Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

When To Remove Bleach

Q: My natural hair color is light brown, and I started out getting foil streaks about six years ago. Eventually, I put 8N light blonde hair color over the streaks and began coloring my own roots. I switched to an ash blonde but still got brassy roots after a while. Recently I got tired of the brassy tones and decided to go back to the salons and let the professionals do it.
However, I had a mishap two days ago where an old woman hairdresser at a hair salon who didn't know what she was doing bleached over my already bleached hair even though I told her to only do the roots! She damaged my hair, didn't even touch my dark roots, and I had no choice but to go home and lighten my roots myself. (For damage control, I've been using protein deep conditioner on it, Moroccan tree oil, and (generic) Redken Extreme Anti-Snap.)
My roots look brassy where I did them and the rest was pale, white blonde. I put 8N hair color mixed with 10 volume developer and half water over all of it, and the roots are still brassy. The rest is now a grayish blonde, which I hope will fade/lighten soon. So now I'm stuck with the same brassy roots I was trying to avoid. I've heard beauticians say that these are the result of not leaving the bleach on the hair long enough and that it's easy to panic and wash it off too soon.
How do you know when to remove the bleach? If it's too early, you get brassiness. If it's too late, you could break your hairs off. Also, what should I do in my situation to get my roots the right color? (Yes, I'm trying to get my money back from the salon.) Even if I were to try a med ash blonde on the roots, I’m afraid that eventually it would only turn brassy again.
I want my hair to appear foil streaked close to the root, but I’m unsure how to remedy the color. At this point, I want to avoid breakage, and I’m afraid to damage my hair further after that woman damaged it. The body of the hair is white blonde under the hair color, and therefore shouldn’t be bleached again. Only the roots need brassiness removed. What would a good beautician suggest?

A: A good beautician would suggest that you seek professional help, before you do anything further to your hair on your own. Without being able to see and physically examine your hair personally, I cannot make any realistic determination as to what course of action to take. You need to find a professional cosmetologist who can assess the damage to your hair and devise a course of action to A) prevent further damage, and B) help you achieve the look you want.
I know this may seem like an extra expense, but it will be cheaper in the long run than the total you’ve spent in trying to fix things yourself and will be much less likely to result in irreparable damage.
You need to talk to friends and ask for recommendations for a good stylist/colorist. If you aren’t comfortable with salons you’ve visited before, ask around for references for ones you haven’t visited. Talk to the salon stylist before you book any service and make sure you’re comfortable and that you’ll trust their advice.
After that, listen to their advice and work with them to get your issues resolved. The kind of color services you are discussing (all over color – lightening – with foil streaks) are advanced hair color procedures and not something I would ever advocate attempting by an individual at home. At the very least it would require the aid of a friend, and frankly, is best performed by a professional whose practiced at the processes and techniques, in order to get the best results.
Related posts:
Hair color procedures
How bleaching hair works