Unfortunate as it may be, life has no rewind. There’s no button you can press to turn back the wrinkles by your eyes, or the collagen loss that happens over the years. No fountain of youth we can trek to take back the hand that Mother Nature has dealt us.
But lucky for us living in the 21st century, we invented anti-aging products! While these products may not literally rewind the second hand, they can slow down the effect that time and environmental factors have on our body. From skincare, to hair, aging may require some upkeep to control, but it’s definitely not impossible!
Among some of the most challenging features to take control of is greying locks. While some believe silvery hairs to have an air of sophistication, some of us want to slow down the process just a touch.
Maybe not by something as intrusive as a supplement, but by switching up a haircare product that’s already in our daily routine.
So that begs the question, is there such thing as a shampoo that gets rid of grey hairs? If your hair has gone silver entirely, there’s no way to reintroduce that pigment back into your hair other than by dyeing it. But, if you find yourself noticing a couple of grey strands in the mirror, you can find shampoos that will decelerate the greying process.
But what exactly is the science behind finding the best shampoo for salt and pepper locks? Fret not and read on, because we’ll break all your questions down here, and provide our top five picks for shampoos that’ll clear the grey away.
How Do Grey Reducing Shampoos Work?
If you aren’t already targeting your shampoo and conditioner to your particular hair care needs, the time to start is now. Regrettably, you probably won’t find a shampoo in your local grocery store that’s labeled “grey-reversing” in the same way you would find one that says “anti-breakage”, so you’re going to have to do some research to get your hands on one that targets silvery strands.
The main culprit for hair going grey? Lack of melanin. The root of every single strand of hair on your head is held into place on your scalp by the hair follicle. This follicle contains tons of pigment cells that pump the hair shaft full of melanin, which is the reason your hair is blonde, brunette, red, etc.
When we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicle die, which means the hair shaft will lose it’s melanin pigment and go grey. Since we’re working hard to stop that from happening, we need to look for shampoos that stimulate melanin production in the hair.
Thankfully, we can do this without the use of harsh chemicals, and should instead be searching for natural botanicals to do the trick.
How Well Will These Shampoos Work?
The earlier you implement a melanin stimulating shampoo into your routine, the less likely you are to find grey hairs rearing their heads. This is a great preventative measure to take, especially if premature greying runs in your family tree.
If you’ve got a couple of silvery strands, shampooing won’t give them back their color, but it will prevent the rest of your hairs from turning grey as quickly. And if you’re rocking an entirely grey mane, shampooing with an herbal shampoo won’t do much.
Like all hair care products, you’ll find better results with regular maintenance. This isn’t a phase of haircare, but more of a lifestyle change. Regular use of a grey fighting shampoo will yield better results, instead of only using it every so often.
Choosing A Grey-Fighting Shampoo
1. Botanical Additions
To obtain healthy locks, your hair needs vitamins and minerals. Finding a shampoo with herbs and plant based extracts that keep your hair follicle healthy is the key to fighting greys. Some keywords you can search for while shopping for your best fit are: antioxidants, nutrition, minerals, etc.
Some herbs are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which actually help increase melanin production. If you’re fond of your hair smelling like ginseng, hibiscus, or green tea, you’re in luck!
All three of those additions are great at stimulating melanin creation. Other herbs you can keep an eye out for are henna, gooseberry, and the Indian plant reetha.
2. Gentle Ingredients
Natural ingredients should always be a priority when it comes to choosing haircare products, but if the goal is to keep your hair pigmented, this feature should be paramount.
Regular chemical use on hair, whether it be from dyes or perms, will strip your strands down into a vulnerable state, compromising the health of your hair follicle and consequently speeding up the dye process.
Look for a shampoo that’s sulfate/paraben/silicone free. These three chemicals are found in a ton of haircare products, and are easy to miss if you’re not looking for them. Nowadays, shampoos are proud to claim that they’re harsh chemical free- so find a shampoo that’s clearly labeled to be safe for your hair.
You may think that silicone is a good addition to your haircare routine, as it is found in many serums and smoothing products due to its anti-frizz properties. Sadly, regular silicone use can clog the hair follicle over time, preventing your root from absorbing the healthy vitamins it needs to produce pigment, so it’s a better choice to omit it entirely.
3. Color Depositing Properties
Not necessarily in the mood for the waiting game? Thankfully, there are color depositing shampoos and conditioners you can use to give your locks an instant boost of color without the wait. This is a perfect pick if you have an event coming up, or if your hair has more than just a handful of grey strands.
This is the closest thing you can get to an instant solution, but it definitely is not as permanent as a dye job. You can shampoo multiple times to deposit more color, but it will fade once you use a normal shampoo.
What’s great about this option is that there are so many fun shades and colors to choose from, so you’re totally at liberty of going a completely different color than your natural shade!
If your whole mane has gone silver, this could be your chance to try out rich, red locks or jet black strands- all without the damage of bleach or a permanent hair dye.
5 Best Grey-Fighting Shampoos
1. CelebLuxury ColorWash
Our top pick for a color depositing shampoo has to be CelebLuxury’s ColorWash. In fact, we love it so dearly, that we would even recommend it if you aren’t going grey and are just looking to switch your hair up without the commitment of a permanent dye.
Gem Lights ColorWash has all of the pigment, with none of the sulfates, parabens, or ammonia you’d find in a hair dye. It boasts a vegan formula, and was never tested on animals, making it as gentle as gentle can be.
You can use this shampoo daily to keep your hair pigmented, and the results would be so rich that no one would guess it wasn’t your natural mane.
That’s right, this shampoo is safe to use every day if needed. It’s extremely moisturizing as some of the active ingredients are palm and coconut oil, and it uses plant-based sugars to smooth the hairs down instead of silicone.
CelebLuxury also carries a matching conditioner to further maintain the color, formulated with the same responsible, eco-friendly formula we love. This pigment won’t rub off on your sheets while you sleep, nor will it transfer to your clothing or skin.
It’s fantastic to maintain your hair color in between salon visits, and is lasting enough that the company has even named it to be semi-permanent- meaning the color will last you a lot longer than your average color depositing shampoo.
This line comes in a ton of shades so you can find your perfect match, or try something brand new!
2. Just For Men ControlGX Shampoo
No shampoo claims to fight greys quite like Just For Men’s ControlGX. It proudly declares itself to be the only shampoo on the market to get rid of grey hairs permanently. That’s right, it doesn’t matter if your hair has gone totally silver, or if you’re rocking some greys on the sides- this shampoo can bring back your pigment for good.
The brand may say it’s “just for men” but tons of women have tried and tested this shampoo and they swear by its color restoring properties! But how does it work?
Just For Men did their research with this formula, explaining that upon application of this product, their shampoo will deposit pigment deep into the layers of your hair shaft, permanently changing the color of a silvery strand into a more pigmented one.
Like the rest of the shampoos on this list, this cleanser works best when used over time. Just For Men explains that you can increase use based on how grey your hair has gone, and that since there are no ammonia or peroxides involved in the color-changing magic, it’s safe enough to use every day.
However, they do explain that once you’ve achieved the coverage that you want, you should alternate use between this and your regular shampoo to keep from overly depositing color.
This shampoo also works to volumize your locks, making your hair full and thick. You may even be surprised to find it looks better than it did it pre-grey hair!
Be forewarned, though, that this shampoo may lightly stain your fingertips over time, so if this sounds like something you want to avoid, invest in a pair of hair gloves to use in the shower!
3. Kilomet’s Black Hair Color Shampoo
If your hair is brunette or black, we know how frustratingly obvious silver strands are on your dark locks. Luckily, Kilomets has a line of hair coloring shampoos that are made for dark brown to black shades of hair.
Instead of penetrating deep into the hair shaft like ControlGX does, Kilomet’s Hair Color Shampoo only transfers color onto the surface level of your hair shaft, so it’s definitely not a permanent fix to your greys.
But don’t worry, it won’t wash away as quickly as you think! Kilomets color deposit will fade over the course of a month, so a single bottle of shampoo can last you a long time!
To use, work your hair into a lather and let it sit for five to ten minutes (depending on the level of coverage you’re looking for). You can use as much product as you need, contingent on the thickness and length of your locks.
Not only does this shampoo cover up your greys, it’s also incredibly nourishing. While some grey covering washes can leave your hair feeling stripped and dry, this shampoo does quite the opposite.
Infused with olive, argan, and rice oil for nourishment, lavender and peppermint oil for bonding broken strands, and ginger oil to heal your scalp – you’ll fall in love with not only the color of your hair, but the feel of it too!
4. JustNutritive Shampoo For Gray Hair
If your locks are almost entirely grey, you may not want to deal with pigment based shampoos, but instead want to focus more on slowing the greying process down.
JustNutritive has come out with a shampoo made just for grey hairs, and is chock full of ingredients that will keep your hair shiny and healthy, and will stimulate the melanin production in your hair follicle to prevent hairs from going silvery too quickly.
This shampoo is lightly toning, neutralizing the yellow tones in your grey strands to give them a bright new look, instead of looking too brassy against your head. While you could opt for a purple toned shampoo and conditioner, you sure won’t get the antioxidant properties that JustNutritive has to offer.
Featuring aloe vera, clover flower extract, guava fruit extract, as well as pomegranate oil- you’ll be wishing your locks could always feel this luscious.
These natural conditioners will rejuvenate your strands, strengthen your hair shaft to prevent breakage, and balance the pH levels of your scalp making for healthier hair growth. Oh, and guava fruit extract helps boost the melanin production in your follicle, making it the perfect addition to any silver fox’s hair routine!
5. NaturVital Henna Shampoo
If you aren’t familiar with the dyeing properties of henna, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that there’s a naturally derived resource out there than can transfer pigment without the harshness of chemicals.
Most people are familiar with using henna to stain skin with elaborate patterns, but did you know it can just as easily color your hair?
NaturVital has a plethora of different Henna shampoos in their arsenal, covering grey hairs with mahogany, brown, and even black pigments.
It’s certified organic, so all the ingredients are naturally derived, meaning you and your hair can rest easy knowing you’re only feeding it the good stuff.
The changes are subtle, so don’t expect an overnight fix! But since this formula is paraben, sulfate, and silicone free, you can use this shampoo in place of your regular one and find that your locks maintain a silky smooth, clean feeling.
Plus, it won’t compromise any of your hairs that haven’t gone grey- you’ll only notice a difference where you need it.
Up Next: How To Keep Highlighted Hair Healthy