Whether they’re all-natural or the result of hours spent in the salon chair, silver strands are literally dazzling. They’re the ultimate way to show that all hair colors are beautiful. And for those of us who spend way too much time and effort on hiding our gray strands, going natural is the ultimate way to reclaim our freedom from having to look a certain way.
If you’re considering embracing your natural strands or even making the switch over to a lighter color, let’s look at some of the ways you can have your best hair ever while keeping your strands hydrated, shiny, and truly dazzling.
When it comes to silver hair, there is a tendency for your hue to turn brassy. All this means is that your hair starts to take on a yellow or orange-ish tone (this usually starts a few weeks after leaving the salon).
This happens because dark hair has to be bleached for it to become silver. When this happens, melanin — the molecule in your hair that gives it pigment — gets diluted. Your hairstylist is then free to apply the new (silver or gray) dye to your hair.
Even with a new dye job, the pigment from your natural hair isn’t always completely gone and can start to re-appear shortly after. So, when you notice that your silver hair starts to take on a warmer tone after a few shampoo sessions, then it’s likely remnants of your old pigment.
To combat silver hair’s tendency to adopt a brassy tone, you can commit to using a shampoo or conditioner with purple or blue pigments at least twice a month. This is super effective in preserving your silver hair tone because of the types of molecules that purple shampoo contains.
Basically, purple pigments counteract the warm colors we associate with brassiness: yellow, orange, and red. When you use a purple shampoo or conditioner, you add cool-tone molecules and help to preserve your silver hair’s desired hue.
Whether you choose a purple shampoo or purple conditioner — or both — is a matter of personal preference. One thing to keep in mind is that purple conditioners typically have a more subtle effect than shampoos (although they’re also very important for giving you added moisture, which is the next thing we’ll talk about here).
This isn’t always the case, but some of us may start to notice that our hair is becoming dryer and more brittle as we transition to gray. And of course, when it comes to bleaching hair, some dryness is definitely expected.
To make sure that your hair stays smooth and shiny, try to add moisture to your strands every chance you get. Of course, we know that we should use conditioner every time we wash our hair. But there are more opportunities to add moisture, which can be before, during, or after each shampoo session.
Before you shampoo, you can apply a pre-shampoo hair mask to damp hair. For more intense moisture, a deep conditioner or hair mask can be used every week. Plus, throughout the day, you can hydrate your hair with a leave-in conditioner, which has the bonus effect of keeping unwanted frizz at bay.
Some of the best ingredients for adding and locking in moisture include Prose’s porphyra algae, which smoothes hair strands and minimizes unwanted frizz. And, of course, everyone’s favorite: honey. This all-natural ingredient has been used for centuries to condition and to nourish hair.
Pro Tip: It’s a well-known myth that plucking a gray hair will cause more to grow in its place. But it’s still not a good idea! When you pluck gray hairs, you risk damaging your scalp and hair follicle, which can lead to wiry, unruly, and even coarser gray hairs popping up in their place.
Check your products
Because gray and silver colors don’t reflect light as much as dark hair, it’s possible to experience a bit of dullness that isn’t necessarily a problem for other hues. For this reason, it’s super important to pay attention to product build-up!
Product build-up simply refers to product accumulating on your hair strands over time. Ironically, the very same shampoos and conditioners that aim to clean our hair can actually leave a residue that makes your hair look and feel anything but clean.
Many products contain ingredients that coat your strands to make them feel nice. But in the long run, all this build-up can weigh down and dull your hair. That’s why it’s important to check the ingredient list before you use them.
This can also happen with some heavy styling products, such as waxes, muds, pomades, and even some finishing oils. These can all build up on your hair and make your strands look drab. Not only that, but the build-up can also make it harder for other good-for-you hair ingredients to penetrate the hair strands.
Similarly, any colored styling products that contain yellow, red, or brown can potentially stain your lighter strands. For this reason, try to stick to products that are white, clear, or have a faint blue or purple tint.
If you notice that your hair is beginning to look dull, even though you stopped using heavy products, then clarifying ingredients that are made specifically for getting rid of product build-up can be a great way to give your hair a new start.
We often don’t think about this, but our environment has a huge impact on how our hair looks. When it comes to gray or silver strands, our exposure to hard water in the shower, the sun’s damaging rays, and even air pollution can impact the tone of our hair and make it muddy, dull, and brassy.
To minimize these negative effects, it’s important to choose products that boast environmental shields. Some of our favorites include Prose’s horehound extract, which has been shown to protect hair from pollution. We also love the all-natural coconut and karanja oils, which can absorb UV rays and protect your strands from sun damage.
Pro Tip: If you live in areas with heavy pollution or if your tap water is especially hard, then consider using a clarifying shampoo once a month (or more) to get rid of the buildup that comes from your environment. Prose’s custom shampoo and conditioner will automatically have ingredients to fight these geo-aggressors.
Dial up the shine
Like we mentioned before, gray and silver hair isn’t as shiny as the heavily pigmented brown and black hues. This can leave your hair looking a little duller than you’d like. If achieving shinier strands is a hair goal for you,, there are tons of ways to get it.
Of course, the most important thing you can do is get rid of the underlying causes that make your hair look more dull than usual. This means using a clarifying shampoo, getting rid of heavy products that cause build-up, protecting your hair from pollution, and adding in as much moisture as possible.
Sometimes, doing all this might not be enough. There are tons of products on the market that can give you added shine. You can try a clear finishing oil, which is probably the most popular way to get extra gloss.
For more dramatic and long-lasting results, you can invest in a glossing treatment. This can either be done at home or, in a fool-proof way at the salon. The results of this treatment typically last a month.
As you can see, there’s a lot that makes silver hair unique. To keep it looking amazing, make sure to avoid product build-up, use purple-tinted hair products, and moisturize every chance you get! These tips will leave your silver hair looking and feeling its best.