As your hair turns from its natural hue to gray, you’ll likely notice many changes. Your strands may change in texture, becoming wiry or wavy when they were once smooth and straight. Or, they may get dry and brittle when they were once hydrated and supple. Another major change: your hair may lose its shine. However, just because your locks have lost their natural luster doesn’t mean you can’t get that sheen back. Ahead, hair stylists tell us the easiest ways to make your gray hair shine like silver. Keep reading for a glistening head of hair.
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One of the easiest ways to add shine to your strands is with a shine treatment (yes, seriously).
“You can ask your stylist to do a clear gloss that will keep the cuticles of your hair flat and shiny for up to 24 shampoos or about six to eight weeks,” says Brandie Devillier, color specialist and platform educator for Aveda Arts. “This is a clear color gloss that will keep grays from becoming dull and brassy.”
The session typically runs between $50 and $100. And while some treatments, such as permanent hair color, can damage your strands, a gloss is gentle and non-damaging. That makes it ideal for gray hair, which may be dry and brittle to begin with.
Your day-to-day upkeep can go a long way in maintaining gray hair that shines like silver. One of the most critical steps is the shampoo and conditioning process.
“The best toning regimen for getting shiny gray hair is a purple shampoo and conditioner,” he says Lauren Udoh, hair creative director of Wig Reports. “The purple will cancel out any yellow tones in your hair and will leave it looking shiny and silver.” Use the product once or twice a week to keep your color fresh.
You’ll also want to use a clarifying shampoo once a week. “This helps to remove impurities and product build-up,” he explains Alice Rawlings, a hairstylist and chief editor at Hairdo Hairstyle. Those things can cause dullness, which can dampen your hair’s shine.
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If you aren’t able to remove yellow undertones with purple shampoo and conditioner, you may need to head to the salon.
“Ask your stylist for a silver-colored toner,” he suggests Ghanima Abdullah, cosmetologist and hair expert for The Right Hairstyles. “Salon toners are mixed to perfectly match your hair color and to brighten your hair and make it glossy.” You can expect this treatment to last between four and eight weeks.
One haircare mistake that can diminish shine is overwashing. “Doing so can strip away natural oils and lead to scalp dryness,” he says Arrogant Smith, a professional hairstylist and hair consultant for KES Wigs. “Try shampooing every other day instead of every day.”
If you can go even longer, give that a try. Your strands will see a serious boost in shine.
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As hair loses its natural pigment, it also loses the natural oils that keep it supple. So, you’ll want to regularly infuse it with moisturizing treatments.
“A weekly deep conditioner in the form of a hydrating hair mask will nourish your brittle strands, making them look and feel healthier,” says Rawling. “Conditioning hair masks restore shine and brightness to gray, white, and silver hair while making it more manageable.”
Consider it part of your self-care routine and throw on a face mask while you wait for the treatment to work its magic.
Subjecting your strands to the sun, hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons, and blow-dry brushes repeatedly will cause damage, dryness, and a lack of shine.
“Turn the iron down and use a heat protectant before using any styling tools,” says Devillier. “Buy a leave-in spray with a UV filter to keep sun damage to a minimum.” With attention and care, your hair will be shining like silver in no time.