Even before the pandemic began and salon visits were postponed, women were embracing their gray hair. Whether you’ve gone all gray or have a salt-and-pepper look, you’re most likely enjoying the change and playing with various styles and chic new looks. However, one thing you might have noticed is that your hair texture has changed substantially.
You may have also found that your hair is much rougher, and the products you’ve always used are no longer cutting it. Before you panic, know that there are some pretty simple solutions to get back your soft and silky locks. We’ve put together a list of the best ways to soften coarse gray hair, and it will hopefully help you regain that smooth texture you love!
There are many factors that create a dry, coarse feeling in gray hair (or anyone’s hair for that matter), so start by educating yourself on the various solutions. When it comes to less than soft hair, one common cause is using the wrong products, which is, fortunately, something you can control. Unfortunately, another common cause is something you have no control over – menopause, which can cause changes in your hair’s structure. Not only does hair feel different, but in many cases, the texture changes, and it becomes more coarse, especially as white hair starts to grow in.
The right shampoo can make all the difference if your hair feels more coarse than it has in the past. Start by looking for shampoos that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicon-free.
The Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo is my pick because it’s infused with argan oil, algae, and vitamin E. It will also thoroughly cleanse your hair by removing any product buildup that will cause coarse, dull hair.
Keep in mind that when using a sulfate-free shampoo, be sure to add more water than usual. Water works to wake up the key ingredients that replace the sulfates and add the nurture that softens and cleanses. Be aware that if you do not have an abundance of lather, it will not work well, and you will miss out on the softness the sulfate-free shampoo could deliver to your hair.
There are also mass-market options available, but read the reviews before purchasing. If you’re interested in purple shampoos that also eliminate yellow from white hair, check out 6 Great Shampoos for Gray Hair.
Next on your list: silicone-free and paraben-free conditioners. Conditioner is typically the step in your hair care routine that softens and repairs your hair and is often the key to preventing problems like coarse-textured hair. Search for a conditioner that does not coat the hair with protein or keratin because these residues can build up and cause dryness and eventually breakage.
Olaplex No. 5 is one of the rare conditioners that repairs instantly without deposing any damaging residue. The nurturing effect is instant, and the hair is soft and sumptuous from the very first use. Read reviews on products because these testaments are the best guide always. People write reviews if they’re happy or unhappy, and they are an excellent guide to finding products that are worth your money and time.
The serum I most recommend has built-in heat protection and will transform coarse gray hair into hair that this soft and luscious. The key is to heat-activate this serum by blow-drying it into every section. CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray works well to keep your hair behaving beautifully. The key is heat, and the trick is to utilize heat to get your hair looking great while not causing damage. With products like this, you’ll find that the more coarse and dry hair is, the more soft and sumptuous the result.
Styling products like hairspray, mousse, and gel often contain alcohol and can actually increase the level of dryness in your hair, exasperating the issue. Not only will this result in a coarser feel, but in some cases, it will cause additional damage, especially if excessive heat is used. What’s more, they deliver stiff and sticky hair while aiming to deliver soft hair, so products that soften and nurture should remain at the top of your list.
If you still want to use a styling product, I recommend Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam, which will style your hair and keep it in place without adding weight or stiffness.
The same routine would apply to coarse, curly gray hair; however, the serum would change. Instead, choose a weightier serum and one that activates softness by allowing it to dry naturally. My product suggestion is Kenra Platinum Silkening Heat Crème. This is a high-performance nurturing product that doesn’t cause your hair to crackle or crunch. Nourishment is the key when avoiding coarse gray hair in all hair types, no matter if it’s curly or straight.
Did you know that your hair tools can also be as effective as the products you choose when softening the hair shaft? While pricy, Dyson hairdryers are known for softening coarse textured hair because of their ionic airflow. Another option would be the Yiiho Ionic Hair Dryer, which works well and is much more affordable.
When combining high-quality hair products with a little time and effort, you’ll find that getting back soft and supple hair is easier than you think. Take a little time to see which products work best for you and if you find that it’s either not working or is making your hair feel less, then it’s best to move on to something else. Because life is too short to have hair you don’t love.