Recently, I had a chance to visit my grandmother, and I was excited because I only see her about three times a year. I was also eager to fill her in on an amazing trip I was about to embark on, lobbying in Washington, D.C.
Grandma's response was, "What's wrong with your hair? It's so gray."
Normally, a comment like that would have me running straight for the henna powder, but this time I chose to brush it off. I'm embracing my changing body and the new hair color my head has decided to sprout. I had been afraid of facing my roots, but now I'm ready to tackle this phase of my life.
Color-treated hair is a fine choice for many, but for me it's messy, time-consuming and expensive. So, what are some options for beautiful gray hair with minimum care?
Use a shampoo that is formulated to boost shine, which gray hair can often lack. ShiKai Color Reflect Platinum Shampoo is a shampoo that minimizes yellow, a huge problem for gray hair. This product gives me crazy shine, like my head could stand-in for the sun on cloudy days.
Make friends with your conditioner. Consider it your bestie! You're going to want to keep your hair super-moisturized. Gray hair has less of a protective cuticle (who knew?) so strands can get coarser and tend to break more easily. It's crucial to keep that hair hydrated for optimal shape.
Giovanni 2chic Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Ultra-Sleek Conditioner is a conditioner that fights frizz, which can be a common issue for gray hair. This formula is like a gift straight from the goddess.
Apply a deep conditioning treatment to pump up shine and repair hair cuticles about once a week — or whenever you damn well please. (It's your hair, for Pete's sake!) I like vitamin E because we tend to have an abundance of it in my house at all times, but coconut, olive and avocado oils are all groovy choices too. Slather your head with the oil of your choosing, slap a scarf on that noggin and go to sleep. Wake up, wash it out and get ready for the gushing you'll receive from strangers on the street.
Add vitamins B6 and B12 — and oh yeah, why not add a high quality fish oil while your at it — to your daily supplement regime because they are good for healthy hair growth.
Try to stick with lightweight styling products, because gray hair can take on a greasy look really quickly. Also avoid products containing alcohol which can be super drying to already fragile hair.
I like Alba Botanica Strong Hold Style Gel because it's fragrance-free, and the older I get, the more artificial scents really bother me. My nostrils have been assaulted enough in my lifetime, thank you very much.
Stay out of direct sunlight because it can make hair dull-looking; but if you’re "the outdoor type" (which is a really great song, by the way), wear a hat or a dramatic head wrap. Imagine you're Little Edie in Grey Gardens.
If your end goal is to stop dyeing your hair but you're really unhappy about the contrast between gray roots and your color-treated areas, professionals recommend getting lowlights to help ease the transition. Alternatively, you can shave your head. Or you can just not freak out about it and just let your hair be a few color different colors for a while. Think of it as your own personal rainbow.
Have you embraced gray hair? What products have worked best for you?