10 Gray Hair Mistakes

Gray Hair Tips.JPG

I'm lucky I started graying in my early 20's! Can you feel the sarcasm? After coloring my hair for more than 15 years, I decided it was time to embrace the gray hair. 

My tipping point was my fashion-forward stylist who noticed my gray hair (after not coloring it for a month) and told me I should consider letting it grow out. I took his advice and let my hair grow out, but it was not without the struggle. It took a while until I looked at myself in the mirror and did not equate gray hair to mean that I'm old or ugly.

Slowly I embraced the gray hair, and I wear it as a badge of honor showing the world that gray hair can be cool. 

Here are some pics of my hair. Its still not all over gray but its coming along nicely. 

Mistake 1: You are not using the right hair tools

You will need help smoothing out your gray hair that can get dry and wiry hair while you blow dry it.

Fix It: 

Throw out your old paddle brush for a boar bristle brush when you blow dry your hair. The natural boar bristles will grip the hair better than a paddle brush and leave your hair smoother as well. And best of all the boar bristle will distribute the natural oils in your scalp to the ends of your hair making it sleek and shine more. The Rolls-Royce of Boar Bristle brushes than choose the Mason Pearson brush. That may not be in your budget, and a Denman boar bristle brush may be more of your liking. And hey they both work well on your hair. 

Mistake 2 You're Not Using Hair Oils 

Before having my gray hair, I would not even consider putting oils in my hair. But as my hair has changed so has the texture and moisture of my hair. It's not dry and wiry. 

Fix It:

Regardless if you dry your naturally or blow dry your hair, put a few drops of oil like Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil. Put it on damp hair and focus on the ends to make them smoother. 

Mistake 3. You're Using Products That Turn Your Hair Yellow 

There are a couple of reasons why your gray hair is turning yellow. It can be hair products you are putting on your hair or the styling tools that you're using that's causing your hair to become yellow. Say you are curling your hair, but you put in a styling product beforehand. The combination of the these two could be causing the curling iron to burn your hair thus making it look yellow. 

If your hair is turning yellow and you are using heat tools, you may choose to skip on using silver-enhancing hair products. Silver-enhancing products won't erase patches of color, but instead, it will sit on top of the yellowing hair. You're just putting color on color. 

Fix It:

Choose a curling, flat iron tools where you can change the heat setting. Also make sure you protect your hair before you flat iron, dry or curl it by using styling products that have built-in heat protection. A great product to choose is Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray. 

Instead of the Silver-Enhancing shampoo choose a clarifying shampoo. Use it no more than twice a week and not on consecutive days. I'm a fan of Living Proof Restore Shampoo

Mistake 4. You're Not Gentle With Your Hair.  

As you age, your hair changes consistency. It loses elasticity and is more prone to breakage. A cotton or flannel pillowcase will cause more damage to your weak gray hair. Cotton pillowcases also rob you from the natural oils in your hair. 

Fix it:

Change your pillowcases to a silk pillowcase to prevent hair breakage as you move your head when you sleep. There are many silk pillowcases, but I prefer Pure Silk Pillowcase. You can also tie a silk scarf around your hair, but I tried this, and that darn scarf was off my head the first time I changed sleeping position!

Mistake 5. You're Using Purple Shampoo Everyday

Although purple shampoo is great for gray hair as it will get rid of the dingy hue that your gray hair can take on over time. Using purple shampoo daily will lead your hair to take on a purple hue, not quite what you want for your gray hair. 

Fix it:

Choose a shampoo you can alternate in with the purple shampoo you currently use. I like using Miracle of Aloe's Softly Silver; it makes my hair feel softer. You can also choose to do a once-a-week deep conditioner to help with the dryness. 

Mistake 6. You Don't Filter your shower water. (AquaBliss)

So this is not over the top to add a filter to your shower, trust me it's all about chemistry and your hair. Minerals and hard water will make your hair look dull and brassy. You are probably showering with water that has chlorine in it. Chlorine will damage your gray hair making it look wirier than it already is. 

Fix It:

Put a filter on your shower to filter out minerals and hard water. The best I've found is Aqua Bliss Shower Filter. This does not change the shower head, which means your water pressure is not effected. 

Mistake 7. You're Not Prepared for the Pool or Beach

When you're going to the beach or pool, you have sun protection, but you also need gray hair protection! Chlorine will make your gray hair duller and it can give it a green tinge to your gray. Salt water can make your hair look brassy. 

Fix it:

Before you head out to the pool or the beach put conditioner on damp hair before you get in the pool or beach. The conditioner will prevent from soaking up the salt or chlorine into your hair. If you can't do this before each pool or beach outing than consider using a hair treatment to get rid of the discoloration. Try Rita Hazan Breaking Brass Gloss

Mistake 8. You've Layered Your Hair Too Much

Layers are all fun until you start graying. The more you layer your hair, the more styling time it usually takes. Meaning you will put more heat on your hair, causing it more damage. And the extra layers will highlight the wiriness of your gray locks! It will also make your hair look less shiny and healthy because the layered hair will scatter light instead of reflecting light. 

Fix it:

Ask your hairdresser for a precision cut instead of a layered cut. What's a precision cut? Its a haircut with a little layering. Razors are the latest trend with hairdressers. Don't let your hairdresser anywhere near your hair if they have a razor in their hand unless you want unruly gray hair. 

Mistake 9. You're Using the Wrong Towel to Dry Hair

Regular cotton towels will cause more damage to your weak gray hair. The friction will cause more breakage and frizz. 

Fix it:

Throw out your regular cotton towel for a microfiber towel. I use Aquis Original Hair Turban. I love that it drys my hair faster, so less time using a hairdryer. Its super light and I can wear it while I get dressed and put on my make up. Using a microfiber turban style towel also means less friction and thus less frizz

Mistake 10. You're Using Hair Products with Alcohol

Hair products with alcohol are a no-no for gray hair. As gray hair already struggles in keeping moisture and adding alcohol to your hair will only dry out even more and make it look even wirier. 

Fix It: 

Spritz or run the ends of your hair with an alcohol-free shine spray/oil. Apply hair shine every day, but pass on it if you are not washing your hair as the oil will cause your hair to look weighed down. 

Tools I use On My Gray Hair

Ceramic Hairdryer - Croc Hybrid Hair Dryer - This hairdryer drys my hair fast, but also leaves my hair smooth and soft. 
Ceramic Flat Iron - Croc Classic Nano-Titanium Flat Iron - I like this flat iron because I can control the temperature and it turns off automatically after a specific time, so no more worrying if you left the flat iron. I can count the times I've returned home thinking I had left my previous flat iron on!

Temporary Spray Color - L'Oreal Paris Hair Color Root Cover Up Hair Dye
I used this product when I was still in the early stages of growing out my gray. I would use this only if I had a special occasion. I did  not use it everyday because I work out and the color rubs on your hands if you touch your hair. 

Gray Hair Myths Exposed

  • Plucking gray hairs won't bring in more gray hair growth. Plucking your hair can damage your hair follicle, and in worst case scenario the hair may not grow back. But plucking a gray hair will not affect the other hairs around that plucked hair. 
  • You can't give yourself gray hair. Its common to hear people say that stress has caused them to gray early. No scientific evidence has shown stress linked to gray hair, but it has been linked to temporary hair loss. If you do suffer from hair loss due to stress once the hair starts growing in it can be less pigmented than before.
  • The sun does not cause you to gray, but it does cause wrinkles.
  • Coloring hair caused your hair to lose it color pigmentation over time. Hair dyes can cause your hair to be dry or brittle but no its not causing you to go gray. 

How to Go From Dyed Hair to Gray Hair

  • Get a good haircut and if you are willing to get an edgy cut so your gray hair will look chicer.
  • If you have dark hair, you may consider l0-lites or hi-lites to help soften your gray roots. Many will call it quits because they can't stand the way their roots make them look. 
  • Choose your hair products wisely. Earlier I listed quite a few products that will help you keep your hair looking shiny and healthy. 
  • Embrace your natural beauty and remember its just hair, so do not let your identity be tethered to your looks!