Is it possible to get my hair back to my natural red colour?

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I currently have a very visible amount of re-growth on my naturally red hair which is currently dyed dark brown.

Would I be able to get my hair dyed back to my original red or will it not have any effect due to the brown dye?

If it is possible for me to go red again, which red do I opt for as I don’t have an orange based red; it’s more a darkish orange red?

Alicia, Australia 

If you want to go back to your natural colour I wouldn't attempt this at home. Attempting to put a dark natural red on top of the already dark brown tinted hair will do nothing to it. But it will affect your natural root colour.

The dark brown artificial pigments first need to be removed from the hair, which is a long process, then a colour closely matching your natural shade needs to be applied to even out the tone.

Go have a consultation with a colourist who is skilled in colour change. They will be able to give you a realistic idea of what the best plan on action is.

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

Hi Alicia,

This is a simple problem to fix. You just need to go to a professional hair salon for a consultation and ask for a colour change; they will cleanse out the brown and match the final tone to your natural colour.

Hope this helps,

Zara Garnett, Senior Stylist & Colourist, SWH Team at Simon Webster Hair, Brighton

Hi Alicia

I Love natural red hair! My answer depends on how long your roots are and how long your hair is. To copy your natural red hair with a dye is not an easy task as several applications will be necessary, but it is passable as long you have a really good colouring expert near you. Do not try this at home; it could turn into a disaster and a tearful situation!

Not seeing your red it is difficult to be accurate with advising you on which exact shade of red to use. That is why you must go to a good salon where they have a creative colourist who can choose the red shade needed for you. However on the sound of your question your red seems to be in the copper shade colour family - most probably a medium to dark copper.

There are various techniques a good colourist can use to achieve a good red colour balance on your hair.  

One technique is highlighting the dark hair to match your root colour. This can look absolutely amazing with various colours of copper and gold highlights. Highlighting would be my choice; it is less intrusive and less damaging to your hair structure if done professionally by a creative colourist!

The other choice is an all over colour. This would mean lifting the ends first, then the middle section and lastly the hair closest to your red roots. The lifting would be done with a light bleach to achieve an all over golden/orange blonde, which must be even from the red roots to the end of your hair. After washing and drying the hair the colourist should choose a red shade that matches your natural red roots (the roots must not be lifted or coloured).

Reading your message it sounds to me the choice of red would be in the copper family, the shade will be left to your colourist to match the red roots. It is passable that after a few shampoos you will need to re-colour your hair, depending on the porosity of your hair.

Whichever way you decide to have your hair coloured make sure you keep it out of the sun and chlorine as these will both strip your colour! I can imagine how amazing your red hair can look, if done by a professional colourist.

Good Luck,

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester

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