View Full Version : Grey hair: does it need more moisture?

Lilla My
April 16th, 2008, 01:05 PM
I've been wondering about my hair routine re: caring for my greys. A quick look around on the internet found several references saying grey hair is coarser and drier on the whole.
I can't find anything scientific to back up these references but I had been thinking lately my grey hairs seem drier than my henna/indigoed hair.
The routine I've been following has been CWC with fairly light, cone-free conditioners and a no-sulphate shampoo. I never even used to use conditioner before I found LHC because my hair used to be pretty greasy. I suppose I'm wondering, could it take even more conditioning/moisturising type of treatments now? (I don't really know what those might be - hope someone else does!) as the part of my hair that's totally grey now doesn't quite feel as soft as the henna/indigoed section.
Sorry to be so rambling! Can any silver haired members offer any advice? :D

April 16th, 2008, 01:41 PM
My hair became extremely dry over the past decade, and especially the last five years. I tried diluting shampoo, washing only once a week, oils, conditioner only and water only, but nothing seemed to help much except not using any water or products. I preen using my own sebum to cover the hair strands, and the dry frizzy hair calms down.

The SO (sebum only) method works for me. I've been doing it for 7 months, and here you can see my photo from a year ago (this was taken 6 days after washday):

and here are my hair photos taken over the past 5 months:

Lilla My
April 16th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Thanks for replying, frizzinator. :D
It's interesting that you say your hair has definitely become drier - and the SO regime certainly seems to have worked well for you as your hair is lovely now.
Unfortunately, I don't seem to have any sebum if that's possible (??) so I'm not sure that would work for me. I tried going WO last year and even after two months there was never a hint of sebum on my head! It proved to me how my hair must have changed as it certainly used to get greasy at one time.

I also tried CO but that just seemed to weigh my hair down - it felt quite 'coated' (or COated? :p). I must admit I find it all very confusing!

At the moment I only wash my hair about every 6 days or so as well, when it starts to look a bit 'lifeless'. I haven't experimented much with oils other than coconut oil on the ends of my hair, so maybe I'll look up some oil treatments! Thanks for bearing with me as I suppose I'm being a bit fussy with only four inches of grey on my head at the moment - but I was just surprised today at how different it feels from the rest of my hair. :flower:

April 16th, 2008, 04:26 PM

WOW! What a remarkable difference!
Your current photos are gorgeous!


April 16th, 2008, 04:45 PM
I CWC with diluted shampoo, use oils (currently olive oil), and do a moisture deep treatment every once in awhile. I've noticed that a deep treatment with olive oil and heat really make my hair feel both soft and strong. I haven't noticed any significant dryness or coarseness along with the change in color yet.

April 16th, 2008, 07:19 PM
Even though I chemically color my roots I have quite a bit of gray and I can't tell that it's any drier really. Lately I have been experimenting with WO at times. I rinse REALLY well and that seems to get anything out of my hair that was in there and then I add a leave-in conditioner like Giovanni direct leave-in. This afternoon I did this when I went to the gym and did some swimming. My hair feels very soft and nice. I added some coconut oil while it was still damp. I sometimes CO only too. I have to make sure when I do that I use a very light conditioner and rinse VERY well and then some more! My hair doesn't feel coated when I do it right. It gets out oil and everything. I CWC with diluted shampoo also and get better curls that way but I wear my hair up so much anyway since it is getting longer that it doesn't matter that much. My hair is definitely better for it.

April 16th, 2008, 07:43 PM
frizzinator, what exactly do you do each day to your hair using the SO method? What type combs/brushes do you use? I think my frizzy hair may benefit from this! Thanks! :)

Lilla My
April 17th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Hi spidermom and Curlsgirl. :)
Hmmm ... you are both doing more moisturising type things for your hair than I am. I don't really do anything other than my CWC and I think maybe my hair does need a bit more now.
Curlsgirl, you remind me that I did have some success at first with CO but over time it weighed down my (incredibly fine) hair. Maybe I could just try it occasionally as you describe.
I think I need to try leave-in conditioners and oil thingies maybe (I don't really know what a 'deep treatment' is! I need to scurry off and find out about these things!)

Thankyou all for your advice. It really helps as I have spent most of my life knowing nothing about looking after my hair - lots of catching up to do! :o

Peggy E.
April 17th, 2008, 10:03 AM
Frizzinator, I do hope you will be able to provide more information on this SO method? That "before" pic looks just like my hair does right now, and it's driving me to distraction!

The big difference I've noticed since getting more gray/silver/white is in the texture - it's hard to describe, because it's so soft (too much so?) from the COing, then the leave-in conditioner, yet it's frizzy-coarse in appearance.

If it wasn't for this softness, I do believe it would be easy to style. But it's slick and wild and maddening!!! I've wondered if it wouldn't be wiser to trim a lot of it off and seeing the styles on Frizzinator at her shorter length, it's really getting to be tempting....

April 17th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Peggy E., stop by and visit my Profile Page. frizzinator was nice to post her routine there for me. Hope this helps!

April 17th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Peggy, one thing I did not describe in my answer to TammySue, is that my "sebum only" method does not produce slippery slick hair. Sebum covered hair stays put like glue....a real blessing when making an updo. And of course, sebum tames the frizzies better than anything.

April 17th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I find my greys to be drier and more apt to frizz than my browns so much so that a few years ago I had to search for richer shampoos and conditioners. (Currently I use Nexxus Therappe and Humectress.) I note that you are fine-haired, Lilla My, so I caution you against excess oil treatments. Our fine hair soaks it up amazingly and it can be hard to get out. Very light amounts will probably be all you need.

I tried SO and it didn't work for me. Since I am back to shampoo and conditioner both my scalp and my hair are happier but my super-straightness may have something to do with that. I think the curlies do better on SO than we straight-haired people.

Lilla My
April 17th, 2008, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the warning MemSahib. :)
I didn't realise oils work differently on fine hair. Maybe, as you say, it's a case of using slightly richer products then ...

It seems that most of you are finding the texture and behaviour of your greys to be quite different from your original hair, then ... so at least I'm not imagining things - that's reassuring! :D

ole gray mare
April 18th, 2008, 07:50 PM
My hair is lighter now...i.e. it's like cobwebs now that it has no pigment. That's the main difference between now and when it was brunette.

It does require more gentle cleaning than it used to, that's for sure. These days all I do is CO once per week. Followed by a diluted white vinegar rinse and then a cold water finish. It provides enough moisture. I then will give it a very small amount of coconut oil a couple of times per week, and I will put Oyin Whipped Pudding on the nighttime tassle.

April 18th, 2008, 11:35 PM
frizzinator your hair looks lovely now. I love your updos.

movie zombie
April 19th, 2008, 12:07 AM
that silver braid is gorgeous!

i tried SO and after almost 5 months threw in the towel: i too have very fine straight hair.

however, frizz, you have such beautiful hair now! you were my inspiration.....!

movie zombie

ps we have a water softener and while i think grey hair does change, i'm not so sure how much is my hair and/or how much is the water softener.........

Lilla My
April 19th, 2008, 10:30 AM
Hi ole gray mare. :) Thanks for sharing your routine. I may well have another go with CO maybe as an occasional treatment and I love the sound of Whipped Pudding!

Thankyou movie zombie!

That's another two votes for grey hair needing different treatment, then ... just when I thought I'd got my routine sorted! (Good excuse for more experimenting though. :D)

April 19th, 2008, 12:25 PM
My greys, or ultrablondes, as PPD calls them certainly need more moisture. But they seem to be moisturized easily, and, once properly moisturized seem to need no special treatment. I scalp wash every 4 days or so, and usually keep the length dry. If it's hot outside, I sometimes let the ends get wet so I can enjoy my own air conditioning.

When I do a full on shampoo, I usually mix honey, and a bit of Burt's Bees Avocado Butter into the conditioner of choice, and leave it on for at least a half hour. Then it's back to rinse it out, following with a diluted vinegar rinse.

Because of scalp issues, WO or SO are not really choices for me. Once Summer is here, I tend to do a lot more water rinses in the shower, though I'm starting to think that as my hair gets longer, the extra water weight might not be such a good idea.

I don't find that the ultrablondes are necessarily coarser. The brand new hairs sprouting out are a bit curly, but they settle down pretty quickly. By the time they grow out to about 4 inches or so, I cannot feel the difference between them and the still pigmented hairs. Both are still fine; both have a bit of wave when left uncombed after getting wet.

Lilla My
April 20th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Thanks for that Raederle. It's really helpful to know what routines people are using for their greys. I'm not sure if mine are coarser - could just be curlier. :)
'ultrablondes' - I like it! Think I will rename mine the 'antidarks', a bit like antimatter in my hair universe ... or possibly the 'undarks'. :D

April 20th, 2008, 10:29 AM
Hmm, antidark -- undark. Both are excellent. "Unencumbered by the pigment" works in some contexts. But I think I'm leaning towards undark.