How to Make Grey Hair Soft, Shiny and Silver - the Natural Way
In this article we’ll be looking at how to care for your grey hair the natural way, making it soft, shiny and silver, whilst also being kind to the planet.
Once upon a time, when ageing was considered a Very Bad Thing, women sought to hide their greys with colour.
Over the years though, as we’ve begun to appreciate the beauty of getting older in a natural way (and certainly through the pandemic when we didn’t have the luxury of hair salons) many women have begun to embrace the process of greying.
In fact, #greyhair has over 2.7 million tags on Instagram, and the grey hair movement has over one million.
It is true though that grey hair (which is actually white hair with a little dark in it) leans towards dry, coarse, frizzy and less likely to shine. It also discolours easily.
Don’t let that put you off though. It can be a painstaking journey to get your grey hair into soft, shiny, silvery shape, but we’re here to share our guide to making it easier:
The Benefits of Going Grey Naturally
Firstly, going grey (once the tricky initial phase is over) is pretty low maintenance.
No more root growth, no more salon visits, and it speaks to a certain confidence.
It also tends to be very flattering on all skin tones and allows you to age your way.
That’s why women including Sarah Jessica Parker, Salma Hayek, Helen Mirren and Jamie Lee Curtis have all dialled back on the dye to let their silver tones shine.
Online, influencers like Debbie @stagesofgrey and Amanda @thesilversister showcase their grey journeys regularly to likes into the thousands. Grey is very much having a fashion moment. Julia Fox who is only 32 even dyed her brunette hair grey as a fashion statement at a recent event.
Going grey is now cool. Fact.
How to Avoid Grey Hair Looking Yellow
To get beautifully silver tones, you need to avoid natural discolouration which can make grey look muddy or yellow.
When your hair goes grey, what happens is it loses the melanin that causes it to have colour (which, by the way, is much more common if you use traditional box dyes which damage the pigment).
As the colours disappear and the hair goes white or grey, much like your white clothing when washed with blacks, it becomes easy to discolour and stain.
Common causes of yellowing include:
· Limescale deposits from hard water, which leave residue
· Extended sun exposure which leeches the blue colour molecules leaving only yellow
· Chemotherapy and other medications
· Pollutions like petrol residue and nicotine
· Product build up like mousses and sprays which collect dirt and grime
· Old dye staining
· Heat Damage
To avoid this, you need to follow the ‘natural grey guide’ outlined below and be very conscious of the choices you make for your hair on a day-to-day basis.
How to Make Your Grey Soft, Shiny and Silver
Choose a lavender based hydrating shampoo and conditioner
Evidence has shown how hydrating and balancing Lavender is for the hair, not to mention naturally colour neutralising and great for the scalp.
Using a lavender shampoo and conditioner is a great step in helping to soften and reduce the dryness and breakage of grey hair faces.
Clarify once a week
Once a week, we advise treating the hair with a clarifier. This will help reduce product build-up and product residue gently
From ayurvedic practices, comes Amla (or Indian Gooseberry). It comes as a powder which you can use to neutralise brassy tones.
It’s also wonderful for adding softness, shine, avoiding hair fall and increasing the hair's natural volume.
Choose a hair oil
A great hair oil tackles three of the bigger issues naturally grey hair faces. Firstly, it’s less elastic so it's prone to breaking. Using an oil like argan oil stops this in its tracks and strengthens the hair.
It adds a protective layer to the hair that prevents absorption of nasty pollutants.
Finally, white hair can’t reflect light the same way, so the oil adds back the shine you lose when you go grey.
Just make sure to only add it to the ends of your hair to avoid grease.
Never heat treat hair without a protective spray
Heat damages the hair pigments, so it’s vital you always use a pre-heat treatment to protect your shine and silvery hue
Consider Your Use of Hair Spray
Hairspray isn’t necessarily harmful, but it does leave residue. Apply upside down to avoid this effect and don’t overuse it.
Deep Condition Twice a Week
A deep conditioner with ingredients like Sea Buckthorn is a lovely way to soften and hydrate grey hair. It’s also great for the scalp which can be challenged as we age.
What you put in matters with what you get out:
Anecdotal evidence suggests a diet rich in antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies helps your hair by suppressing the reactions of your hair pigment with environmental aggressors
Foods with lots of colour and iron are great choices like dark fruits, Broccoli and dark leafy greens, red wine, fresh herbs and goji berries.
In addition, consider supplements including magnesium, zinc, biotin and selenium.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients.
Parabens, sulphates and silicones all damage the hair, leaving it dry, damaged and depleted of melanin.
Switching to organic, natural, toxic chemical free hair care is the best thing you’ll ever do no matter what your colour is, but especially if you’re grey.
Be Sun Safe
If you’re going out in the sun always wear a hat, or scarf. Failing that, if you’re swimming, coat the hair in a thick layer of deep conditioner and slick it back.