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How to Make Gray Hair Shiny Silver (2 Ways)

by Sandy Taylor

2 common methods to enhance gray hair and to give it a more silvery appearance is to change your hair care routine (use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner) or use silver hair dye. Which one you choose will depend on your natural hue. Some people grow a uniform gray look while others develop salt and peppery strands.

In this post, I will go over the 2 common methods that can help you make your gray hair shiny silver.

Change Your Hair Care Routine

If your hair is of a uniform hue, it’s best to change up your hair care routine. As we age, the pigment cells (melanocytes) in our hair die gradually and our hair follicles produce less oil. The lack of sebum in gray hair makes it look coarse, frizzy, and lackluster.

In addition, Gray hair often develops a yellow undertone caused by the surrounding environment. For example, using a yellow yellowish shampoo or conditioner on gray hair can deposit yellow pigments in your hair. Other factors that may cause gray hair to turn yellow may be the chlorine in your water, sunlight, and the oils from your scalp.

Here are some hair care tips for gray hair to make it shiny silver:

Tip 1 – Use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner: To return shine back to your gray hair,  you will need to switch to a hydrating shampoo and conditioner that will keep your hair looking smooth and feeling less brittle. Adding more hydration to your hair can change it from a dull gray to a silvery steel color.

Tip 2Neutralize yellow undertones: Choose shampoos that can neutralize yellow undertones. On the color wheel, yellow is directly across purple which means you should opt for a shampoo formulated with purple deposits.

Tip 3 –  Citric Acid: Look for citric acid as the main ingredient for your shampoo. Studies have shown that citric acid can make gray hair softer, smoother, and stronger.

Tip 4 – Look for silver pigments: Choose a conditioner that can add silver pigments to your hair. This will help to keep it shiny longer.

Tip 5 – Maintenance: Wash your hair with the shampoo and conditioner at least 2-3 times a week to maintain the look and to ensure that the yellow undertones don’t return.

If you’re looking for a suggestion, try Redken Color Extend Graydiant Purple Shampoo For Gray and Silver Hair Tones. This shampoo is specifically designed for gray and silver hair. It contains purple deposits to help remove yellow undertones. It’s also formulated with citric acid to keep your hair smooth and strong.

This shampoo is best paired with Redken Color Extend Graydiant Conditioner which is an excellent hair toner for gray and silver hair. It’s formulated with custom silver pigments that can progressively brighten and tone gray hair.

Tip 6- UV Protection: Gray hair lacks pigment and it’s prone to sun damage which could cause it to look yellow. Protect your hair with a UV hair protection spray as part of your maintenance routine.

Choose a protectant that contains argan oil because argan oil contains rich antioxidants and essential fatty acids that can help nourish hair. Studies have shown that argan oil can protect and nourish hair.

A protection spray that you can try is the Moroccanoil Protect & Prevent Spray. This protection spray helps to shield your gray hair from UV rays and other environmental factors that can diminish hair color.  It can also be used as a detangling spray.  It contains argan oil which is essential for hair health.

Tip 7- Lower the Heat: The heat from your blow dryer can damage your gray hair and degrade the proteins of your hair. This can cause your gray hair to turn yellow. Pro-long consequences could lead to weakening in the elasticity of your hair and reduced moisture which will cause your hair to frizz.

To prevent heat damage to gray hair, try to put on a protective leave-in gel to your damp gray hair after washing it and remove as much moisture as possible with a towel before drying it.  Use the lowest heat setting on your blow dryer and keep it at least 6 inches from your hair.

If you want to use irons, use the lowest heat setting and make as few passes over the hair as possible.

Use Silver Hair Dye and Highlights

The best way to make your gray hair silver using hair dye and highlights is to obtain help from a professional at your nearby salon. This may seem obvious but it’s your safest bet in order to ensure that you obtain the silver color that you want and without damaging your hair.

Work with your stylist in order to find a shade that suits your hair. Because your hair is already a very light color, your stylist may not need to utilize bleaching in order to lighten it further.

Your stylist may also recommend highlighting or lowlighting your hair to bring out its natural colors. This process only has your stylist working on sections of your hair, but its effects are seen throughout your entire head of hair.

Your stylist may recommend a darker shade of gray as a lowlight in order to bring out the sheen of your gray hair to make it seem silvery. Highlighting your hair with lighter, silvery sections can make it seem like your whole hair is a lot shinier and a bit more silver-tinged than it actually is.

Don’t try to perform highlights or lowlights on yourself without assistance from a stylist or someone who is very, very well versed with hair dye. Many off-the-shelf products are effective in creating a silver, steel gray look, but the directions need to be followed to the letter.

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