There are plenty of physical attributes that would be nice to hold on to forever (hello, wrinkle-free skin!), but a head free of grey hair might not be one of them. These days, silver hair veers more edgy than, well, old. “I’m seeing a lot of younger clients wanting to artificially color their hair grey and silver,” confirms Rebekah Nash of Cutler Salon in NYC. But there are benefits to being naturally grey: Stripping color from younger, naturally pigmented hair can be tricky (it often requires bleach or multiple rounds of color-lifting dye). Enhancing already-grey hair is not so tough. Read on for pro tips on making your silver shine.
It’s not just blondes who turn brassy. “Natural grey hair can lose its luster and often turns a slightly yellow hue,” explains Nash. To counteract potential discoloration, she advises using silver or violet toned shampoos.
Her pick: the new Redken® Color Extend GraydiantTM Shampoo ($20). “It’s specifically formulated to brighten and nourish grey hair,” she says. According to Elika Mosca, Director of Education Development at Redken, the formula contains wheat protein and amino acids, which maintain elasticity and strengthen silver hair, respectively. For optimal results, she recommends using the shampoo two times per week.
Another silver-specific shampoo, the Oribe Silverati® Shampoo ($46), is a favorite of NYC-based colorist at Butterfly Studio® Salon, Raluka Dobos: “It’s made for those of us rocking our natural grey!” she enthuses.
Keep it sleek
You’re not imagining it: the texture of your strands does, in fact, change with age. “Your hair becomes coarser as the grays come in,” Dobos confirms. According to Nash, you can blame the rougher texture on a drier scalp— a scalp that produces less oil than it once did. “The same hormones that cause us to lose the natural pigments of our hair color are the same hormones that change the oil we produce to nourish the new hair growth,” she adds.
To keep your hair feeling as soft as they were pre-grey, Dobos recommends weekly conditioning treatments and leave-in deep conditioners (try Living Proof® Restore Mask Treatment, $24, which contains nourishing Tucuma Seed Butter).
Toggle the tone
It’s OK if you’re still on the fence about transitioning to a full-on grey mane. In fact, the experts advocate for taking it slow. One of the many beauties of going grey is that you can make the look as prominent or subtle as you’d like, Dobos explains.
If you’ve just started noticing your first few greys and/or you’re not quite ready to flaunt them full-force, Dobos suggests lowlights, which can help blend the gray with your natural hue. (Read more about concealing stray grey hairs here). Your colorist can create a chic “salt and pepper” look with lowlights or highlights of various intensities — depending on how much grey you want to peek through. Alternatively, Nash suggests asking your colorist for a gloss (such as the Redken Shades EQ® formula) — a semi-permanent treatment which can mute silver strands without nixing them all together. “The grey is still there — just toned down slightly,” she notes. It’s nice to know that there are options beyond root touch-ups every few weeks!
Allergan may receive commission for purchases made through links in this article.