If I dye previously red hair brown will it turn black?

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Hi,

My granddaughter is half Asian and has natural brown hair which she dyed red some months ago, but now it’s grown out and is going orange at the ends.

She wants to go back to her natural brown colour but doesn’t know which brown hair dye to use as some of her friends went red and dyed it back to brown but it looks black - she doesn’t want this to happen.

Please help!

Carol, Jersey

As you can expect there are many shades of brown and choosing the right one is not as simple as looking at the picture of the girl on the front of the box. Also the names are misleading, dark brown often is not at all and would appear to most as natural black. Dark blonde when applied can come out light brown, so you can see it can be tricky for a non-hairdresser to choose.

Artificial hair colours come in levels of which a number is assigned, 1 being black through to 10 being super platinum blonde. We all fall on the spectrum and we have to assess which shade matches closely as possible to the natural colour.

If you want to get this right the first time then I would go and visit a colourist who knows their colour correction work well and get their opinion. They would be able to assess whether it is a simple job of just applying the correct shade of brown onto the hair and that's it, or whether the hair needs to be gently cleansed of the red pigments remaining first then coloured brunette.

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

I would strongly recommend having the colour done professionally and only use a mid-brown shade. When people do these jobs at home, nine times out of ten they always go wrong.

Firstly there is an issue of balancing the colour of the root area to the ends, which may require two different colours to achieve the end result. Secondly the general public usually sees colour depths differently than professional colourists do. For instance people think their hair is black when in fact they are more likely to be a dark brown and so on. So an expert’s opinion and eye is absolutely needed in this case!

I hope that helps you and again as always I would advise using the Good Salon Guide to locate a reputable salon near you and check out online reviews before making your choice.

Good luck.

Simon Daniel, Salon Director of Belle Toujours, Cardiff

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