If You Have Coarse Gray Hair, These 4 Products Will Make It Extra Soft
Experts reveal how to make gray hair smooth and shiny.
You may have decided to embrace your grays as you age, but coming to terms with your hair's new coarse texture is a harder pill to swallow. Silver strands can be gorgeous, but according to WebMD "gray hairs are thicker and wirier, so your hair gets coarser as they multiply." Gray hair can also be drier and more dull than the locks of your youth. The John Frieda website explains that "the main difference you'll notice when you start to get gray hair is the texture, as oil glands start to produce less sebum. This causes strands to become coarse, dry and rough in texture, which make hair appear dull and lifeless."
This may sound dismal, but in no way does it mean you have to accept lackluster locks and move on. As your hair changes, it is important that your haircare routine follows suit. You'll need to pack your new regimen with products that moisturize, hydrate, and smooth—maybe even some that are specifically formulated for those with gray hair. Read on to find out which four products will help transform wiry grays into soft, touchable locks.
Conditioning Hair Mask
If you have gray hair, Andrew Rothaus, co-founder of Mounia Haircare, recommends using a conditioning hair mask to revitalize those strands. "Gray hair requires special attention to keep it soft and undamaged," he says.
You can turn a conditioner into a mask just by keeping it on your hair longer. Julian Neil, PhD, founder of Neil Naturopathic and an expert when it comes to for caring for gray hair, recommends, "using our conditioners as a mask to counteract the coarseness and dryness of hair that has turned gray." Instead of quickly conditioning and washing, leave the conditioner on for more than five minutes to make sure it absorbs.
Rothaus recommends using the Mounia conditioner, which "uses behentrimonium chloride, a molecule focused on damaged parts of hair, to deliver moisture and phytonutrients to the parts of the hair that need it most." Whichever conditioner you use, make sure to apply, then sit back and relax and let it do its thing.
Hair and Scalp Oil
When your hair goes gray, it also typically means that your scalp will no longer produce enough sebum to maintain healthy follicles, explains Rothaus. He suggests looking for products with flaxseed and black cumin seed oils to "target the inflammation, flakiness, and scalp sensitivity that often accompany gray hair."
Neil adds that while we may not be able to stop genetics, using natural oil formulas can help "ensure optimum health of the hair follicles." He recommends the Neil Naturopathic Potion Oil Finishing Product. It's made in small batches from sustainably-sourced oils and can help increase hair elasticity while making dull gray hair feel soft and shiny again.
Another is their Root + Scalp Restorative Hair Tonic, which works to restore hair with oils and botanical extracts. It helps soften hair by (literally) going to the root of the problem, starting at the scalp.
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Celebrity hairstylist Ricardo Rojas has worked with Cher, Mariah Carey, Anne Hathaway, and more. Now, he has his own line, Ricardo Rojas Hair Care, which aims to give his clients healthy, well-nourished hair no matter what the color is. But for those who have started going gray, he recommends using a shine-enhancing shampoo that will enrich hair from the inside out, such as Ricardo Rojas Yerba Mate Super Shine Shampoo. The product uses vitamins A, B3, B6, C, and E, natural silicon, and biotin polyphenols to thoroughly cleanse the scalp and thicken and strengthen the hair shaft.
You could also use a shampoo specifically formulated for gray hair, such as John Freida Shimmering Silver shampoo. This product not only softens coarse, wiry hair and increases the level of shine, but also helps to neutralize the brassiness and tones of yellow that so often come with grays.
Volumizing Styling Spray
Often when we go gray, our hair can begin to feel a little limp and lifeless. So, once you're done shampooing and conditioning, and applying your oil, you may want to complete your look with a little volumizing spray. "If someone really needs to add volume into their hair, I'd say to air dry the hair with a few drops of a volumizing styling spray, especially on the roots," Rojas says.
If you want to use a blowdryer or other heat styling tool, this spray will also protect your hair. Too much heat can also make your hair feel coarse, but this product uses keratin—a protein that that can strengthen and make your hair sleeker, smoother, and easier to style.