50 Shades Of ...

7.2.2013

By Julien Sauvalle

The best products for gray and salt 'n' pepper hair

Pictured: Aiden Shaw

Harry, 53, from Fort Lauderdale, FL, asks:

"Like the handsome gentlemen in your slideshow, I've decided to let my inner silver fox come out. Are there specific shampoos and styling products that I should use to protect the gray?"

Good for you, Harry. I would always encourage men who start graying to just let nature run its course. Dying your hair after a certain age can look be a bit tacky, and let's be real: You're not fooling anyone!

SLIDESHOW: 25 Silver Foxes

Hair tends to be more fragile after it's lost its melamine, so proper care is paramount. Environmental factors like pollution or cigarette smoke can also turn your beautiful silver mane into a brassy, yellow mess. Lucky for you, there are great shampoos and conditioners out there specially made for gray hair. The most surprising thing about these products is their color: deep purple. Purple is at the opposite of yellow on the color wheel, therefore purple pigments in shampoo counteract the yellowing of gray hair.

Swedish hair care brand Sachajuan makes a great moisturizing Silver Shampoo ($28, 8.4 fl oz) and Silver Conditioner ($30, 8.4 fl oz), meant to enhance gray and light blonde hair. Younger men with bleached silver hair or highlights can also use them to increase the shine of their color. They also contain UV protection agents that prevent hair from fading in the sun. When you use pigmented shampoo, It's recommended to alternate regularly with a clear shampoo to prevent getting a blue-ish shade after a few months of use.
See a few good options below:


From left: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo ($28, 8.4 fl oz); American Crew Classic Gray Shampoo ($8.99, 4.45 fl oz); Klorane Shampoo with Centaury ($13, 6.7 fl oz); PHYTO Phytargent ($24, 6.7 fl oz)

Styling: Gray hair grows more wirey and can be difficult to tame. You might want to keep things under control with a neat side part in the style of Mad Men's John Slattery or a short spiky crop like Daniel Day-Lewis. These hairstyles work very well for men with a receding hairline, too.

To style your hair, use a pea-size amount of Bumble & Bumble Sumotech ($27, 1.5 oz), a light-weight pomade with a strong hold which doesn't leave residue — one of my favorite products ever. It can be reworked throughout the day with a few drops of water, and it's a white paste, so it will fade perfectly into your hair.

For longer hairstyles similar to Aiden Shaw's luscious curls (pictured), choose a good leave-in conditioner (Kiehl's Creme With Silk Groom; $18, 4.2 fl oz) and invest in a natural bristle brush for fine hair like the Kent OS11 ($135.50, at Sears). You're all set for long happy years as a highly-desirable silver fox.
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