Can I put half a head of highlights over a colour that has gone wrong?

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HI Hair Doctors,

I used to have mousy coloured hair which I dyed red, then dark brown. I then got this stripped and it's kind of gone a gingery colour.

I would now like half a head of blonde highlights done, will my hair go more gingery and will the colour change when I go in the sun abroad this summer?

Thanks for your help,

Anon, UK

Having highlights should not make your hair look anymore gingery or warm than it is at the moment, as long as the correct products are used. I would go have a strand test done with your hairdresser to check whether the hair is ok to lighten further as by the sounds of it has had quite a lot of colour treatments already. If the hair lightens sufficiently without too much damage then It should be fine to go ahead and book your appointment.

If the warmth and "gingerness" is a concern then ask to have it a cool blonde and maybe a few cool tones similar to your natural colour woven through, this should minimise the warm colour that you are not so keen on.

As for holidays in the sunshine, this usually changes everyone’s hair, no more so than if your hair has been coloured. The heat from the sun warms up the oxygen in the air around us, which then lifts the hair lighter. Now it is not as strong as the chemicals that we use in the salon, but over time and if you are in and out of salt or chlorinated water you will notice that the hair will lighten.

Use a good sun hair care regime of shampoo, conditioner and possibly a spray with sun filters in to minimise the damage. I like Kerastase Soleil for their sun care range.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 

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