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    Hair Color At Home Is Too Dark

    Hair Color At Home Is Too Dark

    The Smart Girl’s Guide to What to do When Hair Color At Home Is Too Dark

    It can happen to the best of us–after following all the instructions and applying it carefully, the results of your hair color at home is too dark. This is a common occurrence, but it can be fixed. Following are a few tips for color correction to help you achieve the shade you really wanted.

    Shampoo Your Hair–Right Away!

    Most hair color manufacturers recommend waiting a day or two after coloring your hair before shampooing, thus giving the pigments an opportunity to really affix to the hair. But if you notice immediately that the semi-permanent or demi-permanent color you’ve applied is far darker than you desired, it’s best to wash the hair as quickly as possible (in an effort to fade the color a bit).

    Clarifying shampoos, which are specially formulated to remove excess buildup on the hair, are especially effective in situations like this. Simply lather the hair with the clarifying shampoo of your choice, then allow the shampoo to sit on the hair for about 10-15 minutes before washing. Be sure, though, to condition the hair well after using clarifying shampoos.

    Oxidative Hair Color Removers

    Effective when used to fade permanent hair color, oxidative hair color removers are formulated to shrink the pigments small enough that they can simply be washed away. Permanent hair color uses oxidative dyes; thus, these oxidative hair color removers operate via a process known as “reverse oxidation.”

    To use, simply apply the oxidative hair color remover in the same manner that you would apply an allover hair color. Leave the product on the hair for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it out and following with regular shampoo. Oxidative hair color can be drying, so be sure to condition the hair.

    It’s important to remember, though, when using oxidative hair color removers, that the product only removes the artificial color that was deposited onto the hair. In other words, your hair will not go back to its original color, but will return to the color it was right before the artificial pigment was applied. This is okay, because you will simply apply the permanent color shade you really want.

    Contact The Hair Color Manufacturer

    Each of the major hair color manufacturers, operates a consumer hotline, accepting literally thousands of calls from consumers with similar hair color mishaps. The person on the other end of the line is a hair color specialist who can often help guide you in the right direction; however, you should be prepared to explain to the specialist how much hair color is still present on the hair. (Note: The hair grows approximately one-half inch, on average, each month). Also, be aware that he or she will likely ask if you performed the highly recommended strand test prior to the application of color.

    The hotline numbers are as follows:

    Clairol — 800-223-5800

    L’Oreal — 800-631-7358

    Revlon — 800-4Revlon

    Using a Shampoo-Bleach Cocktail

    A shampoo-bleach cocktail is one of the most effective methods for lifting hair color, but it is also the most challenging. Simply combine one package of bleach to 2 ounces of shampoo. If you have long hair, you may need to add a bit of water. Work the cocktail through to the ends of the hair, watching carefully as the old pigment is removed and the hair turns lighter. Wash the cocktail out completely when the color appears to have lifted.

    Preventing Challenges In The Future

    It’s important to remember that hair color is, at its core, the reflection of light off the pigments on the hair shaft. Taking the time to really read and understand the hair color chart can really be helpful in achieving the desired result–the first time. It can also help to prevent the application of color formulas that perhaps lack the warmth needed to prevent ashy, drab or darker tones than you intended.

    Always stay within one to two shades of your original hair color, and consult your highly-trained, professional colorist who can help you achieve the color you want with the least amount of damage. Your professional hair colorist is also your best option for color correction help.

    Barb Quinn on Google+  



    1. Pam,
      You can always try on some wigs for effect.
      Suggestions include, whitening your white; auburn; brown with/honey blonde highlights.

      Comment by Barb Quinn — January 8, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    2. Light skin, blue green eyes. Need a home hair color with some contrast as I am petite…….born with honey blond, now white.

      Comment by Pam — January 4, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

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