You want to stop using hair color. Either you’re tired of it, or for various reasons it is healthier for you to stop. Yes, you can simply stop using artificial hair color. With this option, you will have to deal with the new growth or “roots” showing in progressively greater amounts while the ends remain tinted.
There are other options:
These ideas are for going back to natural from blond. If your hair color has been covering gray or white, use the low-lighting method—adding dark strands to camouflage the gray until the tinted part of the hair grows out and can be cut off
A short haircut:
Cut your hair into a short trendy style that is about one to one and a half inches long. This is often called a pixy cut—stylish and feminine. Some, brave individuals may opt for a clipper cut in the back and sides with a bit longer hair on top.
With the short haircut, the new growth needs only to be an inch or so long. The hair color will be on the ends of the hair and looked ‘tipped.’ While being very stylish, this length is not for everyone
A Tint Back:
This is accomplished by applying a tint of your natural shade over the entire body of your hair. If you aren’t accustomed to dramatic change and your natural color is dark, this can be a shock. Even if the tint back is a perfect match, your hair may appear to be too dark. It’s wise to consul a professional colorist in choosing the shade to be applied.
Lightened or bleached hair may require preparation before it will accept the tint. Sometimes it will require a shade with more red or gold pigment than your natural to achieve a natural look. This is because red and gold have been removed when bleaching the hair.
Adding Dark Strands or Low-Lighting:
Like highlighting in reverse, this is putting darker strands through the lighter tinted or bleached hair to blend in the new growth. It often gives the effect of highlighted hair. The tinted strands and natural hair blend and can be grown out painlessly. This technique is done by applying a tint using a highlighting cap, foils or other method. The hair color you put in may fades over time, so you may want to use a tint in a slightly darker shade than your natural color.
Taking it Slow:
Begin by applying a slightly darker shade or "toner" such as medium blonde over your hair. When retouching the new growth, you will not have to lighten it as much. The next month apply a darker shade. Depending on how much darker your natural color is than the blonde, this will take three to twelve months. This is one way to avoid the shock of being blond one day and dark the next.
One More Thing
If you have worn your hair light for a number of years, take into account your skin color may have lightened. This happens when hair turns gray. You may not look the same as you did as a child with dark hair.
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Lynne Chapman served as Hair Site Editor of BellaOnline.com for fifteen years. She is a professional stylist and colorist of more than forty years.