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Gray Hair Care Products that Work for Me

Sorry for the late post.  Things are happening pretty fast here.  I think we are going to be homeless soon. My hair has been gray since 2011. I usually preface a post like this with the phrase “I am not an expert”.  This is one area where I think I may be close to it.  There were very few products for gray hair back when I first went gray. There are many more now, thankfully. I have had many years of experience with gray hair and I have tried most of the products available. Many of you are new to going gray and have requested that I share how I care for my gray hair, and the products that work for me. If you are thinking about going gray you might enjoy my Tips for Going Gray here. I still use many of the originals but have recently found a few new ones (and some you should avoid). Let’s talk about the gray hair care products that work for me.

cindy hattersley's gray hair

Our hair goes gray because it is producing less color.  The pigment cells in the hair follicle produce melanin, which gives it color just as it does for our skin. Our hair goes through cycles, and as we age, when it dies and regenerates it comes back without its pigment. In turn, the hair follicles produce less oil and our hair becomes more coarse, wiry, and harder to manage. As you can see in the illustration above my hair tends to yellow, so the purple or blue-hued products are essential for me. 


seven tips for maintaining healthy gray hair


The Madison Read Crema Gloss was and continues to be my absolute favorite product. It also made the best of Allure 2020 edition.  You can have your hairdresser apply it or you can do it yourself.  I tried the Rita Hazen version. I know many of her products are excellent but do not waste your money on this one.


Let’s begin with shampoo.  My favorite blue-hued shampoo is phytargent no yellow shampoo. It uses plant-based ingredients so it is kind to your hair and the planet. This shampoo does not lather like some shampoos but it works. It is far and away my favorite but I believe in alternating products. #2 in my arsenal would be the Aveda Blue Malva shampoo.  which is also plant based.  It also comes in a large container which can be more economical. 

The other two shampoos that I alternate when I am not using the blue hued is the khlorane (also blant based with natural whiteneing), and the Moroccanoil Clarifying shampoo.  If your hair has any tendency for turning bluish (my hair does not) the khlorance has wihitening qualities without the blue hue.  The Moroccanoil is the best clarifying shampoo I have tried and I have tried many. You will note it is on almost every list for a reason.  It is wonderful.

You might enjoy reading:

Allure’s best clarifying shampoos

Cosmopolitan’s best clarifying shampoos


I continue to use Davines Alchemic Conditioner whenever I use one of the blue based shampoos. It is the best I have found.  I just recently started using the very highly rated Olaplex system for the. If you go to their website you can take a little quiz and they will taylor the products to your hair.   I am using the #0 Intensive Bond Building Treatment, and the #3 hair perfector.  They have a million products, but I have other products that I like so I am only using these two as a more intensive treatment. I think the olaplex products may allow me to extend the time between keratin treatments as well.


If your hair is not frizzy like mine you will not need this one.  My hair is thick, coarse and just wavy enough to be a pain in the arse.  This has been a game changer for me. If I get 3-4 treatments a year I rarely have to use the flat iron.

This is what my hair looks like when I am in need of a keratin treatment (note the frizz).

over 50 style blogger cindy hattersley

This is after a Keratin treatment.

cindy hattersley in black leather jacket


The two products that I use every time I style my hair are the John Frieda frizz ease and the original Moroccan Oil.  The two combined keep the frizz at bay for the most part.

That completes my list.



I realize some of the products above are pricey.  Now that my hair is longer I pull it back in a ponytail when working from home, so I certainly don’t wash my hair everyday.  The products below are also good if you are on a budget, particularly the Rusk products. Also DO NOT BUY the Matrix total results go silver.  I did not read the reviews and purchased it on a whim.  It does exactly what you are trying to avoid, it literally turns your hair greenish.  I read the reviews when I got home.  I don’t have any idea how they can sell that stuff, it is awful.



I have previously written about gray hair here, How to Keep your Gray Hair Looking Great, and Going Gray and Maintaining it the Good the Bad and the Ugly. I hope these Gray Hair Care Products that Work for Me are helpful to those of you that are new to going gray. Please share any helpful hints or questions in the comment section.  We all love hearing what works for others.  

Reader Interactions


  1. Charlotte says

    Cindy, I enjoy reading all your great tips! I really like the HB (Hair Biology) line carried at Target. I use the Silver Shampoo alternately with the Moisturizing Shampoo, and follow with the Silver Conditioner.
    My hairdresser recommended the Phyto Argent blue shampoo but it made my scalp itch! The HB products don’t bother me and they cost quite a bit less.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Charlotte

      Thanks for the tip. I don’t think I have ever tried that brand. Glad to hear you like it. So interesting that the Phyto made your scalp itch. I alternate between that one, the Aveda and the Chlorane. The Phyto is my favorite but I do like the others as well.

  2. Robin says

    Hi Cindy,

    I am just starting to grow out, due to LOCKDOWN, here inItaly. UGH!! I have none of your support sistoms. Your tips are always appreciated! Thanks, Robin

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Robin
      I have been thinking of you and wondering how the vaccination program is going there. Keep us posted!

  3. Mary from Life at Bella Terra says

    Cindy, what an informative post. I haven’t read your others, but is there a skin color that looks better with gray hair? Your hair is thick and lush, whereas mine is thin, yet I seem to have a good amount. I do notice that after my hair is colored (my stylist hand paints it), it feels so much fuller. I’m not tempted yet to go gray but curious about these things if I do think about it in the future. Having a great haircut/style is so important too~as you mentioned. Looking good as always!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Mary
      Thanks for reading even though you are not yet gray. You would have to pose that question to my gray readers! My skin tends to be a bit olive, but I have a gorgeous friend with porcelain skin who looks ravishing with gray. I find that both the gloss and the keratin treatment keep my hair more silky looking. Check out Kerry Lou and Sandra Sallin on Instagram, two gray haired beauties that know their stuff!

  4. home before dark says

    Called it!!! Congratulations and onward and upward! Thanks for all of the hair wisdom. My hair is white, not gray and keeping it pixified helps with the texture. With so much “indoor living” my hair is so dry. So new ideas most welcomed. I think everyone should have their Vitamin D checked! Found my was low several years ago. Decades avoiding sun helped with few wrinkles, but we do need SOME Vitamin D to keep things working! If not one thing, then another, right?

  5. SUSAN NELSON says

    Thank you, Cindy-With-the-Fabulous-Hair! Wonderful article and I wrote everything down since I’m really just beginning and not quite sure what I might need. I am using the Phyto shampoo already and ordered the Khlorane shampoo to alternate with and the Davine’s conditioner. I’m finding this going grey business is quite time consuming. Congratulations on the real estate sales. As for leaving your family home, my experience was that you are sad only until you find and fall madly in love with the next house! Thank you again for all the information and sending you good whatevers for smooth sailing over the next couple months while you find a place to hang your hat!

  6. Phyllis Sisson says

    Thank you so much for this post, I too have embraced my gray. I used to get keratin treatments before Covid and now that I’m grown out and know my new texture I would like to get another. My question is this. My stylists have been very particular about the type of shampoos, conditioner s etc to use to protect the keratin treatment. Especially to stay away from sulfates. I wondered about the products for grey hair and from what I’ve read they can strip the keratin. Have you found this? I don’t want to throw money down the drain but I do won’t to prevent yellowing my pretty grey. Thank you!

  7. Karen B. says

    Hi Cindy,
    Your hair always looks fabulous. It’s great to have the products that work. I haven’t had to let my hair go grey because I haven’t had to color it yet, but that’s just a lucky gene pool. My husband uses Klorane shampoo and loves it. You recommended it and I bought it for him.
    How exciting for you to have sold both homes. I’m sure it will be bittersweet to leave your home where you raised your children, but you’ll start a new chapter and I look forward to seeing your new home once you get settled.

  8. Linda Fant says

    Thank you, thank you! The last time I got my hair colored was April 1, 2020. It has been an interesting journey.. and 72 seemed like a good age to stop. I have continued to trim my hair every 6 weeks, so now I have half and half hair😳. The crown and sides are much more silver than the back. I am not unhappy with the results, but look forward to more even color in a year. I will be checking out all your suggestions (because your hair is gorgeous) and it will distract me from the misery I am feeling after getting my second Covid vaccine yesterday..I pray for all of you who are experiencing these side effects also😩

  9. Joan says

    I have been using the Nioxin shampoo (or generic) and conditioner for years when my normally thick hair started to thin out. I’ve been gray for about 10 years. My hairdresser told me one has to stick with this product once started on it….She did tell me I could mix in some blue shampoo with it when I saw some yellow as it grew longer. I do want to try some of the products you mentioned but my hair has very little body or wave, and I do not like to use a hairdryer. I use a mousse our a gel to give it body.
    I do have to use a curling iron at times.

  10. Liana says

    I’m currently on grey hair transition , it has been like watching paint dry, and on top of that I partially cave in twice, my front is full on platinum gray and the top and back is a dull salt and pepper of maybe 95% pepper and not enough salt. I’d say, the grey hairs have been quite easy to maintain with weekly purple shampoo and Olaplex 4 the salt and pepper portion has been very the tricky. Any recommendations/tips on how to keep that less dull and discolored ?
    I’m hoping that in a couple years the salt and peppers will catch up to the grays.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Liana

      My hair was similar to that many years ago. My hairdresser at the time did some highlights and lowlights to make the front and back blend better. Honestly the Madison Reed glaze is the holy grail. It is unbelievable. I had my hairdresser do it for years. I finally started doing it myself during covid. Of all the products that one is the most amazing. Good Luck. I don’t think you will regret it.

  11. Cheryl says

    Thank you for the great post. I’ve been using many of the same products, but the gloss is new to me. I had it done years ago and loved the texture. It will be perfect to use between keratin treatments.
    Thank you, and good luck with the houses.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Cheryl

      Honestly, those people at Madison Reed should be paying me, ha ha. It is absolutely amazing. I have tried others (like the Rita Hazen) and none compare. Ask my hairdresser, she has recommended it to numerous people.

  12. Carol H. says

    I still haven’t taken the leap to grey, but you are right on the money about hair changes with age. I have wavy sections underneath and frizz on top now. Will definitely try some of your product suggestions for that. So much info, thank you. I would like to share an easy fix for disguising thin hair at the part line. Pinterest or Facebook, How to make ur hair parting less noticeable, a video. Wiggle rattail comb back and forth, no more pink scalp!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Carol

      It’s such a hard decision I know and it certainly is not for everyone. My hair has always been frizzy. My mom and sister had beautiful curls and my hair was just wavy enough to be a pain in the ____. Love the part info. I know so many women have that problem as they age. I hope everyone is listening. I don’t have that problem but many others. I am so happy to be my age but dang I wish I hadn’t spent so many days in the sun!!

  13. Kathleen says

    Cindy, you look beautiful and wear your gray hair so well.
    I first noticed my hair graying when I was 18, by my early 30’s I was definitely gray. I remember people saying I should color it so as not to look old but I never did. I’m 65 now and and my hair is well past my waist and a beautiful silver white, thick and silky soft. I get stopped all the time and asked about it. My husband claims if he had a quarter for every person who compliments my hair he would be a rich man 🙂
    My go to product for years was Pantene Silver Expressions before they discontinued it years ago. I have found your gray hair guides very helpful in trying to find a product that works as well for me.
    Recently discovered they have brought it back. I’ll need to give it a try and see if it’s the same.
    Thank you for all the great info and inspiration you provide.
    Blessings on your next home

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Kathleen

      Well now you know more information about products than I! Susan Dakis ( I featured her awhile back on Ageless Style) has your hair. She is a facialist at my salon. She has perfect skin and locks just like you. So jealous of you ladies. My mom was coloring her hair at 30 too. Interestingly enough, my hair was whiter than hers when she passed in her early 80’s.

  14. Mary Ellen Wright says

    I, too, went gray during the pandemic. I became allergic to the hair dye during 2019 and my last dye was in Dec 2019. My hairdresser bleached my hair in sections at the line where dye started and new growth stopped. That helped me immensely to endure the growth process since I didn’t see a straight line of dye against gray hair. Then the Pandemic–so it was easier to endure and actually, the new growth didn’t bother me. My hair is white–not gray. I am now considering low lights since I believe they would give some depth to my hair and I am shocked every time I see myself in the mirror. My hairdresser says it would be a shame to cover the white, but I am not sure. Did you say you have low lights?

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Mary Ellen

      Listen to your hairdresser she sounds like she knows her stuff. I did lowlights and highlights when I was growing mine out. My hair is white as well as you can see. I don’t do anything to my hair color-wise anymore. I am happy with it as is. It has a bit of dark in the back.

  15. Francesca B. says

    Thank you Cindy fro your generous post. I have been grey for a couple of years now and my hair is so fine and thin so I have been taking Viviscal twice a day and I have seen an improvement in texture. My hairdresser thinks it is in great condition! Recently though I have noticed some real thin bits so I went to my doctor and she said my Vit D is way done so that could be causing the problem. Just sharing ladies in case it is relevant to you! Happy travels Cindy to your new place i am sure it will be just gorgeous and perfect and right for you and yours xo

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Francesca

      I have heard the same about Vitamin D. I do take it everyday as well. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! We have to help each other!

  16. Wren says

    Cindy, you and I have already communicated about this topic. Since I already had a pixie and was blonde, it wasn’t a big step to go gray. I just didn’t know how gray I really was! I thought I would be kind of patchy with some areas still holding my natural color. Last week, I took a very bold step and had my hair cut super short so that in only about 12 weeks, I achieved being “there”. And the great thing is that most areas are actually more silver like your lovely color. Right now, my hair is so short I don’t think I need a lot of products but I am keeping notes on all of your suggestions, along with our friend, Kerry-Lou so that I will know what to try when the hair grows out.
    On an aside, the ads on your blog today are really invasive. They cover some of your photos and writing and I can’t just click them away. Anything to be done?

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Wren

      I am heading up to take care of Summer tomorrow. I will check out those darn ads. Sorry about that. Thanks for telling me. I wish I could get rid of them. I am working on that. Running a blog is so expensive these days, without the ads it is hard to make it work. I hate them too. I totally understand.

  17. LA CONTESSA says

    OH NO!!!!!!!!!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      Well nothing is done “until the fat lady sings” right? We shall see but they both are in escrow. It will be very hard to leave this house but time for new adventures!!

  18. Audrey says

    Which Keratin treatment do you use? Your hair is beautiful. I’ve let my natural silvers grow since the salons were shut down in CA last March and I haven’t looked back. Those first few months were rough, and hats were helpful. LOL.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Audrey

      I have to ask my hairdresser. Lynn are you reading? Hopefully she will chime in! Yes to hats!!

  19. Judee says

    Hi Cindy,
    I too went gray (because I was allergic to the color molecule). I had very dark hair, so I got my hair cut really short and wore hats for awhile, as my grey came in like a “side part” skunk stripe!!
    I love the Davines line and use both the shampoo and conditioner in the purple color.
    I have used the Moroccan Oil Perfect Defense before blow drying and really like it.
    I also use their hydrating shampoo and conditioner. I get a deep conditioner every
    time I get a haircut (5 or 6 weeks). It makes my hair silky and I get compliments all
    the time.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Judee

      I tried the Davine’s shampoo and for my hair wasn’t a fan, but I love the conditioner. My hair was very dark as well. I agree all of the Moroccan Oil products are good. Do you know what conditioner your hairstylist uses? We would love to hear.

  20. Mary-Ellen Krull says

    My hair is not grey except for a few strands around my temples but I am using this a a reference when I turn grey. Glad to hear at least that my fine hair will be coarse-I need the volume!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Mary Ellen

      Thanks for being a sport and reading the post. That’s why I put a disclaimer at the beginning. So many people have asked for more gray hair info that I felt I had to do it. I am so glad it was so well received.

  21. Natasha says

    I don’t actually have grey hair but am so glad I clicked on your post. I am going to copy that outfit with the leopard chiffon skirt, boots and jacket. Just fab. I had to give up on some blogs for older women that ventured around Chicos and Talbots. They are fine for certain things but I love your edgy chic looks. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Natasha

      I know both Chicos and Talbots have great things but I just can’t ever seem to find things that work for me there. I do love Chico’s white non-iron shirts, however. Did you get to read the Ageless Style post on Kerry Lou? She is amazing and a fun one to follow on Instagram. I am so grateful to women like you that still want to be stylish at any age!

  22. Sandra Sallin says

    OK, it’s official. i think I have as many hair care products as lipsticks. But would you believe I need more Blue shampoos. So I’m ordering today. I love those Keratin treatments but haven’t gotten one in ages because of covid. My hair is dry, no let’s just say it’s like straw. You should see the combination of products I put in my hair.

    I’m wondering if you’ve tried that Keratase products? That’s another brand I want to look into. I love my Olapex!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sandra

      I used that Kerastase for years. It is really good as well. I have not used it since my hair has been gray. My hair is like straw too. It always has been actually. Which olaplex are you using?

  23. Carolina says

    Thank you so much for this timely post. I am in the midst of my fourth grey year and consider it a very good decision. However, I still have more dark hair than I expected and yellowing is something I am noticing now that it has grown past my shoulders. Ordered three of the products you mentioned that I hope will help with the texture, color and, if I’m lucky, even my “pain th the arse” wave problem. Next step is Keratin treatment. Fingers crossed.

    • pj says

      Hate to reply again – but I am fascinated with the thought of keratin treatment – this can’t be good for hair with formaldehyde in it, right? Does the continued treatments damage hair? I only ask because I would love to have less frizz on my white long hair! (I love not coloring it anymore and during COVID, I gave up coloring completely and I love the white!) Thanks to you, Cindy, and Sandra Sallin, for your blogs on fashion and make-up tips!!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Carolina

      I could probably use one of the purple shampoos every day and my hair would not turn purple. My hair definitely tends to yellow. If I use the Madison Reed once a month it really helps. I am a huge fan of it. I need to order it today in fact. My hair is absolutely like yours it is not curly just wavy enough to be a real nuisance!!

  24. sherry says

    I have white hair too but mine is exactly the same straight no texture to speak of that it was previously. I have problems keeping the yellow out and believe the culprit is hair spray. I haven’t found one that professes not to turn your hair yellow. I have to blow dry my hair with a round brush to get a little volume so hair spray is essential,
    I have had good luck with Oribe Silverati shampoo and conditioner as well as their brilliant blond. I will try the Morrocanoil clarifying shampoo. Thanks for the tip.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Sherry

      Give the Madison Reed gloss a try it honestly is the holy grail to me. When I was going to the hairdresser regularly I had her do it and I was more religious about it. Now I need to just be more consistent. Good Luck!

  25. Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns says


    Fist, fingers crossed that the house it sold. I am sure you will find a place to live and then it is on to the next adventure.
    As for gray, I am not ready for gray hair yet. But I agree with you , you need good hair products. I have been using Oliplex for years! I love it. I also us Oribe and their products are fabulous as well. Have a great day!

    • pj says

      The Oribe Product (Silverati) is gentle, smells great, keeps hair soft and brightens white/gray – the Oribe silverati conditioner is okay but I also use the John Frieda Frizz Ease Conditioner, too – Never heard of the Olaplex product so going to check that out! Thanks, everyone, for the recommendations.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      I know we will have major sellers remorse but we needed to do it before we were too old to take care of it!! Which Olaplex works for you?

  26. Sylvie Kahl says

    Thank you for this! I did go gray due to covid keeping me away from the hairdresser. I think I will stick with it although when I see myself in the mirror I am still shocked. I’ve been highlighting blonde with it about every 3-4 months. Not sure it’s really worth the money. I shall give some of these a try 🙂 Next up or if I have missed what to do about MAKEUP? I can’t figure out what is best now with my skin tone with this gray/white hair!! Help me Cindy.

  27. Cyndi says

    Thank you for this post. You hair is absolutely gorgeous!. I am currently trying to figure out how to stop coloring my hair and let my grey come in. I hate the thought of the awful line of demarcation! Think I need to make an appointment to speak with My hairdresser!! In the meantime, I’ll save this post!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Cyndi

      She added highlights to my hair and it wasn’t bad at all. My hair was shorter but not pixie length when I did it. I have never looked back for a second. You can read about my journey in the posts I linked to. Good Luck! I have tried all the products let me tell you!

  28. Patti says

    A few years ago I started contemplating letting my hair go grey. Covid came, the decision was made for me, and I absolutely love it! Thank you for all the information provided in this post, I will definitely look into a few of the products. Your hair is just fabulous!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Patti

      So glad you are happy with your decision. As I said above, I have never regretted it for a second.

  29. Gail says

    I’d go gray in a heartbeat if I could have gorgeous gray hair like yours! You wear it so well and it adds to you beauty and chic style.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Gail

      My hair was almost black back in the day. Many people here think I was blond. I never realized how white my hair was and every hairdresser warned against going gray but one!!

  30. Jo Floyd says

    Thankyou from one grey dolly to another. Yes the purple shampoo once a fortnight works for me as well . It’s great to be aging naturally( much less bother all round) 🤣
    All the best for what sounds like a shift in residence. Think positively .Luv

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Jo

      I could not do without the purple shampoo, and totally agree about it being simpler. We are definitely moving it looks like but you never know until it’s over!!

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