Greying Hair vs Protein? When Grey Hair Gets Wiry And Unmangeable


Here is a chance to learn from my mistakes. It literally took me a couple of years to learn to take care of my greying hair. Maybe I missed all the advice because I've gone grey much earlier than my peers. It kind of sneaks up on you -- at first all you have to do is decide between dyeing or not. But when grey hair hits critical mass, you might start wondering why it's acting out and not responding to whatever worked before.

My high porosity hair was always very happy with a lot of proteins: protein-rich conditioners, beer rinses, yoghurt masks. With time it wanted less of those things, I thought it was because the porosity decreased as the damaged sections grew out. But as recently my favourite high-protein Kallos masque made my hair really unmanageable, I realised that it can't just be porosity. My hair never was and never will be low porosity even when super healthy, it has a lot of texture and curls.

Anyway, I was annoyed. After some research I found out that grey hair doesn't do well with protein.

Grey hair is hollow on the inside, and it's texture can be quite coarse and wiry. There are a couple of different theories about this, one says that the process of the decrease of pigmentation is closely related to the process of hair growth, so hair may grow slightly deformed. Other theories say that grey hair has a thinner cuticle and so it is very susceptible to damage and dehydration. Also the ageing scalp produces less oils.

Whatever the reason, the fact is that grey hair can be coarse and unruly. And proteins can make this worse.
Note: grey hair dyed to another colour is still grey for hair care purposes, as only the colour changed, not the hair structure.

When looking for products for greying hair that is wiry, coarse and matte, find something with more emollients and humectants and with less or no proteins. It's pretty easy to find  proteins in ingredient lists. Personally I have moved on to very light conditioners plus flaxseed gel, and my hair is behaving again. Another important thing I did was minimise sun exposure, which is really damaging for grey hair.
If you've been wondering where I have been, I have been very busy with schooling. I'm writing my thesis, getting practical experience, and sitting in on experienced people in the field. If all goes well, I'll have my dream job later this year. So I'm still here, just busy with life. I do post on my instagram from time to time. 

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