I am naturally dark brown in hair colour but have been using permanent hair colour for several years to disguise the grey. I have decided though enough is enough and that I should embrace my natural hair colour; whatever it is!
How do I manage the growing out phase and the inevitable ‘root’ issue?
The growing-out phase is always the most challenging on patience and style. You could opt to cleanse the hair - in some salons they call it a 'bleach bath'. It is a chemical process that strips out some of the colour build-up in the hair, but it also removes some of the natural oils of the hair, so it's important to get a proper consultation beforehand to be sure that your hair is in good enough condition to go through the cleansing process. If your hair is too dry it can result in damage and breakage - so NEVER attempt this at home; it's a professional service only.
You need to remove as much of the red tone as possible to allow a more natural shade to cover without the red showing through. Something like a L'Oreal 5.0 shade should be OK to blend with your natural hair colour, and I'd recommend getting the ends lightened slightly, possibly even to a natural ash, to add some different shades and stop the hair looking like one flat tone.
Failing that, some clients opt to have highlights in a mixture of their natural shade and silver to blend the hair colours through the growing-out phase. This is less stressful for the hair than cleansing and can give you a more subtle change.
Whichever you choose to do, be sure to have a thorough consultation with your colourist prior to any service and possibly request a strand test to be sure your hair is up to cleansing, if that's what you opt for.
Javier Encina-Jones, SWH Team Colourist and Stylist, Simon Webster Hair, Brighton