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What care for white hair?

When hair turns white, it tends to become dry and dull due to the absence of melanin at the core of the hair fiber. It can also become unruly and difficult to style. Fortunately, there are treatments specifically designed for white hair. Discover several of them.

Published January 27, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

What is the cause of white hair?

The whitening of hair, also known as canities, is a natural and inevitable process. The first white hairs usually appear around the age of thirty, following a decrease in activity and number of melanocytes, the cells located at the base of the hair bulb responsible for secreting melanin. This is the pigment that gives hair its color.

Furthermore, as hair grows, hydrogen peroxide is simultaneously formed at the scalp level. This reactive species is capable of triggering a chain reaction leading to the degradation of melanin, but it is generally eliminated beforehand by catalase, an enzyme. However, over time, the amount of catalase in cells decreases, which promotes the degradation of melanin by hydrogen peroxide. Other factors can influence the onset of graying, such as heredity, smoking, sun exposure, deficiencies...

White Hair: What treatments should be used?

White hair has a slightly different texture from other hair types, and is more fragile and sensitive to external aggressions. That's why it requires maintenance and special care.

  • A gentle and strengthening shampoo alternated with an antioxidant shampoo.

    The emergence of white hair is not the only consequence of aging on the hair level. It is also observed that the synthesis of sebum by the sebaceous glands gradually decreases over time, which compromises the hydration and protection of hair fibers. That's why it may be relevant to change your shampoo when white hairs multiply.

    It is recommended to choose a gentle, strengthening, non-drying treatment to use alternately with an antioxidant-rich shampoo. Indeed, white hair is prone to yellowing due to its lack of melanin. In addition to giving hair its color, this pigment fights against oxidative stress, which is partly responsible for hair yellowing. The addition of antioxidants partially compensates for the absence of melanin. You can also use a so-called purple shampoo, that is, a yellowing counteracting shampoo, if you notice that your hair is starting to take on a yellow hue.

  • A conditioner.

    After each shampoo, we recommend applying a conditioner to your lengths, especially if you have white hair. These treatments are formulated to soften and rehydrate the hair fiber potentially dried out by washing. Moreover, they facilitate detangling and prevent overly aggressive brushing after showering, which could further weaken already sensitive hair.

  • A nourishing and restorative mask.

    If you have long or medium-length hair, don't hesitate to apply a nourishing mask to your ends one to two times per week. Due to their fragility, white hair tends to damage more easily and form split ends. Applying a mask helps to strengthen the lengths and prevent this hair inconvenience. For instance, you could try our repairing mask enriched with ceramides and avocado oil (INCI: Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil). This treatment deeply repairs the hair fiber, brings flexibility and shine to the hair, and prevents the appearance of split ends.

  • A hair oil.

    Similar to the application of masks, oil baths serve to nourish and protect the hair. They are also to be done once or twice a week and should be left on for about fifteen minutes before rinsing.

  • A hair sun protection.

    Sunlight promotes the yellowing of hair by causing oxidative stress in the cells. White hair is particularly sensitive to this, as it lacks melanin for protection. Therefore, on sunny days when you spend a lot of time outdoors, we recommend protecting your hair by applying a sun care product. Often in the form of a mist or spray to be applied to the hair, these treatments have over the years established themselves as summer essentials.


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