Learning To Love Your Grey: Taking Care Of Your Grey Hair

Learning To Love Your Grey: Taking Care Of Your Grey Hair

As soon as hair dyes became readily accessible and affordable, women worldwide began hiding grey strands as soon as they began to creep in. It’s become so normalised to start dying when we start greying that many of us know quite a bit about dying our hair - whether it’s the best salons to visit or how to use home dye kits. Yet, hardly any of us know anything about how to take care of grey hair.

In the last couple of years though, grey has become a trend. So much so that women are actually dying their hair steely shades. Turns out, grey hair can be glamorous. Grey hair can be dramatic and grey hair can be beautiful. The trouble is, going grey naturally can take a while and some of us suffer from a badger-like aesthetic as we transition which is fairly undesirable. So, in this guide we’re going to look at:

  • Why does our hair go grey
  • How grey hair is different
  • How to take care of grey hair

Whether you're going grey, thinking of letting the grey shine through or are already embracing the grey but wanting to keep it in good condition, we're here to help you love and take care of your grey hair.

Why Does Our Hair Go Grey?

Usually, grey hair starts to appear in adults over the age of 35 but for some, it is much earlier and, for some, much later. But why does our hair go grey at all? 

Actually, hair doesn’t turn grey, it is that our follicles stop producing as much pigment. With fewer pigment cells there is less melanin and therefore the hair holds less colour and appears as grey, silver or white.

Women Inspecting Her Grey Hair Wondering Why Does Hair Go Grey

How Is Grey Hair different?

As hair follicles age we also produce less sebum which is a natural oil that helps condition and softer hair as it grows which is why grey hair can also be coarser and even feel wiry. Again, for some, this happens much later in life but for others, their hair can lose moisture earlier on. Dry hair does need some intervention to help replace these lost oils if you wish to maintain that softness and shine. However, dyeing the hair will not do this. In fact, it can exacerbate the problem. Not to worry though, there are many ways you can keep your grey hair looking conditioned and healthy despite the loss of sebum and we’ll cover those in this guide.

How To Take Care Of Grey Hair

Grey can be beautiful and we love that women are beginning to embrace their natural (ageing) hair colour. Grey is going through a revolution and we’re all here for it. Not only because it can look fantastic and because we have to get rid of this obsession with youth that tropes the false narrative that beauty belongs only to the young. Besides, women don't get any less busy as we get older and dying our hair is time that could be better spent. However, I won’t pretend that going grey is just about a change of colour. The texture of your hair may also change and you may find you have to protect your hair from yellowing.

Styling And Cutting Grey Hair

If you’re trying to fall in love with your grey it’s going to be important to select the right cut. Style can be especially instrumental when you transition to grey or white hair because, in all likelihood, you’re not going to feel familiar with your reflection in the mirror for some time. This may be your most natural hair colour ever but it’s not one you’ve worn before. Also, there may still be that niggling voice inside telling you that getting older is all about loss - loss of looks, loss of style, loss of health, loss of vibrancy, and the grey is an outward sign of that. None of this, of course, is true but it has been embedded in our thinking so deeply that we have to be purposefully mindful as we begin to age, to override these negative voices with the truth.

I elect, as do many grey-haired influential women, to get a sophisticated, stylish, fashion-forward cut. That’s not to say follow dramatic catwalk styles, but it does mean don’t be put off if the cut you want is showcased on a younger model. You may even feel the need to offset the connotations of grey or white hair by opting for a bolder, highly-stylish cut.

Grey Hair Style Long

You may wear grey hair at any length. Length should be determined by your face shape and personal preference rather than the colour of your locks. If your hair has thinned out that you may feel most comfortable with a longer layered style that gives you more body. However, if your hair has got coarser you may be able to pull off shorter styles and bobs that struggled to hold their shape before your hair lost pigmentation and became more malleable.

As we often suffer from sebum loss as we age, grey and white hair can dry out and be more prone to looking untidy and ends can become brittle and more likely to break. Therefore, get your hair trimmed regularly to keep it in the best condition.

Protecting Grey Hair From Yellowing

With a lack of pigment in your hair it may be prone to picking up pigment from the environment. That could be from the sun, pollution, cigarette smoke or even from your products.

Woman Protecting Her Grey Hair With Top Tips On All Natural Haircare

Therefore, you may want to cover up some of your grey hair outside with a hat, especially if in direct sunlight or areas of bad air quality. You may also look at the products you use.

As we’ll discuss, you’ll likely be washing your hair less but you may find a deeper clean necessary. A clarifying shampoo is often used on damaged and dyed hair but is excellent for grey hair too to help get out toxins that can have a more visible effect on grey hair. You shouldn’t use a clarifying shampoo more than once per week though as whilst ridding your hair of toxins it can also steal your natural oils and dry the hair out.

If you’re looking for an almost-natural clarifying shampoo then Noughty’s Detox Dynamo may be right for you, with its 97% natural formula. For curly hair, you may look to African Black Soap’s Bamboo Charcoal Shampoo. Nirvana Natural however does a completely plastic-free, vegan, cruelty-free scalp clarifying shampoo.

Protect Your Hair From Drying Out

There are a number of factors that contribute to our hair struggling to retain the natural oils it produces, including pollution, over-washing, build-up of products and dyeing. However, we also lose sebum as we age and this means that grey hair can become more brittle.

As always, we'll first look at preventative measures we can take to lock in the sebum that is being produced, This includes making sure we’re not overwashing our hair. Many influencers who flaunt grey and white hair, claim that they have reduced hair washing to every 3-4 days to prevent dryness.

Whilst it can be tempting to use heavier, moisturising, chemical shampoos and conditioners on your hair as it begins to lose its natural oils, heavy products such as these usually increase the barrier between the scalp and the hair, therefore creating build up where your natural oils are produced and preventing them from getting into your hair follicles. Therefore, you may want to consider switching to lighter, all-natural hair products and applying a weekly clarifying shampoo if your hair is prone to yellowing.

A silk pillowcase is also far better for your hair and skin than cotton pillowcases since cotton is more absorbent and draws in your natural oils as you sleep.

Stylish Woman With Curly Grey Hair

Lastly, most of us have learnt by now that heat is hair’s natural enemy. Some of us have learnt the hard way. So, it will come as no surprise that I’m going to warn you against using direct heat on grey hair. It’s already having to work harder to retain moisture and hair straighteners and even blow drying is not going to help. Besides, one of the benefits of grey hair is that its coaster texture can sometimes hold its shape more easily so you may find you no longer need heat to style your hair anyway.

Going grey can be a good time to start utilising the assistance of hair oil. Ours is all-natural, plant-based and will leave your hair smelling heavenly. Check out The Bloom to restore shine and silkiness to your grey locks. 

Natural Hair Oil For Grey And Dry Hair

Learning To Love Your Grey

Here at Olive & Joyce, we’re all about all-natural so we love that some women are choosing to embrace the grey and wear it with both pride and style. However, we also understand that with certain social stigmas around ageing, particularly for women, learning to love your grey can be a process.

If you’re searching for the confidence to go or to stay grey then you may find it empowering to see more fabulous women who have done this. Some grey pioneers on Instagram include:






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