30-Somethings - Do you color your hair? Advice needed!

01-29-2012, 12:28 PM
Hi all! I have apparently come to the point where dying my hair is becoming less optional. I have very dark brown hair (not black) and the evil grays are taking control. I am only 34 and getting ready to re-enter the dating world. (Eek.) Everyone is telling me that the grays are aging me a lot, and that it is not going to help my efforts romantically. The problem is that I am a natural looking person. I wear just a little bit of makeup, and dress feminine but pretty low maintenance. My hair is naturally curly (and long right now) so in the morning I wash it, scrunch it, throw in some shine serum and off I go. Sometimes I straighten it, but that's it. I am not a high maintenance person.
I made an appointment at my friend's salon to get a cut and color next week, but I am really nervous about it. I love the texture of my hair and the color. It curls perfectly on it's own but is easy to straighten as well. I am worried that the dye will harm the texture. I am also worried about my hair getting damaged and needing to be redone every month. Can any of you reassure me about that or suggest dyes or products that are less harmful? I have been fighting the grays since my early 20's and resisted dying it for years and years, but I really see no alternative at this point. The grays are way taking over. I always wanted to be the woman who aged gracefully with the beautiful white bob hairstyle, but maybe in my 50's not my 30's! Oh and one of the reasons I am so panicked is the last time I played with color it was a disaster!!! I went for highlights like 15 years ago and they ended up turning bright flaming copper! When I went back to the salon to fix it they dyed my hair black! I haven't touch color since!!!

OK!! Thanks for reading my rambling and I would love any advice!!!!
Liz :dizzy:

01-29-2012, 12:55 PM
Before you dye it, you might try using a natural henna from Whole Foods or Lush cosmetics. A good stylist can fix a henna job, but you can't really henna over dye. My friend has multiple chemical sensitivities and uses henna to cover her grays successfully.

I dye my hair and use Aveda shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. Whenever possible I just get the roots covered up so my hair has less damage. But the texture has changed quite a bit. I think it looks OK but I use Aveda Damage Remedy and Amika hair oil on it every day to cover the damage.

01-29-2012, 01:26 PM
My mom is a stylist, and my hair is naturally dirty dishwater blond (yuk!!) My hair's been red, black, brown, platinum blond and every shade in between.

I've never noticed a difference in texture when coloring my hair.

Good luck on re-entering the dating world. I did that myself about 7 years ago when my XH had an affair and left. In retrospect, was the best thing that happened to me ;)

Good luck! You will be thrilled with the results! Promise!

01-29-2012, 01:35 PM
Semi permanent is safe on the hair but it washes out real fast. I dye mine at home with permanent every few months and it's VERY shiny and healthy. You only have to worry about damage when your using bleach/peroxide to lighten which strips the hair. I'm a hair stylist so I speak from experience. ;) Good luck.

01-29-2012, 01:39 PM
I dye my own hair. As long as you dont bleach it, you should be fine. Nothing to worry about ;)

01-29-2012, 01:44 PM
I started going gray at 19. I never had a chance. I used to do the whole highlight thing, but that's such a pain. I'm more of a natural, age gracefully kinda girl myself, but I drew the line at the grays.

What I found was that as a dark brunette it's super easy to dye out the grays (professionally or at home) and have it just grow out gray so if I don't feel like staying on top of it, I don't have to. I just go gray.

I love Aveda dye. You have to go to an Aveda salon to have it done, but it's less harsh than others I've found. In between visits I just use a cheapie root touch-up kit and you can't tell the difference.

As for texture, the dye shouldn't affect it. Because of added conditioners you might notice your hair is extra soft and shiny, but other than that I've never noticed a texture change.

01-29-2012, 02:05 PM
Before you dye it, you might try using a natural henna from Whole Foods or Lush cosmetics. A good stylist can fix a henna job, but you can't really henna over dye. My friend has multiple chemical sensitivities and uses henna to cover her grays successfully.

Oh goodness no, henna is wonderful when you are really COMMITTED to the color, but it is permanent. Not permanent like chemical dyes are permanent, but truly, there's little-no chance you're going to get the color to budge unless you shave your head permanent. You can dye over it with chemical dyes, but only if you used completely 100% pure henna, and it should be noted the strong orange-red imparted by henna will never go away unless the hair is cut off. Even under black chemical dyes, the red from henna can be seen in sunlight.

I recommend doing a LOT of research into henna before considering that route, and especially since most stylists aren't very knowledgeable about it. Plus, not all henna is pure, and so though pure henna is very safe- much safer than conventional chemical dyes and actually beneficial to the hair's health- some unscrupulous henna sellers will sell henna with fake dyes added, fillers like twigs or sand, or "henna" with harmful metallic salts(which may result in your hair melting off your head if you try to get it "fixed" by a stylist or use a chemical box dye over it)
Henna is really great but only when you know what you're getting into- though a natural dye, this is very permanent stuff, as it binds to the keratin in your hair. Definitely not something to experiment with, without lots of research and commitment to the result!

Just a warning for everyone!

01-29-2012, 08:52 PM
My hair dresser found my first gray hair when I was 14 and she was styling my hair for prom! I resisted dying for years and years but had to give in by 26. I am a dark brunette but ended up going black. I have to redo my hair every 5-6 weeks at the most. I have really long hair too so I am just about ready to start having it professionally done. It's just such a PITA to do yourself when it's black and down to your hips. I do notice the damage but I have just gotten better about treating it with conditioners and moisturizing.

01-29-2012, 11:15 PM
I've been coloring my hair since 8th grade (although at about 20 years old the grey came so now it's more of a necessity), I have never noticed any change in the texture/nature of my hair. I have thin, fine, straight hair which is the same type of hair I had as a child. I have naturally a dishwater blonde, which I don't care for at all, so I color it a light natural blonde. The nice thing for me is my mom colors her almost the same color, so many people don't realize I color mine. They just think I take after my mom :)

01-30-2012, 03:58 PM
as a stylist, I can say that coloring your hair to your natural color or darker will not change the texture of your hair. However, should you choose to do extreme highlighting or go super blonde, it will.

01-30-2012, 05:30 PM
I have naturally curly hair too and am a natural med-brown/reddish girl, but I go super blonde to match my hubby and family. Every time I dye my hair my curl leaves a little more and more, and now if I let it air dry its just frizz....which is not attractive....but girl, I take it cause Im 30 and greying in the front like Bonnie Raitt Maybe you can do some subtle highlights just a shade lighter than your natural color to hide the grey...just keep up with it so your grow out stays in check. Or henna is a good idea if you want red instead of blong.....But, my vote is blonde highlights if your going to be going back to the dating world.

We just may need a photo of the change. Good luck

01-31-2012, 12:47 PM
I've had my hair dyed for 20 years. I do recommend going to a professional, hopefully through a referral, than doing it yourself if you're unsure. I turned my head orangey/copper trying to go blond when I was 22. I've gone to stylist to do it ever since. I find that dying my hair actually helps my texture as long as it doesn't involve bleach (which other people have mentioned). Also, using a good conditioner can help your hair if it gets stressed out from the color. Since you like your natural color I'd recommend just sticking with that at first. Have your colorist try to match it. If the colorist is good then it'll be no problem for them. And go semi-permanent. It will wash out fairly quickly so it's not as much of a big deal if you don't like it. Then once you're used to that and are feeling comfortable with your stylist then start playing around with it. Maybe go lighter or add some highlights.

My opinion about hair is that it's an accessory. And it's always good to change your accessories. So have fun with it and try not to get too discouraged if it doesn't turn out how you like it the first time. There's always another stylist or another color or technique to change and/or fix what was done previously. Unless of course you shave your head, but that would just be silly. :)

01-31-2012, 12:51 PM
Henna is beyond permanent. stay away from it or you will have that red in your hair for the rest of your life!

01-31-2012, 01:15 PM
I'm a stylist and if you go in and ask for options they will likely have a demi permanent colour that will cover gray while doing a minimum of damage. If you do go with a permanent colour, and you may have to depending on how resistant your gray is, they should be able to colour the whole thing once then only do the roots. If the ends fade they can do a semi permanent over the ends so they don't get damaged.

If you put henna on your hair, or a metalic dye you buy at the drug store there will be nothing the stylist can do if you don't like it. And a metallic dye is one like grecian formula. There are female versions of it but I don't know the brand names.

highlights usually camouflage gray better and you can go longer between colours, but it will radically change your look. If you colour the whole thing closer to your darker natural colour it will look more like you but you will have to do it every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows and your tolerance for looking at roots.

The texture will change slightly because your hair is chemically altered but you will likely only be aware of this when it is wet. With a good moisturizer it should still act and feel the same when dry.

01-31-2012, 07:07 PM
Hi all!! Thanks for the feedback! I knew this was the place to ask. :) I am scheduled to get a cut/color on Monday night with my friend's colorist. It's an upscale salon and my friend always leaves there looking great! I am just mentally stomping like a toddler bc I hate the idea of dying my hair, but I think my friends are right when they say that it's not going to help my odds in the dating world. Beyond the fact that I worry that it will kill my naturally curly hair, I have also grown it really long. So a few years of growing it out will be down the tubes if I wreck my hair! Arg! Oh well. I can rock short hair if I need to! ;)