Easy tips for maintaining your white and grey hair

Written by Luc Vincent, expert hairstylist

You heard it here first: white and grey hair is trending, and many women are proudly going silver. But why do we even go grey? Will grey hair make you look older? How do you take care of it properly? Luc Vincent, an expert hairstylist, gives us all the details about white hair and how to care for it:

Why do we have white and grey hair?

Also called canities, white and silver hair is a topic often debated by scientists since its cause and development are still mostly unknown. However, one thing is certain: heredity genetics is the primary factor.

From birth, we know that the colour of our hair, just like our eyes, is coded in our DNA. We also know that colour is created by melanocytes—melanin cells. For instance, ebony-coloured hair has many melanin cells, and white hair has very little.

When melanocyte production is disturbed, an air bubble is coded instead of melanin, and the hair becomes colourless. As a result, the hair appears white, but it is actually semitransparent. Grey hair occurs when a small amount of melanin is still mixed in with keratin. In other words, a lack of melanin production is at the root of white hair.

Is white hair a sign of aging?

Some people will start developing grey hair earlier than others, without necessarily aging any faster. On average, white hair starts to appear at the age of 35. Some will have it before then, while others will never have any.

Despite being considered taboo for a long time, white and grey hair is now in style, and many women are ditching hair dye in favour of their natural look. Even young women are embracing the trend!

Some women will add ash blonde, or grey highlights to their natural locks for more brightness or to even out the colour.

Making a smooth transition to natural hair

Want to ditch the dye? The first option is growing out your hair. However, you will have to be patient and wait a few months for your hair to grow out before cutting it short. In the meantime, you can add a few ash blonde or grey highlights to blend the dark hair with your silver roots.

If you do not want to wait, your second option is decolourizing (bleaching) your hair and dying it silver. Be careful: this option is more drastic and can be quite a shock.

How do I take good care of my hair so that it stays white?

For bright white hair, I recommend using the Sans Yellow shampoo and conditioner. These products do not leave a purple sheen in your hair and gently eliminate yellow tones. Instead, they will leave your hair shiny and soft without weighing it down.

Smoking can make your hair yellow, so you should avoid it to maintain your white locks. If you do not want to quit, you should wear a hat or a cap outside.

Pool chlorine can also yellow your hair. Before swimming, lather your hair with conditioner—like Leave in or not—and put on your bathing cap. Afterwards, simply rinse it out: the conditioner will have protected your hair from the chlorine.

Is your hair brassy and yellow? If the stubborn yellow in your hair still won’t disappear, you can go to the salon for a hair gloss or lightener to eliminate yellowing on specific hair strands. Afterwards, you can maintain your white hair daily using the Sans Yellow shampoo and conditioner.

It’s all in the cut!

Having white hair without aging your style is possible to have too! Sometimes the right cut can help highlight your style for an ultra-trendy look. However, it is usually recommended to avoid long hair and old-fashioned haircuts for maximum effect.