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How A Top Colorist Cares For Graying Hair In 3 Easy Steps

November 8, 2021

For most of us, graying is an inevitable part of life. And how you choose to care for your silver strands is entirely up to you—be it blending it with color or embracing it as it comes in. No matter what you decide to do with your own, this most recent episode of Clean Beauty School is worth a listen. 

In it, I chat with influential hairstylist Christin Brown, a curl and silvering expert. Throughout the episode, we talk about every aspect of care, from what makes gray hair different to how you can make your silver strands work for you. 

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Here, a few of her best tips—but be sure to tune in to learn more: 

1.

Use rosemary. 

Perhaps you're seeing an uptick in grays lately—Brown notes many of her clients have experienced something similar, largely due to the increase in stress—and you're looking for ways to slow the process down. 

"Rosemary is an incredible gray and silvering ally. There have been some studies done where rosemary has shown the slowing down process of graying in the hair, which is pretty fascinating," she says.  

The powerful benefits of topical rosemary come from its incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants act as a defense system in the body, fighting against free radicals that can stress cells and accelerate aging. And rosemary is near the top of the list for herbs with the most antioxidants1

See, when your scalp and hair follicles are experiencing oxidative stress, they gray faster. When you are able to keep your body from entering a state of oxidant imbalance, you're less likely to experience early graying. 

2.

Transition with highlights.

How you embrace your gray doesn't have to be, well, black and white. Some people find they are open to showing off some silver, without going all the way yet. The best way to achieve this is through highlights

"You can do something a little bit more transitional, which is getting very light highlights around your face, and lightening those up to such a higher level to where it can look almost like gray. It's what we call silver blending."

That way the color grow-out isn't as dramatic, and it allows you to show off some silver—without embracing the whole head if you're not ready. 

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3.

Get a purple shampoo 

At-home toning products are great for enhancing the quality of your hair color as they are able to color-correct unwanted undertones. Purple shampoos are certainly the most popular, as they neutralize yellow in the hair—a common problem for those who lighten their hair or have gray hair. 

"These brighten up silver hair, so it really gives it that luminescent vibe—It feels so uplifting," she says, noting she's been using the Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo. "Gray hair grabs what's in the atmosphere, so it can turn yellow very quickly—this should help that." 

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.