18 December 2010

Hair Dye Debacle: How Vinegar Let Me Down

For those who have wondered about whatever happened with that hair-dye stained towel (thank you, Patient Ones), please accept my apologies for my Procrastination.  Part of it was due to necessity.  I had to re-stock hairspray.  Since then, I have tried hairspray and vinegar on separate parts of the stain.  I had not previously washed it, so it had been sitting for over a month in my
project pile, awaiting my attention.  I decided to try each on its own and together.

The vinegar (white distilled, of course) was lightly rubbed on one half of a particularly dark mark.  Slowly, it removed a little of the stain, but not before darkening the color.  Apparently, the vinegar reacted with the chemical makeup of the dye and turned it from a bright hue like the locks of Pippi Longstocking to a deep russet.  To be honest, I do not think it did better than water would have done.  Water would not have changed the dye's color.

The hairspray surprised me.  I sprayed it a couple of times on the other half and likewise lightly rubbed.  Not, a chemist, I cannot tell you why, but it seemed to wipe away the stain with very little effort until it was barely visible.  I was not happy with the results of the vinegar.  So, I sprayed more hairspray on the vinegar-darkened stain and wiped.  It came away! as though I had not previously tampered with it.

I did not treat the remaining soiling with either product.  I tossed it into a normal cycle of laundry with cold water.  When it had finished I did not put it into the dryer.  I examined where the blemish had been and found myself grinning.  It was very nearly invisible!  One would only know it was there by looking for it.  Next month, when I can afford more hairspray, I will treat the remaining marks on the towel and it will look as it did before ever I lent it.  I am disappointed in my Vinegar, but then, a butter knife can only act like a screwdriver and is not itself a screwdriver.  Onward to the Dollar Store, dear Readers, and be sure to have plenty of hairspray when one has the urge to dye the hair.

Note:  The dye on my towel was from a Temporary formula designed to wash out in twenty-four shampoos (though I have never had it wash out so soon), and my towel is cotton.  I do not know how hairspray will work with Permanent dyes.

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