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woman with long gray hair

How to Give Gray Hair a Moisture Boost

March 12, 2021

3 Min read

Many of us can remember the first time we spotted a gray hair. If you got up close and personal with your mirror to inspect it, you’re not alone. One thing you may have noticed is not only did your hair color change—the texture did, too. “Melanin, the same thing that gives our skin color, also provides our hair strands their color,” explains Deanne Mraz Robinson, M.D., FAAD, President of Modern Dermatology and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale New Haven Hospital. “As we age, some people will stop producing melanin and when it is depleted new hair strands that sprout will arrive gray, silver, or white. The texture of these strands is more coarse, which can be exacerbated by the fact that as we age our oil glands produce less sebum—so overall the skin and scalp will be dryer and the hairs less oily.”

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Balance your color

If you’ve noticed your hair is more coarse or wiry since going gray, it isn’t your imagination. The loss of natural oils on the scalp can have a deeper effect on strands.. “Gray hair can be more prone to breakage depending on the natural hair texture,” says Eliut Rivera, owner of Eliut Salon in New York City. “If you already have thin hair that’s prone to breakage, having it turn gray and lose its pigment only weakens it further.”

So, what’s a gray-haired girl to do? Not only should you look for the right products to give gray hair a moisture boost, and also consider the tone. “Shampoo or conditioner with a purple base is best to keep hair from turning yellow,” says Rivera. Just be sure to use a hydrating one. “Hair products should be changed to more moisturizing products,” Rivera adds.

Focus on your scalp

Paying more attention to a dry scalp is also key. “A lot of gray-tailored haircare products like tinted dry shampoos and spray-on root touchup products can cause buildup and even scalp irritation,” cautions Dr. Mraz Robinson. “To keep the scalp moisturized, soothed and clear of buildup, I like to use a scalp scrub or scalp mask with exfoliating properties.” Look for a gentle and moisturizing formula to nourish gray heads of hair. 

Since the scalp isn’t producing as much of its own oils, adding a hair oil to your haircare regimen is a smart move. The Prose hair oil delivers exactly what your scalp needs. Each formula is custom created to target your specific goals, using sustainable and natural ingredients such as cucumber oil for hair health, Siberian pine nut oil for shine, rosehip oil for moisture, shea oil for repair, and grape seed oil for renewal, for example. The multitasking Prose hair oil can be used as a treatment prior to washing, to smooth frizz, and as a styling product.

Incorporate simple solutions 

A natural solution to give gray hair an infusion of hydration is castor oil. “Castor oil is great for moisture because it can help the circulation of the scalp,” Rivera says. “The best way to apply it is after shampooing, apply the oil from the scalp to the ends and wrap hair in a warm towel for 10 minutes. Then rinse it out very well.” Another option is when you’re at the salon, Rivera recommends getting a gloss, which can make the hair shinier and help protect it for at least a few weeks.

Finally, there’s always good old water to help hydrate dry, gray hair. Rivera says, “Drinking water and certain food of course is an important part for the health of the hair, and to avoid stress.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Celia Shatzman is a Brooklyn-based writer who has penned stories on topics ranging from beauty to fashion, travel, celebrities, entertainment and more. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, New York, Refinery29.com, and NYLON, among others. When she’s not writing, Celia enjoys traveling, learning to play tennis, and playing with her rescue dog, Watson. Check out her site at http://celiashatzman.com/ and follow her on Instagram (@celiashatzman).

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