Style & Beauty

How to Keep Grey Hair Healthy

If you’re going grey, here’s what you can do to keep your locks shining

By Katrina Caruso

 

If you’ve spent much of your life colouring your hair, the decision to go grey can be liberating. It can also save a lot of time, money, and hassle—no more having to constantly retouch the roots and the hair—and it means freedom from the chemicals in hair dye.

But grey hair has needs that are different from those of non-grey and colour-treated hair. So if you’re considering going to the grey side (or even if you made the choice years ago), here’s a guide for you.

Brightness & Shine
Grey hair can become dull and lack shine. Typically, grey needs to be boosted with a purple shampoo that will neutralize the yellow undertones that can develop with grey hair—often caused by sun, chlorine, or hard water—causing the hair to look dull.

Adding Softness
The cuticles of grey hairs are different from those of pigmented hair—grey hair is more rough, which can make the hair feel coarse, wiry, and dry. The best way to get your softness back is to add oils and moisturizers to the hair. Try a weekly hair mask treatment (we have two recipes you can try), and experiment with adding a daily serum, styling cream, or oil to your hair. Grapeseed oil, argan oil, and coconut oil can all be added daily to your hair (depending on your hair type—some people may find these too heavy).

Deep Clean
If your hair often feels grimy, it might be because all the hair treatments, creams, and oils have built up on top of your hair. Try using an apple cider vinegar rinse—2 to 4 tbsp (30 to 60 mL) of vinegar and 2 cups (500 mL) of water in a spray bottle—or a clarifying shampoo once a week.

Protect It
Grey hair is more sensitive to UV rays than pigmented hair is, so a few great hats, hair wraps, and scarves to cover your hair should be part of your wardrobe in the summertime and if you’re spending the day outside.

Growing It Out
The grow-out phase can be annoying—it can take up to a year for your hair to fully grow out. Many women try a combination of lowlights and highlights and transition slowly over time, while others cut their hair short to let their grey grow out without the dyed bits at the ends. Whatever you do, be patient. The results will be worth it.

Photo: iStock/Jacob Wackerhausen.