How to Keep Gray Hair From Yellowing

how to keep gray hair from yellowing

It really sucks when your hair changes colors without your permission. You never said your beautiful gray hair was allowed to turn yellow but it has anyway! (Your hair may be gray, white, or silver, but I’m going to refer to it as ‘gray’ throughout this article.) If you want to know how to keep gray hair from yellowing, you’ll be happy to hear that there are ways to avoid it.

Before we get to the solutions, it’s good to know why the problem exists. So why does gray hair turn yellow?

Gray hair changes to yellow because of things like chlorine, hot styling tools, medications, too much sun exposure, being around cigarette smoke, buildup from hair products (shampoo, conditioner, heat protectant, hair spray, serum, mousse… etc.).

Now we can get to the tips.



Tips on How to Keep Gray Hair From Yellowing


◊ Put a swim cap on when you go swimming to keep your hair safe from chlorine which can cause hair yellowing. There are some really cute options for swim caps.


wear a swim cap

◊ Wear some kind of summer hat to protect your hair from the sun when you know you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. There are endless options for cute hats as well.


summer hat

 ◊ Keep away from smoke! Avoid smoking, being around people who smoke, and smokey areas. Just like tobacco stains teeth, the smoke can stain your hair!


avoid smoking


◊ No hot styling tools unless you use heat protection. Always protect your hair from damage and yellowing caused by hot styling tools. To do this, use a good quality heat protectant.

Here are some of my favorites: Milkshake Incredible Milk  |  Hot Off The Press  |  Heat Protecting Hair Treatment.


just natural heat protecting hair treatment


◊ Use a deep cleaning gray hair shampoo. Like I mentioned above, your hair products can easily build up on your hair and cause discoloration. This Gray Hair Shampoo brightens gray, silver, and white hair, while removing product buildup that causes gray hair to turn yellow. It’s used almost the same way as any other shampoo but it’s better explained if you click that link.


just natural gray hair shampoo


◊ Use a vinegar rinse cleanser. This all natural Vinegar Rinse Cleanser is magical. If you click that link you’ll see a lot about how the cleanser is good for dandruff BUT that’s not all. It works amazingly for cleansing hair and removing yellow from it. In addition, the vinegar rinse prevents split ends and will make your hair nice and shiny. The Vinegar Rinse Cleanser is used after shampooing, and before conditioning.


just natural vingar rinse cleanser

◊ Use a moisturizing gray hair conditioner. The two products I listed above can be drying to the hair because of the deep cleaning properties. That’s why it’s important to use this Gray Hair Conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.


just natural gray hair conditioner

◊ Tone the yellow out of your hair. Using the Gray Hair Conditioner listed in the last tip, along with some purple toner, you can have your hair back to the cool gray color you love in no time. I wrote an easy-to-follow article on How to tone your hair at home.


toning hair from yellow to gray



Thanks for reading my article on how to keep gray hair from yellowing. I hope I helped you out with these tips.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!



24 thoughts on “How to Keep Gray Hair From Yellowing

  1. You gave me some great ideas here. I never knew vinegar could do so much for your hair. Thank you for sharing that bit of information. I will also be showing this site to my daughter. She in now trying to restore her hair from long time use of hair straighteners that ruined her hair. Now she always uses pre-treatments before applying any heat to her hair and it has really helped.

    • Cathy,

      I’m glad she found out about the pre-treatments/heat protectants. They’re so so so important to keep hair healthy while still using hot styling tools.

  2. Thank you for these great tips, Gina.

    I was initially drawn to this because my mum’s on the look out for products to help preserve her gray hair. However, I also found a product that I might benefit from, and I’m glad the manufacturer offers international shipping.

    I think the deep cleaning gray hair shampoo might just be what my mum needs; she doesn’t swim, spend too much time outdoors, or use flat irons. But I don’t know whether it would beneficial to get it together with the moisturizing gray hair conditioner. I don’t use conditioners myself, so I’m kind of hesitant.

    Thanks again!

    • Princila,

      Why is it you don’t use conditioner? That sounds crazy to me! Conditioning your hair is very important because it keeps brittle strands of hair moisturized, protects them from breaking easily, and detangles hair.

      Also, it’s a good idea to grab the conditioner since the gray hair shampoo is a deep cleaning product that can dry out hair if it’s not properly moisturized afterwards.

      • Hi Gina,

        To be honest, my hair breaks easily even when I use conditioner. That’s the reason why I stopped using them altogether. I’ve used several brands, including Herbal Essence, L’Oreal Paris, Pantene, and Aveeno. I used each product consistently for 3 month and finally ditched them when I didn’t see the results I desired.

        Thanks for the recommendation. I guess my mum would be OK to purchase both the shampoo and the conditioner.


      • I don’t use conditioner every wash. My scalp is naturally oily so my hair is very “conditioned” even with daily washing. BUT, I’m not totally gray yet either. I’m going gray (happily so), so I may change my tune once that happens.

        • Heather,

          Sounds good! Just make sure the ends of your hair stay hydrated. My scalp is naturally oily as well and I absolutely use conditioner on the bottom half to keep it healthy 😉

  3. I had no idea this could happen! I knew the sun could lighten hair, but didn’t know it would cause the dye to yellow! My friend has this gray pink hair which is super pretty, and she wears an old fashioned style swim cap with all the pretty 3D flowers on top.
    How do I know I am using a good heat protector? I already have one at home, but am concerned it isn’t actually doing anything. Are there certain ingredients that need to be in it?
    Thanks so much!

  4. As someone who has had gray hair since the age of 17, I was quite intrigued. The tips such as a bathing cap never occurred to me and I had no idea that the sun could turn gray hair yellow. I also have never heard of hair products for gray hair. Do you know of any stores that sell it or is it only available online? I have dyed my hair since it started going gray but my mom, well, the dye doesn’t work anymore that is why I asked about stores selling it.

    • Kidzmom41,

      Which product were you wondering about? The JustNatural products are only sold online but they’re worth it!

  5. Hey Gina,
    That’s my besties name, she wears it well, but 3 years ago I had a ombre long hair style, and Gina talked me into let my hair grow out natural, because she had problems with her grow out grey and course yellow. Well my hair is in alot better health now. I had like 10 inches cut off, a little short for my taste but still long. But the color is ugly dark blonde and salt white grey, I want to try more grey-white colors, and am having a hard time finding a way to do this without using bleach, any thoughts to prevent killing my hair.

  6. Yellow can be calcium mineral build up from your water as well as calcium trapping in bit of hair care product with yellow in it. When my hair was brown I didn’t not know my shampoo had a yellow tint, well more that I had no reason to pay any attention. Now that I am natural I notice many hair products so and all hairsprays except one that specifically says no yellow. Sun does not turn naturally grey hair yellow. I found out purely by accident that a good soak in Epsom salts bath brightens up the salt in my salt and pepper. Being magnesium it would dissolve the calcium build up so that makes sense and vinegar does the same thing but vinegar is a somewhat harsh PH for hair. I you have easily damaged hair the Epsom salts is much gentler.

  7. Hello I am 48 and started to let my gray hair come out I like how my silver is coming out but I’m scared if it turns yellow, I use shampoo and conditioner, right now until half of my gray hair come out I put my hair back on a bun so it won’t look crazy. What do you recommend?

  8. How do you get your gray hair that’s growing out become smooth my gray hair that’s coming out is so fuzzy I don’t like to wear it down

    • Lori,

      I would try the Grow New Hair Treatment or Hair Growth Treatment. Those are products you apply to your scalp and it feeds your hair to grow in healthier. This is something you’ll need to work on from the inside out. And get your daily vitamins in. Drink plenty of water. Stuff like that.

    • Kaye Glenn,

      I haven’t done that before so I can’t say how that works myself. But using the Vinegar Rinse Cleanser or similar products from Just Natural are super safe. It’s not just pure vinegar so it’s not as harsh. It includes other ingredients that make it more gentle on hair.

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