“How do I keep my white hair from turning yellow?"
55 years old
“ Dear Hélène,
First of all, let us let you in on a little secret: all hair turns yellow!If you're looking for someone to blame, just look up: exposing your hair to the sun is the number one reason for this deterioration.
Yellowing of the hair is a very common phenomenon that is actually the result of the deterioration of an amino acid, tryptophan.The products of this breakdown, a family of molecules called "kynurenines," give off the yellow color that settles on the surface of the hair fiber.If you're looking for someone to blame, just look up: exposing your hair to the sun is the number one reason for this deterioration of tryptophan.Other factors also exacerbate this process: for example, pollution and exhaust fumes are known to encourage the formation of free radicals that oxidize the proteins in the hair that are supposed to protect it from external attacks, and thus accelerate the breakdown of amino acids, especially if they are already exposed to UV rays.The hardness of the water and its mineral concentration can also play a role in this.
As I said, all hair is potentially subject to yellowing, but it doesn't necessarily show up the same way.Melanin, the natural protein pigment that helps color the skin and hair, is naturally less present in white or gray hair, and yet it is melanin that helps mask this yellowing on more pigmented hair.This seems logical: if you put yellow against a brown background, it will not stand out as well as on white.The low concentration of melanin in white hair also makes it more vulnerable to heat, sun and pollution.This is true whether you have a beautiful bright white mane or a proud salt and pepper streak!"
As you can see, there are two steps to take: getting rid of the effects of yellowing and protecting your hair to prevent it from happening again.
In terms of color, opt for a purple toning shampoo, such as Furterer's Okara Silver. Why purple? Think complementary colors: remember, there are three primary colors (yellow, blue, red) which, when combined, create a secondary color that is complementary to the primary color left out. Example: blue and red = purple, complementary to yellow. Complementary colors are best combined to counterbalance each other. Hence the purple shampoos to cover up yellow shades. Purple shampoo is used alternately with your usual shampoo to avoid overloading the hair and to let it breathe. Note that it also helps to restore the shine of platinum blondes, which are also susceptible to brassiness.
When it comes to protection, the idea isn’t to move to the countryside and only go out at night. Protect yourself from the sun by limiting your direct exposure: put on your best hat and opt for sun protection products to create a barrier. And yes, it's not just your skin that needs protection from UV rays! In the summer, choose a sunscreen fluid to apply before exposure with a KPF+50 protection. The rest of the year, choose protective and moisturizing products containing anti-UV active ingredients. And don't ignore anti-pollution serums such as Astera Sensitive, your strongest ally for the urban jungles.