It has never been chicer to be grey or going grey. In fact, grey hair is a look that plenty are clamouring for, regardless of their full-pigmented tresses or age. Now is the best time to embrace grey hair thanks to products that are taking shades of grey and making them more brilliant. So if you’ve already got a bit of grey, you’re ahead of the game—you can ditch overprocessed lifts and focus on enhancing what you’ve got.
Whether you have a flash of silver in your otherwise brunette mane, are looking for a way to brighten your full head of grey or are anywhere in between, these are the things you need to know about caring for your grey hair. We asked Brennen Demelo, L’Oréal Paris Canada Hair Artist & Expert, to shed some light on this beauty moment that not too long ago was something to dread. It’s time to embrace the grey.
Why does hair turn grey?
There are plenty of reasons why your hair might be turning grey, but it most likely has to do with aging. While there is some evidence that stress, vitamin deficiency and smoking all contribute, most people go grey thanks to good old aging and genetics. Grey hair happens because over time, the hair follicles lose pigment and can’t create melanin—the linchpin in creating hair colour. Your hair doesn’t turn grey—it begins to grow grey when the follicles are no longer able to develop pigment. Which happens naturally over time and often comes down to genetics. It’s why some 20-year-olds have grey hair and some 50-year-olds don’t. Wondering when you might go grey? Look no further than when your parents started to sprout greys.
How is grey hair different from other hair?
“Grey hair tends to feel like steel wool and pop up out of nowhere,” says Demelo. You may also notice that your greys have a different texture or curl pattern from the rest of your hair. Grey hair is coarse thanks to a lack of oil; oil is harder to come by as you get older, and your oil glands produce less sebum—if you have dry skin, you likely have a dry scalp. But if you’re noticing a frizzy or even crinkly texture, it’s probably because you pulled out that grey hair one too many times, which distorts the follicle. Which brings us to...
What should you not do with your grey hair?
“Don’t pluck it!” says Demelo. This will cause the hair shaft to split and encourage more grey hair to come. Not to mention it damages the follicle, which causes those crinkly hairs to form. This is why plenty of people are opting to work with their grey hair instead of trying to eradicate it—it tends to be a losing battle.
How can I care for my grey hair?
Grey hair needs plenty of love and care—and plenty of moisture. But how you care for your grey hair can be relatively simple. Make sure to pick products that are hydrating, but also consider products that have no colour tone to them. “Grey hair can absorb unwanted tones from oxidation,” says Demelo. “Always have a great clarifying shampoo to keep it clean and shiny.” This also means only using a purple or violet shampoo one or twice a month and keeping away from dry shampoos that contain pigment.
What can I do to enhance my grey hair colour?
You don’t need to ditch pigment completely. In fact, opting for the right pigment can give you a great, natural effect that serves to enhance your gorgeous grey mane. “L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Beautifying Colour Care has all you need for maintaining grey hair,” says Demelo. While grey hair is undoubtedly beautiful, when left to its own devices it can sometimes look yellowish or dull, especially if your hair has a bit of a curl or wave to it. You might even notice that your hair tends to lean toward frizzy, even if it never did before. Whether you’re looking to highlight the silver, blend the grey with your natural brunette or make your white hair brilliant, there’s an option from L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect that will enhance your grey and remove any of those yellowish tones due to oxidation or pigmented products. Plus, the added benefit of moisture and radiance means you’ll end up post-treatment with enviable grey hair.