Have you ever felt like one day your hair was shiny and silky and the next day your silvers were lackluster and lifeless? Often when it is dull, it is also frizzy, lacks volume, and curly hair can lose definition. There are a few causes to this issue and some easy and great solutions.

The same things that yellow silver hair can also dull it and give it a matte appearance. Some of the same things that cause hair loss can also change the texture of the hair making it dull, fragile, and dry/oily.

In this post we will cover the top five reasons for dull silver hair, solutions, and product recommendations.

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The Number One Cause of Dullness:

Lack of proper moisture balance in your haircare.

  • clarifying too much
  • not clarifying enough
  • too much protein and not enough moisture in your haircare
  • using the wrong products for your hair type
  • unnecessary use of bond builders
  • overuse of dry shampoo
  • overuse of purple and blue shampoos and conditioners


woman with gray hair shopping for hair products
decorative photo of hair oil, waxes and butters

The Second Major Cause of Lackluster Silver Hair:

Buildup of certain ingredients. These ingredients in their dry state and layered over each other can create a dull film on your gray hair.

  • Butters (cocoa, shea, coconut oil, and most other oils that are solid at room temperature)
  • Gums (guar gum, xanthum gum, etc.)
  • Silicones (more so when in heavy use and they build up because they are not properly cleansed off)
  • Mineral oil
  • Polyquats (a long list of ingredients some of which buildup and some do not)
  • Protein buildup
  • Waxes (beeswax, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, castor wax, emulsifying wax, japan wax, and lanolin)


Please note: aside from mineral oil, all of the ingredients above aren’t things you need to avoid, per say. Just be mindful that they could be the culprits and your hair may need more regular clarifying. Or it could mean these ingredients aren’t great for your hair on a daily basis.

The Third Culprit is Environmental Exposure:

  • Chemical treatments (bleach, straightening, and perming)
  • Pollution
  • Smoke (fire, grills, industrial, cigarettes/cigars)
  • UV exposure
  • Water (swimming pools, hard water, and well water)
  • Wind & Dry Climate
Businesswoman using smart phone on city street

Number Four on the List of Things That Dull Your Silver Hair:

Styling female hair dryer

Heat damage can be a major factor, even if your hair hasn’t yellowed.

  • A damaged cuticle when open and dry can make hair look dull
  • Over use of heat tools can zap the moisture from your locks leaving them dry and matte looking


The Final Issue That Can Change Your Shiny Silvers:

Your health. All the same health issues that can cause hair loss and thinning can also zap your hair of shine.

  • Vitamin deficiencies (vitamin C, vitamin B group, vitamin D, protein, and healthy fats)
  • Hormonal changes (thyroid, pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause)
  • It can also be related to your hair type and the natural properties of said type. Coarse hair, higher porosity, thick density can all contribute to your shine factor.
Woman with Gray Hair Taking her vitamins

What to do to bring back your shiny silver hair?

An easy reset button can be just clarifying and deep conditioning. This will remove buildup, allow moisture in and increase shine. You can use basic clarifying shampoo, and then a moisturizing deep conditioner (protein-free is best for this if possible).

When clarifying choosing the right clarifier for your needs:

  • Hard water or well water: use chelating shampoo.
  • Chlorine from swimming pools and hot tubs: use a swimmer’s clarifying shampoo.
  • Pollution and smoke: try a QuickSilverHair mask.
  • Product buildup and pollution: use a clarifying shampoo and a QuickSilverHair mask.
  • For a little extra: you can add a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to your mask, or shampoo
  • Or you can rinse with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 3 cups of water after clarifying.

Adding shine once, you have used your chosen remedy:

  • Aloe vera rich products
  • Shine enhancing balms, serums and sprays (go for silicone free if you can)
  • Squalane oil rich products or pure squalane oil
  • Get a clear gloss treatment from your stylist

Preventive Measures to Keep Your Silvers Their Brightest and Shiniest:

Take care of your heat and sun exposure:

Bonus tips:

  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase and use a humidifier in drier seasons and climates.
  • Make sure to rinse your hair well especially if you have soft water so you are removing shampoo completely. And use your chelating shampoo regularly when you have hard water.

Always use a conditioner after shampooing:

  • Use a rinse out conditioner especially if you have coarse, curly, or dry hair.
  • Always use a leave-in no matter your hair type, just pick one for YOUR hair type. Even better if it contains UV and Heat protection.
  • Use a microfiber towel. Friction can cause frizz, breakage, and dullness by damaging the cuticle.
  • Getting routine trims will also help to keep dry ends from becoming split ends.



Photo of Joli Campbell


I hope you found this post educational and helpful.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.

As always it is about so much more than the hair.








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