Q: About a month ago I home bleached my hair and it turned a lovely orange colour! I tried to bleach it again to lift the
colour further but never achieved the result I wanted. I have just put a semi-permanent brown on it and it looks fine but is fading
very fast. How often can I safely use semi-permanent hair dye and what shade am I best using because the one I have now appears
reddish in appearance and I don't really like it!
A: The reason the semi-permanent color is fading faster than expected is because the repeated bleaching of your hair has left it
porous. This means that as part of the bleaching process, the cuticle layer of your hair has been lifted, allowing moisture (and the
color particles of the semi-permanent color) to pass into and out of the hair shaft easily. I would be willing to bet that without
conditioning your hair it feels rough and straw-like when it is dry.
The good news is that because semi-permanent hair color is deposit-only, you can feel safe about
using it as often as necessary. But to help prolong the hair color, I suggest getting a good moisture-rich conditioner and giving your
hair deep-conditioning treatments. If you visit your local beauty supply store, you will find conditioners that are designed for use
after coloring to prolong the color results. Conditioning the hair will help to smooth the cuticle layer and lock in the color, so
that it will last longer. You can also use anti-frizz/smoothing serum to further seal the cuticle layer and keep the hair smooth and shiny.
As for the choice of hair color to use, you should first know that the reason your hair turned orange
when bleached was because your hair’s base color is orange. The bleaching process lifted the contributing pigments that made up your
hair’s natural color revealing the most prevalent color – orange. You need to keep this color in mind when you select the
semi-permanent color, because using a semi-permanent color that has an orange base would exacerbate the orange color, and shades
with red bases will be exaggerated as well. If you want to counter the over-abundance of orange in your hair, you need to use a hair
color with a complementary base color. In your case, this would be blue. I suggest you look for a color in the “ash” family in a
shade you like and try it. You will find that it neutralizes the orange in your hair and leaves you with a natural-looking color.