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NOTE: This is part two of an ongoing series wherein I attempt to let my hair go gray without looking like a crazy person. You can find the first part HERE.
With hair, as with most things in life, I tend to think that the best plan is to start with the simplest solutions, and if those fail, move on to more complex things. Here’s where I am at the beginning of the week. All that lighter, coppery hair is gray with a semipermanent dye stuck to it. The object of this game is to get that dye out using gentle, natural methods so that the incoming gray blends into the darker hair gradually instead of suddenly.
I got lots of advice from professional hair types and friends and some from kind of questionable corners of the internet, and here are the suggestions I got and how it all worked out:
1. Vinegar– my hair smelled like Easter eggs, but there was no color change.
2. Crushed Vitamin C– I think I still have little gritty bits in my ears, but again no color change.
3. Lemon Juice– I saw this suggested a lot online, but I know from experience that lemon juice puts red highlights into my hair, and since what I’m trying to do here is get red highlights out of my hair, I decided to skip this one.
4. Baking Soda and Dandruff Shampoo– There were actually two common baking soda recommendations: baking soda and Dawn dish soap, and baking soda and dandruff shampoo. Because my hair is so dry to start with, I went with the dandruff shampoo. I followed with a vinegar rinse because that is supposed to help re-balance the PH. This is the first thing I’ve used that made a visible difference. After one round, there is definitely more silver before the red starts, and the red is a little lighter. It’s not drastic, but it is lighter. The downside is that after a wash/rinse/repeat, my hair felt like wire. After day two, some of the copper had lifted to gold, and the hair felt like hay. Following an attempt to fix the problem with a hot oil treatment and a heavy conditioner, we achieved a good approximation of…oily hay. I’m pretty sure this is the combo that the makeup artists on Game of Thrones are using, because my hair looks almost exactly like this, except with roots:
So, um, not continuing down the baking soda road. I’m going to give my hair a break for a few days, and I will be back for more once I’ve figured out what the next step is.