It’s been a year since my hair went gray, and I still am startled when I look in the mirror.
Part of that shock comes from the fact that I went from brown to gray in less than an hour.
I’m also surprised by the number of compliments I get, and they are as much for the cut as the color.
If you have gray hair, chances are you’re looking for a hairstyle to make you look younger.
You’ve got plenty of options. You can leave it long, cut it super short or choose a really edgy look.
In fact, the extreme styles many people wore in when they were in their twenties, look awesome on gray hair.
You may worry that you have premature gray hair, but gray hair isn’t just for mature people anymore. Kelly Osbourne, Pink and Lady Gaga have all been seen sporting silver locks.
It’s just a color. Embrace it. You CAN look younger with gray hair!
In just takes a great cut and proper hair care for a standout look.
Read on to discover what causes gray hair and tips on gray hair management.
How I Went from Brown to Gray
I was traveling on business.
My hair was driving me crazy!
For years I had been dyeing it, but as more and more natural gray came in, it was becoming more dye resistant.
The front and top were particularly troubling.
I felt like Friar Tuck with white roots around the top.
So I went to a hairdresser and asked for help.
I knew I would not be home for another two weeks, so I could always dye it back brown if I hated it.
She put a streaking cap on me and pulled out lots of hair.
She bleached the strands and applied a color called “smoke”, which is really a kind word for gray.
It was a shock, but I had to admit my skin looked better with the new color.
It’s also a great relief not to have to dye my hair every month.
Noboby Told Me About Why Gray Hair Is Different
My brown hair is now gray, thinner in places, and surprisingly thicker in others, Who knew this would happen?
My Mom always kept her hair curled (yes with old fashioned curlers) and neatly styled.
I’m definitely more of a wash and go type of person. so some mornings I get Albert Einstein hair,
I also inherited an interesting hair trait from my mother. My hair grows up; not just on top but on the back and sides as well. If I don’t keep it very short or very well cut and styled I get these interesting little “wings” sprouting up everywhere.
Nobody told me.
Understanding Gray Hair
Quite simply hair goes gray after the body quits producing the pigments that color it. In some very rare cases it can be caused by a vitamin deficiency.
If you’ve just gone gray recently or the color change has been in progress for a number of years, chances are you’ve noticed it’s not just the color that’s changed.
Gray hair is drier and more wiry.
It’s also more porous, which means it is more easily discolored by sun and pollution, so extra care is needed to keep it shiny and healthy looking. They are many great products on the market that reduce the yellow and brassy tones and highlight the beautiful silver or white accents.
In general, gray hair is more attractive when it is straighter, so the light hits more of the surface, and gives it more shine.
You’ll definitely want some body and some curl is fine, so long as it isn’t in a big poofy style. And definitely stay away from “helmet hair”- the heavily teased and sprayed style that Grandma used to wear.
Gray hair should have movement and look light and fresh.
Now, here’s the fun part!
In my mind I’m still in my 20s. I cant run a marathon but I’m pretty fit, so looking in mirror with gray hair is still pretty strange.
Even stranger is the way people react. I jump to open the door for what I perceive to be older people, only to find they are leaping in front to open the door for me.
Sales clerks call me “Dear”.
It’s a shift in mindset, and sometimes a reminder to walk and talk with confidence and to embrace the shiny cap that surrounds my head and still very sharp brain matter.
Best Shampoos for Gray Hair
Don’t use protein based shampoos. They may make the hair look dull and drab.
Use a clarifying shampoo to remove buildup of dirt and pollutants.
Look for shampoos with a bluish or purple color to counteract the brassiness and yellow tones. I’m a big fan of Pantene but there is an increasing number of other good products available at your local drugstore or department store.
These products are specially designed to add shine and body and reduce dullness.
It’s important to use shampoos that are specifically designed for gray hair. I recommend these products.
Tips for Growing Gray Hair Long
You CAN have long gray hair. Fortunately, the old rule that no one over forty should have long hair has been thrown out the window.
But long, gray hair comes with a price.
Chances are it’s thinning and won’t grow as long as it once did.
Make sure your long hair has some movement and body. Long, limp, lifeless hair is aging and unflattering.
Don’t have a harsh part, particularly down the middle. It will expose more scalp, making your hair look thinner.
Wispy bangs and soft sides around the face are flattering.
Because it is so dry, gray hair is very prone to split ends. Use a conditioner especially designed for gray hair.
Get regular trims and apply the right conditioning products. In this case, a good stylist really is your best friend. If you’ve ever grown out your hair when it was a dark color, you know it takes patience. That hasn’t changed!
Best Conditioners for Gray Hair
Some conditioners will leave gray hair flat, heavy and lifeless.
Choose a conditioner that is light, controls frizz and protects against harmful pollutants.