I know we don’t all look like the lovely Andie McDowell, but I bet she puts a lot of work into keeping her gorgeous hair beautiful as well.
I let my hair go gray about seven years ago. It was freeing I have to tell you. You can read about my journey here. Even though we see so many beautiful heads of gray hair on Pinterest and other media outlets, there is still so little published about how to care for it. I am on a mission to change that and I hope you will help me.
You might think that once you give up coloring your hair you will save yourself a lot of money. Well that is not entirely true. Gray hair is more porous and in my case more unruly. It is important to use the right shampoo and conditioner and the right styling products. If you are “one of us” you have already noticed that even though gray hair is “on trend” right now, there is still very little information on how to maintain it.
I am learning all the time. I admit to being and “overresearcher”. If you want your hair to look it’s absolute best, spend some of the money you are saving on coloring for really good products. I have found many that work the best have mostly natural ingredients and are the most expensive. Rita Hazan Salon, hairstylist to many stars, says: “It costs more to use good ingredients, so the difference between luxury and mass market products will be the amount of ingredients within the formula,” Hazan said. “One percent Argan oil is cheaper than a high concentration, so spend a little more for maximum benefit.”
I have tried multiple shampoos, from reasonable to expensive. I have found that a silver enhancing product that deposits a slight violet tint to neutralize the yellow tones is a must. These new products are not the ones the lunch ladies used. Don’t worry your hair won’t turn purple. Phytargent Brightening Shampoo is still my favorite. It doesn’t lather up like most shampoos so you have to get used to that. You can buy it here
I am presently alternating it with Klorane Shampoo with Centaury for gray hair. This product does not have have any “blue highlights”, but has natural anti-yellowing agents. If you are worried about “too much blue” this is a good option. I personally do not have that issue because my hair loves to take on that dreaded brassy look. You can buy it here
I know many hairstylists recommend Aveda’s Blue Malva Shampoo. It is a good one as well. The advantage of this one is you can order it in a large size (a definite plus) . However, I am not a fan of the conditioner at all. You can buy the shampoo in the large size here
According to hairstylist and Redken artist Jorge Joao“ If your grey hair is turning yellow from the curling iron, silver-enhancing pigment won't erase patches of color.” It will just sit on top of the yellowing residue. "You're just putting a color on a color," he explains. "If you want to remove it, you need a clarifying shampoo."
I use the Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo. I am sure there are many others that work well and many that are pricier but this works great for me and is one of the more reasonable options in my regime. You can buy it here
For conditioners Davines Alchemic Conditioner is far and away the best I have tried. It is relatively expensive but you don’t need to use a lot. You can buy it here.
When it comes to styling products I have had several hairstylists recommend their favorites and I have tried them. For my hair the original Moroccan Oil is far and away the best for toning down the “unrulies”. A bottle lasts me about 9 months. You can buy it here
I have forgotten the exact science but I have found combining the moroccan oil with this (one of the cheapest but always rated the highest for good reason….it works) works best for me. Don’t waste your money on more expensive products. John Freida’s original Frizz Ease is the best. You may be able to get by with this alone if your hair is more manageable than mine. You can buy it here
This product is my new best friend. You can purchase it here. I am sure there are others that work well but I LOVE this stuff!
I purchased it and had my hairstylist apply it. I am not good with hair. It is applied to dry hair. She said to let it sit no longer than 15 minutes. My hair is pretty coarse and dry. I plan to have her reapply every six weeks when I get my hair cut. If you are a do it yourselfer you can apply it on your own.
1 Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo, 2 the original Moroccan Oil, 3 the original Frizz Ease by John Frieda, 4 Phytargent Whitening Shampoo, 5 Klorane Shampoo for Gray Hair, 6 Davines Alchemic Conditioner, 7 Madison Reed Crema Gloss
According to hairstylist and Redken artist Jorge Joao, the curling iron, excess chlorine and or chemicals in the water and your hairdryer can cause your hair to take on that dreaded “brassy” tint. It's also possible the iron is actually burning the hair. FYI my hair stylist concurs. A good iron is a must and you need to protect your hair with styling products with built-in heat protection. There are a number of them on the market. I do not use a curling iron so I will revert to my readers for advice on that. I do use a flat iron occasionally and my stylist always reminds me to cool it down with a wet towel before I use it on my hair.
I am thinking about trying this morrocan oil heat styling protection glossy finish because I love the original Moroccan Oil so much. Anything with the word gloss in it has me tempted. Gray hair can use all the shine it can get. Has anyone tried this one or have another one to recommend? You can buy this here
James Corbett Studio in New York City and color director for Clairol says “When the hair is healthy, the cuticle stays closed, which means less frizz and your color looks better because light reflects off your hair. Masks can help repair what styling and the environment takes out.” This step is lacking in my regime. I am on the lookout for a good one. The reviews on this Oribe Masque are amazing. Has anyone tried it? I plan to experiment with this and a few others (suggestions please!) before my next gray hair post. You can buy it here
Here are some links to articles that might help you out if you are looking for help to keep your gray hair at it’s best.
I would love to hear from you. What products work for you? Have you gone to the “gray side”? If so, are you happy you did?
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.