Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Black Fake Look Hair Color

Q: My hair started turning gray early, so I've been coloring my hair for 15 years. At first it was a natural dark brown, but as I got older, and my hair turned completely gray, I now have to use black just to get my hair to take the color. I hate the black fake look, but don't know how to lighten my hair without having the roots turn red immediately upon coloring, and then fade to gray within a week & half. I also have very thin hair on top. Help!
A: A skilled hair colorist can help you get a natural color result for your hair, in spite of the tendency you describe to "go red" when lightened. (The addition of a toner with a green color base will counter the redness.) If you insist on doing your hair color yourself at home, you can do your own color correction using a light shade of hair color using a color with a green base color (typically level 8 or lighter). Combine the color with 10-volume developer and apply it to the hair after it has been lightened and become reddish.
Your other option is to switch to temporary or semi-permanent hair color while the permanent color grows out. Once the permanent hair color has grown out you can begin from scratch in coloring your hair to the shade you desire. You can find additives to include in your hair color mixtures that will help the color to penetrate the gray hair (which tends to be more resistant to hair color). This will allow you to bypass the need to use black hair color just to get the hair color to take.
Related posts:
Gray hair Q&A
How to color your own hair
Permanent hair color and semi-permanent hair color