What makes a style work for you? If you’re looking for a smart style to suggest to your hairdresser next time a haircut is due or just dressing up a bit for a night out. I’m creating a curation of some of my favorites for future reference, here. Maybe they will suit you, too.
What I Like
With a bob that has casual side-swept bangs the tousled “not too done” look is very European. It looks elegant, yet seems effortless. For a more polished look, smooth it with some serum, add a bit of shine spray.
I use this one by Paul Mitchell and absolutely love it. It leaves a beautiful polished shine without any weight or stiffness. The light fragrance of the “Wild Ginger” line is a great plus in my book.
I’ve used this product for several years, going back for more whenever I run out. It makes my hair look healthy, even in winter, which is notoriously hard on gray locks.
Useful for any style on this page- wavy, straight, casual, or updo.
I love this updo because it is easy, can go from housework to out on the town, and is a great way to corral longer hair. The important thing is to smooth all stray hair into the topknot ponytail. The topknot itself can be looser, but to look smart, the sides, front and back need to be kept smooth and neat. A good hair wax or strong hold hair putty will work.
Holiday Hair Short Styles
Keep it shiny, and somehow short hair transforms into a classy holiday look.
No one does Silver Fox classy better than either Helen Mirren or Judy Dench. Anyone who takes a leaf from their style book is going to look more beautiful, I believe. They start with a core style, but vary the length or polish of the pixie cut ( Dench) or short bob (Mirren) for all sorts of great looks in all types of fashion situations.
Their look is equally wonderful with bangs or if you would brush it back from your face. The versatility of this with just a little different comb-out or more or less messy or smoothed makes these smart styles for mature women.
Silver Fox Inspirations
If you have some length to your hair, the updo with soft curls or a smooth, loose chignon can be a way to level up your look. A bit of sparkle inserted into the french roll is a marvelous touch.
Hope you liked this bit of inspiration for smart hairstyle that will look good on any occasion.
Starting the New Year off right with ideas to give yourself an update and bring an experts advice into your choises for hair, makeup, and fashion.
I really liked this book for the perspective its gives in developing your own style, rather than try to run after trends (many of which can be less than becoming).
For me, that emphasis helps the most when choosing how I want to wear my hair… or especially when trying to make my way to buying clothing that looks best for who I am now.
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!).
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?
Growing It Long
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.
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).
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.
Have you tried to grow out your silver locks? What were your hurdles?
Stop Turning Yellow!
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?
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.
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.
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.
More women are finding that their gray and silver locks can be stunning. No need to color their hair and struggle with roots that need touch-ups. Stay gray and love your healthy hair.
Maintain Your Silver Locks
I Say Silver is the New Blonde
You are seeing more of us everywhere: women who flaunt their silver locks. Gray hair is no longer a source of shame. Embracing our age gracefully, we have stopped coloring our hair and now revel in the healthy feeling of our own hair color, accentuating and not covering it up.
Of course, it helps that the likes of Lady Gaga and Emmylou Harris are photographed with their beautiful gray hairstyles.
But what about those of us who will remain gray after the momentary fads of fashion fade away? There is an art to dealing with the changes that aging makes in our skin and hair, and we are in no less need of beauty tips and great products to help us look our best. Growing older is no longer something women need to keep a secret, and it isn’t trying to look younger that needs to concern us, so much as looking and being as healthy and strong as possible.
That has always been the top beaut secret at any age, it just hasn’t been as aggressively marketed.
Maybe it is time to change that oversight.
My Story, the Evolution of Gray
I had dark, shiny brunette hair, and it being the seventies I wore it quite long. I didn’t color my mid-back length hair, but used coconut infused shampoos and gave it olive oil treatments. I cut it myself every once in a while. Being young, my main concern was shine and keeping split ends at bay.
Gray began to appear… I blame my kids ( just kidding). So, off to the hairdresser I went and blonde or caramel highlights began to become part of my “cover story”. It was a subtle way to blend the gray and disguise it .
As the years progressed through the decade, t e highlights grew chunkier and took up more brunette hair real estate, until it was obvious that this was not going to be sufficient to color the amount of gray that was replacing my originally very dark brown.
In my fortieth decade I started coloring my hair, and not satisfied with mere experiments of dark browns, caramel browns, or golden browns, I added highlights on top of the brown, because time was marching on and my skin was fading from the color that used to match the glossy brunette hair color of my youth. I wanted it to look as becoming and natural as possible. And the hair stylists did make me look good. For awhile.
But oh, those roots.
Closer hair appointments, more complex color services, added hair products to preserve those effects, and additional conditioning treatments, oh dear, this was all getting very expensive for my middle class budget. but, I was willing to pay it, and my husband complimented the results, so on with the carousel ride I went.
But I kept considering how women older than me were adjusting to their aging physical appearance and admired the ones who were comfortable in their skins, and noticed the gap between the look of the hair color and the look of the skin. It was apparent that at a certain point the hair and skin did not match up.
As I approached my mid-fifties, the decision was made. At some point I would go “cold turkey”, it would be time to tough out the dreaded “growing out” period, the half color/half natural stage that must be endured.
It wasn’t really so hard when the time came. I had gradually become almost “blonde”. ( Which is another hair color story almost in itself- do you know people treat blondes differently?) The gray transition was a bit tacky, but I didn’t have to cut all my hair off (I wear it mid-length,usually). It went gray, and has stayed that way ever since. I turned sixty this year.
Yes, a woman who will tell you her age will tell you anything. It’s true.
The Reaction To Shades Of Gray
I have a nice silver gray, it’s true, but I was not prepared for how (most of the time) the reactions of people to my gray hair is quite complimentary and positive.
Of course there was that shock when transitioning to the natural shade of color, when someone in the grocery line behind me telephoned their mom “Im in line behind the old lady”. Well, I am older, and not everyone is going to say “the nice looking old lady”! But that is okay, because it is very freeing to become comfortable in ones own skin… and hair.
Comfy, Yet? Easy Gray Hair Care
Take Care Of Your Hair, Maintain Shine And Health
When hair loses its pigment, it also often changes in texture. Like many women who go gray, my hair became more coarse and curly.
I have learned since allowing my natural hair color to reign that shine and a smooth look are more becoming, especially when I want to look my best. Certain hair products are essential for this. I like shampoos formulated for silver hair, and smoothing serum to tame the frizzies. If I really want to look my best I run a flatiron over my hair to style it.
Are You Comfortable With Your Graying Color Yet?
Give Your Silver Some Shine Image courtesy of Ambro
One of the ways that gray hair grows on you (a little pun, there!) is by seeing other women who have changed to their gray and look beautiful. Think about famous actresses like Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis, Meryl Streep.. and models like Maye Musk, Cindy Joseph, and Yasmina Rossi. They are all examples of just how gorgeous a gray haired woman can be.
One thing they all have in common is that their hair has a healthy look, and taking care of hair inside and outside has always been a secret of women with beautiful hair.
Improving the Outside?
Yellow cancelling shampoo
Serum for smooth shine
Gentle shampoos, moisturizing conditioners
Protection from sun and wind
Improving the Inside?
Good health habits in general
Vitamins A, B Complex ( that means all of them together), D and E are all of vital importance to hair health.
Eat more eggs, walnuts, lentils… even oysters! All have nutrients that are great for hair health.
What Causes Hair To Go Gray?
It wasn’t until recently that scientists discovered the role that hydrogen peroxide played in the loss of melanin in the hair. The hydrogen peroxide that is produced by the body interferes with the production of melanin which is the pigment for hair color. As we age the enzyme that breaks this chemical down into harmless water and oxygen is no longer produced so well.
Does this mean you can prevent your hair from turning gray? No, not yet. Scientists don’t quite know what to do with their new findings, but they are working on it.
Can stress turn your hair gray?
Scientists don’t think so. It seems to be more a product of your genes. Your genes and the decrease of certain metabolic enzymes like catalase.
Can I reverse the gray through supplements?
No, it doesn’t work that way. The enzyme, that your body is producing less of, is unstable and it isn’t possible to direct it to the hair follicles where it would make a difference in the production of melanin.
This is one of the most popular shampoos for cancelling out yellow. It has color properties that highlight the silver hair, but one of the big reasons users like it is because of the fact it is paraben-free. Best results are for well conditioned hair, so be sure to use a conditioner, as well.
Silver is the new blonde! Make your declaration, Silver Fox.
Go For The Silver
Helen Mirren’s Style
We live in a forever young society and no one mirrors that more than our celebrities, but for aging well, Helen Mirren is the perfect role model.
The Silver Fox, Stunning Gray Hair Styles
What are the best products to keep silver hair in top condition? Which celebrities have gone gray and flaunt it? Find out and get style ideas, too. Beautiful up-to-date hairstyles.
There are some fabulous products that really rev up the shine that is so vital for great looking silver hair.
Having gray hair was once, and for many still is, a dreaded sign of age. This was a change to be denied with frequent trips to the Salon or Drug store so that “only her hairdresser” knew for sure whether there were streaks of gray growing in that crown of glory.
Times have changed and with many women accepting, even reveling, in their gray tresses, lots of beauty products have come on to the market to make the best of the silver color.
There are three main things for great looking hair that has lost its pigments (the things that make strands black to blonde and everything in between)
Healthy habits that give strength and vitality ( the hair has to start out in good condition)
Keeping the hair clean and moisturized, which removes dulling buildup and prevents dry frizzies)
Using hair products that cancel yellowing, product to give shine and polish, gentle care when styling.
Let’s Look At Shampoo And Conditioner
Look for something gentle:
Keeping hair moisturized and healthy-looking is a matter of being gentle with it: no harsh products that strip away the oils and out er layer of the hair shaft. No overuse of heat from dryers and flatirons, or chemical treatments (permanents or straighteners).
Personally I have been using Paul Mitchell’s Forever Blonde, which tones and shines up my silvery hair.
If you’d like to try an intro pack of full size bottles in a case, I think you might be pleased with this combo sold on Amazon. The formuas are sulfate-free, gentle and moisturizing , and I love the toning color effect on my hair.
What about parabens?
Parabens are preservatives. The worry was that, as xenoestrogens, they would contribute to cancers- especially breast cancer.Commonly used in shampoos and other cosmetic formulations, if you have concerns seek out a Paraben-free product.
What about sulfates?
Sulfates are more potentially dangerous, and connected with a number of health issues, including hair loss.
The most popular of all the shampoos/conditioners that are used by women who frequent my pages on Silver hair is Pravana. It is free of the offending additives,
These two choices are the top two brands I would personally recommend, on all counts.
Styling And Shine
Finally we come to the main topic, which is how to add some real wattage to your hair, bringing out all the beauty of silvery hair. (And that includes, the salt and pepper and steel variety of grays, too),
I Love Serums
The first must have is serum. There is more than one, but again I am partial to Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger Styling Treatment Oil. No, I’m not paid to recommend these products. This brand has just worked out very well for me.
I love this stuff and not just for the gorgeous scent (which is one of the selling points that I would certainly gush on about).
Most any serum is going to give you the sleek look you are looking for, and I have used many types, Garnier, L’Oreal, John Frieda-and more. But the Wild Ginger Treatment Oil has natural extracts along with the silicone that produces the shininess. It is very lightweight and doesn’t weigh down your hair.
Apply it right after washing your hair, while it is still quite damp.
Buy Two, because you will love the way it makes your hair feel, small, and look. Actually I use this entire line of products. From the shampp through the sea-spray, to the hair styling mousse and more. What can I say? I fell in love with the fragrance and the way my hair looked.
(For shampoo and conditioner I switch off between the Forever Blonde and the Wild Ginger…with occasional use of Bumble and Bumble) I happen to be a big believer in rotating through different formulations for hair products.
The Gray Hair Pep Talk
For More Information
I started out writing about gray hair after deciding to grow it out, and doing some research and experimentation with what products worked best for me. Getting older meant lots of beauty choices changes and this was one of them. I collected lots of info and hairstyles which I included in an article posted on Squidoo.