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Graying with Natural Hair: Here’s What to Do

Graying with Natural Hair: Here’s What to Do

By Tiffani Douglas

What to do when you're graying with natural hair. It’s a fact that eventually, we’re all going gray. Whomp, whomp! The good news is you can gray gracefully when you understand how your hair changes. Also, turning to the best curly hair products as you are transitioning can make a huge difference.

Why is My Hair Turning Gray?

Hair follicles contain pigment cells which create melanin, a dark brown or black pigment that gives your skin, hair and eyes their color. When you age, fewer pigment cells are produced and they eventually all die. When pigment cells die, the production of melanin also stops. When a hair follicle no longer makes melanin, it can never produce pigmented hair strands again – hence your new head of sparkly gray hair.

How Does Having Gray Hair Affect My Curls?

The function of the hair cuticle is to strengthen and protect the hair shaft. Because gray hair cuticles are thinner than hair with natural pigment, the hair shaft is more vulnerable and susceptible to damage from the elements, chemicals and heat styling. Without the protection of a thick cuticle, your hair loses moisture faster causing your gray tresses to feel and look, dry and coarse. Kinky hair is already dry and fragile, and when your hair goes gray, it becomes even drier than usual because of its thin hair cuticle and lack of melanin. In addition to adding color to your tresses, melanin also provides moisture to your hair, so when less melanin is produced, or production stops altogether, your hair becomes drier and more brittle. What’s more, as we age our scalps also tend to produce less oil, which adds extra dryness to both the hair and scalp. Who knew going gray was this complicated?

How Should I Care for My Curly Gray Hair?

Like natural hair, the key to having beautiful, silky gray curls is moisture. Deep conditioning moisture treatments, leave-in conditioners and hair oils hydrate your silver strands and help revitalize dull, dry gray hair. Go beast mode on your moisturizing. Maybe you think the "moisturizing" song has been sung one too many times, but your hair can’t ever get too much moisture - especially if you are going gray or already there. Curly, gray hair loses moisture fast, and adding moisture to your hair often with curly hair products that are rich, creamy and ultra-hydrating is essential. Deep conditioning your silvery coils bi-weekly with the Sea Kelp & Cucumber Hair Mask will keep your gray curls hydrated and shiny! Post-cleanse rinse. After shampooing, try the Green Tea Hair Rinse to seal your delicate curl shafts and add shine. This all-natural rinse will also protect your hair from sun damage, which is ideal for aging natural hair. Treat and shine. When you’re gray aaand naturally curly, you want to restore brittle hair and make it shine! Many cleansers contain harsh chemicals, like sulfates, which can damage and dry out already dehydrated hair. Restore the youthful shine with a Bamboo Protein Treatment. This will help aging cuticles thicken, strengthen, and shine for overall healthier hair. Take nutritional supplements to complement your hair care regimen. Your overall health can also affect the health of your hair so working from the inside out, it’s a great idea to eat a healthy diet or add nutritional supplements to your hair care cocktail. To learn more about the best curly hair products for your gray, natural hair, visit