How to Wear Gray-Healthy Hair This Summer?

Summertime is finally here! And yet, a few weeks into summer and silver strands that were once shiny are now fried and hard to manage. With all the time spent hiking, swimming or at the beach, it’s important to prepare and protect gray hair. Hot summer days can take a toll on your tresses, but there are plenty of hair-care tricks to combat UV rays, chlorine, and saltwater. Continue reading to learn how to wear gray healthy hair this summer. 

Causes of Hair Changes during Summertime

The sun, chlorine, and saltwater can compromise the texture and appearance of gray hair. UV rays can damage the hair shaft and may even bring out brassy tones in gray hair. UV rays roughen up the normally smooth cuticle, causing hair to easily dry out. The dryer hair is, the more likely it is to become frizzy in humid conditions. Thirsty hair easily soaks up the extra humidity in hair, which causes the hair shaft to swell. Frizzy hair becomes puffy and hard to manage. In addition to sun damage, swimming in chlorine pools can harm your hair. Chlorine can strip your mane of its natural protective oils and make lighter hair take on a greenish hue. Also, a dip in the salty ocean draws water out of your hair, leaving strands parched. 

By no means should you avoid diving in a pool or plunging in the ocean. With a few adjustments to your hair-care routine, you can enjoy these summertime activities guilt-free! Below you will find the best tips to keep your grays healthy this summer.

Tips to Keep Your Gray Hair Healthy This Summer

  • Begin the Summer with a Fresh Cut

Ring in the summer with a cut and style. Regular trims will improve the manageability of your hair and keep split ends at bay. When an end splits, it continues to split further up the shaft, towards the scalp. A refreshing summer cut will bring lifeless, lackluster grays back to life. 

  • Use Moisturizing Products

The golden-rule of summer hair-care is to keep strands moisturized. The sun and heat remove moisture from your hair, so consider using moisturizing hair products. A leave-in conditioner provides extra moisture to the hair, helps it stay tangle-free and protects it from damage. For an extra-boost of moisture, consider using a deep-conditioning mask, like the Purple Butter Masque from Better Not Younger, packed with natural butters to keep your grays soft and manageable. 

Gray hair will benefit from using lightweight products during the summer. The heat may cause you to sweat more, so limiting heavy product buildup will help you go longer in between washes. As far as shampoo goes, use a sulfate-free, clarifying shampoo after outdoor activities like running or swimming. A clarifying shampoo provides a deep cleanse by removing sweat, oil and product buildup from your scalp. 

  • Saturate Your Strands Before Swimming

A pro-tip for healthy grays is to saturate your hair before swimming. If your hair is doused with clean water or leave-in conditioner, it is less likely to absorb pool chemicals or saltwater. It is also helpful to rinse your hair with fresh water as soon as possible after a swim. 

  • Protect Your Hair from the Sun

There’s nothing quite like soaking up the sun on a nice summer day. However, as mentioned above, UV rays can damage your hair and scalp and discolor your hair. You can use a leave-in conditioner or shampoo with SPF to protect your strands from the sun. If you are outside for an extended amount of time, it is safest to wear a wide-brimmed hat or scarf.

  • Forego Hot Tools When Possible

Your hair is already exposed to heat on a daily basis in the summer, so give the hot tools a break if you can. Hot tools strip your hair of its natural moisture and leave strands more prone to damage. Instead of using a straightener to tame frizz, try applying a few drops of an essential oil or serum to your hair.

  • Drink Water

Water is essential to almost every part of the body, your hair being no exception. Water hydrates hair cells, which supports a healthy hair-growth cycle. It also helps regulate the circulatory system and lubricates hair follicles. Water is a key source of minerals that are vital in promoting healthy hair. Dry, brittle strands will be a dead giveaway of dehydration. 

How To Wear Gray Hair in the Summer 

Colors to Include in Your Summer Wardrobe

As you’ve transitioned to gray hair, you’ve noticed that certain colors make you look washed out or emphasize brassy tones in your hair. The colors that perfectly accentuated your hair years ago no longer do you justice. Gray hair ranges from salt and pepper to charcoal gray and pure white. Bright tones and a more neutral color palette will work for all shades of gray. Here are the shades that complement your steel strands:


The cool tones of a blue-green make grays stand out and combat any dullness. The blue undertones make lighter tresses appear more vibrant. If neutral colors appeal to you, this is a subtle hue that will introduce the right amount of color to your wardrobe.


For those who love a pop of color, a bright red is captivating and powerful. Rich, vibrant tones offset gray hair and makes it appear brighter. 


Many hair experts advise those with gray hair to tread carefully with wearing pastels. The light-toned clothing can sometimes make your complexion look dull. If you like pastels, the pink undertones of lavender will warm your complexion, making it a good choice to include in your closet.  

Royal Blue

A rich jewel tone, like royal blue, is a great option to brighten gray hair. Gray hair will stand out against this electric hue. 


Neutrals are a safe bet for all shades of gray hair. When choosing white clothing, opt for pure white rather than creamy shades. Yellowish tones in cream can make your hair appear brassy. Also, black offers a bold contrast for gray hair, which helps it seem richer. 

Makeup Matters

Just like with your clothing, the colors of your makeup can help your gray hair shine. Now that your hair is gray, the goal of your makeup should be to bring more color to your face. Most women with gray hair avoid makeup with yellow and gold tones. Lipsticks with yellow undertones may wash out your complexion. On the other hand, a pink, red or plum lipstick will pop against silver strands. You may also want to stay away from beige or tawny blushes. Instead, look for rose, apricot or peach blushes. 

Relax Your Hairstyles

Head band wigs

Summer is the best time to relax your hairstyle and embrace your natural texture. Take a break from styling techniques that harm your follicles, including curling your hair or pulling it back tightly. There are many no-heat hairstyles that will give you an effortlessly cool summer look. To combat humidity, you want a hairstyle that embraces twists and waves and something that works with flyaways and frizz.  Piling your hair up in a loose bun or braiding your hair overnight can give your grays a beachy wave in the morning. You can also try a fun accessory like a hair scarf, headband, or barrette. 


‘Tis the season for days in the sun and picnics at the park. Luckily, managing healthy gray hair during the summer can be low-maintenance. Most importantly, protect your tresses by using moisturizing hair products and wearing a hat in the sun. The fun part is wearing bright colors and new makeup while experimenting with more creative, natural hairstyles that embolden your gray mane. 


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