I went from blonde to red to brown and now my hair is a complete mess, help!!

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I had my hair a lovely light blonde colour (in a bob) and decided to go red. The blonde part of my part didn't take to the colour very well whereas the root was very red. This looked a bit dreadful so I had a semi-permanent brown put over it.

Now it's a bit of a mess with red, blonde and brown. The semi-permanent dye fades pretty quickly every time I get it coloured. I have had my hair done in a long crop with the intention of growing it all out but I don't think I'll manage it, it looks dire as it is.

My current, very cheap, salon say that I cannot have it done my natural colour, dark blonde. Will another salon lift it to my natural colour and how long will this take? And do I HAVE to go through that dodgy orange phase??

My hair is in very good condition and short.


Anon, UK

It may be beneficial for you to go and have a consultation with a confident colourist who enjoys technical work. Hunt around and ask people with nice hair where they go.

If your hair is in good condition then you may be able to head towards your natural colour, however it will be more than likely that it will go through stages that you won't be a 100% comfortable with.

When you lift artificial pigment out of hair that has been coloured it will never go back to your natural shade (as the colour has changed internally) so after this process it will need to be gently coloured to try and match your natural shade as close as possible. Also because colouring hair makes it porous, it will fade and you must be prepared to maintain your shade until your natural colour grows through and you can have the dyed hair cut off.

It will take a little patience to achieve the colour you want, but anything worth having is worth the wait I say!

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


You say your hair is in good condition and is short, this should not be a problem to re-colour your hair, unfortunately red is a hard colour to get out! 

I suggest you find a good salon in your area and let a professional colour your hair back to the colour you desire. If you where happy with your blonde hair then maybe consider going back to blonde. This will entail using bleach, which is the only way you will be able to lift the red out.

It is possible that some of the ends will go dry, which since you have short hair already could be cut off. Spring is on the way, a new you is a great Idea this time of the year, afterall blondes do have more fun!


Pierre Alexandre Manchester of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester

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