I had a major colour change on my hair and now every time I wash it the water runs green!

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I recently had my hair dyed a few shades lighter than my natural colour, which is very dark brown, and after a couple of months decided I was done with colours, and roots, and wanted to go back to my natural colour.

Now when it was dyed light the technician said the colour didn't take to my hair and without my permission she put bleach on it to lift the colour. Obviously at this point she was already rubbing hard at my head with the bleach so I couldn't stop her even though I said I never want my hair bleached!

The end result was a lovely and very light blonde, so obviously my roots were horrendous over time. 2-3 weeks ago I went back to the salon as I wanted to go back to my natural colour. After they dyed it they put a toner in to hide the lighter bits as the technician said some will still come through. I left the salon with my hair back to its dark brown/black self.

I wash my hair every three days, always have. But every time I do I spend about ten minutes washing green out of my hair! This has never happened to me with a salon colouring and it’s still running green today. I am so annoyed as they charge £60 for the colour alone and its already gone out of my hair - I can see the old colour and my roots and it’s like I never had it dyed.

This was a permanent colour they used? Is this normal? Was this because of the bleach? I don’t know why this is happening as it has never happened to me before! I've been having my hair coloured since I was 15, I’m now 21.

I had a tiny run of colour in my first wash but I’ve washed it near ten times now and it’s still turning the water and my hands green. Is this the technician and a bad job?

Please help!

Anon, UK

This problem you seem to be having with your colour is more than likely down to the porosity of your hair. If you went from dark brown to a light blonde colour that is a lot more than a few shades lighter and the technician would need to use a lightening product like bleach or high lift tint.

When we lighten hair, the product opens the cuticle, the outer tile like layer of the hair, and then the bleaching agents can lift out your dark natural pigments. After, lightened hair is permanently changed and will be a lot more porous, so will absorb subsequent colours unevenly and also fade much quicker.

To take your hair back to its natural depth the colourist should have pre-pigmented your hair first and then applied the dark shade over the top. If it has faded over a number of weeks then that is normal (due to the hair being porous from the bleach) and you need to go back and have the dark shade applied again.

The reason for the shampoo turning green is that the pigments are released and just end up in the lather.

Drastic colour changes should always be thought about and also the maintenance afterwards is important to understand. 

John Clark, Head of Colour at Brooks+Brooks, London 

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