Hair Color Questions ...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by donna723, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    First off, I absolutely can NOT afford to get my hair professionally colored!

    I am 62 year old, but people are usually surprised to find that out. I guess I'm "well preserved", depending on which part of me you look at. I do think I look 62 though! All my life I've had dark brown hair and black eyebrows and lashes. I started getting a few grays in my 40's but didn't start coloring my hair until about ten years ago. I considered just letting it go gray, but it was coming in right from the top of my head and going down the back like a skunk stripe! And the gray was a really butt-ugly lifeless shade of steel-gray - horrible! So I started coloring it - nothing fancy, just the same shade of dark brown it's always been - goes with my coloring and eyes. And I do have very good hair, it I do say so myself! It's blunt-cut shoulder length, very straight, very thick and shiny and healthy.

    So now, my hairstylist keeps saying she thinks it's too dark, I should lighten it up some! It's a medium dark brown. Does that look too harsh on someone my age? What would happen if I got a shade lighter next time and put it over what I've got now? Would I end up a streaky multicolored mess? I think if it's too light, it would look funny with my black eyebrows. The gray that comes in now is a much, much lighter shade than it was at first and I've even considered letting it go gray (with a little help) so I didn't have to keep coloring it ... but I don't want to look like I've aged twenty years over a weekend! Can I put a lighter shade of brown over the darker color that's already on it? Has anybody tried this? What to do ... what to do?!? Does anybody have any ideas?
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Donna, a friend of mine has the same "skunk" predicament you decribe and her natural color sounds similar to yours. Her solution: she got blonde highlights. I kid you not!

    Yes, she has them professionally done but with highlights you can do it about 4 times a year, not every 5 weeks so that saves her a bundle.

    She is very pleased with the outcome and she looks great!

  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I would think going lighter and doing some highlights might be a way to do it. There are lots of kits you can get to do it yourself although if you have someone that might help I recommend it. I would recommend going to a beauty supply store to get the stuff though. It is better quality (if you watch what you get) and you can get exactly what you want/need.

  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Suz, the "skunk stripe" was only when it first started turning gray. I couldn't just get the nice, dignified little bits of gray at the temples like everybody else, or the "salt & pepper" ... I had to get a comical looking skunk stripe right down the middle of my head!

    If I didn't color it at all now, I think it would be a light silver gray all over - a lot prettier gray than it was when it first started changing. At least that's what the roots look like before I dump on the Nice 'n Easy #118! I just don't know if I want to have gray hair!
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Donna, how about a "reverse highlight?" If you haven't heard of it, it's when you keep the light (gray) and they put in darker colors to give the color some depth.

    I have always had blonde hair. Until I was in my late 20's it was white-blonde. I turned 60 ( :faint: ) last month and at this point it's blonde and gray and white and a light brown underneath. I have it highlighted to give it some color depth and body although pretty soon I won't need to because the gray/white will have taken over completely.

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yes, when you get older, your hair isn't the only thing that fades. Your lips and skin tend to fade as well, even if you have a darker skin tone. Highlights sound like an idea. Or just this once you could splurge and have a hairdresser strip the color out of your hair. If you decide that it needs highlights, you could easily do those at home.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    My hair is stark white. I stopped dying it when I was 42 or so (now 60). My eyebrows are the same very dark brown that they have always been and no one ever mentioned that they thought it odd. I never really thought about it much, but two days ago I was looking at some photos of myself and happened to notice my almost black eyebrows. I think it looks good. Funny, though, how I never noticed it when I looked in the mirror.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    My next door neighbour when I was a little girl was an absolutely stunning woman in her mid-sixties. She had wonderful silver grey hair, very dark colouring and eyebrows that were nearly black. She was stunningly beautiful.

    For further inspiration, here's a picture of Carmen Del Orifice (a runway model, still at it in her 60s.) Note the white hair and black brows, and she looks fabulous too.

    Maybe start with the dark highlight thing that Suz was talking about, and gradually let it all grow out until you have only the grey. I think you'll look great.

  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    One option would be to go slightly lighter all over. However, before you do this, you would have to make sure the colorist knows what she is doing and that it all comes out evenly, etc. (If you are doing it yourself, they have those 1-800 numbers on the boxes to call for advice). However...I personally really like highlights.

    My hair colorist talked me into getting highlights (I also have brown hair) and then I became a "slave" to them. The reason why...they make me look much better. Years younger...happier...fresher. In fact, when I go too long with-o them, folks ask me if "I'm tired!"

    I get them touched up every 8-12 weeks. In the summer...I tend to do them more often. However, not too long ago, I did too much and I regret it. It's hard to "go backwards."

    I think it might be a really good idea to try the highlights. If you don't like them, chances are you can cover over them...although it might take a few times before the brown "sticks" well. My advice if you do this (based on experience) is to look at some photos to see what you like in terms of highlights. If you go forward, consider starting off with just a few in the front (partial highlights???) and then proceed in a conservative manner.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 25, 2008
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    As you get older the recommendation is to take your hair colour lighter. From my own observations, staying youthfully dark can actually give you a hard, old look. Even though I have few lines (none, some say) I have chosen to slowly make my shade lighter.

    I dye my own hair and generally get the shade right, carefully according to the packet. Then my usual brand was unavailable so I switched to another. The trouble was, the shade in my hair was much darker than I expected. Too dark. So I bought some hair dye stripper and used it. Then my hair looked awful - like green-yellow straw, with patches of orange where the dye hadn't all come out. The instructions had been to wait two weeks after dye stripping before re-colouring. But I wasn't going to hide indoors for two weeks - I couldn't, I had to drive kids to school, I had appointments etc. So even before it was dry from the dye stripper, I dyed my hair again, this time with a much lighter shade.

    There have been times when I wanted to go paler. That's when I switched back to using a semi-permanent (yes, even with a great deal of grey) and would touch it up as it faded. Slowly I was able to get to a shade I felt was OK and once the old permanent dye had fully grown out, I went back to using a permanent dye that I was happy with.

    I've not done highlights on my hair - not properly. Fairly easy to do at home though, if you take the time. even easier if you recruit a friend and you both take turns. Or you can have a highlights day where you both sit around after doing each other's highlights.

    Another trick I use - when I'm doing touch-up hair treatments (mostly roots only) I will split a pack of hair dye and only mix up half. The rest gets sealed back up and kept until next time, when I mix up the second half and do the hair again. I find with my shortish, not thick hair, it's plenty.

  11. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    I've heard that your supposed to go up a shade lighter every decade!
  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I always try to match my color to my natural one...medium brown. Then, I don't have to color so often.

  13. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    My hair was red. I began coloring it in my late forties, and made a horrible error that turned parts of it Ronald McDonald orange (!) in my early fifties.

    I haven't colored my hair since ~ but if I were going to, I would have it done professionally using three colors.

    It's a strange position to be in, isn't it!

    I am content with my decision not to color, now that my hair has grown out.