View Full Version : Natural Hair Color Banding

January 13th, 2014, 09:19 AM
Weird thing...

Last night I was searching for grey hairs (I'm only 25, but already my younger sisters/cousins have them) and came across something really strange.
I have been growing out my natural color for about 8 months after years of bleach/dye. As my hair is only shoulder length, a good majority of my length is now virgin.

Anyways, while looking for these grey hairs (which I'm strangely excited about getting), I found a strand or two that had some sort of weird color banding going on.
Occurring too close to my scalp to be the remnants of dye, a few of my typically level 5 chestnut-y brown strands were striped with bands of a much lighter (and more golden) color. There were about three bands of color, close to the root, each between <0.25" and 0.5" in length.
Throughout my hair, and especially near my hairline, I do have lighter stands mixed in but they are all solid in color. I have seen hair banded with grey before on the heads of other individuals, but never anything like this.

I searched the internet to no avail and was wondering if anyone else on here had ever seen or experienced anything like this. Also...the cause? Products, stress, nutrient intake, something else? Is this just the strand starting to loose color and go grey? In my search, I did not come across any grey hairs.

I really wish that I had a microscope to look at these strands more closely or could at least photograph the occurrence for you all.

January 13th, 2014, 10:33 AM
I do get hairs that seem to have changed color (lighter to darker, or darker to lighter, or redder/less red) and back, but I don't know the cause. Perhaps someone who knows something about the physiology of hair color will chime in. I wonder if it's something as simple as some parts of my head getting more sun than others, so the hairs on those parts are more likely to lighten?

I have also found bands of grey/white, surrounded by normal color, that (assuming 1/2 inch of growth a month) correspond well to when I was very sick.

January 13th, 2014, 12:32 PM
When I've closely examined banded hairs, I discovered that the lighter colored bands were a split right in the middle of the hair shaft, like the eye of a needle. Do you use heat styling?

January 13th, 2014, 01:25 PM
Hair is funny stuff, it varies from strand to strand, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out some people have hair that color bands like yours does.

January 13th, 2014, 02:21 PM
Spidermom: Really only an occasional (twice a month or so) blow dry. Flat or curling irons.
I really hope that that isn't the cause in my case.

January 13th, 2014, 02:24 PM
I was going to suggest that you're just agouti, but that's no help. 8-D

January 13th, 2014, 02:37 PM
My color can vary along the length of a strand, but it sounds like your color changes are a lot less gradual than mine. Think shading from a level 3 or so brown on up to varying shades of blond and vice versa over 30+ inches. Or tonal shifts from ash brown to chestnut or auburn brown. Also, I have that really changeable blondish/brownish/reddish sort of ash brown hair that will get natural highlights if you look at it funny. My natural melanin just isn't a really stable molecule and almost anything can get it to do some new color.

(this is not to say the color changes you're seeing are impossible... there are plenty of animals whose hairs naturally have color changes along the length of the shaft. and it's not unusual to see an animal with a "pied" or "spotted" coat. on a human, that sort of coloration is rarer, because we don't breed ourselves for fancy colors. but that doesn't mean a really variable natural color that's a bit spotty or stripy is wrong...)

For my fine hair, any amount of heat styling is too much. Blow dryers and curling irons leave me with masses of splits, and the last time I used a dryer it took me about 2 years to get my hair back to a comfortable level of splits. Obviously, mileage varies on this! Plenty of people have sturdier hair than me. So depending on the exact look you want and your own personal head of hair and routine preferences, you may find no heat is the right way, or you may find you prefer a heat styled look.

January 13th, 2014, 02:39 PM
I was going to suggest that you're just agouti, but that's no help. 8-D

Ha! That's a fun idea.