How to Keep Gray Hair Healthy and Soft

When your first gray strands appear, you basically have two choices: You can either accept and embrace your natural looks, or you can cover your gray and commit to regular coloring sessions.

Possible reasons for choosing to dye gray hair:

1. You may feel that you look less attractive and your gray doesn’t look good with your skin tone.

2. Gray hair can make you look older than you feel. For many years, gray hair has been considered an unpleasant sign of aging, so many women decide to cover up gray because they want to regain a youthful look.

Gray haired woman in the park

Five reasons to love your gray hair:

  1. Women with gray hair look fashionable. Right now, silver hair hues are a hot trend among celebrities and young, fashionable individuals. More and more young women are visiting hair salons to request gray dye color services. This new, trendy fashion has inspired a growing number of elder women to quit coloring and wear their natural gray hair color confidently.
  2. With the right hairstyle and proper maintenance, your gray locks can look cool and appealing.
  3. Wearing your naturally gray hair can be a sign of self-confidence.
  4. You will reduce the number of harmful chemicals that you apply to the skin.
  5. You will save time and money by eliminating professional color services and stopping the endless gray root battle.

Why Does Your Hair Turn Gray?

Graying hair is generally caused by the normal aging process. On the other hand, premature graying can be caused by a variety of factors including hereditary predisposition, autoimmune disorders, vitamin deficiency (especially B12), smoking, and stress.

Graying occurs when the amount of melanin pigment that is generated by pigment-forming cells in hair follicles starts decreasing. For some people, graying begins around 25 years of age, while other people may discover their first gray hair in their 40s. Going gray is inevitable and, regardless of age, the process cannot be reversed.

5 Problems Associated with Graying Hair

1. Dryness: Going gray changes the texture of the hair. Gray hair is drier than pigmented hair because sebaceous oil glands become less active as you get older. Gray hair is also a rough texture and can be more prone to frizz and difficult to manage.

2. Commitment: Gray hair is less responsive to coloring than pigmented hair, so it may be a bit harder to get good coverage. For most women who make the choice to hide their gray, this means frequent visits to the salon for touch-ups, which can be time-consuming and costly.

3. Discoloration: The cuticle layer of gray hair is very porous. Gray hair attracts pigments from the environment more readily than pigmented hair and can easily turn brassy.

4. Stubborn texture and dull appearance: Unpigmented hair lacks shine due to its uneven texture and lack of natural oils.

5. Brittleness: Gray hair is weaker and less smooth than pigmented hair, resulting in an increased risk of breakage.

woman with gray hair wearing a hat

Proper Care for Your Gray Locks

You can’t stop the graying process, but you can do your best to keep your gray hair healthy, soft, and manageable. Getting a modern cut and using the right products makes it easier to go gray gracefully. 

To keep gray hair healthy, use a shampoo and conditioner designed to moisturize dry hair. Eliminate all sulfate-containing shampoos as they can lead to dryness.

How to Soften Coarse Gray Hair

Use Softening Shampoos

A quality softening shampoo with moisturizing ingredients can be the answer to concerns about the dryness and roughness of gray hair. Moisturizing and smoothing shampoos help make gray hair smooth, soft, and manageable.

Aveda Smooth Infusion Shampoo is a wonderful softener that restores moisture and leaves your hair feeling smooth and bouncy.

Redken Frizz Dismiss Shampoo is a gentle, sulfate & sodium chloride-free formula that moisturizes hair, combats frizziness, and provides smoothness and shine.

How to Keep Gray Hair Bright

Use Silver/Purple Shampoos

Unpigmented hair is prone to discoloration from the sun, chlorine, or hard water. The easiest way to keep gray hair bright is by using a violet-pigmented shampoo and conditioner. Purple toning products are designed to take the yellow (brassiness) out of gray, as well as blonde and white hair.

Purple toning shampoos deposit violet pigments onto the hair shaft to neutralize the unwanted brassiness that gray hair can develop. These purple pigments give gray hair a cooler look and add extra shine. You can start using a purple shampoo during the salt and pepper stage of your hair.

For best results, use a purple shampoo once or twice a week in place of your regular, sulfate-free shampoo. Always follow with a regular conditioner to keep your hair moisturized. Apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week to restore smoothness and shine.

Woman with gray hair reading a book in a park

Styling Gray Hair

To maintain the integrity of your strands, avoid excessive heat styling and any harsh chemical treatments such as perming and straightening.

Be careful using heavy styling products such as waxes, pomades, and oily serums as they can build up on your hair and make it look dull.

Gray hair tends to look dry and lifeless. To add shine and smoothness to your gray locks, apply a clear hair gloss or glaze occasionally.

To prevent damage and appearance of brassiness, stay out of direct sunlight, and use hair sunscreen when you are going out in the sun.

Styling gels for gray hair help prevent white strands from developing a yellowish tinge and give your locks extra body and manageability.

RUSK Deepshine PlatinumX Gel is formulated to provide hold and control to people with platinum, silver, gray or blonde hair. It contains violet pigments that help neutralize unwanted yellow and brassy tones while boosting brightness and shine.

Carefully selected styling mousse can provide softness and manageability and add volume to your gray locks.

Leave-in sprays for gray hair are formulated to add moisture, smoothness, and shine to blonde, silver, and gray hair.

Pure Blonde Violet Leave-In Toning Spray by Surface Hair nourishes the strands, enhances brightness, and adds shine to blonde and gray hair.

Ask your stylist to help you find a stylish haircut that flatters your face shape.

How to Transition to Gray Hair?

If you have been dying your hair, there will be a transitional period until your color grows out. During the first few weeks, covering your roots with a root touch-up spray or powder can fix the problem.

Let your colorist help you during the grow-out phase. The transition will be smooth if you’re a natural blonde. For darker shades, a colorist may suggest going lighter, as a first step in the transitional process in order to make the demarcation line between regrowth and dyed hair less noticeable.

Woman with gray hair in the garden
Medical Disclaimer

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1 thought on “How to Keep Gray Hair Healthy and Soft”

  1. Hair turning gray induces fear into many people because they consider it as a sign of aging, however, if dealt with properly, gray hair can work for your advantage. If you embrace the fact that your hair is turning gray rather than try to hide it, you can save your time, health, and money.

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