The time has come for us to talk about the elephant in the room. We’re not going to beat around the fro - change and the process of ageing is a part of life and something that we collectively have to accept and make peace with. Whether it’s our jeans getting a little tighter and the weight not shifting quite as easily as it did, or it taking days to recover from a long weekend rather than bouncing back the next day - getting older can present us with a myriad of things that we’d rather not address.
Although it’s not just age that can cause greying - because there’s premature greying too - going grey is something that we rebuke time and time again.
But, hear us out BHabes… it doesn’t have to be bad news. We associate grey hair with getting older and believing that we’re doomed, but that’s not quite how this hair metamorphosis works. So, we’re ready to break down why those silver coils pop up and how to care for them instead running for the first box of hair dye one can find.
Why Does Hair Turn Grey?
The first thing to know is that grey hair shows up differently for everyone and on its own clock, whether you’re young, ageing like a fine wine or somewhere in between. Yes, you may sprout your first silver strand simply because you’re getting older - but you can also go grey due to stress, lifestyle/diet, and even ethnicity. Some people are born with peppered locks, and often premature greying is hereditary and is influenced mostly by genetics - so you have a wonderful ancestor to thank for that.
Now for the science-y bit. Melanocytes are cells that live around the hair follicle and produce melanin. When there are fewer pigmented cells in a hair follicle, the strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will change colour, becoming more transparent and causing your hair to go grey; leaving behind a cool grey “look at me!” trip-to-the salon-free highlight.
As the melanin production fades, our strands can begin to change shape, texture and become deprived of their elastic properties. With hair follicles producing less colour as you age and the hair going through its natural cycle of dying, your strands are more likely to grow back grey.
It’s not just the pigment and colour of your strands that will change, the structure and texture of your hair also changes too. As melanocytes die, your hair follicle may refashion itself resulting in a change in your curl pattern or your curly strands becoming wiry and drier in texture. Your grey hair may also become curlier or looser than before.
Healthy Grey Haircare Tips - The do's & don'ts
With a new colour, shape and form to your kinks and coils comes the need for a new and grey friendly routine.
1: Oil me up!
Using an oil such as Vitamin E oil will not only help seal in moisture, but will give your curls that extra shine and added nourishment.
2: Moisturise like your life depends on it
Moisture, moisture, and more moisture… and some hydration too.
Grey hair tends to be dry so hydration and moisture are key. Our MILK Leave In is perfect as a wash day staple or daily refresher to hydrate your curls. Deep conditioning more often is also a great way to bring moisture back to parched tresses, which our beloved DEEP is perfect for!
3: Avoiding harsh chemicals that can dry out your hair
The threat of dry and brittle strands should be enough to keep you away from the chemicals BHabe. Opt for plant-based products like our CLEAN SLS free shampoo that gently removes product build-up and dirt without drying your kinks, coils and curls.
4: No sun hun
The skincare guru’s have cornered you into wearing your daily SPF but we’re coming for your headtop. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can wear down your precious hair cuticles leaving the hair more susceptible to discolouration, dryness, and thinning. So now’s the time to wear that new hat you treated yourself to or practice the head wrap tutorial you’ve been dying to try.
5: Finding a rhythm that works for you
Just because you may be turning grey, doesn't mean its time to throw in the micro-fiber towel. Whether it’s every few days or once a week, keeping a routine is super important in achieving healthy hair. You want to keep those edges laid and slayed, twist outs on fleek and keep in all the hydration you can get.
6: Be gentle
As the proud owner of kinky and curly hair, the journey is always about finding the best ways to show your mane love. If you’re dreading going grey, just know that BH has got your back with a line up products that’ll keep you cute for years to come.
BHabes we'd love to know your thoughts and feelings, and tips and tricks about the topic surrounding grey hair. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Thanks so much for this article. It’s a rare find as most hair blogs are about dyeing hair, that going grey is an anomaly and that your life is over if you see your first white strand. As someone who developed a ‘shock’ of white hair at the age of 12, I have never associated my silver hair with ageing. I was also lucky enough to be surrounded by female relatives who weren’t ashamed of having silver hair and even if they wore wigs, chose grey/silver ones. Also, as a child, many elders from the Caribbean used to tell me not to dye my hair as it was good luck to go grey early!! In my twenties, I used to colour the strands so they looked like highlights but by my thirties, the silver came through so quickly around my hairline that I decided to embrace it or succumb to weekly dye jobs.
Currently, as my hair grows more silver and less salt and pepper, my main issue is finding the right products that moisturise my delicate strands but don’t stain my hair. MILK has been a godsend. I also look to Pinterest and follow YouTubers (like The Tennille Life) for style tips and recommendations.