Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Faded Red Hair Color

Q: Hi, I colored my hair intense red no.6.66 five months ago and the color has faded drastically. The shade went to a coppery brown. I decided to go back to my natural color (dirty blonde) so a friend (hairdresser) said to put a light natural brown on my hair to lighten it and tone down the copper. It made no difference. How can I get my blonde hair back? The hairdressers in my area don't offer expert colorists - just stylists - so I'm going to have to do this myself. Once I have my natural color back I want to take it lighter, to say, Nordic blonde. Please, can you help? This coppery color looks awful on me. Thanks.
A: If it is your intention to undertake this endeavor on your own, I want to make sure you are prepared to try and avoid damaging your hair as much as possible.
The first thing you need to do is take a good look at the condition of your hair. If there is any sign of damage (dryness, frizziness, etc.) you need to make sure to treat these conditions first. Even if your hair looks healthy, it is a good idea to give the hair a deep-conditioning treatment. You can find a moisture-intensive conditioning cream made by a variety of manufacturers. Choose the one you like best, apply it to damp hair and cover with a plastic cap. Leave this conditioner on the hair for 20 minutes and warm the hair using a hair dryer (a bonnet dryer works best) or heated towels (you can heat them in your clothes dryer). Afterward, rinse the hair with lukewarm water, finishing the rinse with cool water.
The next step is removing the current color from the hair. Visit your nearest beauty supply store and look for "permanent haircolor remover". There are a few different brands to choose from, select the one you like best. You should read the directions for the haircolor remover carefully and follow them closely. Used properly, the haircolor remover will strip away the permanent color you have on your hair (and will usually strip away some of the natural color as well). Most users of these products report that their hair is left a beige-looking color and is definitely in need of additional coloring to make it look good.
Between the color removal stage and the final coloring stage, you want to be sure to condition the hair again.
You will probably have selected your new haircolor (you can select a color that closely matches your natural color or go directly to the Nordic blonde color) at the same time as you purchased the color remover. I recommend that you select a 30-volume peroxide developer to use with the new color choice if you opted for your natural color (40-volume peroxide developer if you are going for the Nordic blonde). Apply the haircolor mixture to clean, dry hair, and be sure to cover the hair with a cap while the color processes and heat the hair with a dryer (again, a bonnet dryer works best).
This should get you the color results you are looking for. By stripping away the old haircolor first, you should be able to avoid any unfortunate color results. If you do encounter any problems (most likely a grayish or greenish cast to the new color finish) you can correct them using a corrective mixture.
(For the gray/green cast, use a level 8 or higher haircolor with a red or red-orange base color, 10-volume peroxide and your favorite hair conditioner. Combine 1 ounce of haircolor, 1 ounce of developer and 2 ounces of conditioner, mix well and apply it to the hair, leaving it on for 20 minutes. This should remove any unfortunate color results.)
I wish you the very best. Please let me know if I can advise you further.
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