The Dye Strip Technique for Going Gray in Secret
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.
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?
A VIDEO GUIDE TO THE TECHNIQUE
My friend Diana introduced me to this method, and it’s ingenious. Watch our interview below to learn about the technique in Diana’s own words:
WHAT KIND OF HAIR WORKS BEST?
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?
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 THIS 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.
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You can do this at home or at the salon – it’s up to you!
Home Hair Dye Kit
Step 1: 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.
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.
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.
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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Katie is the founder of Katie Goes Platinum. After constantly dyeing her hair for over 25 years, in 2018 Katie decided to stop the madness and embrace the gray. Since then, she’s been sharing her favorite gray hair tips, resources, and stories to empower women to feel beautiful during and after their transition to gray hair.