It hard going "natural".

@speakeasy (4215)
United States
September 25, 2011 11:56am CST
After decades of dying my hair, I finally decided to go "natural". A long time ago, my husband asked when I would stop dying my hair. I told him that when my roots got tothepoint where they were a nice "salt and pepper" I would stop dying but I didn't want to end up with just a few shite hairs or a white streak. Well, I was looking in the mirror at my roots (getting ready to touch them up) and I noticed that most of my hair had turned a beautiful shining white with a few darker strands mixed in. Wow! I started picturing myself with my hair all this shining white with some "pepper" mixed in and decided OK, time to "go for it". So, I did some research and decided that actually removing years of very dark dye from my hair was not something I wanted to tackle myself. I didn't want my hair turning some strange shade or being so burnt and brittle that it fell off my head! So, I went to my salon and explained what I wanted to do and set up my first appointment. That's right FIRST. They told me right up front that for me to get to white from where I was would take at least 2 appointments and maybe three to do it safely. I went in expecting to take approx 2 - 3 hours (I also needed my regular cut and style) and didn't come out for 4.5 HOURS. My hair started out a dark brown with red highlights and I came out a dark blond. I was bleached, steamed, bleached again, steamed again, and then given a semi-permanent "tint" to get everything the same color. I have to go back in 2 weeks for a "color weave" which will start taking my hair even lighter and then 2 weeks after that a final "color weave" which will finish getting my hair to match the roots. I ahve no idea how long it takes to do a "color weave"; but, I will find out. Of course, my first day back at work, I got a few strange looks from coworkers. I was actually amazed that most of the comments were from the guys not the women (and we have twice as many women as men where I work) - who says guys don't notice when you do something to your hair! The plus, to all this, is that once the process is finished I will never need to dye my hair again and I'll never have to worry about my roots showing. No more harsh chemicals or dyes. More free time. Less money spent on dye. But, it is not easy going "natural" - it takes a lot of hard work to get there.
2 people like this
7 responses
@Galena (9123)
25 Sep 11
I haven't had my natural hair colour since I was 14. I started dying my hair at that age, and started out dying it pillar box red, then shades of plum, indigo, and finally blue black whixch I stayed with for about 15 years. recently I started using henna to dye my hair red, which is a lovely colour, really suits me, and the henna leaves my hair in fantastic condition, and really shiny. I find it hard to imagine a time when I'll ever go back to my natural blonde hair. it's just NOT me at all. I'm 30 now, and for over half my life I've been changing my hair colour. I don't think I'd feel like me with blonde hair.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (105303)
• United States
25 Sep 11
You are the one who mentioned henna before and got me started. I have so much fun with it. I am fifty eight, but my husband looks a lot younger than me (he is not) and I had huge streaks of gray. I have been using henna for a few months now. Love it.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
26 Sep 11
Well, I started dying after you - I was 19 and I had dull brown hair originally. I tried a bunch of different shades and finally settled into a dark brown with red highights that looked really go on me. I would never have gone back to that dull brown shade; but, now I an in my 50's and the roots are coming in white and it should look great with the little bit of dark hari that is still there. Also, I should continue to go white naturally until I am "snow white" on top. I have seen others with hair that is white and it looks nice. Maybe, when your hair gets to it's final color, you will like the results yourself and go "natural".
@GardenGerty (105303)
• United States
25 Sep 11
I had been dying my hair at home and about three years ago just got tired of it. Clairol discontinued the color I liked and it tended to not stay very well, because it was an auburn. So I had my hair cut, short. Then a few weeks later, short again. I have run around with salt and pepper hair, and streaks of gray with a yellowish tinge. Hubby thinks I look better with my hair colored, more natural, so I started back with an ash brown, dark ash blonde, and I just was not happy. I swim in chlorinated water and it does not help with the chemicals,then someone mentioned henna here on the Lot. My sister used to henna her hair fifty years ago, I did not think they made it anymore. I could not find it in stores but I found tons of info online. It is an herb, and I learned how to prepare it and dye my hair. It coats the shaft of hair and blends with the keratin. Every hair absorbs it differently so it does not look dyed. I redo it about once a month. It is a conditioning treatment and does not change color with the swimming pool water. The gray stripes are a bit brighter than the other hair, but as i build up layers of it, they are toning in well. I get compliments all of the time on my pretty red hair. Oh, and I bought about a year's supply for less than a box of good hair color.
@Galena (9123)
25 Sep 11
I love henna too. one of the things that came up in our haircare training was that henna works like a varnish works on a wooden floor. it coats it, so it makes it shinier, it protects it and it changes the colour. my hair is thicker and shinier since using henna. I love it.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (105303)
• United States
25 Sep 11
I have not heard it explained quite that way, but it makes sense. I still have some brittleness on the ends from dying my hair last January. My brother has a bit of a hard time with the red, when I comb my hair back, because that is where the gray stripes were and it took the red really well. I just keep on applying it, though, and it looks better all of the time.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
26 Sep 11
I considered having it cut real short (back to the roots) and letting it grow out; but, my hair is shoulder length and I wanted to keep the length. I don't swim so no chlorine issues. If I do change my mind later, I can always dye again.
1 person likes this
@daeckardt (6245)
• United States
5 Nov 11
I think it is better to go "natural" than to keep using chemicals to cover up what is there. The last time I did color my hair it was because of a lice problem and the dye took care of that problem, but I wouldn't do it again if I could help it. Now that I have my hair back (following chemo), I think I won't bother trying to cover up the gray that is there even though I feel like I'm too young at 51 to look old. Have a great weekend!!!
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
5 Nov 11
Well, I started getting grey hairs when I was in my late 20's and my natural color at the time was rather "blah". It has taken 3 sessions now and almost all of the dye has finally been stripped out of my hair. I am actually finding that I do not have as much grey as I originaly thought. (When my hair was dark the white really showed but now that the dye is almost all out and I am temporarily blonde, the dark roots are showing instead and there are not as many white hairs as I thought.) The problem now is going to be matching the dark roots so that it can grow out naturally and not look obvious since that is what I was trying to avoid by going to my stylist in the first place.
• United States
26 Sep 11
i finally let my hair go back natural two years ago and im still trying to get all the color out haha for four years i had my hair bleached blonde then i got tired of the blonde and decided to let the bleach grow out its basically just my tips that still have some blonde on them now but if i could go back i never would have kept it bleached it completely damaged my hair and the years of using the flat iron and curling iron did not help at all now im thinking about putting some temperory color in my hair just some red or purple streaks
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
26 Sep 11
I had never bleached; just dyed a couple of shades darker with red highlights and my hair was very healthy. Right now, it is dry and damaged; but, it is already starting to recover. I didn't want to just let it grow out when there was such a major contrast in color (white roots and dark brown ends); so, this will end up with each strand being matched to the root and it can then just grow out and the ends that are being treated now whould be completely gone (from regular haircuts) in about 18 months. With it mainly being white, if I want to add a temporary color it should be very easy.
• United States
25 Sep 11
After also spending a ton of money to become a platinum blond to a flaming redhead. Am now a perfect silver blond. I let my natural hair color of a mousy blond grow back about 15 years ago and just added light streaks to it. Gradually the streaks got less and less an now it is 99% silver of which I am really pleased. So I know first hand how it feels to go natural.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
26 Sep 11
I am glad to hear you are happy with what you ended up with. Sometimes, we just need a change; and, sometimes that change is one that came naturally in the first place.
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
25 Sep 11
Good idea. I have seen people with white with a little dark hair and I think it's gorgeous. All that time and money spent on hair dyes will be a thing of the past You are going through a lot to get there but I bet it will be worth it
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
25 Sep 11
So as I understand now you have now what others have to pay for? A kind of natural high lights? Sounds like a lot of work indeed what you have to do to stay natural. I hope it will turn out one of the best things you ever did.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
26 Sep 11
After 55 years of my natural hair not looking good, it looks like I may have gotten lucky. When I was young my hair was a dull nondescript brown and then I started getting white hairs. So, I was dying my hair and touching it up every 4 - 6 weeks to make it look good on me. I still have 2 more sessions to actually get to my natural color, which right now is mainly whites with some dark brown hairs mixed in. With the color weaves they will actually be dying individual strands to match the color of the roots so that each strand of hair will match as it continues to grow. Hopefully it will look nice as I continue to go white naturally.