It happens to the best of us: gray hair. Next to wrinkles it’s the most obvious sign that we’ve aged. For some, it starts early. For others, it comes later. But one thing’s certain; we’ll all have some amount of gray hair during our lifetime.
The good news is that people have started to embrace and even cherish the gray hair look over the past few years. The days of going to great lengths and expense to cover up those silvery strands are disappearing. An increasing awareness of the health problems and environmental hazards related to toxic chemicals found in hair dye is partly the reason. But maybe society is finally getting over the stigma we attach to old age too. Well, that would be nice!
Either way, now that we’ve let our gray hair down, we need to know how best to take care of it. Because the loss of melanin, or pigment, isn’t the only issue. Gray hair also has a different texture, thanks to the slower production of sebum in the scalp. With less natural oil, gray hair tends to look wiry and wild. Learning how to tame it will help you wear your gray hair with confidence and pride.
So, what can you do to make your gray hair less unruly? Here are seven ways to take care of it that will help keep it looking smooth and healthy.
- Use natural products without harsh chemicals
We advocate for using products without harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and phthalates since that’s what we do here at Nurture My Body. But it goes double for dry, coarse gray hair. You’ll also want products with high-quality moisturizing ingredients like macadamia nut oil, aloe vera, and jojoba oil. Try our Moisturizing Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner for a softer, less frizzy gray ‘do.
- Try putting coconut oil on it
Coconut oil is nourishing and hydrating for gray hair. Some also believe it can help darken or even delay gray hair, though no scientific evidence supports this. If you have some coconut oil in the kitchen, try smoothing a small amount of it onto your strands and see for yourself!
- Cut down on heat styling
Heat is a known enemy to dry, brittle hair, so it’s crucial to use it sparingly on gray hair. If you can’t completely skip blow drying it, wait for your hair to air dry partly before using the dryer. And always keep the blow dryer moving instead of aiming at one spot for too long. The same is true for straighteners and irons. Skipping them, if possible, would be best.
- Use a silk pillowcase
Friction between your hair and pillowcase creates more frizz than you might realize. To reduce frizz, breakage, and the “bed head” look, consider sleeping on a silk pillowcase instead of a normal one. Look for one made from high-quality mulberry silk because it’s the softest and most durable. (Bonus: this will also help with wrinkles on your face!)
- Keep hair out of the sun
The sun can tarnish the color of your gray or white hair and give it a yellowish tint. Wearing a hat is best when you’re out and about in the sun. Coconut oil might also help prevent sun damage because it provides a small amount of protection (the equivalent of about 5-8 SPF).
- Shampoo less often
Over shampooing can dry out anyone’s hair, so it’s essential to avoid washing too much when your hair isn’t producing as much sebum as it used to. You might even try skipping the shampoo some days and using only conditioner to smooth it out.
- Use a water filter or a purple toner
Gray, white, or silver hair can turn yellowish for various reasons. For one, if your hair care products have a yellow tint, your hair can pick up the tone. Chlorine and minerals in your water can also cast an unwanted hue. To help prevent the yellowing, try adding a water filter to your shower head. You can also use products that contain violet color particles to help counteract the discoloration. If you choose this route, try to find one without sulfates or other harsh chemicals and use it sparingly.
Going gray can be quite an adventure. If you enjoy living a genuinely natural lifestyle, letting your natural gray color grow out is the healthiest way to deal with the transition. It might take some getting used to, but with the above tips, you can have beautiful gray hair others envy.