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Old 11-15-2011, 05:48 PM
Location: Cary, NC
617 posts, read 1,290,156 times
Reputation: 1007


I am trying to grow my gray out and need some help finding the best way to go about doing it.

My hair is currently shoulder-length and I am getting an inch or so cut off every 4-6 weeks. I don't want to go too much shorter though so will have to get it cut less frequently here soon.

The bottom 2/3 of my hair is a medium reddish-brown. The top 1/3 is a dark, flat brown with about 30% gray, however my temples are between 90-100% gray.

I would like to color my hair as close to my natural color right as I can right now, but without permanently changing it so that it will all be the natural brown/gray mix once all of the reddish-brown has been cut off.

I've read about semi- and demi-permanent color but I can't quite grasp the difference between the two and how they would apply to my situation.

I think my mom uses semi-permanent color to cover her mostly-gray hair, but when it starts to grow out only the roots are lighter from the gray and not the rest of it. This doesn't seem to fit with what I've read about semi-permanent color though, so I may be mistaken and maybe she uses permanent?

What would you recommend I do with this hair predicament?

Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:39 PM
Location: Gilbert Arizona
862 posts, read 2,098,110 times
Reputation: 1060
May I suggest Aveda Color Conditioner in Mallow, the chestnut brown shade? It is not permanent at all, it is just a conditioner but it truly enriches your hair, I currently use it to blend my brown and white roots to my lighter golden brown hair. It washes out in about a week. It will enrich your brassy red ends and it will blend your grays a bit while they are growing out.

With only 30% grey, you may need such a product to keep your hair looking lively until you have enough silver to sparkle. Good luck !
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:59 AM
Location: US
5,145 posts, read 9,582,038 times
Reputation: 5299
Demi Permanent Vs. Semi Permanent Hair Color | LIVESTRONG.COM

Thats a nice easy read on it. I notice that greys/whites can grow faster than the color strands. All color will stick less to those greys and whites. The demi perm lasts longer than the semi. You could try both and see what you like. I would just do low lights in 2-3 different shades to blend in your natural grey color with what you have. Eventually doing less and less low lights until you are grown out. Depending on your haircut and face maybe a few face framing highlights would look nice played into this process.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:06 PM
Location: Cary, NC
617 posts, read 1,290,156 times
Reputation: 1007
Well, I found myself next door to a Sally's this afternoon at lunch time, so I stopped in to see what non-permanent products they had to offer.

I ended up buying Clairol Beautiful Collection in Rich Dark Brown and Ion Color Brilliance in Dark Warm Brown. (Both are semi-permanent products.) Since they are inexpensive, I figured they would be a good place to start. I don't mind coloring a few times a month if I need to, so I'm hoping at least on of the two will give me positive results.

Opsimathia, I decided to stay away from demi products after reading the article that you linked. I know peroxide is not nearly as damaging as ammonia, but I want to stay away from as many chemicals as possible. Thanks for that.

hart4july, I will try the Aveda that you suggested once I'm finished experimenting with the semi-permanent colors that I just bought. I may find it easier to add a little color by conditioning daily rather than applying a product every other week.

For reference, I do have a picture of myself on my profile, although my hair is shorter and layered now. The curls are still there, though. I think the curls tend to disguise the gray more than straight hair would, unless I have my hair pulled up and you can see the streaks at my temples.

Speaking of my temple streaks, I did have my hair pulled up when I stopped at Sally's and the sales associate complimented me on the 'beautiful color' of them. They are almost white, not that washed-out, "dirty" gray that I hear so many people complain about. I can't wait until all of this old color is gone and I can be all-natural.

I'd love to hear more advice if anyone else has any. Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:01 AM
Location: Kansas
17,636 posts, read 11,449,120 times
Reputation: 16542
You appear to have lovely hair from the picture. I wonder how long it will take to turn totally gray? At 35, my hair got the few grays in the front and I was excited about it turning something other than my yuck brown but at 57, still 95% yuck brown! I'm going to check out that Aveda product because I could use a lift. I am so envious of the women that are like 95% gray but don't know if I'll live long enough to ever see it that gray. My mom was very gray by 45! Her sister turned totally gray by 40. My dad's family turned gray more slowly but this is unreal! Probably German or Irish heritage side I guess.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:24 PM
Location: Gilbert Arizona
862 posts, read 2,098,110 times
Reputation: 1060
Your hair is really pretty! I checked your profile.

If you try the Aveda, you will not need it every day. Just once a week or so, it's not like John Frieda color enhancing products that look like conditioner, its really dark and almost like a semi color. Its not cheap, but the color tone is very pretty cinnamon brown. I think they make one for silver- platinum blonde too.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:39 PM
Location: in my mind
4,280 posts, read 5,243,865 times
Reputation: 8258
here is a website devoted exclusively to this very subject- tons of photos too!

Going Gray Looking Great! - Make every stage of going gray absolutely fabulous.
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