous forever!
Now that your hair looks gorgeous, be sure to wear the right colours to compliment your grey hair: