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graying hair care and removing mineral build-up/ brassiness

 
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I need a gray hair consultant!

I'd like to strip the orange mineral build-up out of my hair so it's the same color, root to tip. Then I'd like to be able to keep it that way. I think I need product or technique advice on how to remove the mineral build-up (we have hard well water) AND on the follow-up step of keeping my hair hydrated/healthy enough that the hair shaft doesn't keep sucking up the mineral yuck and getting stained.  I have been enjoying keeping it shoulder length and a bit longer and love my daughter's interest in hair care and fixing my hair. If not for that I'd probably cut my hair short and try to keep it super-hydrated to keep the color natural.

I'm a light-medium blond with plenty of pretty gray coming in. My hair is curly, fine, and varies in texture (unfortunately) from very curly and pretty frizzy in the lowest layers (where it's brown), to looser and softer blond curls on the top. I use shampoo very infrequently (sometimes I'll use a mild "stripping" product but I won't replace it with the same once it's gone) and otherwise about once a week I wash with baking soda, which leaves it feeling very soft and clean but also quite drying. I use conditioners and sometimes coconut oil to smooth.

I put lemon juice on my hair several weeks ago (can't remember if I let it dry in the sun or inside, probably in the sun), washed with my mild stripping shampoo that I don't like much, then followed with a deep "hair mask" conditioner. It was a teeny bit better and felt like too much work for the amount of change. It also didn't last. My preference is always to use natural and household products when possible but if I can do something once and get rid of this orange hair effectively, I'll consider other products. I just want my natural hair color!  
 
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I don't know if it will help your color, but I very occasionally do a vinegar rinse to get rid of hard water build up in my hair.  I don't use anything else in my hair, just water only: no shampoo, conditioner or baking soda.  

I take a little plastic cup into my bath, put in a ratio of about 10:1 water:vinegar and very carefully pour it onto my scalp;  I let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out.  I prefer to do this in the bath as I feel the water fully penetrates all through my hair in the way the shower doesn't.  

I use the cheapest vinegar I can get at the shop which in my case is malt vinegar.  I will add that after a vinegar rinse my hair will feel greasy while I'm running my fingers through it in the bath, but when it dries it feels clean and fluffy, not greasy at all.
 
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When I was a teen all of us blondes would use a lemon juice rinse after shampooing.

We all believed that this would make our hair nice and shiny.

I don't remember the measurement though I would suggest a tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of water.

Best wishes for nice and bright shiny hair.
 
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I'm a natural redhead, with natural curls (3b type). As my hair stayed turning gray, some of it also turned more chestnut colored. Mine is just past waist-length, dry, and halfway down my hips, wet. We're also on hard well water, I mostly just do a plain water wash, but every other week or so, during the winter, I'll use my homemade shampoo bars. In summer, I'm working in the heat, and often with animals, manure, and in the garden, so I get pretty icky, and have to wash it daily, sometimes a couple times per day. In either situation, and those in-between times I always do my final rinse in water as cold as I can stand it, and when I do shampoo, an acid rinse after the cold water rinse helps immensely with the clarity and texture. My hubby despises the vinegar scent, and insists it doesn't dissipate, but that I just get 'nose-blind'. So, instead of vinegar, I use diluted lemon juice - I honestly like it better, too. The less diluted it is, the less frizz I end up with, in the summer, but even in summer, I only use about 1/4 cup of lemon juice to a full quart of water - only a couple tablespoons to a quart, in winter.

Not rinsing it out seems to be the key, in controlling the frizz, and boosting the shine.
 
M Waisman
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Anne and Carla, does the lemon juice actually remove the buildup/staining? You both mention shine.

I went ahead and ordered some chelating shampoo from Malibu C. The ingredients are tolerable and I think it will get me to a good natural color again. They have a hardwater conditioner too.

We made goat milk soap last weekend and I want to make a goat milk shampoo bar. People that use them seem to love them. Maybe I can find a hard water or gray hair recipe with enough digging.
 
Carla Burke
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The acid in the lemon juice clarifies/ remove build-up, balances ph, and if you go out in the sun, afterwards, can bleach it out. I think whether it can remove stains depends on the stain (turmeric is there until it grows out or wears out, for example.
 
Anne Miller
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Vinegar also is a good rinse for folks with darker hair.

I also sometimes make a baking soda rinse by adding some baking soda to some water.

 
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