Oh, the angst of giving up hair dye and going naturally grey. The decision was easy - the execution was a pain!
I've colored my hair since my mid-thirties. With naturally black hair (from my Dad, with a bit of Native American on my Mom's side), I didn't get grey hair - I got white hair! And I colored it, even though I always disliked using hair dye. The smell, the time it took, and the feeling that I wasn't doing my hair or scalp any favors.
However - vanity is a powerful persuader. And during my working years, grey hair on women was largely perceived as an indicator of age, not experience. So I kept it colored. In my fifties, I had it done professionally, every two weeks, and had dark blonde hair!
In June of 2016, I decided to go grey. And here's a photographic progression of that little journey:
|August - low point! |
That first step, getting rid of the dye load in my hair, way back in June, was critical. I didn't want to have it stripped professionally. Or to use color removers from the pharmacy. So I did a couple of interesting shampoo sessions with a paste of Dawn dish washing detergent and plain old baking soda. With very long rinses to let the color escape from my hair. Amazing!
After that, it was a matter of time and patience. My hair was short when I started - I only needed to grow it out about 2.5" to do a total changeover. So I wore a lot of hats throughout the summer. My hair was distinctly yellowish, with a tinge of orange. Aaack! And I loved trimming it. Seeing the white start to predominate, after 3 months, was lovely.
By October, I was there. And I was also beginning to realize that my pretty white hair could be sabotaged and yellowed by things like mineral deposits from my hard water, colorants and additives in hair products, and even heat from a hair dryer or curling iron (it oxidizes minerals on the hair shaft => rusty hair).
To share what's worked for me:
I found a good residue-removing shampoo, one that I can afford - Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo (in supermarkets and pharmacies). And I use it once a week, or any time I notice dinginess in my hair color.
The rest of the time I use Shiny Silver Shampoo and Conditioner from One'n Only. For this one I have to go to Sally Beauty, but it's close-by. And it's sold all over the place on the web.
The last challenge - a styling product. I threw out all my hair gels, sprays, and mousses. They were good products but I could see the yellow the instant I used them. Still, I do like a little something to lift my hair. Enter Got2B Spiking Glue by Schwarzkopf. I can use a little, slightly wetted in my palm, or a lot, for that rocker hairdo. It's great stuff and easy to find in the supermarket and pharmacy.
And here's a tip, for the occasional extreme maintenance requirement (and this works for yellowing beards and mustaches as well) - the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda hair mask. I didn't even try it until all the dye was gone from my hair, because I was afraid it would make it freaky orange or Ryan Lochte green! but it's benign on my hair now, and it's very effective at removing discoloration and brightening the white and grey. I use this little formula from LiveStrong...
You can use this on your nails, to whiten them! Or as a toothpaste... Honestly, baking soda is amazing.
And how about white vinegar - I sometimes pour a solution of white vinegar and water over my hair as a final rinse. It dries with absolutely no odor, and it simply feels good.
Whew - that's about it. I hoped you enjoyed this little foray into the world of beauty, maybe even picked up some ideas :-) And if you're taking this step into natural hair, go strong!