A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist U.S.
“As you age, your hair changes,” says Tahlya Loveday, a master stylist at the Drawing Room salon. And altering your hair-care routine to accommodate these changes is key to maintaining great locks — especially when hair starts to go grey, according to Loveday and the ten other stylists we spoke to. Not only does the colour change necessitate using products designed to keep grey hair bright and toned, but going grey means the texture of your hair will likely change, too. Grey strands tend to be coarser, drier, and more unruly, thus requiring products that deliver lots of moisture. Below, our experts recommend their favourite shampoos, conditioners, masks, and accessories for taming and nourishing grey hair.
Best overall products for treating grey hair
To preserve and maintain the colour of grey hair, it’s essential to find the right shampoo and conditioner to keep grey strands from taking on a yellow or blue tint. Three of our experts recommend Davines Alchemic shampoo and conditioner, which are both formulated with a slight tint to counteract any brassy colour and will “help neutralise any yellow tones to keep grey looking a cool silver,” according to Jehnna Mahoney, a hairstylist at Kennaland Salon. In addition to toning the hair, the Davines conditioner is also hydrating (which is important since grey hair generally needs more moisture), so it will leave hair looking healthy and shiny. Davines is also a favourite of Ryan Cunningham, a stylist at Whittemore House, who recommends shampooing and conditioning grey hair twice a week to keep your colour looking its best.
Best products to use when you start to go grey
Brit Kenna, celebrity stylist and owner of Kennaland Salon, also likes Iles shampoos and conditioners, which he says are ideal for those who are just starting to go grey because the ultralight formula with silk protein “won’t overwhelm naturally coloured hair while smoothing incoming greys.” Chelsey Pickthorn, master stylist and founder of Pickthorn Salon, also likes these Iles products for the way they treat the texture of grey hair. “I just find that they soften the hair and have the ability to weigh down some of those unruly textures without overweighing the rest of the hair.”
Best clarifying shampoos for grey hair
Using a clarifying shampoo in addition to an everyday shampoo like those above will help keep grey hair looking bright by removing yellowing pollutants and by preventing the buildup of products and minerals found in water, all of which can dull hair. But all the stylists we spoke with recommended using clarifying shampoos sparingly — at the most, once a week; at the least, once a month, depending on your hair’s needs. Both Mahoney and Pickthorn use Davines Solu shampoo, which is formulated with buckwheat extract to give hair an even deeper cleanse.
Emaly Baum, a colourist at Suite Caroline (and the woman responsible for Rio’s transformation from brunette to platinum blonde), also suggests using a clarifying shampoo. She likes the Christophe Robin Clarifying Shampoo, which she says will help “lighten the hair and get rid of any buildup that has occurred.”
Best hair mask for moisturizing grey hair
Fringe Salon owner Amy Schiappa agrees that grey hair “can be dry, unruly, and different to take care of,” which is why she recommends incorporating masks into your routine as another way to condition and tone greys. Masks pump your hair full of moisture, and should be used about once a week, depending on how dry your hair is. Baum also suggests using masks, specifically this one from Christophe Robin. “What’s great about this product is that not only is it moisturising, but it helps deposit cool tones back into the hair to keep it looking silver and fresh,” she explains.
Best leave-in treatment for frizzy grey hair
Grey hair can get frizzy fast, which is why Anessa Daviero of Headdress Hair Salon likes to use leave-in treatments to keep frizz under control. She says this one from Rahua is “a magic leave-in treatment that calms hair down and adds shine.” Plus, the texture is somewhere between an oil and cream, which she calls “the perfect combo.”
Best leave-in treatment for coarse grey hair
“Milk is one of my favourite products,” says Baum, who notes that although this do-it-all, leave-in conditioner is great for any hair type, it works especially well on grey hair that tends to be on the coarser side. “Reverie won’t weigh your hair down, but it will leave your hair feeling soft and healthy.” [Editor’s note: This price doesn’t include shipping costs.]
Best styling products for frizzy grey hair
“When people with really coarse or thick hair begin to go grey, their hair might be frizzy all the time,” explains Cunningham. If this sounds like you, he suggests using Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil to add much-needed hydration to your hair while also taming its frizz.
When blow-drying your hair, Pickthorn suggests using this product with a “cream-to-oil” formula from Alterna Haircare. “It’s not too heavy, but it is on the thicker, concentrated side of things,” she says. Rub some of it through your hair before blow-drying in order to seal down frizzy greys and keep them smooth.
The stylists at Contesta Rock Salon recommend this affordable gel-cream from L’Oréal, because its unique texture helps to “manage the look of unruly, frizzy, or rebellious hair.”
Best styling product for fine grey hair
Best brush for grey hair
Along with the correct products, using the right styling tools can make a big difference when it comes to maintaining grey hair. Both Cunningham and Pickthorn are big proponents of using a Mason Pearson brush. “It really helps smooth out hair without creating too much tension,” says Cunningham. The boar bristles also help spread the natural oils on your scalp down the length of your hair, which aids in softening, conditioning, and taming greys.
Best hair straighteners for grey hair
“For an immediate fix on coarser hair, I recommend investing in a good pair of ceramic straighteners,” says Kenna. He particularly likes the GHD Platinum+ Professional Performance Styler. It’s on the pricier side, but Kenna says there’s a reason not to skimp when it comes to tools like these. “Cheap ones can cause a lot of damage,” he explains.
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