What to Do With Frizzy Gray Hair?

Do you notice that as the gray hair comes in your hair is changing the texture? Is it getting rough and frizzy? One of my readers Melissa thinks so. She wrote in to ask about this annoying hair problem, so naturally I turned this challenge over to Fabulous After 40 hairstylist Chris Maclachlan. Here’s Melissa dilemma in her words.


Melissa: I have thick, straight, sandy blonde hair. It tends to be heavy, and that means no body. When I grow it out, I tend to have NO body whatsoever, and now, I have what I think is called an inverted bob, and while there’s some, it’s still not much and winds up getting in my face.

Meanwhile, the gray that is coming in seems to be very crinkly. I have very healthycrazy gray hairs follicles, never using products or blow dryers, etc. And now, I seem to have a lot of frizz on my top layer of hair. That’s what I’m asking about. This new frizz that I never had before, as well as the impossible gray wire, after years of healthy, never-been-colored, teased, or blow-dried, beauty-hair.

Thanks! Melissa Robinson, age 42

Hi Melissa,

Grey hair is almost always a different texture than you natural color, often wiry and unruly. I would suggest a semi-permanent color that will blend the grey and soften it. A semi-permanent color will not lift your natural color, so you light brown haircan not go lighter with a semi.

Women often find it hard to know what color to dye it but if you put a semi on that is your natural colour or lighter, it will blend the grey (colour it) and give the rest of your hair some tone and shine. A darker colour than your natural will give you a darker colour overall, as well as blending the grey. Slightly darker and warmer will be flattering to your skin tone. If you are up for it, I would suggest something like this style worn by Ashley Judd.

The great thing about a semi is there is no commitment, no damage and no grow out and the hair that is lighter will stay lighter giving you natural highlights. It will fade naturally in about 2-3 months. The less you shampoo, the longer it will last.

As for your heavy straight, thick hair, I think you should count yourself lucky and just go with it !!! Many woman struggle every day to get that look. If you want more volume, you can go with a few different options. You could get highlights that will blend and cover some grey with the added benefit of roughing up he cuticle a bit (damaging your hair, but just a little !!) but also giving you more volume.

Also, a razor cut can give you a bit more texture to the ends, making it look more interesting, but I would stay with something classic and sharp, and suitable for heavy straight hair. That being said, one thing that will become a must for you is blown drying, and using some volumizing products. I also think you should either grow out your bangs or make them thicker, as well as go a little shorter overall.

katie holmesHere are a few looks to try. Katie Holmes wears a classic bob with bangs and a little texture in the ends.

This next one I would do with a razor, and its a lot shorter but cute and I think it would suit your face shape better.pixieish bob, razored_

Good luck and let me know how it turns out. Chris

Chris Maclachlan is a top hairstylist with over 15 years experience in the industry. She is passionate about helping all woman find their style and feel their best, no matter age, shape or size.


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  1. Jeanine D. says:

    I often use a thermal hair protecting product (mousse or lotion) and then use a hot flatiron/straightener to smooth the top layer of my hair to make it smoother. Deep conditioning also helps. Also smooth down the flyaways with flexible hold hairspray. Some people use a toothbrush and hairspray for this. There are sprays to disguise the roots for in between coloring, like Gray Away or Rita Hazaan, and there is also hair mascara. Use rubber gloves for these touches to keep my hands and nails clean (quick but messy!).

  2. Barb Walker says:

    These are great color and style tips but specific product tips (brands and actual specific products) , recommendations would have been helpful. Good shampoo, conditioner, masks and styling products to comback the frizz would have put this article over the top.

  3. MaryEllen says:

    Why is the solution always color your grey? I have spent 2 years growing it out and I love it!
    Would like to see solutions to enhance grey hair.

    • Debbi Martin says:

      I had the same problem when my gray hair had been coming in for awhile. My smooth straight hair was getting rough and straw like. I tried so many different shampoos and conditioners with no luck. Hair oil (any one of them on the market will work, I get mine from the Drugstore) that you put on after you wash your hair, just a couple of drops, helped a little but I was still not happy with the way it felt. Then I tried Mane n Tail shampoo & conditioner. You can buy it at Sally’s or the ” Wally World ” store. It has worked wonders, my hair is much softer and smoother and people give me compliments on my hair again. It smells good, its cheap, my hair is nice and I’m going Gray Happily. Good Luck!