Hair Clinic: My Silver Hair Turns Brown after I Flat Iron?


“I have beautiful silver African American hair.  I just started to flat iron my hair, however, when I use my iron my beautiful silver hair turns a brownish tint.  Is there anything I can use to prevent this from happening?”

Answers from our Expert Stylists:

kazamorKaz Amor, Redken Haircare Consultant- “There are a couple of reasons why this might be happening: 1) the hair might have product buildup and when the flat iron makes contact with the residue, it is causing it to turn brown or 2) the iron’s temperature is too high, causing the hair to be scorched. If the hair has buildup, I recommend shampooing with Redken Hair Cleansing Cream. This will remove any buildup from the hair. You should also check the iron to make sure there is no product buildup on the plates that could be transferring onto the hair. I would also recommend using Redken’s Blonde Glam Color Enhancer in Perfect Platinum to keep silver hair from turning yellow. In either case, the hair should be protected from the heat regardless so I also recommend using any of our products from Redken’s Heat Styling line to strengthen and help protect the hair from the heat of the iron.”

roslynbakerRoslyn Baker, Soft & Beautiful Haircare Consultant – “Thermal implements can discolor the hair.  Because the gray hair is translucent, the appearance of the discoloration is more apparent.  What causes the discoloration?  Thermal irons release a carbon-type residue, especially when they are too hot. Always have a white cotton cloth or tissue handy BEFORE applying a curling iron or flat iron to the hair.  Test the iron on the cloth before applying it to the hair.  If the tissue turns brown, then you must wait until the iron cools down.  Keep retesting it until the cloth has no color.  You have to keep this process going throughout the styling process because electric irons can escalate in temperature if they are just sitting idle.  It’s also a great idea to use a thermal barrier on the hair to protect it against the heat of the irons.  The Soft & Beautiful STYLEPROTEC Hair Gloss is a perfect solution.  Just apply a few drops in the palm and rub throughout the hair and use a comb to evenly distribute.  If the hair is already discolored consider this homemade remedy to brighten the hair:  Mix your favorite shampoo with small amount of Hydrogen Peroxide.  Shampoo the hair and allow it to sit about 5 minutes.”

  6 comments for “Hair Clinic: My Silver Hair Turns Brown after I Flat Iron?

  1. November 5, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Thanks you for the tip on gray hair; keeping the hair clean is very important and your tools too. I had a friend with that trouble nice to know how to take care of it finally. got to cover all the bases always nice to hear more tips we can do with gray hair tough subject to cover some time

  2. Joanne Burns
    January 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the info. I have been battling this problem
    for quite a while. I have color treated hair and not
    always but frequently the iron would turn ends of
    hair pinkish red. I probably have the iron too hot,but
    lower heat doe not give a crisp curl nor does a too
    large curling barrel. Any suggestions?

  3. July 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    What type of hydrogen peroxide, what volume 10 vol, 20 vol ????? Please respond with answer and any other remedy’s to correct the discoloration. I have stopped using the very hot iron but can not get the yellow out of hair. gg

  4. Sue Ellen
    September 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    My hairdresser just treated my silver hair and it took most of the yellow/green tints I’ve been getting for several months. I think it may be the hotter flat iron I’m using to curl my hair..

    Anyway, she did the trick of 1 oz. of 20% hydrogen peroxide in a mixing bottle with 1/2 oz. of shampoo. Lather into hair and let sit awhile. Rinse and style.

    She also said washing with Dawn dishwashing detergent from time to time would remove residues which could be causing the problem.

    • admin
      September 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      That is so interesting! Thanks for the advice.

    • Bonnie A. Hy
      January 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you for the advice I am going to try this tomorrow…..I do hope that it works I do love my long white silver hair and get loads of compliments on it.Thank you again. :)

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