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Lady Smarts Exactly what to do when you see your first gray hairs

You can't fight 'em (sorry), so you might as well embrace 'em.

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(Photograph by Getty Images)

Salt and pepper may make everything better at the dinner table, but the combo proves challenging when it comes to hair.

Silver strands grow in coarser and more porous, says Engelman, which creates a mishmash of combative textures.

And even if you color over grays, they won't be able to retain dye molecules for as long as your other strands. The upside?

They hold on to styles created with heat tools like a champ. Silver linings, as they say.


Dye for Smoothness

If you color your hair, opt for an oil-based dye, suggests Los Angeles colorist Nikki Lee. That extra moisture in the formula is vital for softening and adding shine to unruly grays.

In addition to using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner regularly, swap in a color-depositing conditioner, like Davines Alchemic Conditioner, once a week; it reinforces your shade and seals off your hair's cuticle layer so dye molecules are less likely to make a run for it as quickly.

Brush Up

Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by errant grays in your root area.

Girl, you need a boar-bristle brush for two reasons, says Lovell.

First, it grips strands more tightly than standard brushes, encouraging hairs to get down and stay down.

Second, it polishes and makes hair look movie-star gleamy. Before blow-drying, spritz a light spray spiked with style-preserving polymers, like KMS Thermashape Shaping Blow Dry, onto damp hair.

Then direct hot air down at your roots while you brush.

Learn how to blow dry fine hair to make it look full and gorgeous:

Work with Weights

Many women transition to a short cut when they get older. But if you're struggling with a fuzzy, silver halo, you might be better off skipping the scissors.

"Since the coarse wiriness happens more toward the roots than the ends, wearing your hair longer actually helps control and smooth the wayward texture," says Crawford.

She suggests avoiding layered and texturized styles and instead going for a cut with blunt ends.

This 'do keeps weight in the strands and pulls them downward so that gray flyaways are less likely to go AWOL, and more game to stay still.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Women's Health.

For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!

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