Marilyn Monroe & Kim Novak White HairQ: I recently dyed my hair permanently at home from a light brown to blonde, trying for a Marilyn Monroe or Kim Novak white. What I ended up with is a strange yellow, superhero-like tint that I'm trying to correct. I read in a magazine about "toners" and their ability to correct yellow or orange tints to hair coloring? How do I know what strength to use to avoid destroying my already (now) thrice-dyed-in-two-weeks hair?
A: Well, the harshest part of the hair coloring process is the developer used in the haircolor formula. The stronger the developer is the more it can damage your hair. The fact that your hair ended up such a strong yellow color indicates that your natural color has a gold base color, and likely, the color you used to attempt the transformation had a gold base as well.
What you want to do now is to add a color to neutralize the strong yellow tint. You want a haircolor that has a violet base. Select a color that is color level 8 or lighter with a violet base, and combine it with 10-volume hydrogen peroxide developer. The 10-volume developer offers no lift to the hair's current color and is as gentle as can be hoped for. Combine the haircolor with the developer as directed, and if you are concerned about your hair's condition still, add one ounce of conditioner (your choice) to the mixture before applying it to the hair.
Leave the color mix on the hair for twenty minutes and rinse it thoroughly. This should tone down the yellow in the hair to a more natural-looking blonde.
Both Marilyn Monroe and Kim Novak (one of my favorite actresses, BTW) have very Nordic-looking, platinum blonde hair. Although the hair looks almost white, the color is achieved because it contains a blue, blue-violet, or violet base color.
You may have to try again to lighten the hair a little further before you can achieve a truly "platinum blonde" look, but I suggest you give your hair a little time to recover before attempting to lighten the hair further.
Hair color and coloring
The hair color levels
What does the developer do?
How to use the hair color wheel