Love Your Gray Hair: Silver Is the New Blonde

If you decided to go silver, winter is time to love your gray hair and take care of it. That includes protection from the elements, using the right hair care products, and styling.

Now that I have spent a number of years allowing my hair to grow into its natural silver and white, it is time to spill the beans on the realities of keeping my mane looking its best.

Problems and solutions follow, along with some hairstyle looks for inspiration.

As Years Go By

Do I still love it? Yes, going gray was one of the best beauty decisions of my fifties. Has it rendered my haircare totally carefree? No.

I should get my haircut refreshed far more often than I do. What a difference a professional cut can make- giving shape and movement to create a more lively look.

I have also learned the hard way that a pennies amount of protection and prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to maintaining the good looks of gray.

I continue to seek the perfect style. (I am starting to believe this dissatisfaction has more to do with losing bodyweight than fixing my hair.) I did want to update a few of the tips which have stood me in good stead for that past few years.

When Gray Isn’t at Its Best

I have had some challenges as a Silver Fox that I never had when I was a Brunette.

The most irksome:

  • Yellowing. This is the worst problem and the one which has been hardest to deal with.
  • Flyaways and thinning, related to aging, rather than the color; but requiring care and products to manage.
  • Challenges of growing it long and keeping it looking good.

Those have to be the top three problems for most gray locks ( except for the last one, not everyone wants to have long hair!).

Silver Styling

bob hairstyle
This is the default long bob hairstyle, that I will ask my hairdresser to use if the longer lengths do not work out.

Short Gray Hair

Not everyone needs or wants to chop the length, but it is one way to deal with the above named topknot troubles. It was easiest for me to maintain shine and silveriness when I had a mid-length bob.

Cutting off hair that has been damaged by the elements or heat styling is a tried and true way to control the dryness and discoloration.

It also gives a fresh new look that is instantly rejuvenating.

Love Really Short?

pixie for over 60
pixie for over 60

Growing It Long

long gray hair
source: pixabay.com

I know there are many women, like me, that see those gorgeous long locks of shining gray hair. It is so tempting to desire those below the shoulder lengths.

So I gave in, after two or three false starts, and began to grow out the length of my hair. I must be honest and say that the results are mixed. I haven’t given up yet, but if I remain ambivalent about this look, I will go back to the smooth, mid-length pageboy.

long grey hair style
I like this loose, slightly wavy style.

What Is My Beef with Body?

Thinning means less hair to give “body” to a style, and I have had layers put in to keep the style from going flat. Layers, however,  can be more prone to flyaways when the weather turns cold (a trial for all types of hair).

 

Tame Flyaways
Serums are still the best bet for taming flyaway hair, although hair pomade like Alberto VO5 works, too. Beware of too much which can weigh down and flatten your style.
GLOSS Moderne High-Gloss Serum, 4 fl. oz.
List Price:$49.00
Price:$49.00
Price Disclaimer

Have you tried to grow out your silver locks? What were your hurdles?

Stop Turning Yellow!

salt and pepper hair
Clarify

I admit it, I didn’t use the color correcting products as often in the past year. The shampoo and conditioner formulated for gray hair make a huge difference under most circumstances.

I had an  experience with battling a bout of yellowing after a beach vacation two years ago. I am convinced that using sun protection would have prevented it. I even went to my stylist and had a “Malibu Treatment” at the time, but I felt the results were negligible. Perhaps it will work better for you?

I’ve written about fav hair products, here.

So far, the best antidote has been Paul Mitchell’s Forever Blonde line. In the future I will make a review comparing and contrasting several product lines, but this is my top tip so far.

Natural Tip
Try rinsing with the juice of a lemon added to two cups of water. It will help clarify and brighten.

I have to contend with hard water,  exposure to the elements ( LOVE being outdoors), what are your bug-a-boos? City pollution? Certain hair products? Chlorine?

UhOh Argan Oil

Maybe this personal anecdote is silly, but every time I used Argan oil, which makes hair very soft and pretty and is good for skin, I noticed a yellow cast to my hair. Hard water is also an issue in my area, but I believe the Argan oil was yellowing. Coconut oil is a better solution when moisturizing hair.

Alberto VO5 for gray hair has been my go-to for smoothing when styled, but I like natural oils for occasional replenishing.

The New Blonde

The longevity of the gray Celebrity fashion has been a happy circumstance. More and more models and actors display silvery manes. It is no longer remarkable when seeing women “of a certain age” with natural looking hairdos.  The beauty of maturity is accepted and even celebrated, though I believe we have a ways to go in appreciating the middle-aged and aged.

A few highlights for a vibrant look in maturity:

  • Keep the style “young”, but not faddish.
  • Keep hair healthy, whether short or long.
  • Good grooming is always in style, don’t go for frumpish.
  • Shampoo often
  • Protect from too much sun and heat.
  • Take vitamins- good looks are from the inside out!
  • Find the products that work best for you- experiment.

I hope these tips, styles, and reminders are helping you keep up appearances in the best possible way.  I love my gray hair and would never go back to the artificial coloring regimen. I think it has the lighthearted feel of a Blonde, with the intelligence attributed to the Brunette, and an attitude of confidence all its own.