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.
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.
MADISON REED CREMA HAIR GLOSS
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.
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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.
KERATIN TREATMENT 3-4 TIMES A YEAR AT SALON
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).
This is after a Keratin treatment.
That completes my list.
SHOP MY FAVORITE GRAY HAIR PRODUCTS
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.
SHOP DRUGSTORE PRODUCTS FOR GRAY HAIR
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.