Problem: You’ve begun drying your hair after a color application and you
notice that the color isn’t what you anticipated. In fact, there are tones of an entirely unpleasant color shining through the drier your hair becomes.
Possible Causes: Sometimes, even with the best of efforts, we select a color that isn’t compatible with our current
color. Either there’s too much of the similar contributing pigment, or the contributing pigments combine to make for a less than
pleasant result (such as naturally gold-based [yellow] color combining with blue-based [ash tone] color to give greenish results).
Unfortunate color results often occur when trying to make subtle changes in the hair’s color. If you don’t know the base colorof a
previous color used you can often select a new color with an uncomplimentary color base.
Solutions: The good news is that all but the most drastic haircolor
mistakes can be resolved with a simple color correction. This is the point at which most people who are “do it yourself” types run
to their hairdresser. The stylist will simply sit them down, look at the color results and select a hair color that will neutralize the offending tones.
Generally, the corrective color mix will include a low-strength developer with a conditioner
to prevent stressing the hair any more than necessary. The actual color involved will depend on the offending color tones present: for
green tones, use red based color; for orange tones, use blue based color; for overly yellow/brassy tones, use a violet based color; and vice-versa.
“But it wasn’t this dark on the box!”
Problem: You start to notice something wrong about halfway through the
processing of the color. It looks awfully dark. Sure enough, after processing, rinsing and drying, the hair color is good, but it’s a LOT darker than you expected.
Possible Causes: This generally occurs with deposit-only haircolor. A
person uses a haircolor intending to deepen the natural color by a shade or two, unaware that adding haircolor has a cumulative
effect. The process is similar to mixing instant coffee – the more coffee you add the darker it becomes.
Solution: You can either get a lifting-color formula to lighten the color,
or the next time, use a lighter shade of deposit-only color to avoid making the hair too dark. Most haircolor kits have photos on the
packaging showing the recommended starting colors for the various available shades. These show the starting color and the resulting
color from using the product. Always remember that if your color is darker than that shown on the package, you will end up with a
darker color result using deposit-only color.
So there you have the most common hair coloring problems, the probable causes for each and
solutions to correct and prevent them. Coloring your hair doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but you have to be aware of what can go
wrong and the way other products and styling habits can affect the results you get. Once you understand these simple basics, getting
the color you want becomes much easier. (Or, at least you know why it’s not possible.)