Speeding up the natural hair transitioning
July 7, 2017 6:49 AM   Subscribe

After dying my hair for my entire adult life I have been forced into stopping dying my hair and the grey is coming, especially at my temples. I really want to just speed up the transitioning process. Is there anything that ACTUALLY works to help speed hair growth and ease the transition that DOESN'T involve dying my hair in any way?

Hurray for developing scalp psoriasis in my 30s. :( I started dying my hair when I was in my early teens and haven't stopped. My hair has been every colour, from blonde to black to purple, but has been dyed dark brown pretty consistently for the past 10 years. My natural colour isn't too too far removed from that, as it turns out. Somewhat lighter and a bit more red, but not crazy different. The grey is speckled throughout fairly uniformly, but I'm not SO grey that I have a skunk line or anything. However, my temples are EXTREMELY grey, which I'm very okay with. Once its grown out I think I'm going to have a great time styling my hair to use my grey temples as cool accent points and streaks, I'm already starting to be able to do that a bit, but I really just want it to hurry the eff up.

Ideally I'd find some magical technique for getting my hair to grow faster. Everyone talks about supplement this and herbal that, but is there anything that actually works? What about scalp massage to increase bloodflow and stimulate growth?

Things that I CANNOT do:
- Cut all the dyed hair off to a pixie/short style and just go from there with all natural hair. I have an enormous noggin and a fat face and short hair cuts make me look like an adult cabbage patch kid. Not a good look.
- Anything involving dye or highlights. My poor scalp can't take it, plus I'm really trying to have my newly grown out hair be healthy and virginal. And highlights are just one more thing to damage and maintain. And, like I said, my scalp can't take it.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Purely anecdata - but I noticed an increase in speed of hair and nail growth when I started taking a B Complex vitamin regularly.

Upon initial Googling, B12 can help with hair growth, but YMMV.
posted by RhysPenbras at 7:04 AM on July 7, 2017

Biotin seems to really work to speed hair growth. The bad news is that in my experience it also makes all your body hair grow faster, which might be fine with you or not.

Right there with you - I've got seven months of undyed salt-and-pepper and a foot of blonde.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:05 AM on July 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Doesn't speed hair growth, but supposedly baking soda and dandruff shampoo will remove hair dye, if you want to work on getting your dyed hair to match your virgin hair while you wait for it to grow out.
posted by amro at 7:08 AM on July 7, 2017

I can't speak to speeding up hair growth, but for easing the transition what about using a hair color remover like this one? I don't know if this will irritate your scalp (ouch!) but it would strip out whatever dye you have left and reveal more of your greys and your natural hair color.
posted by Mouse Army at 7:13 AM on July 7, 2017

Unfortunately color removers won't return your hair to gray or your natural hair color, not even close. It will reveal what the dye has done to the hair which will be some kind of orange hair, and what was gray hair before you dyed it will be yellow.
posted by nanook at 8:57 AM on July 7, 2017 [7 favorites]

Hairstyle change? It won't make the hair grow faster, but if you switch to something where it's pulled back (ponytail, bun, chignon), the main effect of what you see will be the grownout hair sooner.
posted by LizardBreath at 9:03 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

A stylist once told me to take pre-natal vitamins, but it felt weird buying them when I'm not pregnant, so I never tried.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:41 AM on July 7, 2017

1) Are your iron levels where they should be?
2) A teaspoon to a tablespoon of castor oil or Monistat-7 applied to the scalp (and left overnight - slip an old t-shirt over your pillow) can boost hair growth, but either might aggravate your psoriasis.
3) Are wigs right out?
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:17 PM on July 7, 2017

My Indian family swears by Alma oil scalp massages (you vigorously run the oil into your hair using your finger pads in circular motions. There is some limited scientific evidence to back up tradition.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 4:30 PM on July 7, 2017

My hair and nails seem to grow extra fast when I eat a lot of yoghurt. I have not looked into whether this is confirmation bias or whether there is any plausible reason it might be a real thing, but yoghurt is healthy anyway, so it can't hurt.
posted by lollusc at 4:53 PM on July 7, 2017

If you haven't bleached recently, Color Oops is amazing at removing colour (extra strength especially so) and I'd say it's worth a try.
posted by peagood at 8:42 PM on July 7, 2017

My hair grew like crazy when I was taking prescription prenatal vitamins, YMMV.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:25 AM on July 8, 2017

Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

Pre-natal vitamins suggestion is very unexpected but something I'm willing to try. I'll just have to give my vasectomy'd husband a heads up. Ha ha ha

Def. not down for dye removers as I highly HIGHLY doubt it won't leave me with a super weird colour that will require dying to correct. Also hesitant to try any scalp oils lest they irritate my poor super sensitive and cranky scalp. And yes, wigs are out.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:15 AM on July 10, 2017

Just FYI in case you try biotin, one possible side effect is cystic acne. It took me a long time to connect the biotin I was taking to the painful, grape-sized eruptions I started getting deep in my skin. I don't think it's common, but it's worth knowing just in case.
posted by Edna Million at 6:21 PM on July 10, 2017

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