How Do I Care for Long Gray Hair?

T. Carrier

Hair appearance and hairstyle preferences vary widely, especially with respect to hair length and hair color. If an individual has decided to maintain long gray hair, then half the battle is over. Maintenance and particular styling options become the guiding decisions. Color shades, clarifying shampoos and conditioners, and hair accessories can help an individual maintain a nice and healthy head of long gray hair. Routine trimming and salon visits may also prove useful in long gray hair care.

Shampooing hair is vital to any hair care process, and selecting the right shampoo can often make or break a look.
Shampooing hair is vital to any hair care process, and selecting the right shampoo can often make or break a look.

Shampooing hair is vital to any hair care process, and selecting the right shampoo can often make or break a look. Many shampoo brands offer particular product types for different hair colors and hair styles. Finding such a product for gray or silver hair should prove relatively easy, and many varieties also offer specific products for long hair and its various textures. An individual with long gray hair might wish to experiment with these products until a right fit is achieved, or even combine one or more products. Purchasers may wish to consider a shampoo type called clarifying shampoo in particular, as it contains a special dye that addresses the yellow tint many shades of gray may assume.

Routine visits to the beauty salon for trimming and shampooing can help maintain beautiful gray hair.
Routine visits to the beauty salon for trimming and shampooing can help maintain beautiful gray hair.

Proper conditioning can further help long gray hair maintain shine and build. As with the shampoos, a purchaser may seek a clarifying product. Deep conditioning is an intense process for the hair, however, and should therefore only be implemented about once a week. Many salons perform this process in a professional manner with good results. Natural oils can assist in offsetting hair dryness as well.

Gray hair — like other hair types — comes in different shades, ranging from almost white to dark silver. If an individual wishes to draw attention to a certain shade, some light hair coloring could prove effective. Subtle streaks or highlights might also look attractive for a salt-and-pepper, light-and-dark contrast.

Even if an individual prefers longer gray hair, trimming is important to eliminate split ends. Long hair is also older hair, and thus more subject to damage and injury. The ends of a hair shaft are usually the most vulnerable, and when these ends divide, the split will continue moving up a hair strand and creating more damage. Some degree of hair cutting should likely occur at least bi-weekly.

If longer hair becomes intrusive, it may be placed in a ponytail or similar bunched style, which can work for men or women. A more fancy variation of this idea is the French braid. Hair sticks can also help maintain longer hair.

Beauty salon workers could provide helpful tips for individual long gray hair styling. In general, an individual should opt for more conservative styles that do not require a great deal of maintenance. Gray hairs tend to be less hardy and less moisturized, so over-treating — especially with heat — may lead to more hair loss. Faithful brushing with a minimum of styling products should help hair remain attractive and healthy. In addition, occasional gloss application can aid in long gray hair retaining its luster.

As for particular hairstyles, women may keep it simple with a bun style where hair is wrapped atop the head. Since gray hair is often thinner than normal, layering hair could add extra volume and frame facial features. Men may opt for a slicked or slightly shaggy look.

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