For decades, gray and silver hair has been a target. Equated with (gasp!) getting older and too much stress. A persistent color that one struggles with (“stubborn grays,” anyone?). The color added a layer of complexity for women who were already straightening their curls. Thankfully, attitudes are changing — and how. Now having gray hair is the hot new trend. More women feel encouraged to embrace their true colors and curls. Trends aside, there are several women celebrating gray and silver curls for the long haul, and sharing what products they use to keep them shining bright and curly.
“It’s a life-changing experience to embrace my silver curly/wavy hair,” says Vicki at silver_n_curls. “No more applying hair dye to my roots every three to four weeks. For over a year, I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method. No more flat irons or blowouts, or using heat-styling tools that damage my fragile hair. It’s an amazing feeling of freedom.”
Marci loves her silver waves. Her hair started to go gray when she was a teenager. During her 30s, she dyed her hair for a couple of years before going back to her roots. She wondered if her waves would react differently to the change in hair color. There has been one noticeable difference. “I get a lot more compliments on my silver waves than I did with my brunette ones.”
Like silver_n_curls, Marci also uses Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner to keep her silver sparkling. For her waves, she dips into D:fi D:Struct Molding Creme for hold and finishes off with her “absolute favorite,” Redken Wax Blast 10.
Sharita, owner and stylist of theloftmedford outside of Boston, knows that gray and silver hair is not for everyone. But if a client decides to embrace it, she’s all for it. “There is nothing more beautiful than a head full of salt and pepper or gray curls.”
Sharita encourages her gray- and silver-haired clients to limit the use of heat, which can wreak havoc on both color and curls. More than ever, hair needs moisture, she says. So it’s important to avoid products that can coat the hair, such as silicones or mineral oil. “One of my favorite conditioners/treatments for gray and silver hair is DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture Matcha Green Tea Butter Conditioning Mask.
For women who are thinking of going gray, currently transitioning, or who have already gone gray, Sharita recommends the information and inspiration of “The Silver Hair Handbook” by Lorraine Massey, who’s also the author of “Curly Girl: The NEW Handbook.”
BabyBangz Natural Hair Salon
Marcelcurlsyouon of BabyBangz Natural Hair Salon in New Orleans wants her clients to love their gray and silver curls as much as she loves working on them. She encourages those on the fence about their gray to “love your color and stop covering it up!”
Speaking of embracing one’s hair, Barbara is welcoming her incoming gray and silver by adding more. She loves that the color allows her to brighten her look without looking too unnatural. Bonus: lower maintenance.
Jeanna inherited her brilliant color from her mother. It took some time, though, to let it shine through. After forgetting to touch up her roots, she decided to let it grow. Simultaneously, she started following the Curly Girl Method. Jeanna didn’t realize then that she was on a journey. Now, she couldn’t be happier with the results. “I’m proud, thankful, and still shocked by the compliments. Plus, I’m relieved: No more roots!”
Jeanna likes to keep it simple by using two to three products max. She uses Sally Beauty's GVP Conditioning Balm for a co-wash and leave-in, and Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Gel to style. “I scrunch for maybe 10 minutes and diffuse or let it dry completely. Then I scrunch out the crunch.”
When Sabrinia started her color transition, she had no idea what her hair was going to look like. But she took the leap of faith. Now, “I absolutely love my silver curls.” Both the Curly Girl Method and the Magicurl Application Process (MAP) are essential to keeping her silver curls hydrated and healthy.
Sabrinia likes Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream because it’s gentle on her hair. For hydration and to keep her “wiry bits” under control, she uses Innersense Organic Color Radiance Daily Conditioner. She also uses Sally Beauty’s GVP version of Clairol Shimmer Lights for toner and wears her Thermal Hot Head to help the product penetrate her hair. She uses the wrap again when deep conditioning once a week with either the protein-free Soultanicals Monoi Moisture Slip Deep Conditioning Fertilizing Dip or the gentle-protein Kinky-Curly Stellar Strands. Twice a month, she clarifies her hair with Ion Hard Water Shampoo. To prevent brassiness, Sabrinia uses a shower head water filter, wears a hat in the sun, and only uses clear or white color products on her hair.
Stylist hairqueen_stef on the West Coast knows it can be difficult for a lot of women to transition to their natural gray or silver color. "But there is something special about embracing the natural you, instead of fighting it. Love your curls in every form."
In Stephanie’s experience, gray curls need more attention because they can lose a lot of natural oils. For hydration, she recommends using a Moroccan argan oil and a DevaCurl B'Leave-In product. She uses DevaCurl Supercream and DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel for definition. “But the most important product you can use is a good shampoo and conditioner. For that, I also recommend DevaCurl.”
Are you on your gray or silver hair journey? Please share your experience and how you feel about your curls or waves in the comments section below.