Q: I have great memories of my grandmother coming home from the beauty parlor with blue rinse in her grey hair. It looked so
cool. Now that I have shoulder-length, mostly-grey hair, I'd love to try it, but I can't find it. Is it just not made anymore?
A: Actually you can find these hair rinses today still, although in most places, some of the looks created by hair rinses have gone
out of fashion. Revlon still makes a line of temporary color rinses under the brand name “Roux” and/or “Fanci-Full”. If these are not
available in your area via retail stores or beauty supply chains, then you can likely order the products online.
But you have to understand that what was intended in these color “rinses” (even back in grandma’s
day) was to negate any dullness or yellowing of the graying hair, and some of the “easter egg’ colors that eventually came into being
were never intended for use on “pure white” hair, but rather as a toning application to counter brassiness, or enhance the natural
color of the hair. The “blue hair” cult that eventually formed came usually from the habitual inclusion of the color rinse as the hair’s natural tone altered with age.
In fact, I used to work with a woman whom I had known for many years. When I was a child we would
go to the store that she and her husband owned. She was striking for the fact that she had bold, red “I Love Lucy” hair. As a kid, I
thought the color was natural, but when I got older and for a time went to work for her, I learned that every Wednesday afternoon she
would go to the salon and have her hair done for the week, including a bold red color rinse. She had been a natural red-head and
started having the red rinse done to enhance the look of her natural hair color.
However, by the time I went to work with her fifteen years later, the results of her weekly color
rinse was dramatically different from what had been the result at the start. Where before the rinse created a warm and rich tone to
her naturally ginger hair, now her hair resembled nothing so much as a pumpkin-colored beehive. New people would sometimes comment
that they wondered how she could think it looked natural, but I knew the answer: The shifting results had come about so gradually,
that she never really saw that dramatic a difference. She knew that she always had a more “vivid” color after visiting the salon, and
if the color were to gradually become brighter, and more orange for lack of base pigmentation, she didn’t notice because she likely
never had opportunity to see her hair’s natural color any longer. (She was a once-a-week shampoo at the salon, kind of lady.)
So, you can still get the “blue hair” look, and please never let me dissuade you from what is a very
personal choice. I simply wanted to offer what was the intention of the products being used as a comparison to what the end result
tended to be for many women. My own grandmother used Roux’s Fanci-full “White Minx” on her hair for years. Sometimes she would overdo
it and would end up with a touch of “blue” to her hair.