Wow, what a start to the blog. There are so many women interested in the subject of going grey now; thinking about it, just starting out, well on the way, in the middle of it, already with beautiful silver hair or just intrigued by the whole subject of grey hair on women. Many of the questions that have stood out to me have revolved around: What are the best products to brighten up greys both while they are growing out and in general? Does grey hair become wiry and coarse once you stop using dye or when it naturally loses its pigment over time?
There are enough products on the market these days to support your quest to make the best of your natural grey hair colour. The rumours that suggest that grey hair is more wiry and coarse are often unfounded. Maybe some women experience coarseness but I think its rare. I believe it is a rumour to scare women into dyeing their hair (or maybe thats just the cynic in me). This is how Sarah Harris, Fashion Feature’s Editor at Vogue London describes her naturally silver hair ” …… the texture of my silver does work in my favour; thankfully, it’s soft and silken as opposed to coarse and wiry.”
What we do have to understand is that grey hair is a delicate hair colour and it does need to be treated in the correct way with the right products for it to look its best. The first thing to think about is achieving the right balance between keeping the hair bright but still ensuring that it is in optimal condition. Shampoos in general have sulfates in them, which aren’t great for the hair and silver shampoos are no exception, therefore we need to counteract this the best we can. One of the most important elements to keeping grey hair shiny is ensuring it is well hydrated and build up is regularly removed. The following tips will help get your hair colour from grey to bright, shiny silver in no time.
Step 1. Silver Shampoo, once a week at the most. Silver Shampoo is brilliant for brightening up the hair but it can be drying for the above reasons. I am currently using Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo ( For Dull Discoloured Grey Hair and Brassy Blonde Hair ) 250ml/8.45oz, which I am loving. I have also used Provoke Touch Of Silver Twice A Week Brightening Shampoo 150 ml with good results and it’s cheap. I like to wash my hair in the evening, and then put a conditioning mask in (I use Kinky-Curly, Knot Today, Natural Leave in / Detangler, 8 oz (236 ml)) and I leave it in for a few hours or overnight and then wash and style. This counteracts the dryness that I get from these shampoos.
Step 2. Once a month or so, I use a Cleansing Shampoo in place of the silver shampoo. Cleansing shampoos get rid of any build up from products and elements from the environment better than standard shampoos. My favourite is Redken Hair Cleansing Cream or for a sulfate free version I have also used Come Clean, Natural Moisturising Shampoo, 8 oz (236 ml) with good results. When I use this, I always deep condition overnight with my conditioner. I live in a very hard water area and my hair is porous (silver hair tends to be), so I tend to get a lot of build up in my hair. After I use this shampoo my hair feels lighter and in good condition and styles well. You will need to adjust how often you use this shampoo according to your water and hair type. Definitely, only use this type of shampoo sparingly. Some hair types may not need to do this step at all.
Step 3. If you need to wash in between your weekly silver shampoo (which is more than likely), then I would recommend using a sulfate free shampoo and silicone free conditioner. My ‘go to’ choices are Zanzibar Marine Complex Age-defy & Color Protect Shampoo by Shea Moisture and Kinky-Curly, Knot Today, Natural Leave in / Detangler, 8 oz (236 ml). The great thing about the Kinky-Curly Knot Today is that it is so versatile. I use it for a rinse out conditioner, a leave in conditioner AND a conditioning mask. If there is only one product you buy, then this would be it.
Also an added note, make sure that the shampoo and conditioner you use are either clear, white, or blue and not any other colour such as cream or yellow, because they can stain grey hair.
Step 4. Only heat style sparingly and use a heat protector. I like this heat protector by Zanzibar Marine Complex Age-defy & Color Protect Heat Shield Cream by Shea Moisture. However, if at all possible, don’t use heat at all. Heat is so bad for your beautiful hair. I tried to wear mine with its natural texture without using hot heat and I totally obsessed over the ‘curly girl method’, and I highly recommend the Curly Girl the Handbook if you have this hair type. I still do use the Curly Girl method and wear my hair wavy if I have to wash my hair between my weekly silver shampoos. However I do blow dry it smooth every week, most of the time. For me, this works well because when it’s smooth, I find I don’t have to wash it as frequently. The less you wash your hair the better, because it allows all your natural oils to penetrate into your hair, which is good for it.
If you can find a way to wear your hair naturally without heat, then that is a bonus. However if you do smooth out your hair like I do, work on your technique to get a blowdry that you are happy with. I highly recommend you stop using straightening irons (they are too hot and are likely to damage grey delicate hair types). If you can, treat yourself to a professional blowdry from time to time. Now that I no longer spend so much money on dyeing, I will treat myself to a blowdry more often.
Step 5. A professional or ‘at home’ semi permanant toner as and when you like. I use Manic Panic Blue Steel Hair Dye | Pastel Blue | NEW COLOUR! + FREE Dye Away Wipe with the Manic Panic Classic Mixer/Pastel-izer (White). I mix them together to get a soft blue colour. I particularly get compliments about my hair after I have used this to brighten it. It’s like a silver shampoo but stronger and longer lasting. At the salon, as another option, my hairdresser used a clear with a little blue in it to rid any yellow tones. Toning is the final step I take to get from grey to a shiny silver. I do this about every other month.
The secret to keeping silver hair in great condition is to look after it by moisturising it regularly with deep conditioners, minimising the use of heat for styling, as well as remembering only to use sulfate shampoos once a week at the most (i.e this would be your silver shampoo). Use sulfate free shampoo and silicone free conditioner in between your sulfate wash. Keeping grey hair looking its best takes some effort, but it is absolutely worth it.
This is how I get my hair to shine and banish all those rumours that say that when your hair goes grey it becomes coarse, dull and wiry. Not so. If you use these steps, you will be showcasing your authentic hair colour to the world with confidence and pride and helping to silence those rumours for good.
What do you do to make the best of your grey hair? I would love to know. Please comment positively below.
Please note that I have used some affiliate links that I get a small commission for with no additional cost to you. They are all from sources I trust and are at the cheapest prices I could find.