Monday, July 4, 2022

Dyeing Greys

Like so many others, I stopped dyeing my hair after we went into lockdown due to COVID-19 in early 2020. I had been loosely considering growing out my natural color for a while, and for numerous reasons, when my inability to visit the hair salon all but made the decision for me. I thought I would ride out the pandemic without hair dye, then revisit the question of whether to go back to dye after the pandemic was over.

Close up of draped fabrics, grey on the left and green on the right.

A little over two years later, all of the dye is gone and I really like how my hair looks. It's a mix of grey and dark brown — not quite "salt and pepper" but close. I had cut it short to move the process along, and it's starting to regain some of the length that I prefer. I get a lot of unsolicited comments on the grey, some good and some bad, but that's a whole different story.

My overall look varies depending on what tops I wear, seemingly more so now with the added effects of the grey. With black, for example, the brown hair appears darker and the grey adds a dramatic sparkle throughout. But with medium-to-light greys, the brown gets mousy and from there everything about me looks drab.

So now what to do about the perfectly good grey tops that I've been avoiding in my wardrobe? Instead of dyeing my hair, I'll dye my shirts!

First up is a semi-sheer blouse made from 100% polyester. I picked up a Peacock Green bottle of Rit DyeMore, which is made for use on synthetic fibers. Following the directions on the bottle, I doubled the amount of dye in the pot as suggested and stirred the shirt in the dye bath for a full hour.

A green blouse hanging in front of a grey shirt.

The final result is gorgeous! I forgot to take a "before" photo, but it's shown here next to a shirt in the same grey that it used to be. What a dramatic difference! And I love how the subtle diamond pattern in the fabric catches the light — over time, the diamonds had become nearly invisible in the grey.

Close up of a bright green tag surrounded by the darker green fabric of the shirt that it's sewn into.

This tag, which used to be white, gives you some idea of the brightness of the Peacock Green dye on its own. It makes me confident that I'll continue to get deep colors as I overdye other grey tops.

The only question now is: What color should I make the next one?

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