On the MakeupTalk homepage, I saw the link to the support thread for people growing out their natural hair color.
You can find the thread by clicking here. I think this is an awesome topic to touch on, because it’s a hard accomplishment and I’ve spent the past few years getting there myself. There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to do that. It could be because they’ve damaged their hair beyond a reasonable level of repair, they’re sick of keeping up with it, or they’ve simply come to embrace their natural hair color. No matter what your reason, here are some tips and tricks (and technically some cheats) to get you where you’re trying to go.
Personally, I decided to go back to my natural color because of the damage. I’ve been blonde, red, pink, purple, blue, auburn, plum, and three different shades of brown, dozens of times over the years. I shaved my head when I was seventeen (a decision I do not regret) and five years later, I have long hair again that has been an absolute rainbow over a short period of time. The problem is, my natural hair color is a rather strong black. My roots were extremely noticeable and required frequent bleaching and dying to keep up, and this killed my hair. I have no problem with my natural black, and I decided to return there, where I’ve been for two years. This is how I did it.
The best place to start is by cutting off as much hair as you’re comfortable cutting off. If you have damaged hair, this is a logical step to take anyway. If your hair is so frayed and damaged that even touted miracle cures like Argan oil aren’t significantly impacting it, chop off as much as you can bring yourself to chop off. This is not only because fried hair isn’t pleasant to look at or deal with, but because the color is different from your root color and this can cause problems obtaining and maintaining your natural hue.
It wouldn’t hurt to make one last stop to your colorist if you aren’t confident enough in your abilities for this next step. After you trim up, allow for an inch of root growth to get an accurate sampling of your natural color. Have a reputable and competent stylist custom match or mix permanent dye to get your natural color, and give it one last dye job. If your hair color is very run of the mill and you’re confident in your ability to do this, you may be able to find it in a box hair color at the drugstore. Take note that permanent hair color can and does fade over a period of several months, and you may need to get a touch up job on the areas that have faded.
Follow up with trims on a regular basis. Get the ends done every second month. Even if you only lose a couple of centimeters, it’s staying on top of the damage and eliminating some of the parts you’ve dyed over and bringing sooner the days where you won’t have to do that anymore. Eventually, you’ll have nothing left that you feel needs touching up, and all of your hair will be one cohesive shade.
It’s also important to switch up to a repairative hair care regimen. To rely less on corrective dye and prevent future damage while lessening current damage, sulfate free shampoo and conditioner is the way to go. Most shampoos (especially cheap ones) are made with sulfates, the stuff that creates a lather. The problem with sulfates is that they’re a harsh detergents which strip moisture and oil. Wash your hair no more than three times a week, allowing your natural oils to protect and nourish your hair. If you have extremely oily hair, use a dry shampoo on the off days.
Finding a deep conditioning treatment you can do once a week wouldn’t hurt. Though it sounds gross, placenta derived products, such as placenta paks, are available from almost any beauty supply store, and they really do work. If you are African American, or just have an unruly hair texture (for example, my hair is very coarse by nature and always has been), check out olive oil based treatment balms aimed at African American women.
By Airi Magdalene
Real Life Makeup Artist and MakeupTalk Blogger