Resources for graying hair
February 21, 2018 3:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for blogs, vlogs, articles etc about hair care (products, styling advice, cuts) for women with naturally graying hair.

I'm in my late 30s and have completely grown out my hair to its natural (15%? gray) colour over a number of years and have now to face up to the unfortunate reality that I do not look like Gloria Steinem/Tan France from Queer Eye, but actually like a destitute witch. I'd love advice and how tos from real life people on styling graying hair. The big thing that makes a difference is having a nice outfit and good makeup on, but the witchy hair remains.

My hair type is: thick, not very straight, holds a curl well, but not wavy enough that if you cut in layers they curl; the layers just hang there like a sad sheet, so maybe 1c?

(While product tips are always welcome, I'm not particularly interested in advice from salons or vendors, that result in a salon finish. I'd like to see a normal person do their hair in their normal home.).
posted by bimbam to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Hello, silver sister! Following, because I'm embracing the gray. It's a decision I re-make every day, when I eyeball that frazzled woman in the mirror. I'm still growing mine out, so I've got a variety of challenges happening.

Gray hair seems to have a different texture, so not only is the color different, but the individual hairs are more unruly. Things I have found to help are:
1) a clear glaze applied at my local Aveda salon. Doesn't change the color, but adds shine and helps smooth the cuticle.
2) a good blowout, at home or professionally, with a round brush
3) a smoothing serum. It will take some experimenting to find your favorite, but reducing the flyaway randomness makes me look less like I'm attempting to cosplay Grandmama Addams.
4)Since I'm not inclined to give myself a good blowout every other day (who has time, or upper arm strength?) I wear a bun or braids pretty often, to at least contain the mayhem.

Facebook has some social groups for women making the same choice, if you need some support.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:23 AM on February 21, 2018 [7 favorites]

Here are some blogs on the subject - just googling grey hair blogs will pop up loads more. Accidental Icon did a recent post on this subject, Highland Fashionista - blog of an American woman living between Scotland and getting ready to move to FL - some about her going grey, Accidental Icon, Advanced Style -photoblog of seniors who are extreme in their approach to fashion; That's Not My Age - British former fashion editor's blog - some grey hair info, another post on going grey from a different blogger.

I am completely silver and have been for years and have long hair at this point. I rarely blow-dry, use a bluing shampoo and deep condition once a week. Use a couple drops of Argan oil several times a week as well, go for a strong lip, dramatic earrings and embrace my witchiness - but am an artist so don't need to be as conventional as some for work and am a bit older too.
posted by leslies at 5:36 AM on February 21, 2018

I am pretty grey and purple shampoo and conditioner used a couple times a week definitely make my hair look better (here is a pic). I use the Kevin Murphy blonde angel ones. I can't recommend this highly enough. Otherwise my main issue is de-frizzing and I use a Devacurl wavy hair product to help with that. My library also recently added the digital version of this silver hair handbook, but I haven't checked it out yet.
posted by leesh at 6:44 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

Not a direct answer to your question but hopefully helpful: after many unsuccessful trials, I found this hair clip/hair claw for my mother, who is 100% gray. It is the perfect match for gray hair - not only It's the exact shade of gray, not too light and not too dark, but it's also the exact sheen, not too glossy and not too matte. I am not sure why it's described as a "small" slaw, it's a full size clip for the average amount of hair.
posted by rada at 6:56 AM on February 21, 2018

I am in my mid-30s and about half way through my transition to "natural" hair. I had to stop dying my hair about a year ago, so I'm definitely dealing with the "fun" of growing out my dyed hair and learning how to deal with grey hair. It is definitely a different beast.

I have the fun of:
- having most of my grey in my temples, so I'm perpetually rocking a sort of frizzy Bride of Frankenstein thing
- developing a scalp issue (psoriasis) that precludes most of my old straightening products
- my natural colour being a shitty mousy brown, so the grey really stands out AND I really miss the dark brown I used to dye it.
- My grey hair has a TOTALLY different texture from my normal hair, and it is a frizzy mess left unattended.

Things I have learned:
1. I double down on conditioner. I am a fan of the Aussie "3 Minute Miracle" conditioners, especially the "Moist" and "Smooth" ones. I use those every day IN ADDITION TO my normal conditioner.
2. Oil helps. I have been using OGX oils for a few years for general smoothing/shining, but it helps smooth my grey as well. I have recently started using Frizz Ease Serum, focusing primarily on my temples since that is where the bulk of my grey is. It seems to be pretty good, but I'm not sure it is all that much better than the other hair oils out there, like the OGX oil I was using before.
3. I used to flat iron my hair every single day, but I have since had a bit of a come-to-jesus with my natural curls. I am trying to limit how much heat styling to do, especially in terms of flat irons. Apparently excessive heat styling can discolour your grey? However, on the rare occasion when I do heat style I make sure I use a good heat protector.
4. I treat my grey hair very preciously and avoid ANYTHING that I feel could damage it or make it worse. For that reason, I sleep in a stupid little silk hat thing. I'm not 100% if it helps with the grey frizzies, but it at least seems to be helping with hair breakage.
5. I don't like using a ton of hair spray because it really irritates my scalp. HOWEVER, spraying some into my hands and then smoothing it across my hair to tame some of the frizzies does seem to help. I use this inexpensive Tresemme stuff.
6. Some days the frizzies just aren't cooperating, so I often fall back on the 'ol 50s style bandana. It is a cute look, especially when paired with a red lip. It is part "HIDE THE FRIZZ" and part "DISTRACT FROM THE FRIZZ!". I have a large collection of bandanas that I use for this.

And like others, I really fall back on using bold lipsticks and a more dramatic eye to draw attention from the grey. Going grey has forced me to learn how do a killer winged eyeliner.

Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, I also got a bunch of new ear piercings around the same time I started really feeling shitty and old about the grey. I now have two lobe piercings in each ear, plus an industrial in my left ear, and an orbital in the other. Helps me feel youthful, badass, and still like "me" despite my not feeling entirely awesome about my hair colour.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:31 AM on February 21, 2018

I'm 35 and probably 65% gray. I love my gray hair and get compliments on it all the time; I think pairing gray hair with a relatively aggressive haircut (I have a short asymmetrical undercut) works really well, because it makes it clear that you've actively chosen this hair. Like the good outfit and bold lipstick, it says: I haven't given up, I like my silver.

Nthing purple conditioner (I use the Aveda one, about 2-3x/week, alternating with a normal conditioner), and occasional deep conditioning, because the texture really does change. I also use a tiny bit of this Oribe cream to style it, which keeps things smooth and organized.
posted by dizziest at 10:41 AM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

Layers are not always friendly to curls and waves. If you are not getting your hair cut specifically by someone who knows how to cut curls, then perhaps part of the issue is your cut. How you cleanse you hair can also make a difference (find Curly Girl if you can, or poke around
posted by evening at 11:00 AM on February 21, 2018

The Fat Mascara podcast just did an episode with Lorraine Massey that might be of interest.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:14 PM on February 21, 2018

I'm late 40s and easing into growing out my grey. My hair is shoulder-length and I was coloring it until a few years ago. I'm trying the "low-lights" method (ash-brown applied sparingly with foils) to get break up the line of grey coming out from the roots. It has the added benefit of putting color on just some of the strands of hair to help tame the grey frizzes.

My other taming tricks are this Aveda product and a light once-over with a flat iron. Not enough to get super straight (my hair is also medium wavy) but just enough to corral the unruly greys.
posted by pantarei70 at 12:50 PM on February 21, 2018

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