I want my virgin hair back!
January 27, 2013 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Hi all! This is yet another hair question. Within the last year, my hair has had a number of transformations. Right now, it's relatively short. I'd like to grow my hair out back to its virgin state. I'm looking for some tips, in particular, I'm looking for dye suggestions.

Within the last year, my hair ha gone from this to this to this to this. At this point, it's actually a bit longer than the last one. More like this. You can kind of see in that pic that my roots are an ash light brown and the rest is very golden. (The red and blue streaks are from hair chalking, don't mind that.)

Most recently, around a month and a half ago, I used a level 2 color. I'd like to keep dying with semi-permanent color it until it grows out, but I'm worried about the potential damage from monthly level 2 coloring. Will that cause permanent damage? I've tried to find level 1 dyes, but I'm having trouble finding them. Do you have suggestions? Is that a better choice? How often should I expect to redye using a level 1 dye?

Do you have any other tips for healthy hair growth? I'm taking biotin supplements, avoiding heat styling when I can, and definitely not using permanent dyes. Any other advice you can give for growing out beautiful hair would be helpful! Thank you!
posted by two lights above the sea to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ah, the lure (and damage) of red hair.

When I want to get myself to stop dying my hair, I usually just get a cheapo box of Revlon Colorsilk in a shade or so darker than my natural haircolor. I've heard online that it's actually a toner, even though it's advertised as a dye. Not sure if that's accurate, but whatever the case, it eventually washes out without damaging my hair, but not so quickly that I have to redye it constantly. And it's superduper cheap and they sell it at every supermarket.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:47 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I were you, I'd let it grow about an inch without dying it at all and then cut off the entire dyed portion. If you plan to grow it out, you may never be in a position to want to cut it that short again- this is your chance to give it a shot, and you have a face that could pull it off.

That being said- when I used to dye my hair crazy colors, I always used Hask Henna 'n' Placenta deep conditioner after bleaching or dying. It worked wonders even on hair that had been bleached to near-white.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:48 PM on January 27, 2013

Dye your hair closer to its' own color so the roots aren't so obvious. Then you can stop dyeing altogether if you wish.

Cutting your hair doesn't make it grow faster, contrary to popular belief; it just looks nicer while you work back to the style you want. Figure out what your final hairstyle will be and don't do any cuts that will hinder your progress. Don't use any products that contain alcohol. You can scrub your scalp with a towel to dry it a little, but don't scrub the ends. Don't wash your hair every day.
posted by xyzzy at 1:49 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am absolutely not cutting my hair off again! And I'm off trims except the very back/bottom to avoid mullets. I'm hoping to get it to a bob length and then start trims after that. FWIW, I use this shampoo and this conditioner, and at this length, I wash my hair every other day. When it gets longer, I wash it less frequently. Thanks!
posted by two lights above the sea at 2:00 PM on January 27, 2013

Your hair looks so pretty!
I've heard that it really helps if before bed you massage coconut oil into your hair and scalp (or just your ends if you don't like how it feels on your scalp) and then shampoo and condition as normal in the morning.
posted by dinosaurprincess at 2:31 PM on January 27, 2013

I know no stylist would agree with me, but I love what Garnier Nutrisse does to my hair. It's full of fruit oils, and makes my hair so silky and smooth. Salon dyes are very harsh and damage it.

It's permanent though, but I think it's worth it to only have to dye it once.
posted by DoubleLune at 2:53 PM on January 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used Robert Craig haircolor for several years while trying to get my color-stripped, fried hair back into a decent condition and color. It was gentle and did not add to the damaged state of my hair, and the color was really nice.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:14 PM on January 27, 2013

When I last grew my hair out long and natural colored, I did one last dye to a color close to my own, and then just continued with cuts to shape while it grew out. I did end up with one cut at the end that was a bit shorter than I'd been trimming to, just because I was so close to having all the dye out.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 5:55 PM on January 27, 2013

I've put my naturally-dark-blonde hair through far more dramatic changes than that in the past three years - bleached, dyed dark-brown-almost-black, stripped, chopped, dyed dark red, dyed lighter red, finally stripped and bleached again. I'm now en process of growing it back out blonde, using a demi-permanent dye or toner every month or so to keep the bleached parts more natural-looking and leaving the roots virgin.

In my experience semi-permanent dye does basically no damage to my hair, but that may be because I'm comparing it to all the drastic damage I have done before. However, it doesn't ever wash completely out for me like it apparently does for some people, so be aware that the demi permenant colored areas might stay kinda colored forever, if you want total-virgin-hair it may not work.
posted by celtalitha at 11:11 AM on January 28, 2013

use a sulfate-free shampoo and oil your ends nightly. coconut oil is good, or you can try almond, jojoba, olive, whatever works for you. oil the entire length of your hair once a week and leave in for a few hours (quiet sunday evenings work nicely for this), then wash out with a GENTLE (again, sulfate-free!) clarifying shampoo. i'm in the process of repairing my black hair which is highlighted a caramel color and got one (never again) rough bleaching job from an incompetent colorist, and the combination of these two things definitely helps keep my hair from breaking and splitting.

get VERY minimal trims every couple of months to stop the split ends before they travel up your hair shaft. find a stylist you can trust not to take off more than a quarter to a half inch of hair. ask her to "dust" the ends - this is the term all my hair stylists use for a very light trim.

are there any specific problems you're having with your hair? like dryness, breakage, split ends, roughness, tangles? it might help to know if there's something specific so that we can suggest specific products for that.

lastly, i COMPLETELY understand the craving for long hair and all the things you can do with it - i'm caught in the throes of that right now - but don't lose sight of the colors and styles that do the most to flatter your face. that second picture is gorgeous on you.
posted by dynamiiiite at 2:20 PM on January 28, 2013

okay, on following your link i see that you're already using a sulfate-free shampoo. go you! keep doing what you're doing!
posted by dynamiiiite at 2:29 PM on January 28, 2013

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