5 gray hair treatment tips, straight from the stylists

One of the most common changes we experience as we age is our hair turning gray. This change results from our body losing its ability to produce melanin, which gives our hair pigmentation and keeps it healthy.

“We have three cycles for our hair: growth, transition and the resting phase,” explains Diana Pratasiewicz, YEAH‘s Director of Education. “As we get older, this whole process slows down and we spend more time resting.” During this stage, sebum production decreases and our hair needs this natural oil to stay nourished and shiny. So, in addition to pigment changes, you will also experience a change in hydration. “The sebaceous glands begin to produce less sebum, and these glands become attached to each hair follicle, resulting in dry, frizzy, and brittle hair,” she says.

Because of these changes, it’s crucial to give gray hair extra moisture and nutrition so it looks and feels healthy in the long run, whether you decide to embrace your gray or choose dye it a different color. Read on for five expert-approved tips to give your hair the moisture it needs.

1. Shampoo less and conditioner more

According to Small Jayhairdresser and co-founder of Arey, a brand specializing in gray hair treatment products, the shampoo can be too harsh on gray hair and strip it of its natural oils and lipids. “The shampoo is useful for cleansing the scalp, but some shampoos can be too astringent for the ends and can leave the hair looking and feeling dry, coarse or limp,” he says, “I recommend to my female hair clients gray to wash your hair less frequently and use a conditioner daily to help preserve the natural moisture in the hair strand.

2. Invest in a shower head filter

“The heavy metals, minerals, and chlorine found in hard water can cause discoloration and damage,” says Pratasiewicz. To protect your hair, she recommends investing in a showerhead filter that filters out hard water.

3. Rinse with cold water

During the winter months, we usually turn the shower faucet to hot. But water that’s too hot can strip our hair of the oils and fats that keep it hydrated. Instead, Pratasiewicz advises using cool water on your hair so it can retain all of the moisturizing benefits.

4. Add moisturizing ingredients

Smalls recommends paying attention to the ingredient list on your shampoo bottles and buying products with additional moisturizing ingredients. “Hydrolyzed barley protein, jojoba seed oil and shea butter are great scalp and hair conditioners that can help protect against over-cleansing,” she says.

5. Find a care mask

Treatment masks are a super effective way to further nourish your hair. For gray hair, Pratasiewicz advises treating your hair weekly with a silicone-free mask to give your hair extra moisture and treat damage.

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Melissa R. Brumfield