It’s officially autumn, which means the world is a swirl of red, orange, and yellow hues. Here at Hair.com, however, we only see gray—gray hair, gray balayage, and gray highlights, to be exact.
The past few years brought on a wave of younger people coloring their hair silver, white, or charcoal. Those shades were so incredibly popular that they even made mature women with naturally gray hair take a step back, reconsidering the natural hair they’d covered up for so long.
With all that history behind us, we’re officially declaring 2019 the year of going gray. To embrace and enhance that silvery hair, you’ll need a little support. We tapped Sean Godard, Redken brand ambassador and stylist, who has a thing or two teach you about embracing those grays with the aid of Redken Color Extend Graydient.
Why does gray hair need special care?
If your hair is naturally pigmented and you’ve chosen to go gray with the help of a salon professional, it’s likely been quite the journey to get (and keep) your color. Your stylist probably used bleach to lift the natural color from your strands, which always means some damage to the integrity of your hair.
Add on the regular salon appointments to ensure your roots don’t start peeking through, and you’re really putting your hair through the wringer on a regular basis.
When it comes to naturally gray hair, it’s a different story.
Naturally gray hair tends to be coarse and more unruly with a drier texture...[It] can be more porous, which causes it to absorb pollution—potentially causing it to yellow.
Ever wonder why every gray hair you have seems to stand straight up from your scalp in an alarmingly uncontrollable fashion? It’s that same wiriness—and, lucky for you, it’s manageable with the help of the right formulas.
How do you care for gray hair?
Both naturally gray hair and the kind created in salon both require special care, but it may not seem like care solutions both could exist within a single hair care line. That’s why we’re so psyched about Redken Color Extend Graydient, an anti-yellow hair care line formulated to tone, nourish, and strengthen gray and silver hair.
If you’ve heard about or tried blue shampoo for blonde hair, you know that some hair colors require color deposits to minimize brassiness. Color Extend Graydiant Shampoo is formulated with violet and silver pigments for a gorgeous silver finish, while the conditioner boasts blue pigment.
“Naturally gray hair needs violet pigment—like what is found in the shampoo to neutralize yellow tones in the hair,” Godard explains. “The blue in the conditioner keeps the sterling gray tone, but if applied to yellow hair the blue and yellow can create green. That’s why the system is violet shampoo and blue conditioner.”
Aside from not turning your hair green by accident, Godard advises investing in a moisturizing leave-in like Redken’s All Soft Mask or Extreme Mega Mask. Regular use can mean a marked difference in the look and feel of your hair—particularly those unwieldy flyaways at your part.
“Making sure the hair doesn’t dry out is essential,” he says.
Should you go gray?
It’s a tough question, one that’s best answered by a conversation with your trusted stylist. If you have naturally dark hair, maintaining gray or silver may be more of a challenge than if you’re starting with a blonde base. If you are going gray naturally, think about spending your hair color budget on styling lessons to manage your newly wiry texture.
From a professional standpoint, Godard is seeing more women going gray than ever before.
“Women’s lives are becoming more and more busy, so going natural helps to prevent the three-to-four-week visit for a root touchup,” he says. “Since you get girls are bleaching and toning their hair gray, I think it has made people with gray hair realize it’s actually quite beautiful.”
Count us in! With Godard’s help, you have everything you need to embrace the grayscale side of life.
Interested in going gray? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.