Tips for Transitioning Back to Your Natural Hair Color

There are many reasons why women decide to stop coloring their hair. For some, it's a matter of cutting back on unnecessary expenses. For others, it is a decision to stay away from harsh chemicals in order to keep hair healthy. No matter what reason you may have for going back to natural, the challenges will still be the same. You will have to find a way to live with roots and perhaps even gray hair. Until the transition is complete, you will have to find ways to make your hair look presentable.

The quickest and easiest way to return to your natural color is to have your stylist perform a coloring procedure known as a tintback. A tintback is accomplished by dyeing the hair back to its natural color. A successful tintback will allow you to grow your hair out without having to deal with a different color at the roots. However, not all tintbacks are simple and easy. If your hair is dyed a light shade of blonde, for instance, and your natural color is a dark brown, a tintback will probably be a two step process requiring the application of a filler.

If chemical damage is a concern, you may be able to perform a tintback with a semi-permanent or demi-permanent color. These types of dyes are very mild and will not damage the hair if nixed and applied properly. The only limitation with a semi or demi color is that you can only go darker or stay at the same level of color. These dyes, since they contain little or no ammonia, generally do not have the power to lighten the hair to any considerable degree, and while it is possible to achieve a slight degree of lift from a demi-permanent color, this is only possible on hair that has not been previously colored.

The transition to natural hair color is made easier with a short haircut. If you have three inches of regrowth and seven inches of dyed hair, getting those seven inches cut off will leave you with virgin hair (the salon term for hair that has not been colored, permed, or chemically processed). If you are hesitant to do this all in one step, work with your stylist and he or she will come up with a plan that will allow you to go shorter gradually. When going back to natural hair color, it is a good idea to stick with one stylist. This will allow the stylist to monitor your progress and become familiar with your hair. If you bounce around from stylist to stylist, there's no telling what kind of result you may end up with, since each stylist may have a different idea of how your hair should look.