Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Get Hair Dye Out

Q: I have colored my hair for 30 years. I just retired at age 62 yrs old. I want to let my hair go gray and quit coloring. Is there a fast way to get the hair dye out? It will take several months to let it grow and look back in the meantime.
A: Unfortunately, there really isn't any way to remove permanent haircolor that will leave a "gray" result that looks natural. Since the color we call "gray" is actually the result of the complete absence of pigments in the hair, the only way to get that result by artificial means would be to bleach the hair until all of the natural and artificially-applied pigments are dispersed. This would result in considerable damage to the hair, and may still not generate the look you want.
Your best option is to make a change in your hair color routine and begin using temporary or semi-permanent haircolor instead of permanent color to cover your gray while allowing the hair that has been treated with permanent color to grow out and be trimmed away. This will allow you to avoid the dreaded "skunk stripe" that comes from growing out a darker haircolor, and will also allow you to let you get your hair into better condition by avoiding the harsher permanent color formulas.
Without actually being able to see your hair and the new growth to enable me to assess the level of gray you have I can't really be more specific with suggestions. However, this method of shifting to a semi-permanent or temporary color has served me and my own clients well in the past and should provide you with a flattering look in the immediate while allowing you to reach the long term goal of going gray gracefully.
Related posts:
Going gray
How to color hair
How bleaching hair works
Can I use a product to remove my hair color and go all grey at once?