I'm trying to bleach my hair blonde but it keeps going red?

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I had my hair stripped by a salon as I wanted go blonde after I had a few different hair colours over the last 18 months. For the last few months I have been using Nutrisse Ultra Colour 5.62 vibrant red, however when the hairdresser put bleach on to my hair it started to go back to the red colour.

She tried many different blonde tones but each time the same result, so she had to use a five minute all over colour in brown, however I can still see the red tones in my hair. 

Thank you,

Anon, Wales


Thank you for your question, unfortunately due to using red based colours for a length of time it becomes very hard to remove as red is the opposite of ash and is very difficult to shift. It will therefore take time and numerous attempts to get rid of the red shade in your hair. Depending what the condition of your hair is in, it may need to grow out or maybe you need to have regular cuts until the red is cut out.

I would not advise you to over-lighten your hair as this eventually could lead to extreme damage. I would recommend for you to try a toning shampoo that you can use on a daily basis which will help neutralise the "warm" red tones. Try using L’Oreal Professional Silver Shampoo, we use this regularly in the salon and retail it to our clients to help keep highlights looking fresh and bright, it also helps reduce the red in hair over a period of time and will not cause any damage.

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Greater Manchester

I have to be honest here and say that you might have to wait a while before you attempt to get your hair to a blonde of any colour. If you have been using a red colour over and over it sounds as if you have got "cuticle stain". This is when the outer layers of the hair shaft get artificial pigments trapped in them from overlapping dye and cannot be removed easily if at all, even with bleaching. This red pigment will remain in the hair even if you attempt to cover it with brown shades. 

I don't agree with the hairdresser saying the colour having "salts" in it as that particular manufacturer doesn't use that type of dye stuff, these metallic salts of which they speak of is normally present in progressive hair dyes that men use to "restore their hair to its natural shade".

So what can you do? I would say that if you can refrain from colouring your hair for a while and then have good a hair cut to remove as much of the old colour as possible this will all make taking it lighter easier in the end.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 

I would always do a strand test in this kind of situation. A strand test is when a strand of hair is cut off in an unseen place and the desired colour is applied to this strand of hair. This ensures there are no surprises if and when your whole head is coloured. I’m not sure if a stripping shampoo would be able to get rid of the red tones - taking the hair darker or trying to neutralise the red would work. The safest way now to lighten your hair is to grow out your colour. Have regular haircuts and treatments and do it slowly. It sounds like it will be the safest option for your hair as I wouldn’t want to risk any other problems.

Faye Turner, HOB Salons’ Creative Colour Director 

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