Hair-Care Tips

The One Hair-Care Product Stylists Would Never, Ever Use On Freshly Dyed Gray Roots

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If you've spent time (and money) dying your gray roots, chances are you want the color to last as long as possible—which means using products that are gentle on the hair and won't cause the color to fade. Because of this, stylists are begging you to keep scalp scrubs far, far away from your fresh dye job.

"The job of a scalp scrub is to exfoliate the skin," says Jay Small, celebrity stylist and co-founder of gray-hair-care brand Arey. "Because the protein structure of the skin and the hair are similar, if these ingredients can remove build-up on the scalp, they may also have the ability to remove the color from hair strands if used within the first week of coloring."

Gray strands generally have a hard time holding onto color, so you have to take extra precautions to preserve any dye applied to them. "‘Gray’ hair is actually translucent and without pigment," says Tom Smith, celebrity hairstylist and international color creative director for evo hair. "The ‘gray’ shade we notice comes from how the light filters through the residual darker hair, which is why those who are naturally darker tend to look more of a charcoal shade when the greys start coming in while those naturally blonde go a softer beige gray or white. Being without pigment, it can take a lot to fill the hair up and have it be fully colored."

This lack of pigment can also cause colored dye to appear to fade more quickly on gray strands. Smith explains that though all of your hair will probably fade at the same rate, it will be more noticeable on your grays because they have no undertones. "The faded translucent look can occur more quickly on the greyer area than on the naturally dark areas," he says, so skipping color-stripping scalp scrubs is key.

If you want to slough your scalp without screwing up your color, the pros suggest waiting until shortly before your next dye appointment. "I recommend using an exfoliant a week prior to your next color touch-up, when your roots are grown in, so that you can cleanse the scalp and prepare your hair for a better coloring experience," says Small. Smith adds that "there is some evidence that using a scalp scrub the wash before gray hair coloring can actually contribute to effective gray hair coverage thanks to the deep cleansing nature of the product removing any potential product or mineral build-up that could inhibit dye delivery into resistant gray hair."

Scalp scrubs are particularly beneficial if you use a ton of product on your hair (they help break down buildup on your scalp), but definitely aren't something you need to use all the time. "Often a healthy scalp starts with proper washing of the hair," says Smith. Lather-rinse-repeat with a gentle shampoo as often as you need for your hair type.

Shop some gray-safe shampoos

Arey Wash Shampoo
Arey Wash Shampoo — $48.00

Small recommends this new shampoo from his brand Arey. “This will stimulate circulation without applying chemicals that could irritate the scalp and fade color,” he says. “Arey Wash also includes a complex of antioxidants and peptides that can help combat the stress associated with on-scalp hair color.”

evo Gluttony Volumising Shampoo 300ml
evo Gluttony Volumising Shampoo — $32.00

If your hair is thinning, this volumizing shampoo from evo is a great option. It gently cleanses hair while building body and texture, allowing the hair to look fuller.

First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 1% Pyrithione Zinc
First Aid Beauty Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 1% Pyrithione Zinc — $30.00

If you’ve got dandruff, consider this shampoo from First Aid Beauty. “First Aid Beauty’s anti-dandruff shampoo is awesome—it has no artificial fragrance, no mineral oil, no parabens, and it’s sulfate-free, which is fantastic because that’s really the main culprit of color fading,” says David Lopez, a celebrity hairstylist. “There are no harsh detergents, and on top of that, it works to actually eliminate flakes.”

Want even more beauty intel from our editors? Follow our Fineprint Instagram account for must-know tips and tricks.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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