How to Soften Grey Hair

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Photo: @TheGlamTech on Instagram
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Gray hair also known as canities are one of the most glorified yet feared phenomenon’s in the American hair world. Many people love and hate gray hair because it often symbolizes age.  There are others who love and hate gray hair because it is very resistant to other colors.  One of the most popular topics surrounding the idea of gray hair however, is its change in texture and how to soften gray hair.

How to Soften Gray Hair

Photo: @NikkiHStylist on Instagram

As hormones change for various reasons inclusive of age, genetics, medication, and more, the sebaceous glands that supply oil to the hair as well as the melanin in hair which provides pigment can drastically change.  The resulting changes as mentioned above can cause hard, brittle gray hair.  As a means of softening such hair which will allow the hair to take in other products, stylists and those who have gray hair can follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Imparting moisture into the hair-as a simple means of softening gray hair using conditioners on a regular basis and having deep conditioning treatments periodically can soften the hair strand.
  • Using color developers prior to coloring services- before coloring gray hair (be it with semi, demi, or permanent color) applying a low volume developer can help to soften the hair by opening the outermost layer of the hair (the cuticle) which will also allow for deeper penetration of the color that will essentially provide more vibrant, longer lasting color.
  • Using a clear gloss- All color services do not have to change the color of one’s hair, some can simply be for the purpose of vibrancy. This is also true of gray hair; not only can the use of clear hair color or color gloss create vibrant gray hair, it can also reduce the appearance of hard, frizzy, gray hair.

While this is not an exhaustive list of solutions for hard gray hair, utilizing the previously mentioned steps can serve as some of the least harmful means of softening gray hair.

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Shané is a senior cosmetologist and the proprietor of Back to the Shop- an online magazine that explores black beauty culture beyond aesthetics/looks. Shané holds Bachelor and Master degrees in English, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in African American Studies/ Africology. As a native of the D(M)V, Shané has a front seat to the trends in the nation’s capital and abroad. With her mastery of English, tenure in the beauty industry, and her appreciation of culture, Shané offers a unique perspective on beauty matters.
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