How to embrace your grey hair

Ready to embrace your silver lining?

Along with the multitude of changes our body goes through as we age, the transition to natural grey hair can sometimes feel the most nerve-wracking –leaving many of us struggling to embrace the inevitable silver strands. But going grey can be empowering and needn’t mean leaving your old self behind. Getting older is an amazing privilege, so take care of your body, take care of your hair and let your true colours shine.

What’s up with the texture?

While grey hair may feel courser than its predecessor, it’s actually finer; it’s the lack of melanin and the reduction of sebum that comes along with ageing that causes it to feel dry, course, wiry and sometimes even brittle.

This can cause hair to appear dull and somewhat lifeless at times, however, caring for grey hair with the right products will help.

As your oil glands generate less sebum – which helps to moisturise both the skin and hair – it’s important to keep drier follicles nourished with richer shampoos, masks, conditioners and leave-ins that bring back the moisture you might’ve lost over time. It might take a little extra work, but the smooth, shiny, extra-luscious silver-grey hair is worth it.

Find the right cut

Whether you choose a long or short style, keep hair healthy and frequently trimmed. Naturally white hair can ooze sophistication when worn well and just because you stop colouring your hair doesn’t mean your cut should take a back seat. Work with your stylist to find a shape that flatters your hair texture and features, and consider long layers to encourage movement.

Remove build-up with a clarifying shampoo

To keep grey hair healthy, use a gentle clarifying shampoo on a weekly basis, and avoid sulphates which are especially drying for grey and curly hair. This will also remove any build-up from the use of dry shampoo or styling products, which can dull grey hair if not properly removed. Don’t have a clarifying shampoo lying around? Simply mix a tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of white vinegar and work it into your hair. Rub it in well all along the hair strands and then rinse thoroughly.

TRY: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo, $62, removes excess scalp build-up caused by pollution, products and hard water.

Cleanse with care

When you aren’t using a clarifying formula, your daily shampoo should enhance the look and feel of your mane. The absence of pigment in grey hair can cause locks to turn yellow due to sun exposure, metals and minerals in our water, heat styling and the like, so investing in purple shampoos to prevent brassiness is key.

TRY: Using salon-grade ingredients, Essano Purple Shampoo, $15.99, and the brand’s Purple Conditioner, $15.99, work together to balance and tone, keeping grey and blonde hair vibrant and shiny.

Prioritise moisturising treatments

Grey hair needs more moisture than non-silver strands to stay looking its best. Aside from the conditioners corresponding to your chosen shampoo, a hydrating mask or balm can be a great addition.

TRY: Joico Blonde Life Brightening Masque, $43, is a quick-rinse, multi-tasking formula that instantly hydrates, softens and neutralises trace minerals that can lead to yellowing, while Garnier Fructis Repairing Papaya Hair Food Mask, $14, reduces breakage by an amazing 99 percent. Goldwell Dualsesnses 60 Sec Treatment, $33.50, regenerates hair instantly and neutralises unwanted yellow tones. The treatment also instantly refines cool effects, while protecting against pollutants and UV light.

Look in moisture

As a final step, a drop of hair oil can remedy dry, brittle strands by locking in moisture.

TRY: Arkive Good Habit Hybrid Oil, $28, is a mix of oil and serum, that boosts shine and health.

Keep up the sun protection

Although many think it looks that way, grey is not white, but transparent like glass because it has lost its melanin, a natural protectant against ultraviolet radiation. This makes it more sensitive to the sun’s rays, which results in the oxidation of hair proteins and hair looking yellow and tarnished. Keep your hat on whenever you’re out in the sun to protect your grey, and if you hair is long, try and tuck it up as much as possible.

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