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How Do I Remove Hair Dye and Go Naturally Grey?

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I've been coloring my grey hair. Now, with 1 inch grey showing, I want to remove the brown and go grey. What is the best way to remove the brown?

By Carolyno from Vancouver, WA


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By Paula12/07/2010

When I wanted to go from tinted to natural I got a real curly perm, so the curls hid the roots. Then as soon as it was long enough, I had my stylist cut my hair real short so only the natural color was left. I did it over the summer and it was a shock to my students when school started up in the fall, but it was the easiest, cheapest way to go natural.

By Lilac [18]12/06/2010

Don't try this yourself. Go to a hairdresser and have them strip the color from your hair. It will then be a nasty shade of pale. Then have her color your hair grey. It will look lovely and grow out naturally. It will cost something but will be worth it in the end.

By CDC [53]12/05/2010

I would suggest heavily highlighting your colored hair, or you could go with a lighter color just where your hair is colored that will blend more with the grey so you won't see the lines of demarcation as much. The fastest and easiest way is just get a short haircut that will remove as much of the colored hair as possible.

Recent Answers

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By Tina H.06/19/2013

This is a cautionary tale, please chose for yourself how to handle your grey, This is my story, my night mare, And my health is not a contributing factor to any hair loss-I checked.

Do not try the high light route! I tried that at the urgings of a stylist, "to blend "my brilliant silver into my chestnut locks." I had the best hair of my life (I'm 50), glossy and growing nicely down past my shoulders. For the first time I could let it get long since my son had been born 21 years prior. First session 7 foils no biggie. Well come touch up time needed a few more because more permanent color was growing out and the silver/gray was showing in other places. Turned out too white in some spots and orange in others, yes Crayola orange!

They graciously "fixed" with a toner that made the white Orange too & the orange brassy-ier. Last resort permanent all over color that missed spots and made the non gray much MUCH darker. Less than one week later it started to fall out .... alot. Breaking off of sections that were highlighted over highlights and fall out from the root areas where the bleach apparently had been put directly down & onto the scalp on the non-silver areas.

My new stylist says I should sue the old salon as my soap was burnt by the chemicals. Here we are in June and I have lost more than half my hair and had to cut it off because the breakage made large gaps straggly looking sections like how chemo makes clumps fall out. I have the Les Mis Anne Hathaway cut now. Can't even get a curling iron in it yet. At least the colored portions are now gone but so is 90%of my hair. I have some regrowth but there is no guarantee that my hair will ever grow back anywhere close to the thickness and density that it was. My avatar is from my wedding day 12-9-11 when I first decided to allow it to get long.

Take my advice. Just deal with the roots by using temporary wash out colors, or just live with it while the gray grows in & the color grows out. Most salons are not skilled enough or properly trained to remove years of permanent hair color (usually a build up of many different brands) without causing severe permanent damage to your hair and scalp and to give you a color that will grow out naturally.

By LeeAnne67 [3]02/15/2011

I finally decided to go grey too and love it! I had been using Natural Instincts for 10 years because it washed out and didn't leave those awful roots. I tried to let my hair go natural a couple of years ago but there wasn't enough grey in it so it just looked mousey. So a couple of months ago I decided to let it go natural again just to see how it looks. I was shocked at how much grey is there! It looks really good. I get compliments all the time! It's such a relief not to have to "hit the bottle" anymore!

By looneylulu [14]01/03/2011

I had my hair highlighted so it wasn't so noticable it worked really well. I have medium length hair and don't like my hair real short so I thought this was the best way. It worked really well, I highlighted once and then kept my hair trimmed and it is now free of all coloring and the gray looks like highlighting now, in a couple years I'm sure it will look gray but it's better then all that coloring. I got sick of that, good luck with what you decide.

By Anonymous [848]12/06/2010

All you can do is to lighten 'only' (completely or by highlighting) the already colored brown hair to make the changeover less noticeable. There is no way to color hair gray! Having been a hairstylist for 35 years before retiring I suggest you have a professional do this or I guarantee you will be sorry for messing with it yourself. I've seen it and had to fix self help many, many times.

Other than doing that just be patient and let it grow out naturally. The brown will fade more and more over time so it won't seem so noticeable as the months go by. As another poster suggested, it would help to have a shorter haircut in the interim.

By Linda [36]12/06/2010

I just decided to to do this also. My hairdresser bleached my hair (had to do it 2 times). It left a lot of the color I had been dyeing my hair with, but it was lot's lighter. The gray was even lighter, but as it is growing back it looks like I just have highlighted hair. I did not and will not put any other color on my hair. Trying to go green.

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