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Scottsdale’s corrective color expert’s tips on fixing bad hair color.
Changing your hair color is fun. Sometimes so much fun we get carried away. Whether it’s an idea that doesn’t work out as great as it sounded, or a miscommunication, or just plain old bad work, bad hair color is a distressing experience.
Luckily, most hair color problems can be corrected by the right colorist. As long as the hair is in reasonable shape, we can usually get you to a beautiful color in as quick as one visit. Hair color challenges fall into four main categories, each with a specific remedy. Here is an overview to help take the mystery out of color correction.
Color is too dark
Happens a lot, especially with the “box” color at home, or when you ask your stylist for “just a little darker”. When letting it lighten up on its own isn’t an option, there are several methods of getting back into the light.
My favorite choice is a color reducer. Not all salons do them, but I find they are the best choice when you want to prevent further damage and maintenance problems. Color reducers break down the fake color without lifting natural color, making it the perfect choice for a slight correction or removing ashy tint or low lights, all without damage.
If its too dark for a color reducer, the hair can be lifted with lightener or highlighted. Remember, hair color doesn’t lift artificial color, so if a stylist suggests putting a lighter color on the hair to take out a darker one, run.
Color is too light
This one sounds deceptively easy. Sometimes it is a s easy as just putting a darker shade over it. If it’s lifted past a certain point, or if the hair is very porous, it will have to be filled. Think of filling like a primer- it prepares the hair for the desired color by replacing missing color and equalizing the porosity. It takes an experienced colorist to choose the appropriate filler, but the final result will be prettier and more durable.
Another option is adding low lights. Darker tones are painted or foiled into the hair to create depth and dimension. This creates a more interesting and natural feel to the color.
Color is too red
For shades that aren’t too blonde, this one is easy. We simply apply a cooler tone over the hair. For as much as guests freak out about unwanted red, this is a quick one to remedy.
With blondes, it gets tricky. If the hair is red or orange from not being lightened enough, it will have to be lifted more to get to blonde. Remember, you can’t tone orange to blond. It will either still be orange, or it will end up dark. We will probably lift it with highlights or sometimes all over to get past the gold, and then work to the color we want.
Color is ashy
Also fairly simple. A little ashy, we just add some warm tone to fix it. A lot ashy, and we will use a color reducer to take it out and recolor the hair. Ashy color is caused by an excess of blue color in the formula, so it’s just a matter of balance.
You can prevent hair color issues by making sure you are working with an experienced colorist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be specific about the result you’re looking for. If your colorist tells you a color or technique is a bad idea, I would probably listen to them, or get a second opinion. Remember hair can only take so much, so think carefully about going back and forth between dark and light too often.
If you have a hair color dilemma, give us a call. Chances are we can have you looking great again in no time.