Whether you’ve just started your gray-hair transition, or you’ve been embracing your silver strands for years, you should be using one of the best shampoos for gray hair if you’re someone who wears her sterling tresses with pride. As we age, hair follicles produce less melanin, leading to gray hair. Just as we switch up our shampoos and conditioners when we dye our hair a different color, we should be doing the same as our hair naturally changes, too.
Why does gray hair turn yellow?
Something many women notice as they go gray is brassiness, or a yellowing of the hair. Why does gray hair turn yellow? When it comes down to it, there are a bunch of factors that can be at play. From medications and sun exposure to harsh water and hair-product build up, yellow hair has many causes. So how do you prevent gray hair from yellowing? With a toning shampoo, also known as a purple shampoo. Using the right shampoo can mean the difference between mousy gray hair and shining, silver locks. But why is this?
Why You Should Use Purple Shampoo for Gray Hair
Just as we learned in our childhood art classes, purple and yellow are complementary colors, meaning they sit across from each other on the color wheel. In essence, by using a purple toned shampoo, the purple pigments neutralize any yellow that may appear in your hair, toning and washing it away. And while these shampoos do have a very deep color, fear not — these shampoos won’t put any purple in your hair (though we do know a great color-depositing conditioner that would!)
But graying hair is not merely a color change, it’s a texture change as well. Hair becomes coarse and dry for many women as they go gray. This is why, when you’re shopping for shampoos for gray hair, you should also be looking for ones that put an emphasis on nourishing and hydrating hair. By picking up a shampoo that cares for both the color and overall health of your hair, you’ll be one step closer to the luscious silver locks of your dreams.
Best Shampoo for Gray Hair
Ready to find the right shampoo for your hair? Whether your locks are straight, natural, or newly gray, there’s a shampoo for you on our list. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best shampoos for gray hair.
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Best Shampoo For Gray Hair
1. Best Shampoo for Gray Hair
When it comes to the best shampoo for gray hair, our favorite is Matrix's Total Results So Silver Shampoo. This powerful shampoo is used in salons around the world for one reason and one reason alone — it works. Not only does it cleanse and neutralize any brassiness or yellowing that may be in your hair, it also does a great job of bringing a shining, shimmering quality to sterling tresses. One reviewer said, "I love this shampoo. It's great for gray hair - it makes it shiny and silvery. And it smells divine. It also leaves my hair soft and shiny and tangle-free."
Where to buy: $14, Ulta
Best Natural Shampoo For Gray Hair
2. Best Natural Shampoo for Gray Hair
Is natural beauty a must-have for you? Then pick up a bottle of O&M's Conquer Blonde Silver Shampoo. Infused with aloe vera and desert lime, this shampoo works to remove dull yellow tones from gray hair, no matter the hair type. What's really impressive about this shampoo, however, is what it doesn't have. If you're looking for a sulfate-, paraben-, phthalate-, triclosan-, gluten-, and propylene glycol-free purple shampoo that actually works, you've found your match.
Where to buy: $36, Sephora
Best Drugstore Shampoo For Gray Hair
3. Best Drugstore Shampoo for Gray Hair
If there's one shampoo for gray hair that's likely found its way into your shower before, it's Clairol's Shimmering Lights — and there's a good reason it's one of the most popular shampoos for those looking to maintain light, silvery locks. On top of being one of the most affordable options around, this iconic purple shampoo uses a protein-enriched conditioning formula to keep hair soft and nourished while keeping brassiness at bay from both blond and gray hair.
Where to buy: $8.53, Amazon
Best Purple Shampoo For Gray Hair
4. Best Purple Shampoo for Gray Hair
Another fan-favorite purple shampoos is Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo from Amika. So what makes this shampoo so special? Not only is this ultra-violet shampoo a powerful brass fighter, this is one shampoo everyone from straight-haired to natural-haired women will love thanks to its paraben-, pthaltate-, and a sulfate-free formula. With an added fortifying boost from sea buckthorn berry, vitamins A, D, E, and B, amino acids, and minerals, this is the shampoo for you if you're looking to revitalize your gray hair.
Where to buy: $20, Sephora
Best Anti Yellowing Shampoo For Gray Hair
5. Best Anti-Yellowing Shampoo for Gray Hair
Unlike most of the shampoos on this list, this one strays away from the purple color while still doing an excellent job of keeping any unwanted yellow tones out of hair. A favorite from botanical haircare brand Klorane, the Anti-Yellowing Shampoo is a plant-based shampoo that works wonders on gray, silver, and white hair. The secret here is centuary extract, which highlights the natural brilliance of gray hair while keeping warm, yellow tones away.
Where to buy: $15, Amazon
Best Brightening Shampoo For Gray Hair
6. Best Brightening Shampoo for Gray Hair
One of the most popular brightening shampoos on the market today, Dry Bar's Blonde Ale is the bottle to reach for to brighten your blonde, gray, silver, or white hair. Canceling any warmth that might be present with ease, this shampoo uses a combination of violet pigments, lemon extract, chamomile, and keratin to keep hair bright, shiny, and strong.
Where to buy: $27, Sephora
Best Color Depositing Shampoo For Gray Hair
7. Best Neutralizing Shampoo for Gray Hair
For ladies whose hair skews a little more on white side, you'll love the Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo. The Italian hair brand is well known for making some of the best hair care products today, and this one is no different. Clarifying and toning, this shampoo does a great job of keeping hair bright while also protecting it from yellowing. And thanks to its hydrolyzed milk proteins, your can rest assured your hair will be soft, smooth, and stronger with each use.
Where to buy: $27, Amazon
Best Blue Shampoo For Gray Hair
8. Best Blue Shampoo for Gray Hair
Much like its sister purple shampoo, blue shampoo is an excellent choice for anyone looking to keep their gray hair pristine. And when we say blue shampoo, we're talking about none other than Aveda's Blue Malva Shampoo. Gentle and plant-based, this shampoo does a great job of maintain brightness in silvery streaks. Formulated with blue malva and coneflower, this shampoo not only intensifies your grays, it helps balance your hair and scalp for hair that not only looks better, but is better.
Where to buy: $48, Nordstrom
Best Sulfate Free Shampoo For Gray Hair
9. Best Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Gray Hair
For many women, especially those with curly and natural hair, using a sulfate-free shampoo is not only a want, but a need. So if you're looking for a shampoo that'll help keep your grays vibrant without stripping it of its essential oils, try L’ANZA's Healing Colorcare Silver Brightening Shampoo. Thanks to a blend of natural viola and lavender toning agents, this shampoo keeps warm tones out of gray, silver, and blonde hair with ease. Plus, with the added bonus of gugo bark and L’ANZA's award-winning keratin complex, this shampoo heals and protects hair.
Where to buy: $28, Amazon
Best Conditioning Shampoo For Gray Hair
10. Best Conditioning Shampoo for Gray Hair
Looking for a purple shampoo that will nourish hair while cleansing it? Try One 'n Only's Shiny Silver Ultra Conditioning Shampoo. Designed to eliminate brassiness from gray hair, this shampoo also does a great job keeping hair smooth and moisturized for a straight-from-the-salon look. In fact, salon professionals love this shampoo with one Amazon buyer saying, "I've used this product for two years now on white/grey hair and the outcome is superb. Even my stylist thinks so, and has begun using it professionally. I highly recommend One 'n Only Silver Shampoo. And the price is unbeatable, especially on the larger sizes."
Where to buy: $19.79, Amazon
Best Neutralizing Shampoo For Gray Hair
11. Best L'Oreal Shampoo for Gray Hair
There's a reason millions of women around the world love L'Oreal haircare products. From shampoos and conditioners to serums and frizz-fighters, L'Oreal knows how to make a good hair product, worthy of its cult-following — like the L'Oreal Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Neutralising Shampoo. Formulated to neutralize any yellowing that may occur, this shampoo has a legion of fans, with one Amazon buyer raving, "This product really cools the yellow your natural grey might have, leaving it shiny and more platinum-y ...and it smells good. It surprised me that a purple shampoo like this could work so well for its intended purpose!"
Where to buy: $17.20, Amazon
Best Silver Shampoo For Gray Hair
12. Best Shampoo for Gray Hair with UV Protection
The haircare experts at SACHAJUAN are known for their show-stopping hair products, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to see them on this list. What really sets their Silver Shampoo apart from the rest is its built-in sun protection. With sun damage being a major contributor to hair-yellowing, its UV filters not only make it a great shampoo for gray hair, but one of the best shampoos for summer. With the added hydrating benefit of SACHAJUAN's Ocean Silk Technology, you're well on your way to bright, volumized gray hair.
Where to buy: $28, Sephora
Best Hydrating Shampoo For Gray Hair
13. Best Hydrating Shampoo for Gray Hair
When caring for gray hair, brassiness shouldn't be your only concern. As we age, hair not only loses pigment and turns gray, it also loses moisture and become brittle. Because of this, it's important to make sure you also have a good hydrating shampoo in your routine and that you cycle it with your regular purple shampoo. We like to reach for Kiehl's Damage Repairing & Rehydrating Shampoo, which is made with Moringa Tree oil, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that gently cleanses while repairing and fortifying hair in the process.
Where to buy: $20, Nordstrom
Best Shampoo Conditioner For Gray Hair
14. Best Shampoo & Conditioner for Gray Hair
If the best shampoo and conditioner set for gray hair is on your list, pick up ArtNaturals Purple Shampoo and Conditioner Set. With almost five stars on Amazon and hundreds of positive reviews, this set is beloved. The formula features a blend of coconut oil and vitamin E among other nourishing ingredients, which neutralizes any brassiness that may occur while also working hard to hydrate hair and stimulate scalp circulation for healthier tresses in no time.
Where to buy: $25.95, Amazon