Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hair colour experiment conclusions

There are always posts I could update, and sometimes I’ll put several small updates together in their own post. But sometimes an update is a little complicated, and needs its own post to update properly. This is one of those times, because it seems dyeing grey hair is a complicated thing.

Back in May, I said I was trying ControlGX shampoo-in colour treatment for men. Then, the end of that month, I gave a little update (first item) on what I’d found up to that point. I think I can safely say the trials are over, so it’s time to give my final take on the product.

The short version is that it basically works as they claim. I’d add that it’s not a substitute for actual hair dye, which I’ll talk about in more detail, but they don’t claim it is. Instead, they say that men already know how to shampoo their hair, and this is no different. For men who can’t be bothered with anything else, this is probably ideal. However, it’s not perfect.

First, it IS a bit messy. It contains hair dye, and it can stain your fingers and the shower stall if not washed off. They recommend, “Wash your hands and nails with soap before you get out of the shower so you don’t leave product on your hands,” and also, “Rinse [the shower] with water so you don’t get any staining in the shower.” That’s good advice, but I usually wear surgical-type gloves (I tried the gloves that come with their hair dye, but they’re too loose on the fingers, which makes it hard to control the application).

This staining was a problem during my hospital adventure last August. I saw the doctor expecting it to be an ordinary 15-minute appointment at the beginning of my day. So, I ended up in hospital needing a haircut and, even more desperately, a beard trim. I looked like a cross between a hipster and a homeless person, with staining on my fingertips and around my nails from using ControlGX without gloves.

The reason my beard was untrimmed is that—contrary to what I thought at the end of May—the product doesn’t do well with hair roots. So, whenever I get a haircut or trim my whiskers, it becomes dramatically greyer than it had been. Their statement in their explanation of how the product works that “With regular use, there will be no telltale line of demarcation when the grey roots grow in, as can occur with traditional hair colour” just isn’t true in my personal experience.

Still, frequent use IS key to getting good coverage, the roots issue aside. They recommend using it 3 to 4 times a week once the desired results are achieved—something that itself can take, they say, 2 to 4 weeks. Since I’m washing my hair anyway, that’s not a big drama, but, if coverage isn’t great or complete, is it the best option?

They’re very clear that the product is for head hair, and my experience supports that. It’s not that it doesn’t work on whiskers, for example, it’s that it doesn’t work anywhere near as well or as quickly as on head hair.

So, my conclusion is that it’s best to use conventional hair dye, especially after haircuts and whisker trims, then use ControlGX to control the colour of the re-growth until the cycle repeats. This method would probably mean a hair/whisker dyeing every six to eight weeks, rather than monthly. Using ControlGX in between is no different, really, than shampooing.

Of course, there are two even easier options: First, is to get one’s hair professionally dyed. But, for me, I feel that considering how little hair we’re talking about, that’s not good value for money.

The most obvious alternative of all is to not dye my hair. I’m not quite there yet, though in a couple years maybe I will be. Maybe not. Until then, I have a method that reduces the number of times I have to dye my hair and whiskers, and when I do, I can maintain it with similar methods to what I do, anyway.

For now, I consider that a win.

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