Gray hair seems like a life event that will forever stay in the future, but in reality, we’ll all have to face them at some point in our life. It’s a coming of age moment that’s typically unwanted, but you should never feel bad about going gray.
The first thing to acknowledge is that gray hair is a desire for many, especially those experiencing male pattern baldness. Hair goes gray when the naturally produced hydrogen peroxide in your body interferes with melanin. And like taxes, this process is essentially unavoidable.
Here’s exactly what to do when your very first gray hair strikes.
Stay Calm & Don’t Pluck
That’s right, just chill out. Studies suggest that those experiencing high levels of stress tend to go gray faster than those who don’t (take a look at before and after pictures of U.S. presidents if you don’t believe us).
If you’re feeling frazzled every time you see the gray hair, fight the urge to pluck it away. Since plucking your hair is damaging to your hair’s follicle (and can actually cause the hair to never grow back), opt to dye it or trim it. Your overall goal should be to maintain the hair you currently have, no matter what color it is, so be gentle with whatever hair treatment you opt for. Dyeing can strip your hair of the natural oils and nutrients it has built up, so be strategic with the hair colorist you select. Snipping the gray hair short can temporarily remove the hair from sight, which is a great option for those who are only just experiencing gray hairs.
Choose Your Hair Care Regimen Wisely
Seeing your very first gray doesn’t mean you’ll look like an AARP member any time soon, but it is a good time to start thinking more strategically about the hair products you’re using. Since gray hairs are typically more “wiry” and brittle than the other locks on your head, opt to treat it with a deeply moisturizing mask at least once a week. Our favorite uses argan and coconut oil to restore body, shine and vitality to your scalp’s roots and follicles.
As your single gray develops into many, you’ll already be in the habit of maintaining a healthy scalp environment. And for those who choose to dye them, you’ll be counteracting the damage hair coloring leaves behind.
If you only have one gray hair, it’s likely too soon to commit to dyeing your entire head of hair. But if patches of gray hairs are starting to develop, you can ask your colorist for a spot treatment that matches the natural tone of your other strands. Alternatively, you can gradually dye in more gray hair throughout your hair to even out the look, which is an especially smart option for those who think they’ll want to rock the look as more gray hair develops.