Whatever your reasons, making the choice to stop coloring white hair is not always an easy one. Here are a few suggestions to make the transition less challenging.
- Lighten Your Color
Talk to your hair care professional about options for removing existing hair color or gradually lightening your shade to make the new growth less obvious.
- Change Hair Care Products
- Change Your Hair Style
Shorter, layered styles make it easier to trim away the old color more frequently.
Layering helps to take focus away from the color of the new growth and the sharp contrast of coloring. Avoid styles with a very defined ‘part’ that will draw attention to the new growth.
- Condition, Condition, Condition
Initially, white hair can be very coarse and unruly. It lacks the shine and smoothness of hair that has natural color or the conditioning found in many coloring products.
Conditioning with coconut oil has been found to help tame the gray while fading the dyed color faster than some other products. Lemon has been found to help fade old color but can leave your hair damaged.
- Maintain With Extra Care
Be gentle with white hair. After your old coloring is gone, maintain your new look with regular trimming, conditioning (coconut oil works well without being greasy) and never rub your hair to dry it with a towel. Squeeze your hair gently with a towel – rubbing can cause hair to split and break.
- Select a Quality Wig
Letting your old color fade out and grow out can be very challenging to your self-confidence. Consider purchasing one or two wigs in colors and styles you would feel comfortable wearing now and after you’ve reached you goal. Wigs.com has an amazing assortment of very affordable wigs. (It is also a great site for finding your next hairstyle.)
Reasons to Stop Coloring White Hair
- Allergic Reaction to Coloring Solution
Whether coloring at home or at the salon, hair coloring solutions can cause a very painful burning sensation on the scalp with shortness of breath, dizziness and a headache. While some might attribute the shortness of breath episodes to anxiety from the fiery scalp, the need to thrust your head out an open window and take deep breaths of fresh air for twenty minutes can be a strong deterrent to continual hair coloring.
- Cost to Maintain Hair Color
Whether visiting a salon or coloring your hair yourself at home, those dollars can really add up. Because the tell-tale white line is more obvious than with the growth of a darker color, you may find the need to color more often.
- Eliminating Monthly Maintenance
Predominantly white hair can be harder to fully color as it can be more resistant to the coloring process than darker hair. In addition, because those gray hairs are more resistant to coloring you may find it harder to disguise them as they pop up in the absolute center of your head no matter how much product or hairspray you apply. They seem to really ‘stand out from the rest’ unless you keep after them.
- Desire to Restore Natural Color
It could be a desire to ‘gracefully surrender the things of youth’, a desire for a simpler maintenance program or perhaps just time for a change; there’s no wrong reason to stop coloring your hair.
The Challenges of ‘Letting it Go”
- Color of New Growth
- Fading of Old Color
- Condition of New Growth
- Accepting Changed Appearance
- Career Choices
My thesaurus offers the following words in place of gray: steely, ashen, dull, grim, dark, gloomy, somber, aged, ancient, dreary, depressed and uninspiring. I felt every one of them every time I looked in the mirror as my strawberry blonde slowly faded, and every hair cut left chunks of my disguised youth on the floor around me.
I started coloring my hair on a regular basis when I was about eighteen years old. I inherited a white hair gene from my grandfather and while there were only a handful of silver threads among the gold at that point, when you are eighteen even one white is a horror.
By the time I was thirty five I was no longer coloring dark roots; my white hair was the dominant color growing in every day.
I have spent almost my entire life with a color out of a box. I was brown, I was red and I was blonde. It seemed like fun for the first twenty years. At some point I realized that my premature gray was no longer premature and it wasn’t amusing anymore. I couldn’t keep up with the white line that appeared just ten days after I colored my hair.
Patience, Patience, Patience
Here is the progression of change once I made the decision to stop coloring my hair:
After three months of regular washing with a clarifying shampoo followed by a light coat of coconut oil, the color was very faded but the telltale white growth was very obvious. This was the hardest stage for me, especially while going to work every day.
I don’t consider my white hair a ‘badge of honor’ or a ‘statement of accepting my age’ . I’ve had more strangers passing me on the street compliment my hair color than those who told me I was ‘brave’ for letting myself go. I don’t feel I’ve ‘let myself go’. In fact, I feel better about my appearance than I did when I was always checking for the telltale white line down the center of my head.
I have come to appreciate the fact that I am not my hair color. There is more to me than a color of the month out of a box.
I will admit, my white hair has gotten me a seat on a crowded train and more than one door opened for me. 🙂