A Guide for Choosing the Right Shampoo for Gray Hair

Developing gray hair is part and parcel of getting older. Some people develop gray hair earlier than others, but most people will eventually start going gray. While there are some people who do everything possible to get rid of gray hairs, from plucking them out to dying them, there are also others who embrace their gray hair and make it work to their advantage.

lady with gray hairWhen properly looked after, gray hair can actually look quite elegant and distinguished. By taking the time to look after your gray hair properly, you can bring out the best in terms of the appearance of your hair. Of course, gray hair is something that will affect both sexes and there are products available that can help both men and women to look after their gray hair more effectively.

One of the things you need to think about is using the right shampoo for gray hair, which means finding a shampoo that is formulated to bring out the best in gray or silver hair. Without the right shampoo and products, gray hair can have a tendency to look quite dull. However, you can change this simply by finding a good, high quality shampoo that is formulated for gray hair.

How special shampoo for gray hair can help

Using a special shampoo designed for use on gray hair can help in a number of ways. This includes benefits such as:

  • Brightening up gray hair: With a high quality shampoo formulated for use on gray hair, you can enjoy brighter, revitalized gray rather than the dull gray that can look tired and lackluster. Most shampoos for gray, white or blonde hair that claim to reduce the brassy yellow tones contain some type of a blue or violet hair color. These pigments counter the yellow pigments in the hair and make the hair appear whiter. D&C violet 2 is one of the common pigments used. This pigment is certified to be used in cosmetics by the FDA, but its concentration has to be limited to 1% or lower. The dye may cause irritation in sensitive people.
  • Softening gray hairs: Gray hairs can often be more brittle and wiry than the rest of your hair. A good shampoo can help to soften these hairs and make your gray hair more manageable. Most shampoos designed specifically for gray hair contain moisturizers and conditioners, either natural or synthetic.

In short, the right shampoo for gray hair can help to make your gray hair look more glamorous and far more attractive.

Some effective shampoos to use on gray hair

You will find a range of shampoos that are designed for use on gray hair these days. As is the case with all types of shampoo, some of these products are more effective than others. Unfortunately, when looking for the best shampoos for gray hair, I’ve discovered that most of the products are formulated with many ingredients that are irritant, or unsafe. Some of the products you can consider include:

  • If you are looking for more of the classic gray hair shampoo – Clairol Shimmer Lights is one of the original blue shampoos. It gets excellent reviews from user and is very popular. This shampoo does contain sulfate-based detergents.  It is very blue, and will stain shower, towel and clothes so beware. 
  • Biogenol violights shampoo can help to remove yellow tones from gray hair and instead add brightness and shine to the hair. It can also help to add body to the hair and is able to cleanse the scalp while providing a pleasant scent. Although this is a sulfate free shampoo, the detergent cocamidopropyl betaine, is as irritant as sulfate-based detergents. Other ingredients include Violet 2, as well as the antioxidant superoxide dismutase. However it also includes parabens as preservatives.
  • Organic Excellence Shampoo is a very conditioning shampoo, containing mostly natural ingredients. Interestingly, it is formulated differently on Amazon, compared to the company website. While the version on Amazon contains the detergent cocamidopropyl betaine, the one on the company’s website does not. Cocamidopropyl betaine  is a synthetic detergent that is allergenic and skin irritant, and is added to sulfate-free shampoos to replace the sulfate detergents. Instead, the alternative version contains a soap made of olive oil and coconut oil. Although the soap is not naturally occurring, and has to be processed in the lab, it is safer to the skin than the synthetic detergent. This shampoo contains no violet pigment, thus although it will not stain your shower, it also not expected to counter the yellowish tone in gray hair. Because it is conditioning, it can help with softening the coarse wiry gray hairs.

These are amongst a number of gray hair shampoos that can help to enhance and brighten gray hair. In order to enjoy maximum benefit, you should make sure you read and follow the instruction based on the product you buy.

Finding the most suitable shampoo

If you have never used a gray hair shampoo before, it may be difficult for you to work out which one you should opt for in order to enjoy maximum effect. This is where reviews from other users of these products can prove invaluable. By looking at reviews from other users of these products, you can get a better idea of how effective each of the products is likely to be. You will then find it easier to make a decision with regards to which of the shampoos to try.

Please help, by reviewing your gray hair shampoo in the comments below.

Image credit: lhumble on sxc photos.

3 thoughts on “A Guide for Choosing the Right Shampoo for Gray Hair

  1. Angelica Wilkins

    You mention the Organic Excellence “Wild Mint” Shampoo, but your Amazon link reflects the Organic Excellence “Mint” Shampoo. These are two DIFFERENT shampoos. The Organic Excellence “Wild Mint” Shampoo does not contain Cocamide Propyl Betaine, however the Organic Excellence “Mint” shampoo does. That makes a huge difference for me.


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