I tried getting my hair back to a light brown but it's gone ginger, what do I do now?

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When I was younger I had light brown hair but as I got older I wanted it dark so have been dying my hair dark for about five years. I recently wanted to get it back to light brown so my friends and I dyed it light brown using a home kit, which just lightened my roots to a light ginger colour leaving the rest of my hair dark.

 I don't know what to do now? I was thinking of having it stripped in a salon and having a light brown put over top? I really need some advice!

Thank you,

Anon, UK


This has happened as a tint which is lighter than already artificially tinted hair wont be able to make it go lighter. You would need to use a lightening product to do this but I would not recommend that you do this yourself. I would definitely advise you to have this done in a salon. They will, as you said in your question, strip your hair using a lightening product and then will apply a lighter brown on top.

I hope this helps you!

Warm wishes,
Joseph Koniak, Artistic Director of Joseph Koniak and Eleven Hair, London

You unfortunately have done what so many do and that is applying a colour to lighten another colour. Hair dyes cannot lift out artificial colour from the hair. The only product that is capable of doing this is either a colour remover or a bleaching product.

As you have been colouring your hair darker for a few years then I strongly suggest that you go and have a consultation with a colourist who enjoys colour correction work. They will be able to tell you realistically how light they can get your hair without damaging it.

It is a good idea to go armed with pictures of what you like and what you don't like.

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

Hello there,

I strongly suggest you find a colour specialist salon and look for someone with experience. I have many readers who have experienced similar situations after using dark brown hair colour for a long period. The p-Phenylenediamine, or PPD for short, contained in dark colours is difficult to shift - many people also get skin reactions from over use of dark hair colours.

A light brown or dark blonde colour applied by a professional colourist should not be too much of a problem. The ends of your hair will probably need lifting, as long this is done carefully and good conditioning products are used the light brown tint should take well.

However colours do wash out unless the hair is in tip-top condition. Let your colourist recommend a special colour restore shampoo to use at home, and maybe you will need a colour conditioner or treatment to keep your hair cuticles closed. This will keep the new colour locked in and stop it from washing out.

I always encourage my clients to bring pictures of colours and styles they especially like, it is a good way to communicate and leaves out misunderstanding between your stylist/colourist and yourself. Compromises need to be accepted at times depending on your hair structure and facial features, skin tone etc.

I do hope that my advice will help you and good luck with your new colour.

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester

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