Two weeks ago, on the gram, I made you guess which one of us will be going grey on purpose this year (if you don’t follow us on the gram yet, I really don’t know what to say to you). To my surprise, you got it right! So, yes, ’tis I! Last year, I became a big fan of the grey fad. I have always admired naturally grey hair. I remember thinking a long time ago, that I would not dye my hair black once I start greying. My mother believes that I will change my mind once the actual process begins, but hey! Just in case my mindset changes then, I would like to rock some grey hair while I am in awe of it. While this post is dedicated to some grey hairspiration that I have been drooling over, I will cover some facts about hair dyeing that is applicable across the board. However, please note that this is not an extensive post that will guide you about hair dyeing. If you would like an extensive post about dyeing natural hair, leave a comment for me below!
Well, why not?! I have never fancied myself a girl of trends. I usually get into fads once they have faded out. Hipster, eh? However, I have been captured by the grey fad. Safe for my current bob braids, the last three or four protective styles that I have done have had a mix of grey hair in them and I have adored them oh so much! My desired look , in going grey, is to have a patch of grey sitting nicely at the front, left side of my hair. I might even decide to get a tapered cut while I’m at it. We’ll see. Exciting times ahead!
How Does Hair Grey Naturally?
We know the why, right? Ageing, genetics, etc. But what actually causes the greying and how does it apply to getting this result artificially? All our hair follicles have pigment cells. These pigment cells produce eumelanin (black or dark brown) and pheomelanin (reddish-yelow). These pigments are what pass on melanin to the keratinocytes. These keratinocytes are keratin producing cells. It is no secret that the hair that grows out of our head comprises dead cells, right? So once these keratinocytes die, they keep whatever colouring from the melanin that was passed to them. With graying, you have more and more pigment cells dying off. The more cells that die, the less melanin that can be transferred to keratinocytes. Without any colour in the hair, it then appears white or grey. So, in reality, what we see as grey/ white/ silver hair is the effect of light passing through colourless hair.
How Can One Go Grey on Purpose, that is, Dye One’s Hair Grey?
From my research, you can either use the permanent dyeing process or you can settle for a temporary method that stops at using a purple toner. For both processes, here are the steps:
1.Prep for the process. If your hair is undyed, get a deep conditioning treatment two weeks before dyeing. Do not wash your hair 48 hours before dyeing.
2. Bleach hair. This still makes me cringe. What bleach does is to destabilize the melanin in your hair shaft such that your original colour will be washed down the drain with water. Of course, from a chemistry perspective, if hair bleach is capable of destabilizing melanin, best believe that it is breaking down something else in the hair that overtime will take a huge toll on the health of your hair. Bleached hair usually looks like blonde hair. At this point it is ready to receive whatever colour you want to throw at it.
3. Use a purple toner. This right here is colour wheel magic. You know how we used to mix colours to give a different colour? Well, when you bleach your hair, the hair has a brassy yellow undertone. It is not colourless or white. It is just… light. This light yellow colour is supposedly the natural colour of keratin. What the purple toner does is camouflage this yellow undertone and in doing so, combines with it to give a silvery grey look. Now, some people may like the result they get at this stage and choose to stop here. Others may continue.
4. Dye the hair. This one is a no-brainer.
Important Notes About Dyeing One’s Hair
- Dyeing hair makes it dry and brittle.
- Bleaching sounds scary and in theory, is just harsh. BUT it is doable.
- Once you begin to dye your hair, to revert to your original colour, you may just need to do a big chop.
- Dyeing hair may change your hair texture initially. Again, taking care of your hair is key.
- Moisture. Moisture. Moisture
So, tell me, are you considering dyeing your hair? Are you a dye veteran? What has your experience being? Any advice for the newbies? And finally, what do you think about the grey fad?
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