Why is my grey hair turning yellow with heat and how can I fix it!?

Ever wonder why your sleek grey locks sometimes take on an unwanted yellow tinge after styling? Or maybe your grey hair looks slightly darker or even lighter? Do you notice heat bands on your hair after styling with a straightener or curling tong?

The truth is... grey hair is sensitive!

It's all about the heat and a few sneaky culprits that can be causing issues with your grey mane. Let's break it down:

  1. Heat Damage: High temperatures from hot tools like flat irons, curling irons, or blow dryers can damage the cuticle layer of the hair. This damage makes the hair more porous, allowing external substances and pollutants to penetrate and cause discoloration.
  2. Oxidation: Grey hair doesn’t have melanin, the natural shield against UV damage. Without it, heat can speed up oxidation, leaving your hair with that pesky yellow tint.
  3. Product Buildup: Many hair styling products, such as sprays, gels, and serums, can leave residues that, when heated, can burn or change color. These residues can accumulate on the hair, especially when exposed to the high heat of styling tools, leading to a yellow hue.
  4. Environmental Factors: External factors like pollution, smoke, and minerals in water can contribute to yellowing. When grey hair is exposed to these elements and then subjected to heat, the combination can intensify the yellowing effect.
  5. Chemical Reactions: Ingredients in hair care products, such as sulfates, silicones, and certain dyes, can react with heat and cause discoloration. This is particularly true for products not specifically designed for grey hair, which may contain chemicals that contribute to yellowing when heated.

To prevent grey hair from turning yellow with the use of hot tools, consider the following tips:

  • Always do a strand test
  • Use heat protectant sprays before styling.
  • Dial down the heat – lower temperatures can still give you the look you want without the damage. Avoid excessive heat and use the lowest effective temperature setting on hot tools.
  • Do not hold hot tools down on grey hair for too long
  • Regularly clarify your hair to remove product buildup and environmental residues.
  • Shield your hair from environmental nasties and use filtered water to wash away mineral deposits.

My hair has turned yellow, how can I fix it?

If your grey hair has turned yellow from using hot tools, don't worry – there are several effective ways to restore its natural color:

  1. Purple Shampoo and Conditioner: These products are specifically designed to neutralize yellow tones in grey and blonde hair. The purple pigments counteract the yellow, restoring a cooler, more natural hue. Use them once or twice a week for best results.

  2. Clarifying Shampoo: Use a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup, pollutants, and mineral deposits that might be contributing to the yellowing. Follow up with a good conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.

  3. Vinegar Rinse: An apple cider vinegar rinse can help remove residues and restore your hair’s natural color. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water, apply it to your hair after shampooing, leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

  4. Baking Soda Treatment: Make a paste with baking soda and water, apply it to your hair, and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing. This can help strip away yellowing residues. Be sure to condition your hair afterward to prevent dryness.

  5. Toning Products: Hair toners, available as sprays, masks, or shampoos, can help neutralize unwanted yellow tones. Look for products specifically formulated for grey or silver hair.

  6. Professional Help: If the yellowing is severe or persistent, consider visiting a professional stylist. They can apply a professional-grade toner or recommend treatments to correct the color.

  7. Avoid Heat: While you’re working to restore your hair, try to minimize the use of hot tools. If you must use them, apply a heat protectant spray and keep the temperature as low as possible.

  8. Hydration and Nourishment: Keep your hair well-hydrated with deep conditioning treatments and hair masks. Healthy, moisturized hair is less prone to discoloration and damage.

By using these methods, you can get your grey hair back to its cool, beautiful shade and keep it looking its best!

Will it be yellow forever? Has my curling tong permanently wruined my grey hair?

No, the yellowing of grey hair from hot tools is generally not permanent and can often be reversed with the right care and treatments like purple shampoo, clarifying shampoo, vinegar rinses, baking soda treatment and salon quality masks.

How long will it take to stop being yellow?

1-2 weeks is normal to see improvements, however, this can stretch to a month depending on your hair type.