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Inside: All about the dye strip technique for growing out your gray hair secretly, with no demarcation line.
Every week, I receive emails from women who want to go gray but don’t want to cut their hair, don’t want to bleach their hair, and don’t want to sport a strong demarcation line (i.e., “skunk stripe.”)
What if I told you there IS a method that accomplishes ALL of these desires and that you can do it yourself, in the comfort of your own home?
GO GRAY IN SECRET WITH THE DYE STRIP TECHNIQUE
It’s called the Dye Strip Technique and it’s a fantastic solution for women who don’t want to go gray cold turkey, don’t want to cut their hair short, and don’t want to potentially damage their hair through gray blending at the salon.
This method of secretly going gray has been around for a while, but I wasn’t aware of it until I bumped into Diana Moffitt (@silver.is.the.new.black) at a silver sister meetup and she explained it to me.
Diana was kind enough to share her pictures and knowledge, so read on to find out more about this amazing technique!
Can’t use dye (or just don’t want to)? Then check out the other best way to go gray in secret: wigs!
WHAT IS THE DYE STRIP TECHNIQUE?
The Dye Strip Technique involves only coloring a small strip of hair at the crown of your head. You’ll re-dye the roots of only that strip of hair as needed.
In the meantime, your gray hair will grow out underneath the strip until you are ready to reveal your glorious naturally silver hair to the world! Any grays that DO peek through will simply look like sparkly highlights.
When that time comes, you’ll flip your part and – wowza! – you’ll look completely, gloriously, gray!
At that point, you can let the dyed strip grow out underneath your fabulous, sparkly gray hair and no one will be the wiser. That’s why the Dye Strip Technique is sometimes referred to as “going gray in secret.”
Isn’t that cool?
This post contains everything you need to know about the dye strip technique, but it’s a long, detailed read. If you prefer, you can purchase the PDF version for only $5. It contains the full article (including pictures and links to the videos) and you can print it out and refer to it any time you like. The PDF would be especially helpful if you want to bring this article with you to the hair salon to show your hairdresser how to do this technique! (Click on the book below to purchase)
A VIDEO GUIDE TO THE DYE STRIP TECHNIQUE
If you prefer video, you can see my interview with Diana below:
And you can find Suzan Barne’s video (that inspired Diana) here:
WHAT KIND OF HAIR WORKS BEST FOR THE DYE STRIP TECHNIQUE?
Due to the nature of the dye-strip technique, it works best with medium-to-long straight or wavy hair.
If you have bangs, short hair, or very curly hair, it will not work as well (if at all).
The whole point of the dye-strip technique is to grow out your gray roots underneath your dyed part.
So you need that dyed hair strip to be long enough to cover the gray hair that is growing out underneath.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS METHOD OF GOING GRAY?
This method works best for women who want to eventually give up hair dye altogether but are not in a huge rush to complete their transition.
It’s especially great for women who have an aversion to the demarcation line. A lot of us silver sisters loved going gray cold turkey, but let’s be honest – that’s not for everyone.
If you are uncomfortable sporting a “skunk stripe”, then this method of growing out your grays is for you!
The best candidates for the dye-strip technique are women with medium to long dark brunette hair. These are the women I hear from the most who are uncomfortable going out in public for a year or two with a strong demarcation line.
This method solves that problem!
Blondes and redheads can also use this technique, but for dark brunettes, the dye-strip technique is the best method I’ve found for going gray in secret with dark hair.
Another benefit? A lot of us experience hair regrowth when we stop the dye. Even though you are continuing to dye that 1 strip at the top of your head, you may see hair regrowth in other areas.
WHO SHOULD AVOID THE DYE STRIP METHOD?
If you are growing out your gray hair due to a sensitivity to hair dye, or if you are simply DONE with putting chemicals on your head, this is NOT the right transition method for you as you will have to continue dyeing your hair for a while.
HOW TO USE THE DYE STRIP TECHNIQUE FOR GOING GRAY
You can do this at home or at the salon – it’s up to you!
** Remember to start with a side part – if you part your hair in the center and grab hair on either side of the center part, this method will not work **
Step 1: Part your hair on the side and section off about a 1.5” x 5″ strip of hair along your part line.
Step 2: Put Vaseline on all sides of the strip to protect your natural hair color from accidentally being dyed.
Step 3: ONLY dye the roots of the strip of hair.
Step 4: When you wash out the dye, focus on rinsing out the dyed strip well before you add shampoo to wash out the Vaseline. (If you have trouble washing out the Vaseline, read this post).
Step 5: When styling your hair, part your hair down the middle of the dyed strip laying the dyed hair over your gray hair and style as usual. Voila!
Repeat the process every 4 weeks or so until you feel ready to flip your part to the gray side and show everyone your fabulous silver hair!
Once you flip your part to the gray side, just let the dyed strip grow out (undetected) underneath your gray hair. Eventually, it will be completely grown out and cut off.
EXAMPLE OF GRAY HAIR USING THE DYE STRIP TECHNIQUE
Diana’s transition photos will give you a great idea of the dye-strip technique in action!
PROS & CONS TO THE DYE STRIP METHOD
- No Demarcation Line
- Your gray hair grows out in secret (BONUS: it looks like peekaboo highlights!)
- Minimal cost
- Minimal upkeep
- No Cutting Required
- No Bleaching Required
- Hair regrowth in areas where you’ve stopped dyeing
- You will still have to dye your hair for a while
- Not a good solution for women with short or VERY curly hair
I know that, for many of you, this technique is going to be a godsend! Four days after I put the video up on YouTube, it already had 7000 views, so it’s obvious that women are searching for alternative ways to go gray!
If this method isn’t for you, don’t worry!
There are many other ways to go gray. There’s not only one right way to go gray – you have to find the method that suits your temperament. I’m confident that you will.
Do you have any questions about the dye-strip technique? Please post a comment below and Diana and I will be happy to answer all your questions! And please make sure to follow Diana on Instagram @silver.is.the.new.black.
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