What’s similar however, are the challenges involved in keeping grey looking bright, feeling soft and looking shiny.
As we age, hair follicles that produce melanin, the pigment that gives hair its colour, gradually reduce. This causes new hair strands to grow in un-pigmented, or white.
In addition, the sebaceous glands, which are attached to each hair follicle, also begin to secrete less oil than before. This means grey hair tends to feel drier and more brittle. It also can be more of a battle to achieve a shiny, smooth appearance, given the lack of natural oils distributed through strands that previously acted like a natural moisturiser.
The good news is, with a few tweaks and dedicated products, achieving a glossy, healthy head of hair is easier than you think.
Try a clarifying shampoo
Using a clarifying shampoo in addition to your regular everyday shampoo will help keep grey hair looking bright. That’s because they help remove yellowing pollutants and prevent the buildup of products and minerals found in water, all of which can dull hair.
However it’s best to use clarifying shampoos sparingly. At the most use once a week and at the the least, once a month, depending on your hair’s needs.
Use a purple or silver shampoo and conditioner
For those that want a clear, bright white or grey with no yellow or brassy tones, select a high quality shampoo and conditioner designed for grey hair. These tend to have a slight tint, for example purple or silver in colour when you apply them.
This is to neutralise brassy tones naturally found in grey hair, for a cooler colour and more polished and vibrant appearance.
Don’t be alarmed at the colour in the bottle, your hair won’t end up that colour, but be sure to follow the directions on the bottle and rinse thoroughly.
Options designed for silver hair will have added moisture to help keep hair in good condition, too.
Add a conditioning mask
To counteract dryness, add nutrition and help with shine, using a deep conditioning mask once a week is a good idea. They are usually intended to be added to damp, clean hair and left on for 5-15 minutes before rinsing.
Primarily for hydration, choosing one with a slight tint for grey hair is also an alternative to using a purple or silver shampoo or conditioner.
L-R: Moroccanoil Luminous Hair Spray; Kerastase Elixir Ultime L’Huile Rose Hair Oil; Living Proof Restore Repair Mask; Goldwell Dualsenses Silver 60 sec Treatment; L’Oreal Série Expert SILVER Shampoo & Conditioner
Use a hair oil
Coarse, frizzy and dry hair, particularly curly locks, can also benefit from the use of a hair oil. These products are rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that help reinforce and protect hair as well as seal in hydration and smooth hair’s cuticles for a shinier look.
For a light defining application, apply a small amount to your fingers. Rub your hands together so it is distributed well between them and then gently pull your fingers through the mid-lengths and ends. For a more concentrated treatment, rub between your fingers and then slide or pull through the hair, focussing on small sections and a time as well as your ends, working around the head until all hair is treated. You can leave as is, shampoo out after an hour or two, or you can even leave overnight.
Try a styling serum
Shiny hair happens when light reflects off it, which happens more easily on dark strands than light. To give it a helping hand, styling and adding product helps to smooth the cuticle down allowing more light to bounce off. Styling serums aim to smooth strands and help seal split ends. To use apply a small amount to your fingers, distribute to both hands and run through the mid-lengths of your strands. Some are designed to be used before heat styling, while others just as a finishing touch, so check the directions or ask your stylist.
Have a gloss or glaze service
Often used on pigmented hair to add healthy-looking shine, dimension and a touch of tone-balancing colour, glossing treatments can also be carried out on grey hair. Head into your salon and ask your stylist about receiving a glossing service, which can subtly adjust the shade and correct any unwanted tones.
Simply want shine? Hair ‘glazes’ that add concentrated nourishing ingredients to your strands for health, resilience and a glossy, frizz-free finish can also be an option. Glazes simply coat the hair shaft, so think of it like a hair mask that lasts for a week or two. Versionsyou can apply yourself at home are also beginning to emerge on the market.
Protect your hair from heat and UV rays
UV rays are damaging to your hair and scalp, just as they are to your skin. Grey hair in particular can incur damage, so make sure you wear a hat or scarf if you’re heading out in the sun for a lenght of time. Likewise, if you regularly blow-dry or heat style your hair, make sure you apply a protective styling product designed for the job before you start.