What to do when you're over your hair color
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Color is a commitment, especially when you're making a huge jump from your natural hair color (the color growing out of your head) and the shade you want to be. Either way hair color is a process.
There were some nifty science things I was able to learn in Beauty School. One of the most being: "Color doesn't lift color."
This is where most box color situations go wrong....
I'll have a guest that has colored at home (even with Sally's brand hair color) and tried to make their once dark brown / black color turn a lovely shade of red. Or violet. Or even brown-red. (You get the point, something brighter than black!).
What happens is their uncolored hair (the hair at their roots) takes the color beautifully. ** And even with a slight glow** while the mids and ends of their hair remain dark brown/black.
Here both the client and myself are reminded, "Color doesn't lift color."
So what happens when you are tired of a darker shade and hope to transition to something lighter?
The only thing that will make this possible is lightener. This is what we use to lighten artificially colored hair (including box and salon color). Lightener has the ability to eat away old pigments. When this is done in a salon by an experienced stylist, special care is taken with your hair to make sure as little dryness and damage are done.
Coming up with a game plan is something I recommend when you're looking to make a significant shift with your color. As a stylist, I'm excited when my client wants to make a substantial change with their color — and even more excited when they walk in with realistic expectations.
Depending on how long you've been coloring your hair dark, there can be multiple layers of color that have to be worked through before any lightening effect will happen.
Be ready to embrace the warm side
It's on-trend right now for everything to be the lightest and ashiest of tones. Walking in with black and dreaming of GAGA white doesn't happen. Kim K's process takes 2 days, a lot of $$ and pounds of hair extensions.
When removing any dark color, warm tones will be exposed. When working with clients who are not scared of some warmth, warm browns and coppers make a fun and healthy way to transition.
If an overall ashy tone is what you're in search of, realize that at best you will be a light-medium brown. This is not usually a huge color change but is more noticeable in natural sunlight.
Deciding to lighten every hair on your head in one go isn't what I usually recommend. This process puts a lot of stress on your scalp, your hair and your appointment schedule. (Most scalp retouches book every 4 weeks). Instead, I love transitioning my darker client with a more natural technique done in foils such as foilyage, teasylights, and even ombre. (If these are French to you, it's ok).
Plan for the process
Removing hair color is safely done by working slowly and with particular detail. Realize that most appointments are scheduled in a timing block to help you maintain and tweak your current look. When you want to make this process happen, sit down with me so we can plan out
- How many steps it will take to get you to your goal
- How many hours we need to set aside
- What maintenance and cost will look like
Let's talk about your next color change! Schedule a color consultation here.
Jacqueline Weesner is a licensed Hair Color artist of 15 years serving the Western Slopes of Montrose, Colorado. Her hair salon specializes in women's cuts, hair color, highlights, Balayage and the Brazilian Blowout smoothing treatment. Only the best color is used by way of Kevin Murphy PPD-free hair color.