After a disaster with bleach how can I get my hair to an ash brown colour?

Hello, I'm hoping you could help me!

My natural colour was a medium/ash brown and I have dyed it dark brown many times since. Then I decided to bleach it and ended up with a total hair disaster with my roots turning white, and the rest of my hair bright orange.

The hairdressers managed to fix it, dying it one colour, which was a light orange brown colour and then dying it a darker brown over the top. I've since used semi-permanent dyes to stop it from fading back to the orange colour underneath.

But what I am asking is whether I could go to a professional hairdresser and get it lightened to ash brown somehow, as that was what I was trying to do with the bleach in the first place.

Would this be possible given my hair history or would it look an orange mess again?

Thank you,

Chloe, Scunthorpe

I’m afraid that your previous colour history will affect what you can and cannot do now. By having a pre-lightener underneath the light warm brown, the condition of your hair will be a concern. Warm colours are also difficult to remove, as colours such as red like to stay embedded in the hair. I would suggest having an in depth consultation with a technician and perhaps ask for a strand test to check how your hair will react if they try to lighten it again. It may be best to gradually change the colour over time until you achieve your desired shade. This could well be the best way to maintain good condition but again; a good colour technician would be able to give you an in depth consultation and advise you even more.

Faye Turner, HOB Salons’ Creative Colour Director
Ash tones are notoriously stubborn about not wanting to stay in the hair because they are such a delicate tone. Blue pigments which make up 'ash' fade from the hair quickly for many reasons and quite often what is left behind when they leave the hair is orange, or the natural warmth in the hair (which everyone has). It is a gorgeous colour but sometimes the best ash browns are natural and not created by the colourist.

Now hearing about that you have had quite a lot of colour on your hair recently I would say the best thing at the moment is to get it into great condition before having a go at achieving this colour. Bad conditioned hair won't hold any colour well and will just look tired with whatever hue it has.

So firstly you should be good to your hair and just give it a little breather from all the processing, and treat it to lots of TLC.

Colour wise I would not bleach it to achieve the ash brown colour you want because the hair has already had that process and you don't want to damage it. I would have some patience and possibly let it grow out or just go and visit a hair colourist to talk about having ash brown semi permanent colours once your colour has faded somewhat.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London