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Hair Down to There…Or Not?

Longer and frosted!

It’s been almost a year since my last haircut, and a little over two months since I decided to let the dye grow out and embrace my natural white/black/silver color(s). The top layers are *finally* getting long enough that I can pull most of my hair back in a ponytail if I’m not leaving the house now (a tiny, messy one that still needs bobby pins for side/back support), and the sides are just shy of being long enough to pull back out of my face (which is why the bobby pin thing isn’t such a good option…they’re too long to pin back, and too short not to).

No, I’m not a pigtail girl. I think I have one picture of myself as a child in pigtails, but aside from Harley Quinn cosplay, you won’t see me rocking those anytime soon. There’s a line.

I could probably do two braids, but I’ve never really done that either – it’s normally just one down the back of my head. Maybe I should try the double. See if the sides are long enough to reach.

In any case, now I have a bit of a quandary. It’s been a long haul growing all these layers out, and I will probably make a hair appointment for sometime in May. I’ll definitely be getting a trim, and probably keeping some layers but not all. The quandary I have is…should I just cut my hair back into a pixie cut to get rid of the dye all at once and then spend the next year growing the length back out from there?

Or should I just get a trim, keep my hair shoulder-length for awhile until the natural color catches up, and then continue growing it out to my mid-back “goal length”?

It’s a thinker. On the one hand, it would be nice to just be done with the color all at once, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about that “demarcation line” where the white/natural color meets the dyed color.

Look at that black stripe – cool!

On the other hand, there is still a lot of “color” in my natural patchwork of shades (the black is a bit surprising, since I’ve never actually had natural black hair before). I’m fairly positive I’ll like it just fine longer, but the multi-color/patchwork thing sometimes doesn’t work so well in a super-short style, IMO.

Plus I’d have to deal with a whole ‘nuther year of growing out short layers of hair. It’s doable, but really pretty annoying some days.

As of now, the white on top (I call it my “frosting”) doesn’t bug me all that much. And since I wear bangs, my face will be framed with the natural colors in just another month or two no matter what length the back is. Maybe I’ll just get a trim this time, and then if it’s bugging me in a couple months, I’ll chop it off, otherwise, just another trim.

Rinse, repeat.


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The Hair Metric

I’ve been coloring my hair for…well, quite a few years now. It’s not a fast process because I use chemical-free ground herbs – henna and indigo being the main ingredients. So the process includes mixing the herbs with water, black tea and a little vinegar (to help it soak into my whites), letting that sit for an hour or so to let the indigo “bloom” (so it’s less red, more brown), and then working the thick, dark green goop into my hair. I cover that with a reusable shower cap (leopard print, of course), and let it sit for 2-3 hours. I always think I’m going to make three, but more often than not, I end up rinsing it out at 2.5 hours because I get sick of trying to catch all the occasional drips from the shower cap with the towel draped around my neck.

I don’t touch up my roots, because I’m lazy, and because these dyes are very permanent, so dying over the top of a previous dye job results in a darker color, and that would leave the crown of my head lighter and the rest darker and I’m pretty sure it would be a really bad rendition of the “ombre” color fades kids are going for these days. I just wait until I need to get my hair cut again and then dye it the night after my appointment, when it’s short and a lot of the dye has been cut off.

That works okay if I stay on top of cuts. Which I often don’t. My stylist is super-busy, and I can’t wash my hair the day after I dye it which leaves only Saturday for appointments. So I often end up with gray/white roots and hair nearly to my shoulders in the span of ten weeks (my hair grows fast – always has, just like my nails).

So lately whenever I get my hair cut, I come home, take my hat off (it looks horrible just after a cut, because roots, dye, no dye, lighter dye…it’s a wreck), and look in the mirror. What I’m mostly looking for is whether there’s more white than gray. Enough white to just finally say, “Okay, it’s finally socially acceptable again, so no dye job needed.”

Why? Because to me, it seems like the only hair color that really isn’t acceptable and generally tends to make a person “invisible” is salt & pepper. That in-between stage that makes one look older than they are, but still too young to be “going gray”. It’s an uncomfortable stage, in my opinion (and in my experience, the one people are most likely to comment on). That’s the stage I’m covering (mostly). When it’s done, and my hair is all white, I feel like it will be “socially acceptable” again, and then I’ll be able to do away with the whole six-eight week dye routine.

I realize this is my own hang-up, and that plenty of women go gray/white naturally and gracefully, and kudos to them for that. But in my experience, people respond to the dyed hair better than the “transitional” stage, especially at work. So for now, I dye.

Do you have a hair metric? If you dye your hair, is there a point at which you know you’ll stop dying it?


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