Let Your Silver Strands Shine With These 12 Gray-Friendly Conditioners

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In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestley sports a stunning silver hairstyle. Allegedly the producers were hesitant about it at first, but Meryl Streep was able to convince them. Good thing she did, because Priestley’s gray hair was an integral part of her look. It also looked immensely healthy and nourished. If those hair-goals are hitting home for you, our list of the best conditioners for gray hair can help.

Experts In This Article
  • Guy Tang, celebrity colorist and founder of #Mydentity
  • Jamie Wiley, celebrity hairstylist and global artistic director of Pureology

Best gray hair conditioners, at a glance:

Why does hair go gray?

We’ll get into the best gray hair conditioners, but first, it’s good to know why we go gray in the first place. There are several different reasons why, but the most common one, of course, is aging. Studies have shown that most people begin going gray before the age of 50. “Hair turns gray from loss of melanin normally as you age, but can also be from other health factors,” explains Guy Tang, celebrity colorist and founder of hair care brand #Mydentity. In fact, smoking, nutritional deficiency, certain diseases, and just good ol’ genetics can play a role in hair turning gray. (While stress has always been associated with gray hair, that's still up for debate.)

Why your hair changes texture when it goes gray

If you’ve already started getting grays, you may have noticed other changes in your hair. “For most people, when their hair turns gray, the texture also changes, usually to be more coarse,” says Tang. “This can be a concern because it will change the way you have to style your hair.” Gray hair feels this way because of the loss in pigment or melanin—plus, the follicle doesn't produce as much sebum. That’s where a hair oil or serum can help, but so can a moisturizing conditioner.

What to do about brassy gray hair

Another issue that gray-haired folks can run into is brassiness. “Your stylist can help correct this with color, and at home you can use a purple shampoo and conditioner to help,” says Tang. Purple shampoos are often associated with blonde hair, but they’re great for gray hair, too.

What to look for in a gray hair conditioner

When it comes to specific ingredients to look for in gray hair conditioners, Jamie Wiley, the Global Artistic Director at Pureology, says to look for moisturizing and nourishing ingredients. “Like jojoba, shea butter, and avocado oil. These will penetrate and deeply nourish the hair,” she says. It’s also good to avoid anything that will remove moisture and dry out the hair. “These can be found in volume shampoos and volumnizing products,” she says. Tang also says to avoid drying ingredients such as SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or alcohol.

Ready to spruce up those silver strands? Keep scrolling to learn about 11 of the best conditioners for gray hair.

Shop the best conditioners for gray hair

moroccanoil blonde perfecting purple conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best overall: Moroccanoil, Blonde Perfecting Purple Conditioner — $26.00

A good choice for a gray hair conditioner that can be used on any hair type or texture is this one from Moroccanoil’s Blonde Perfecting line. While violet pigments and amino acids help tone and brighten your grays, it also gets a big help from the brand’s microencapsulation technology that helps seals the hair’s cuticle. Over 99 percent of argan oil’s high-powered antioxidants are delivered deep into the hair’s cortex, so hair gets repaired, and color is sealed in and unbothered.

Key ingredients: Argan oil, amino acid blend

Size: 6.7 ounces

Best for: All hair types and textures


  • Nourishing antioxidants from argan oil
  • Violet pigment and amino acids add brightness
  • Leaves hair feeling soft


  • Some folks say it’s better at counteracting brassiness than moisturizing

pureology hydrate softening treatment conditioner for gray hair
Best for frizzy gray hair: Pureology, Hydrate Soft Softening Treatment — $41.00

To combat frizz, Wiley says a good deep conditioning treatment is necessary. This one from Pureology contains shea butter, which seals in moisture while deeply nourishing the hair. It also has almond oil, which is an emollient, so it will fill the gaps in your hair cuticle, and makes it feel smooth and soft. What’s not inside? Sulfates, parabens, or mineral oils.

Key ingredients: Shea butter, almond oil, sunflower seed extract, lactic acid

Size: 6.7 ounces

Best for: All hair types and textures, but particularly frizzy hair that needs added moisture


  • Highly moisturizing to combat frizz
  • Free of sulfates and parabens
  • Packaging made with post-consumer recycled materials


  • Fragrance may be too strong for some

pattern lightweight conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for natural gray hair: Pattern, Lightweight Conditioner — $28.00

If you have tightly textured, natural hair, you can’t go wrong with this lightweight conditioner from Tracee Ellis Ross’ brand, Pattern. While it’s color-safe for grays, it contains incredibly moisturizing ingredients for your coils and curls. Coconut oil moisturizes and seals hair in, while Irish moss keeps the scalp healthy.

Key ingredients: Irish moss, coconut oil, biotin

Size: 13 ounces

Best for: Curly, coily, textured hair


  • Formulated specifically for textured hair types
  • Portion of Pattern sales go toward organizations that empower women & people of color
  • Light scent of rose, patchouli, and neroli


  • May not be moisturizing enough for very dry hair

kerastase blond absolu strengthening conditioner for gray hair
Best for short gray hair: Kérastase Blond Absolu Strengthening Conditioner — $46.00

You don’t need to use a lot of conditioner when you have short hair, but you also don’t want to use something too heavy, either—otherwise it could cause buildup on your scalp. This Kérastase Blond conditioner uses hyaluronic acid and edelweiss flower to keep hair strong and protected from damage while keeping your gray from getting brassy. The brand describes it as having “the power of a mask with the light touch of a conditioner.”

Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, edelweiss flower

Size: 8.5 ounces

Best for: All hair types, but particularly short or thinner hair


  • Lightweight formula for short or thin hair
  • Hyaluronic acid seals in moisture and locks cuticles to prevent future breakage


  • Pricier option

silver pearl myrefresh conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for dull gray hair: #mydentity, #MyRefresh Silver Pearl Conditioner — $24.00

Is your gray looking sad and dull? Breathe some life into it by adding a color-boosting conditioner, like this one from Tang’s #MyRefresh line. Intense color gets deposited into your hair along with a powerful combination of plant oils like sunflower seed, argan, and meadowfoam seed to keep strands soft, shiny, and hydrated. Think of it as a refresh button to keep your colored gray hair looking its best.

Key ingredients: Argan, sunflower, and meadowfoam seeds

Size: 6 ounces

Best for: Colored (gray) hair, all hair types


  • Deposits pigment onto colored strands to extend the life of your color
  • Moisturizing ingredients add softness


  • Smaller bottle

joico color balance purple conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for long gray hair: Joico, Color Balance Purple Conditioner — $24.00

Long hair calls for tons of hydration, so a color-correcting conditioner that has hair-loving ingredients is key. Joico’s Color Balance will protect your silver strands from brassiness with its violet pigments and green tea extract (a protective antioxidant) while its proprietary liposome delivery system continuously releases rosehip oil, arginine, and keratin to keep it all healthy.

Key ingredients: Rosehip oil, green tea extract, arginine, keratin

Size: 8.5 ounces

Best for: Long hair of all types and textures


  • UV and pollutant protection from green tea extract
  • Violet pigment combats brassiness


  • Some people report the purple pigment staining nails (but say it goes away after a day or so)

all about curls divine treatment, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for curly gray hair: All About Curls, Divine Treatment — $11.00

Curly hair needs a conditioner that won’t mess around. Divine Treatment delivers intense hydration to all curl patterns, thanks to a powerhouse of natural oils and plant extracts like coconut oil, shea butter, marula oil, and almond extract. Plus, it’s free of disrupting chemicals like drying alcohols, parabens, and SLS.

Key ingredients: Shea butter, marula oil, coconut oil, almond extract

Size: 8 ounces

Best for: Curly hair types, specifically types 3a-4c.


  • Super hydrating formula combats frizz
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, and mineral oils


  • May be too thick for oily hair types (brand recommends using it once or twice a week)

balmain revitalizing conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for damaged gray hair: Balmain Hair Couture Revitalizing Conditioner — $54.00

If your gray hair is paying the price for overusing hot tool or using aggressive products, you will need a conditioner that can truly resurrect dead and damaged hair. Balmain Hair Couture’s Revitalizing Conditioner is infused with cashmere to make it soft and smooth, while organic argan oil and vitamins E and F nourish, strengthen, and repair. The conditioner also protects against UV rays and fading so your gray will shine as bright as ever.

Key ingredients: Argan oil, vitamins E and F, cashmere

Size: 10 ounces

Best for: Damaged hair of all types


  • Lightweight yet nourishing oils help repair damage
  • Infused with cashmere for added softness


  • Priciest on our list

loreal elvive clay conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for oily gray hair: L'Oreal Paris, Elvive Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Conditioner — $8.00

This budget-friendly pick might not scream “I’m for gray hair!” but trust that it’s up for the job. If you have oily gray strands, it’ll need to be confronted right at the scalp—and this L’Oreal conditioner will do just that. The Elvive formula contains three different refined clays to absorb oil and deep clean your roots while keeping your ends fresh and hydrated.

Key ingredients: Three types of refined clays

Size: 12.6 ounces

Best for: Oily hair of all types and textures


  • Refined clay helps target oiliness at the scalp
  • Color-safe formula


  • Formula does contain some alcohols, so may not be best for those with very dry hair

kevin murphy blonde angel color enhancing treatment, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for dry hair: Kevin Murphy, Blonde Angel Color Enhancing Treatment — $45.00

This Kevin Murphy conditioner will go to battle for your hair, eliminating dryness while retaining your silver hair, thanks to an impressive lineup of plant extracts and oils. Sunflower seed extract is one standout ingredient, as it protects color from fading, while brazil nut, jojoba oil, and olive oil provide hydration, shine, and protection against breakage.

Key ingredients: Brazil nut, jojoba oil, olive oil, sunflower seed extract

Size: 8.4 ounces

Best for: Dry hair of all types, targeting brassiness


  • Plant-powered formula full of moisturizing seeds and oils
  • Violet pigments tackle brassiness


  • Pricier option

big sexy hair big boost up conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for fine gray hair: Big SexyHair, Big Boost Up Conditioner — $22.00

Hair that is fine can often feel limp and lifeless, which is why finding a volumnizing conditioner can be a huge help. This one contains collagen, strengthens and hydrates hair follicles, and adds up to 30 percent more volume to the hair all while without making it feel heavy. It’s also free from SLS to retain your gray.

Key ingredients: Collagen, caffeine

Size: 10 ounces

Best for: Thin hair


  • Caffeine and collagen help bring volume to thin hair
  • Packaging made with recycled materials


  • May not be moisturizing enough for very dry hair
olaplex no5P blonde toning conditioner, one of the best conditioners for gray hair
Best for toning: Olaplex, No.5P Blonde Enhancing Toner Conditioner — $30.00

Want all of the benefits of a brass-busting purple conditioner plus added toning? Look no further than No.5P from Olaplex. While hydrating shea butter and castor oils get to work, the brand’s signature bond-building technology provides that fan-favorite shine. This formula uses extra fine pigments to help reach and brighten your hair’s more porous areas.

Key ingredients: Shea butter, castor oil, Olaplex bond-building technology

Size: 8.5 ounces

Best for: All hair types


  • 2-in-1 conditioner and toner
  • Moisturizing shea butter and castor oil
  • Micro pigments reach porous areas of your hair for deep brightening


  • May not be hydrating enough for super dry hair

Things to consider before buying

Your hair type

As anyone who has started to go gray will tell you, it's not a one-size-fits-all experience. It's important to consider whether the conditioner's formula is targeted toward your specific hair type (curly, straight, thin, etc) to ensure your locks get the TLC they need.

Level of hydration

Similarly, the conditioners on our list vary in hydration levels. Some are lightweight and great for bouncy curls, while others are deeply moisturizing and intended to revitalized dried-out strands.


If you get your gray strands professionally colored, you'll want to opt for a color-safe conditioner (all of the picks on our list are!). However, if you've put a lot of time and money into getting your hair color just right, you may want to consult your colorist before using any new gray hair products, just to play it safe.

Frequently asked questions

Should you use conditioner on gray hair?

Absolutely! Just because you've started going gray (whether you like it or not) doesn't mean your hair can't look and feel its best—and making sure your hair stays hydrated is an important step.

Wondering how to make gray hair more silver?

Try a shampoo or conditioner with violet pigments to reduce brassiness. There are a handful on our list, including the picks from Olaplex, Pureology, and Moroccanoil.

What should you not do with gray hair?

Taking care of your gray hair means avoiding over-drying your locks. It's important to keep tabs on how often you're shampooing and stay away from overly-drying ingredients like alcohols as much as possible. Keeping hair hydrated with a moisturizing conditioner is key, but you can also try rinsing with cold water (avoid super hot water, which dries our hair and skin!) and start supplementing your hair-care routine with nourishing hair masks.

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Panhard, S et al. “Greying of the human hair: a worldwide survey, revisiting the ’50’ rule of thumb.” The British journal of dermatology vol. 167,4 (2012): 865-73. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.11095.x
  2. Kumar, Anagha Bangalore et al. “Premature Graying of Hair: Review with Updates.” International journal of trichology vol. 10,5 (2018): 198-203. doi:10.4103/ijt.ijt_47_18

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