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Embracing Grey, why I said goodbye to the skunk.
I’ll start off by saying this wasn’t an easy decision to make and I’d always said I wouldn’t stop dying my hair until I was much older. I didn’t want to be old-looking and that was the stigma grey hair had…..until recently. There are lots of people at very young ages embracing the color grey…..so a big thank you! (I also loathe taking selfies, bear with me)
Dying your hair wasn’t done
It appears coloring, adding color and changing your look with colored hair is something everyone is doing, even my granddaughter who is 5. She likes to use color chalk. Coloring your hair before going grey was so foreign to me growing up. Besides a few friends using lemon to highlight their hair in the summer (and a few questionable cheerleaders bleaching a strip of their hair at my high school) I didn’t think anyone did it. Really.
When I reached the ripe old age of 30, I started getting more and more white hairs and started using Miss Clairol Loving Care to “wash that grey right out of my hair”
What I didn’t like about that was there was always dye left on the towel every time I washed my hair as the rinse came off. Not the results I was hoping for.
Am I Cheap? You bet!
I am a cheap skate. I’ve been dying my hair for almost 30 years and have only had it professionally dyed about 3 times. I’d buy hair dye about once a month when at the grocery store and always tried to find a coupon to help with the cost. You know, like L’Oréal. I even cut my hair myself for a lot of years too. In my defense, I almost always cut my boy’s hair, and my siblings hair when we were growing up. Part of it was the disappointment I had after a bad cut. I’m sure you’ve been there too!
What made me leap?
The past few years, my hair has become so grey, that I was having to dye it every two weeks to cover up the growth. I wear my hair short (very short at times) and the contrast between the darker brown color and the whiter roots was drastic. Skunk-like some may say.
The second reason was I was tired of it. It’s not like it took a lot of time. A couple of hours ( first to color the second to highlight) isn’t a long time but I reached a point that I was sick of it. One friend said it would age me 10 years but I was willing to risk it.
Okay, I’ll just come out with it……I made a big decision in my life (this was a hard big decision) I left my husband and it was part of defining myself and embracing my future. Most people don’t know this at all.
I will say THANK YOU to all the you tube videos, younger women dying grey and some great products out there now made it a lot easier than it would have been years ago.
Do blondes have more fun?
It seems there used to be two ways to go grey if you had been dying your hair first:
- Bleach your hair blonde and then let the grey naturally blend in
- Grow that skunk streak out, month after month and then cut it short.
It took at bit of time to figure out what I wanted. I watched a lot of you tube videos to see how others have done it. I had some product on hand from when I had stripped my color (when you dye it dark the color really builds up and so you strip it out. It turns a horrible orange and you dye it again) and I also had some bleach because I do my own highlights. I took a trip to Sally Beauty and brought what I had with me. One of the girls there said I had what I needed. I had a little list of what else I could use (some Color toner) and I was set…..so I thought. When my son and family came out to visit in November, I had my daughter-in-law help. I wished I had taken pictures of the process that day but it was an ugly process.
These are some of the products I used to do the deed
- Color Fix – it strips the color out of your hair. I wish I’d bought a new box as I didn’t have much left so I ended up with more orange left than I wanted
- Quick Blue Bleach with 20 Developer. I already had a large bottle of the developer so I used it. I wish I had bought more bleach. It wasn’t enough to take the orange color out. I live in a smaller center so went to the grocery store and bought a box of Frost and Glow. It was a quite a bit harsher on my hair….it was breaking really easily as it does when you used too much bleach on it.
- Ion Color Defence Conditioner to help deep condition my hair
- Toners – I mixed the two toners together with some developer and put it on. It worked pretty good, but it only lasted a few days. Then I was blond. I didn’t love it.
- When I went to Sally Beauty I asked some more questions and bought another toner that just made it more platinum. She also recommended Rusk Sensories shampoo formulated for gray hair. I also bought an Ion semi permanent product called “Brights” in Titanium. I used it and again, it lasted a few weeks. The problem with that was this was the old blond growth in my hair turned a bit “greenish grey” so I stopped using both the shampoo and brights.
I will admit, it was a big change. At first when I’d catch a glance at myself in the mirror it was a bit shocking. My skin looked washed out (well, it is winter) so I started wearing a bit more makeup (which is not me) but I like it. I’ve also cut it really short recently and most of the damage is gone.
I’m quite surprised at how white my hair is. I still have a bit of pepper but it’s mostly salt and I’m really excited to see what it looks like this summer when I have some real, natural color on my face. I’m pleased with the results and with me.
No more washing that grey right out of my hair and say goodbye to that man!
Embrace your grey and remember, love yourself!