10 Best

Shampoo For Gray Hairs

of December 2023

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A Guide to Selecting a Shampoo for Gray Hair

Yehudah Posnick

There’s a popular saying that there is a “50/50/50 rule”: By age 50, 50% of the population will have at least 50% gray hair. (The actual numbers are more like only 23% of the population will have gray hair over 50% of their head, and that’s only among Caucasian populations. Asians and Africans have even less of a percentage of gray hair.) But, it’s almost inescapable that as a person ages, they start to develop gray hair as a result of the body producing less melanin than in their youth. There can also be other factors, such as sun exposure, stress, and genetics, that cause a person to become gray.

But, less pigment in the hair doesn’t just affect the color of your hair. Gray hair also tends to feel more dry and brittle, because it doesn’t retain moisture. There are also shampoos to increase gray hair’s body and glossiness. There are also special moisturizing products and clarifying shampoos specifically for gray hair.

We’ll go through some of the options among the Best Reviews Guide list of the best shampoos for gray hair. We’ll see that they’re also excellent for improving the appearance of blonde and bleached hair as well!


Why does a person’s hair become gray?

The color of hair is determined by the production of melanin. There are three types of melanin: eumelanin, which is found in deep brown and black hair, pheomelanin which produces red hair, and neuromelanin which causes an infant’s hair to get dark as they grow older. The production of melanin decreases with age, which is why hair becomes gray.

What types of shampoos are there for gray hair?

There are a variety of shampoos on the market specifically for gray hair. Many of these shampoos contain ingredients that are designed to help maintain the color of gray hair, such as violet pigments that can help to counteract any yellow tones, or shampoos to adjust the pH so that hair will be less brittle.

Types of Shampoo For Gray Hair

From the Best Reviews Guide list of the most popular shampoos for gray hair, we notice that there are shampoos that emphasize a particular line of treatment to make gray hair more healthy, or to improve its appearance. There are also products that combine several approaches at once:

  • Purple shampoo: Purple shampoo is recommended for all light-colored hair: blonde, silver-gray, or bleached hair. This is because there are pairs of complementary colors on the color wheel: blue-orange, red-green, and yellow-purple. Shampoo with purple pigments will thus cancel out excessively light, bleached hair. Whether you’re a natural blonde whose hair has been sun-damaged, someone who has dyed their hair blonde, or someone with gray/white hair, a purple shampoo will add brightness and shine to your hair. An example is the Pantene Silver Expressions Purple Shampoo.

Pantene Silver Expressions Purple Shampoo

  • Remove oily buildup: There are shampoos that remove the buildup of oils and sebum from your scalp. These can give your hair a yellowish appearance. One shampoo that specializes in removing oily buildup is the Just Nutritive Gray Hair Shampoo.

Just Nutritive Gray Hair Shampoo

  • Balancing pH: Healthy hair is supposed to have a pH of 4.5-5.5 (Water is neutral and has a pH of 7. Anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above 7 is basic). There are products expressly for gray or color-treated hair to improve hair’s pH balance. An example is the L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo. Giving your hair the correct pH will repair and strengthen hair, as well as protect hair from fading. Their EverPure Shampoo is meant to cleanse your hair. There is then an acidic glaze to seal the hair’s cuticle to seal in moisture, and then a conditioner to apply.

L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo

What reviewers say

Here are some impressions of customers regarding their choice of shampoo for gray hair:

  • Leave the shampoo in for a while: One customer who bought the Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo said that she used it more like a treatment than just as a shampoo. She put the product in her hair while her hair was still dry, and let it sit for 20-25 minutes. After rinsing it out, she noticed that her blonde-silver hair was noticeably brighter. A woman who suffered from damaged hair after chemotherapy noticed that the product eliminated frizzy hair, and gave her hair more bounce.

  • Don’t use regular shampoo: It’s almost a necessity to use special products for gray hair. A customer who added highlights to her hair in a salon was very disappointed when she used her regular shampoo and conditioner afterward. She suffered from frizz and other hair damage. She then tried the L’Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo, Conditioner, and Treatment Kit. It made her frizzy hair soft, manageable, and shiny.

Important Features

Here are some tips and important features to look for when selecting a shampoo for gray hair:

  • Sulfate-free shampoos: You’ll notice that many shampoos for gray hair mention that they’re “sulfate-free”. Shampoos with sulfates are better at removing excess oil from your hair. (An example is the Matrix Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo. It contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate.) However, graying hair tends to lose moisture more quickly. It’s actually better to leave these natural oils in the hair, to protect it from damage from UV rays and dryness. So, it’s best to choose a shampoo that’s sulfate-free.

  • Option of natural ingredients: Since gray hair is more delicate, some prefer natural ingredients in their shampoo, since natural ingredients tend to be less harsh. An example is the L’Anza Healing ColorCare Color Preserving Shampoo. It contains ingredients such as echinacea, cornflower, calendula, hibiscus, and yellow rose extract. It leaves your hair noticeably fuller and with more luster.

Final Verdict

We went through some of the products in the Best Reviews Guide list of the best shampoos for gray hair. It’s difficult to prescribe one product that will treat your gray hair properly since there are so many variations in hair types. But, whether you want to improve your hair’s luster or bounce, or if you want to repair damaged hair, there’s a gray hair shampoo out there that will do the trick!

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