salt and pepper

Photo: David Tsay

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Salt + Pepper
Melanin—the brown, black, yellow, or red pigment that tints skin—also informs your hair's hue. At a genetically determined point in time, the follicles produce less melanin, eventually stopping altogether. That's when your hair turns gray, then white. Despite popular belief, gray hair isn't actually coarser—everyone's hair usually gets finer with age, says Kingsley. But as we get older, oil glands tend to produce less sebum, causing dryness, dullness, and roughness, says Westman.

Wash: Gray hair is prone to staining from dirt, smoke, and pollution, says Kingsley. For bright, brilliant strands, cleanse with a violet-based shampoo and conditioner to counteract yellow or brassy tones. KMS Color Vitality Blonde Shampoo, $21.50, and Conditioner, $23.50; for salons

Style: Keep your silver polished: Prep damp hair with a leave-in conditioner, then add a heat-protective blow-out cream, which will help seal the cuticle, making it easier to take your strands from wiry to smooth. Blow-dry with a round brush, paying extra attention to gray sections. Finish by spritzing shine spray from roots to ends. Living Proof T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler, $26;