Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Red Hair Pigments

Q: I am 48, with hardly any grey hair, though it's starting to appear at the edges. I had my hair dyed approx. 3 yrs ago - my original hair color is a dark blond which colors lighter blond in summer, my hair turned a reddish color after the first dye. I went back and they colored it again - only it turned red again just a little lighter. They colored it again and it still was red. I tried my luck with another hairdresser and explained my problem - he dyed the hair again saying he would get rid of the red and it just turned out to have another red tint. I was about 1.5 yrs further.
I stopped dying my hair and had no faith in hairdressers anymore - I decided to let my hair grow and see what it looked like. Now after another 1.5 yrs my hair was growing back its natural dark blond. I went to have it cut and asked about coloring - again another hairdresser's. They said they could dye it and it would certainly not color red. Result: a slightly lighter coloration to my hair and it IS tinted red again!
Has this got anything to do with my own hair pigments (this is the explanation the hairdresser gave me) or has it got to do with the hairdressers, or am I color blind? Please help me soon - I am desperate and I need some good solid professional information on this matter.

A: One thing you fail to mention is the desired color you are trying to achieve. The problem you are having is most likely related not only to the pigments you have in your hair naturally, but also their interaction with the pigments in the hair color formulas being applied.
It is most likely that your hair's natural base pigmentation is a reddish color, and if the color process you have been having performed is intended to lighten the natural color and then reapply a new color tone, the results you are getting mean that either the lightening portion of the process is revealing more red than expected, or the color being applied is bringing out the natural base tone of your hair. What you need is a stylist who is versed in color correction.
Once your hair has been lightened to the appropriate lightness level, if there is any redness to be dealt with, it can be countered by the application of a lighter shade of haircolor with a green or "drab" base color. Generally speaking, this is not usually a difficult process to understand (it falls under the heading of "Haircolor Theory 101").
It is, however, often a difficult process to master, and often the best stylist/colorists at working with color corrections have a "knack" for making the right choices to fix a color issue. Many choose to think of it as an art, where you can learn the basics, but to be really good at it, you need talent.
My best advice to you is to do some research on hair salons in your area and find those individuals who are best in reputation for working with haircolor. Talk to friends, neighbors and family members to see who they see for haircolor (if anyone) and who they would recommend. You might also look for cosmetology schools in your area and contact them to see if they take outside clients. Yes, you would be dealing with a student performing the service, but they are closely monitored by the instructors who might like the idea of being able to demonstrate a color correction service to the students. The services are generally discounted as well.
{Note: Some schools will not take clients who need corrective procedures. However, at the very least you might be able to speak to an instructor and ask him or her for a recommendation of former students who had special interest and talent in performing color services. Many school instructors keep in touch with their best students and are a resource for referrals to quality stylists.}