6 Stylist Secrets for Stunning White Hair
Say goodbye to frizz, discoloration, and dullness.
Everyone's hair grows out gray differently. For some, it skews more charcoal, while others find lighter gray in multiple shades. But there are also people who bypass gray or gradually grow into white hair. Like embracing grays, going fully white is low maintenance in the sense that you'll have no more routine trips to the salon for color, touch-ups, and highlights. However, white strands have their own challenges. Because they lack pigment, they're more susceptible to discoloration, whether that's from hard water or pollution. They're also prone to dryness and brittleness, and may not be as shiny as fully pigmented strands. But fear not—those challenges are fixable. Here, stylists tell us the secrets to attaining stunning white hair. No trip to the salon is needed.
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Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
You're likely used to choosing a shampoo based on your hair type. For example, opting for a volumizing or anti-frizz formula. But if your strands are white, you'll want to choose something that can add moisture.
"Because white hair has no pigment, it can be coarse and dry, so you may need to alter your hair care routine to accommodate the different textures," says Gökhan Vayni, hair specialist at Vera Clinic. "I would recommend switching your regular shampoo and conditioner to a hydrating formula that offers lots of moisture to nourish your hair."
Once a week, Vayni also suggests using a clarifying shampoo. "This will remove unwanted buildup and keep hair soft and glossy to restore elasticity and softness."
Try a keratin treatment.
One of the best-kept hairstylist secrets for glistening white strands is keratin. "It strengthens the hair shaft to keep it from breaking, reduces the texture, and adds shine to your locks," says Gwenda Harmon, hair stylist and consultant at Power Your Curls. "Keratin also fills in the gaps in your hair strands to completely smooth out your hair and keep it frizz-free."
A salon treatment is ideal, but if you don't have the time, you can use a home keratin treatment. "It may not be as good as the professionally done ones, but it will keep your hair from damage and dryness until you can visit your hairstylist," Harmon notes.
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Try violet toner.
Due to its lack of pigment, white hair tends to turn yellow. This can be caused by all kinds of things, from pollution to sun exposure to chemical residue from hard water. Fortunately, there's an easy fix. "A violet toning product can be used to neutralize any unwanted yellow and dull or brassy tones," says Vayni. You can find these toners in the form of shampoos, conditioners, masks, and glosses. Chat with your colorist to discover the product that's best for you and your needs.
Consider a precision cut.
Certain hairstyles look incredible on white hair, including lobs, bobs, pixies, and layers. But the key to all of them is precision and upkeep. "A precision cut can make silver hair look chic and sophisticated, and it's easy to take care of and works with the texture of your hair," says Vayni. "A regular trim will help keep your white hair smooth, fresh, and tidy. Whether you choose long or short styles, keep the hair healthy and frequently trimmed." Those frequent cuts will eliminate split ends, which can reduce frizz and keep your strands looking shiny and full of movement.
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Protect your strands from the sun.
Just like your skin, your hair can suffer from UV damage. According to Brandie Devillier, platform educator at the Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute and certified color educator at Elevate Hair, the melanin in our hair protects it from the sun, like a sunblock, but white hair has little melanin. The fix? Use a hair mist with UV protection before leaving the house. You could also protect your hair from the sun using a hat or silk scarf.
Sleep on a satin pillowcase.
Allow us to give you an excuse to upgrade your bedding: it could also improve your hair. "Invest in a satin pillowcase," says Harmon. In addition to feeling luxe, it can reduce hair tangles, protect from frizz (the smooth fabric won't rough up the hair cuticle as you rest), reduce the risk of breakage, and keep your style for longer.
"This will save so much time and you can avoid too much heat when styling your hair because your hair will be manageable and frizz-free when you wake up in the morning," Harmon adds. You'll wake up refreshed and ready to enjoy another day of stunning silver strands.