Even after my highlights, I am still left with bad regrowth. Why is this?

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I am in my thirties and have been having my mousy brown hair highlighted since I was a late teen. When I was younger I was very blonde, but became darker as I aged. Due to my very pale skin, I only seem to suit blonde hair, despite trying on occasions to be dark.

The trouble is I now seem to have colour build up and the roots seem to come in very quickly, and are particularly bad at the back of my hair line whilst wearing my hair-up (there’s a definite line), which I have to do for work all the time.

My hairdresser is very good at achieving the fine highlights I ask for and also adds some dark ash, as well as the high-lift bleach. But if anything I feel that the dark creates a worse regrowth effect. I appreciate that highlighting is an up keep, and one I am happy to do every five to six weeks, but at the moment I have a look of regrowth right from leaving the salon.

What should I ask for to give me the most natural look and to help solve this problem?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Anna, Southampton

Hi there.

This is a very common problem when the hair has a build up of colour. I would recommend asking for fewer highlights softly blended into a base colour.

If you have a few weaves placed throughout the head with the focus of lighter highlights around the hairline and parting (where hair would naturally be lighter due to sun exposure), then have a Demi-permanent colour placed on the remaining hair as close as possible to your natural colour, this will soften the regrowth and assist in toning down the build up of lights.

The stylist will have to do this as a corrective colour by filling the hair with a pre-colour or warmer shade to stop the hair becoming too cool due to build up, which in turn has made the ends more porous.

Following this, the colour process should be as simple as a colour and foils instead of the usual full head foils you have been used to.

Please ensure you have a colour patch test prior to service, as this is a colour change and you are not used to a colour being applied to the scalp area.

I hope this helps.

Simon Daniel, Salon Director of Belle Toujours, Cardiff

Hi Anna,

I understand what has happened here. Over the period of time you have been having your highlights done, the colour has built up with more and more blonde, giving you a block colour effect that is now leaving you with a harder line of regrowth, which needs to be coloured more often.

This is because the colour in between your new foils is blonde and not your natural colour. So what I would suggest to get this back is to apply the foils as previous, but with the hair in between the foils, gloss these back to your natural colour. This will break up the regrowth and overall colour so you can see more definition. 


Leah Butler, Owner of Leah Durrant Hair Salon, Chertsey

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