While gray hair lacks pigmentation, it is still healthy hair that will respond to common haircare products and routines. The same genetic and hormonal changes that cause hair to lose its pigmentation, also cause the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands at the base of the hair follicle to become less productive. With less natural oil, gray hair becomes dry, brittle and wiry or frizzy. If you have gray hair, you need to treat it the same as anyone born with dry, frizzy hair.
Throw out any hair products you used before you hair went gray. If your hair is more than half gray, you should be treating it as if it were all gray. If you previously had normal or oily hair, these products will dry out your gray hair, making it frizzier and more noticeable.
Look for products formulated for dry or gray hair. These products will help you to add and maintain moisture in your hair, reducing the wiry texture.
Give your scalp a massage every time you wash your hair. Vigorous scrubbing of the scalp increases blood flow and oil production. Over time, you may notice a less wiry texture, due to the lubrication of your own hair oils.
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Condition your hair daily and deep condition weekly. The more moisture your hair has, the smoother it will look and feel. Using a leave-in conditioner will help keep your hair moisturized all day and prevent frizzing during the day.
Add an anti-frizz serum to your daily hair routine. Anti-frizz serums add moisture and shine, while relaxing the texture of your hair. You will need to experiment with how much serum it takes to get a sleek, shiny look without weighing your hair down.
Choose a hairstyle that requires little or no heat styling. The wiry texture of gray hair also makes it more brittle. Frequent blow drying, curling or flat ironing will not only remove moisture from the hair follicle, but also scorch the hair, making it more prone to breakage and frizzing.
Use products when styling with heat. If you can’t put down the blow dryer, then use protective products like blow drying lotions and heat-activated sealers. These will help protect your hair from heat damage.
Drink lots of water every day and take a vitamin formulated for hair. Both will increase the natural moisture in your skin and hair, improving its texture over time.
The dying process uses harsh chemicals to deposit color along the hair follicles and robs it moisture. If you aren’t ready to embrace the gray, try natural or vegetable dyes, like henna, that will nourish your hair as it colors.
Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.