You don't have to mask aging hair.
Developing gray hair is a natural part of our aging evolution. With time, our once pigmented strands will begin to lose their color and transition to shades ranging from crisp white to moonlight gray.
There's nothing more luxurious than the privilege of aging, and we love that so many people are now choosing to embrace their natural grays in place of covering them up in an attempt to please outdated beauty standards. What's more, we love the trend of younger folks dyeing their hair to resemble those of their favorite silver foxes.
Regardless of whether you're sporting silver hair as a result of age or by choice, there are several ways you can make your grays pop. Below, find expert-backed tips on how to transition to your natural grays, how to make them appear shiny and healthy, and how to best care for them.
What's the best way to transition to natural gray hair?
Whether you've been covering up your silver hair by means of consistent visits to the salon or your noticing that your hair has started to pepper, we've got your back.
If you’re concerned about your gray roots showing or a hard line of demarcation, Jonathan Colombini, a L’Oréal Paris celebrity hairstylist and colorist, recommends going a half a shade lighter on your base with each salon visit. "Start to incorporate highlights, which can begin removing and lifting previous color out. We call this process 'blondeing out,'” he adds.
Another option is to move from all over color to low-lighting, which means only covering or darkening a percentage of the hair, and leaving the rest out to be gray naturally. "Over time, you do fewer and fewer color lowlights, decreasing the percentage of color treated over time and allowing gray to become more predominant," explains Shvonne Perkins, a master colorist at Madison Reed.
What are the best ways to make silver hair pop?
Now that your grays are out loud and proud, it's time to make them dazzle.
Use color-depositing products. In the same way that you would use a purple shampoo to neutralize brassiness in blonde hair, it can also make silver hair retain its crisp hue by neutralizing yellow tones. Colombini recommends the L’Oreal Paris EverPure Purple Shampoo and Conditioner to keep gray hairs popping. However, Perkins points out that it is possible to over-tone gray hair, so she suggests to do every other shampoo with a pigmented wash, and then every other with a moisture based line and alternate
Stimulate the scalp. Jay Small, a professional celebrity stylist, educator, and co-founder of Arey, says that combing and brushing the hair daily is key to keeping gray hair looking its best. " These techniques will help move natural oils from scalp to [the] ends while also polishing the cuticle, leading to more vibrant looking hair," he explains. "This stimulation is also great for encouraging blood circulation near the hair follicle, which is essential to healthy hair growth."
Apply a gloss. For an extra punch of shine, give your hair a glossing treatment. These can be done professionally at the salon, but there are many at-home options that do the trick, such as the Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss in Crema.
Add in some highlights. "Even just accent highlights help to keep the gray light and bright and really pop, adding brightness and dimension around the face," says Perkins.
Spritz on an SPF. We protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays, and we should do the same for our hair. "UV protection is important as oxidative stress from UV exposure can damage hair strands and cause an increase in free radicals in the scalp, stifling hair growth," explains Small. He recommends using Arey's Live-In Mist as it's lightweight and features raspberry seed oil, which provides hair and scalp with protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Keep hair healthy. The best way to keep hair looking healthy is by making sure that it is healthy. But more on that below...
What are the best ways to care for silver hair?
Apart from the obvious change in pigment, gray hair typically also becomes drier and coarser. As such, there are different ways to approach treatment.
Use a clarifying shampoo. Perkins recommends using this type of shampoo occasionally to remove build-up that affects the shade of your gray. "That just keeps the canvas clean," she explains.
Take supplements. Try an inside-out approach when taking care of silver hair. "Seeing gray hair as a message from the body, we have found that the use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and peptides are the best way to replenish the body with what it’s lacking," begins Small. "The Arey System includes a daily supplement 'Not Today, Grey,' and topical serum 'To The Root' that work to address the causes of grey hair. With the ability to slow grey hair growth and re-pigment, along with helping the most common characteristics of aging hair."
Wash hair every other day — or even less often. As hair becomes drier, Colombini suggests scaling back on how often you shampoo to allow the natural oils to coat and nourish your strands. "Over-cleansing silver hair can remove essential natural oils and cause it to look dull or dry," explains Small. At most, Colombini suggests keeping it to every other day. If you have textured hair, space out your wash days to once every one to two weeks.
Use moisturizing hair products. In line with everything that's been said about gray hair being dry, it's important to use haircare that replenishes the hair's moisture levels.
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