Graying hair is part of the natural order of things. It’s one of the things that’s sure to happen as we grow older.
However, graying is perhaps of those things we’re not very keen on embracing right off the bat.
It’s understandable – not everyone is confident about being able to sport gray hair.
But another struggle with gray hair that people don’t usually tell you about is the change of texture that comes with it.
Gray hair requires extra care – one that not a lot of people may not be prepared for when they take the leap towards embracing their new hair!
In this post, I’ll talk about what to do about frizzy gray hair.
Table of Contents
What Causes Graying?
At the heart of this topic is a pigment called melanin – which is essentially responsible for the dark color of our hair, and even our skin.
Melanin-producing cells are called melanocytes, and we have an abundance of these cells in each strand of our hair.
We even have a sort of “reserve” stock, called dormant melanocytes, which we use when our active ones are depleted.
But with the natural process of aging, these cells run out!
And what happens, then?
Our hair exhausts even its reserves, and we end up losing our natural source of hair pigmentation.
As a result, the hair slowly turns white or grayish in color.
There’s no way anyone can stop their hair from graying as they get older.
There are people, though, whose hairs turn gray faster than others.
How fast or slow your hair grays comes down to your genetic predisposition.
Of course, there are other factors that might speed up graying of the hair, such as stress, though there’s a need for more studies to confirm this claim.
What Changes Happen To Your Hair Once It Turns Gray?
Unfortunately, once graying starts, there’s no way for you to delay it, nor to reverse it!
If you’re not ready yet to rock gray locks, you can only mask the appearance of gray hair by dyeing your hair every so often.
Still, these processes won’t stop you from feeling the changes in your hair’s texture that come with having gray hair.
Coarser, Drier Hair
First of all, you might notice your hair starting to feel coarser and drier.
Part of the effects of aging on the hair is lesser production of sebum – your natural oils in the scalp.
That means that your hair isn’t as moisturized as it usually is.
That’s also the cause behind the loss of shine for gray hair.
Gray hair is also prone to frizzing – another side effect of this lack of moisture.
Diminished oil on the scalp also means that the hair will be easily susceptible to damage.
This makes gray hair sensitive and feels wiry, brittle, and straw-like.
Lastly, gray hair is prone to adopting a yellowish undertone or hue, because it’s more prone to oxidation.
These undesired warm tones are a common sight on gray hair.
How To Care For Gray Hair
Okay, so far it sounds like gray hair isn’t fun to have – but if you just know how to take care of it, you’re sure to transform it into a classy, timeless look that complements you very well.
Here are a few tips for maintaining gray hair:
One of the downsides to having gray hair is its susceptibility to “get beaten down” by sun rays.
Staying long hours under the sun can cause excessive damage and yellowing of the hair!
This is in part because of the hair’s lack of oils to protect it from the ultraviolet rays.
It’s a good idea to make sure you use hair products with SPF, and to cover your locks with a hat every time you plan to go out.
Stay Away From Heat
It’s advisable to minimize the use of heat styling appliances when you have gray hair.
Gray hair’s wiry texture can easily burn or get damaged by hot tools, so caution must be taken if you must style your hair.
Try going for tools that have temperature controls, and those that allow you to style at temperatures lower than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use The Right Hair Products
Not all shampoos and conditioners are created equal, and more so for gray hair.
If you want to keep the vibrant, classy appeal of gray hair, you also have to note which shampoos are actually right for you.
With gray hair’s tendency to take on a yellow cast, go for shampoos and conditioners that counter this hue, such as purple shampoos.
Try Out Clarifying Shampoos
Besides your usual shampoos, try investing in a clarifying shampoo to thoroughly cleanse your hair.
One of the most important things to do in taking care of our hair – and of gray hair especially – is to remove product build-up from the scalp.
Product build-up and hard water mineral deposits are some of the main causes of dull, lackluster hair.
Gray hair also gets a yellow tinge because of these pollutants.
Clarifying shampoos come in handy when you’re trying to do away with these pollutants.
However, you can’t just bombard your hair with clarifying shampoo every day.
Gray hair is delicate, and clarifying shampoos can strip your hair of the already trace amounts of sebum it produces.
Use clarifying shampoos occasionally as recommended by the manufacturer, and always follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.
Check Your Styling Products
What you don’t know is that some of your styling products may actually cause your hair to look dull and brassy.
Try opting for clear styling products, rather than ones with an underlying tint.
Go for less heavy ones on the hair, too!
If you can swap out heavy pomades and waxes, as well as oily serums for lighter, more natural alternatives, do that as well.
Focus On Product Ingredients
We know gray hair is more prone to dryness, which means it’s in dire need of moisture.
Moisturizing shampoos and conditioners are key to achieving healthier hair, but some hydrating products can actually do your hair more harm than good.
For instance, you should stay away from products containing dimethicone, a type of silicone often used in majority of hair products.
That’s because dimethicone isn’t water-soluble, which means it can build up on the scalp over some period of time and end up weighing down your hair.
If possible, look for products with all-natural ingredients instead.
What To Do About Frizzy Gray Hair
As you can see, gray hair requires a lot of maintenance!
But, that’s actually not all there is to it.
The main thing that these hair care tips touch on is the dryness that comes with gray hair.
As we know, lack of moisture can lead to frizz, among other things.
If you are wondering what to do about frizzy gray hair, worry not!
Here are a few things you can do to get rid of your frizz:
Use Moisturizing Products
What makes gray hair difficult to care for is how dry it can get.
That’s why you need to give it all the tender loving care it can get!
Moisturizing products come in different shapes and sizes – from serums, leave-in conditioners, and masks, you have multiple options that can help you combat frizz.
Masks are a great addition to your regular haircare routine.
They don’t take up too much time and can be applied once a week.
Try looking for commercial masks specifically targeted towards gray hair; or, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can try making your own mask, too!
Natural oils are also worth investing in.
It would also be great if you can regularly apply leave-in conditioners on a regular basis.
These do not only give you the hydrating goodness you need but also help to tame frizz.
Seal Your Hair Cuticles
When hair cuticles are left open, all the moisture in your hair shaft will go to waste.
It might evaporate or escape from the hair shaft, which can ultimately dry out your hair.
To avoid this, make sure that you don’t wash your hair with hot water.
It’s going to dry out your hair, open up your cuticles and let moisture leak out.
Instead, seal your cuticles by using cold water on your hair and scalp.
Finishing this off with a trusty hair serum is also always a good choice!
Change Your Pillowcase
We often don’t know just how much we damage our hair as we sleep.
But part of how you can keep your gray hair healthy is taking care of it even as you sleep!
Swap your cotton pillowcase with a satin pillowcase to minimize friction as you move your head (and hair!) around as you sleep.
This is your first line of defense against breakage and frizz – two things gray hair is prone to.
If you don’t want to change your pillowcase, you can also try out wrapping your hair in a satin bonnet.
This keeps your hair movement more limited, which means less friction.
Commit To Good Styling Tools
If you want to get rid of frizz, your hair tools should be designed to keep your hair free from it.
Try looking for a brush or a wide-toothed comb that’s gentle on the hair; this way, you avoid creating tension that can damage it.
Brushes with boar bristles are a good bet because they spread your hair’s natural oils from the scalp to the ends of your hair.
This leaves your strands softer and shinier, and frizz-free.
Minimize Heat Use
Using heat-styling appliances can leave your hair all frizzy.
Heat introduces more dryness to your already dry gray locks, which is the number one cause of frizz and breakage.
Avoiding heat altogether is your best bet, but if that’s not possible, at least use products to protect your hair against heat damage before you style it.
Trimming Split Ends
Trimming your hair often can aid in preventing split ends from spreading.
Split ends cause damage to your hair strands.
Thus, trimming them can ensure your hair is kept well and free from frizz.
If you keep on using hair accessories that pinch and bind your hair, you’ll end up damaging your hair.
Since gray hair is more delicate and prone to breakage, you can’t put your hair up in hairstyles that cause considerable stress.
Tight ponytails, for instance, are a big no-no.
Another cause of damage is how you dry your hair – if you twist it up on a towel, or if you rub it vigorously to speed up the drying process, you’re actually going to damage it more easily.
Excessively brushing and manipulating your hair can only cause more frizz, too!
Transitioning to gray hair can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!
Even if gray hair definitely demands much more of your time, effort, and commitment in caring for it, the results are well worth all the hard work.
There’s just an air of class and sophistication with gray hair that you won’t be able to achieve anywhere else.
We hope this article guides you in your journey towards embracing your salt and pepper hair, as well as what to do about frizzy gray hair.
Go rock your locks and be proud of them!