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10 Expert Tips for Maintaining Long Gray Hair

You’ve been rocking long gray hair for quite some time now and you’re absolutely loving it. There’s nothing better than being able to wear your natural hair color and not spend hours coloring it in the salon!

As you love your long hair looks so much, you’re looking for the best ways to care for your beautiful long gray hair.

You asked and we are here with the 10 tips for maintaining your long gray hair to keep your long gray hair happy, healthy, and stylish.

How to Maintain Your Long Gray Hair

#1. Get Regular Trims

Tips to Maintain Long Gray Hair - Regular Trimming

Did you know that hair splits UP the hair shaft? What this means is that the longer you go between haircuts, the more likely you’ll have to cut off more length than you’d like to.

Getting maintenance trims, ¼-½ inch every two-three months, will allow you to keep your gray locks long and lovely. 

When it comes to long gray hair, you may think skipping haircuts will help hair to grow even longer or you may be afraid of too much hair being taken off at the salon.

However, getting regular trims is actually one of the most important ways to maintain the length and health of your hair. 

This rings especially true for gray hair. Because gray hair tends to be on the drier side, you may have dead ends more frequently and you’ll want to get rid of those pesky damaged ends on the regular!  

#2. Don’t Forget the Toner

Just because you’ve grown out all of your permanent hair color and transitioned to gray, doesn’t mean you should skip all hair color entirely. When you go in to get your long gray hair trimmed, ask your stylist about getting a toner as well! 

Toners are a demi-permanent hair color done on damp hair. A toner won’t cover up your gray but will cancel out brassy tones and enhance your natural gray using silver, blue or purple pigments. Toners also add a shiny finish to gray that has become a bit lackluster. 

Gray hair tends to end up a bit yellow or orangey after wash and wear so getting a toner every 2-3 months will help prevent dullness and unwanted tones.

The best news, you can do your haircut and toner at the same appointment, we love maintaining long gray hair and being efficient! 

#3. Purple Shampoo

Tips to Maintain Long Gray Hair - Use Purple Shampoo

We talked about toning your long gray hair at the salon every couple of months to maintain its beautiful tone and luster. But what can you do in between salon appointments to keep your gray looking lux?

Purple shampoo is a great way to maintain a gorgeous gray color at home. Purple shampoo contains actual purple pigment which cancels out those icky yellow tones. 

You don’t want to replace your everyday shampoo with purple shampoo because using it too often can cause gray hair to become “muddy” or dark. Instead, use the purple shampoo once a week to keep your gray hair yellow-free between salon visits! 

#4. Protect Your Hair from Heat

Hot tools can be your long gray hair’s worst enemy if you don’t use a heat protectant before you use your trusty flat iron or blow dryer. Heat can damage long hair, causing breakage and look dull. Heat can also be one of the causes of gray hair becoming yellow-y.

The good news is you don’t have to stop heat styling but just add a heat protectant to your hair product arsenal. Heat protectants work by creating a barrier between your hair and the hot tool.

We also recommend putting your curling iron and flat iron on the lowest heat settings to ensure your gray hair stays long and healthy!

#5. Deep Conditioning Treatments

Tips to Maintain Long Gray Hair - Deep Condition

Long gray hair needs extra moisture and you need self-care (who doesn’t right!?). That’s where a luxurious deep conditioning treatment comes into play! Deep conditioners are more concentrated than your everyday conditioner and are left on the hair for longer. 

We recommend using a deep conditioner once a week after shampooing. Apply the conditioner from mid shafts of hair to the ends and use a wide tooth comb to distribute the product evenly.

Let it sit for 10 minutes in the shower and rinse well! Your long gray hair will be instantly softer and hydrated! 

#6. Use the Right Products

Moisture, moisture, moisture! If you’re serious about your long gray hair maintenance, that’s what your hair needs. Gray hair is usually lacking in natural oils so make sure that your products are meant to add back in moisture to those silvery strands. 

You’ll want to choose hydrating shampoo and conditioner and look for styling products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe which are humectants aka they draw moisture into the hair. 

#7. Protect Your Hair from The Elements

Tips to Maintain Long Gray Hair - Protect Hair

Do you find yourself outside in the sun often or love to swim in the pool or ocean? We love that for you but your long gray hair may not be as supportive.

Long gray hair needs to be protected from things like the sun or salt water which can dry out hair, and cause dullness and unwanted brassy tones. 

Make sure to wear a hat that covers your hair when you’re out in the sun (there are tons of cute options out there!) and a swim cap for when you’re in the water.

Also, make sure to rinse your hair out as soon as you get home from a day at the pool or the beach to get rid of chlorine or salt water residue. Your long hair will thank you!

8. Wash Less

We now know that gray hair lacks natural oils and do you know what strips away oils from hair? Shampoo and especially, shampooing the hair too often! We’ve seen many people making this mistake when maintaining their long gray hair as they thought taking care of your long hair means washing them with shampoo more!

Now that you’ve gone gray you truly can wash less. We suggest shampooing only twice a week at the most to prevent over-cleansing and so your long gray hair can retain moisture and look its absolute best. 

If you feel like you still need to shampoo more often because of lifestyle or just a preference. We recommend using a co-wash instead of a traditional shampoo, a co-wash cleanses the hair with conditioner so that the natural oils aren’t stripped away! 

#9. Get a New Brush

Tips to Maintain Long Gray Hair - Use Wet Brush

Long gray hair can become easily tangled and you’ll want to make sure you’re using the proper brush in order to address these annoying knots! 

Brushing hair can cause damage so you’ll want to make sure you’re using a brush that is made specifically to detangle. 

We love a wet brush, which can be used on wet or dry hair and is super gentle on your strands. The bristles on a wet brush are very flexible so they can bend to the direction of the hair and don’t cause as much friction as a traditional brush. Your long gray hair will love it! 

#10. Switch to a Silk Pillowcase

Silk pillowcases seem like they were created especially for long gray hair. 

The smoothness of the silk prevents hair from tangling and breaking, it’s also a great way to keep hair from becoming frizzy overnight. And who wouldn’t want to lay their head down on a lux silk pillowcase every night!

Keeping your long gray hair beautiful isn’t tough if you stay committed. With the right care routine and products, your long gray hair can really shine and make a statement. Remember, it’s all about maintaining that silver glow and showing it off with pride!

Key Things to Remember:

  • Long gray hair can stay healthy and beautiful with regular trims.
  • Keep your gray fresh by getting rid of unwanted brassy tones with toner and purple shampoo.
  • Protect your hair from heat with heat protectant and lowering the temp on your hot tools.
  • Beautiful long gray hair needs deep conditioning and moisturizing products.
  • Wear protection over your hair when outside or in the water.
  • Keep long gray hair happy by washing less and keeping natural oils intact.
  • A new brush and a silk pillowcase are essential for keeping that long gray hair beautiful.