Highlighting to hide gray?

I have 3a type hair that is very dark brown. I really hate coloring my hair...I've only done it twice. I have quite a bit of gray hair around my temples and in the front part of my hair and now it seems like I 'm getting more and it's more noticeable which I hate.
I just wondered what is the best way to deal with this?
Can highlighting hide gray better than just dying all your hair? Which one would require less maintenance? Any advice?
I had my medium dark brown hair highlighted with caramel highlights for over ten years to blend the gray - this after trying all-over color that my hair simply would not hold, regardless of how permanent it was supposed to be.

It worked pretty well, but it soon got to be too much lightened hair in there, so we added lowlights too to better blend it all. Like the all-over color, my hair wouldn't hold the lowlights very long, though. Eventually, it just wasn't blending the gray well enough, the highlights were more than and lighter than I liked and they were drying. So, I started searching for natural vegetable dyes on-line last summer and ended up at www.hennaforhair.com.

After hanging around there for a couple of months, reading all about the various mixes and lurking around their message boards, I finally took the plunge just before Labor Day, and it's working much better for me than chemical coloring. This thread about a gloss for brown hair might particularly interest you as it would be a easy, low commitment way to try it out:
www.hennaforhair.com/forum/index.php?module=phpwsbb&PHPWSBB_MAN_OP=view&PHPWS _MAN_ITEMS[]=3530
I started out with a henna/cassia/indigo/amla mix to blend the old highlights with the gray and natural color, but I've tried this gloss, too, and I'm going to try switching totally over to it once my highlights have been totally cut off. There's not enough henna in it to make your natural hair red. And since you don't wait for its dye to release, it only gives the grays a little golden color, not red. The indigo is to further help tone down red, although I couldn't tell it did much - I probably won't even put it in future glosses. Indigo tends to fade on my hair anyway.

Anyway, I think in the long run, this method will be ideal for me. Since henna (must be body-art-grade - don't just go out and buy henna at the store) is permanent, doing this every couple of weeks should keep them blended and just looking like highlights.

It might be worth your checking it out at the above site.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
Do you have any hair pictures you could show us, auntnett? I've been on the henna fence for so long I'm just a chicken though. BTW the hair in my sig is much redder than I actually am. Weird flash

CurlyPoppins, I'm in the same boat as you but don't have a solution, just empathy.
< member since 2006. No idea where 1969 came from.
No, I'm sorry, I still don't have a digital camera, so the little avatar photo that someone snapped in the car the other day is all I have. Most of it's behind my shoulders, and I hadn't scrunched out the crunch yet, but I think you can still see that it isn't very red. It's a little more noticeable when the gel's been scrunched out, especially on the old highlights because I'm in need of an indigo gloss right now - that's what I'm doing now to keep the old highlights from looking too red and will probably have to continue that until I cut them off. Most people's hair seems to hold indigo better than mine does, though.

One of these days I'll get a camera and set up a Fotki . . . .

There are a lot of photos on the mixes page of the henna site, though. If you're covering gray, there are some specifically for that on a separate page.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
^^ thanks. I'll check it out again. I'm really such a chicken about this and I don't know why.
< member since 2006. No idea where 1969 came from.
Me, too, for the longest time! Even when I finally went for it, I used equal parts cassia and indigo with the henna to try to keep it from being too red. Adding amla was also to tone it down, as well as for curl retention.

Overall, I've found it to be pretty forgiving as long as you go into it knowing that henna is permanent and that you can't go lighter than your natural color (without first lifting the color with peroxide). You can overlap on root touchups with no problem, go back and gloss over with indigo or buxus to tone it down if you find you need it, etc. You can find discussions about pretty much anything you have questions about, much like on this site. I've also called them a couple of times when I needed an immediate answer about something.

I just wish it weren't so messy, but that's getting easier with practice and as I learn different strategies from other users.

Overall, rather than starting chemical highlights you'll eventually have do deal with as I did, I'd certainly recommend at least looking into henna, cassia, indigo or some combo of them to achieve what you're trying to do. I wish I had known about it before starting the highlights.

And it's cheaper than having it highlighted or colored, especially if you're only using a tablespoonful at a time in a gloss - One packet of henna will last quite a while that way, so that's cheaper even than DIY color or highlights. You don't have the mess with glosses, either, if that's part of what's scaring you off.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
Thanks auntnett for the info. Funny, I was just starting to look at that henna for hair website. It sounds like henna might be a better solution for me as I just like to stay as natural as possible. I guess I am just a little scared to take the plunge.
I like my hair it's natural dark brown shade so I wasn't too sure if I would really like highlights anyway but I thought it would be less chemicals and less damage to my hair for hiding gray.

One concern I have with henna is how it reacts to chlorine from swimming... pool since I swim a lot? Anyone know?
Thanks auntnett for the info. Funny, I was just starting to look at that henna for hair website. It sounds like henna might be a better solution for me as I just like to stay as natural as possible. I guess I am just a little scared to take the plunge.
I like my hair it's natural dark brown shade so I wasn't too sure if I would really like highlights anyway but I thought it would be less chemicals and less damage to my hair for hiding gray.

One concern I have with henna is how it reacts to chlorine from swimming... pool since I swim a lot? Anyone know?
Originally Posted by CurlyPoppins
I don't think it'll be an issue for henna itself or cassia, but if using indigo, I'd investigate first as I know it can cause some unexpected reactions when combined with chemicals in some hair colors, for instance. Don't know what effect chlorine might have, so I'd check the message boards over there. Just ask if you don't see anything that makes it clear to you - someone's usually pretty quick about answering, often the administrator (Carrie something, I think).

At least BAG henna is actually good for your hair and strengthens it, rather than causing damage like chemical coloring. It is a commitment, though.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
I've been highlighting out the grey with foils for close to 10 yrs also. I'm allergic to hair dye so all over colour isn't an option. But I'm very happy with the highlights as I don't end up with the telltale white strip as they grow out the same way as all over colour seems to.

Once I get past a certain amount of grey it is unlikely this method will still work. I'm about 30-40% right now.
Current Products: CJ Products: CF, DF, CT, SG, AFG, CIAB AND CK is back!
Current Experiment: S&C by D

Curl Fix and Daily Fix are my HGs


Sulphate and cone free since July 2007

wavy/curly fine texture/medium porosity/medium-low density

http://public.fotki.com/whatsercurl/

PW: wavycurly

Seek not to change the world. Rather seek to change your mind about the world.
I don't think mine's more than about 25% gray, if that, but I think my natural color is darker than yours so that it was becoming too hard to blend it, plus most of it is right in the front so that it really jumps out at me, LOL
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
Yeah my natural hair colour is almost black. One shade above I think my stylist said.

Unfortunately, there's so much white and highlight .. it's nowhere near to that anymore.

And yes it's the front that drives me batty too. I have the Stacy London streak but hers look sexy. Mine? Not so much.
Current Products: CJ Products: CF, DF, CT, SG, AFG, CIAB AND CK is back!
Current Experiment: S&C by D

Curl Fix and Daily Fix are my HGs


Sulphate and cone free since July 2007

wavy/curly fine texture/medium porosity/medium-low density

http://public.fotki.com/whatsercurl/

PW: wavycurly

Seek not to change the world. Rather seek to change your mind about the world.
Nope, yours is definitely darker then - I wouldn't have thought so from any of your photos. Without color, mine's more the Lily Munster look than Stacy London, unfortunately, though the streaks aren't as thick yet, LOL. The foils just weren't doing it for me any more, in any case.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 02-06-2009 at 01:46 PM.
Do you have any hair pictures you could show us, auntnett? I've been on the henna fence for so long I'm just a chicken though. BTW the hair in my sig is much redder than I actually am. Weird flash

CurlyPoppins, I'm in the same boat as you but don't have a solution, just empathy.
Originally Posted by eche428

OK, I finally thought to take some with my phone and send them to my computer - not the best in the world, but maybe you can get an idea. Check out the Fotki below . . . .

www.fotki.com/auntnett PW: loopy
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 02-18-2009 at 11:00 AM.

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