I've had some unflattering highlights put through my hair, is it too soon for an all over colour?

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Three days ago I went to the hairdressers with a photo of the colour I wanted in my hair, which was a subtle dip-dye of honey blonde on my previously dyed dark blonde/light brown hair.

Instead the hairdresser gave me unflattering blonde highlights which appear streaky and almost white at the roots, and are too thick in places. I'm really unhappy with them and was wondering if it was too soon to dye my hair all over with a dark blonde colour from the shops?

Thank you,

Kate, Colchester

Hi Kate,

If you're not happy with the result from the salon, and it's not what you asked for, I would definitely give them a call with a view to going back and discussing your dissatisfaction with your colourist. Most good salons offer a 7-day guarantee, and so if you're ever unhappy with a cut or a colour, let them know as soon as possible, initially by telephoning and then by a visit for a chat in person.

You shouldn't feel embarrassed by this; all good salons do appreciate that this does occasionally happen, and they would much rather you go back and give them the opportunity to correct it, rather than go elsewhere or attempt a home job. Hopefully they will be able to re-colour your hair to what you originally wanted, and in most cases, this should be done free of charge. If you don't trust the colourist who did your hair, ask to have a chat to the manager or a more senior colourist.

It may be possible to colour over the hair yourself, but of course you run the risk of this not turning out right, and you may then be landing yourself with a very expensive trip to another salon to correct your handiwork!

Good luck!

Michelle Lawley at Royston Blythe

Sorry to hear you are not happy with your hair colour. Before you do anything drastic, think about whether you want to colour this at home or whether you feel comfortable enough to go back to the salon where you had it done and get them to re-colour it for you.

It sounds to me that there was a miss-communication at the consultation stage of the appointment, this I think is often the most important part of a hair colourists job because we need to get this right before we mix up any colours.

If I were you I would be weary of colouring it yourself to a dark blonde level, because if you choose the wrong shade the colour may grab in areas where it is lighter and possibly end up a khaki green over the almost white areas.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London


I’m sorry to hear about your recent colour disaster! As long as your hair is still in good condition, you can dye your hair back after about 48hrs, there is usually some oxidization still going on over this period and so it's always better to leave the hair for a few days afterwards.

However, I would seriously advise going to a professional hairdressers to put a professional semi-permanent on to the hair, rather than a box colour. The reason why is twofold:

  • A qualified hairdresser will be able to do a strand test to ensure the hair will withstand this next chemical process, and..
  • A professional semi-permanent has a peroxide level of aprox 1.5% very low compared to some, which will be infinitely kinder to your hair.

I know in this present climate the ‘off the peg’ colours look tempting price-wise, but you may end up hating that colour as much as you did this one.

(P.S…always patch test 48hrs before using a colour, if using a new brand or salon)

Iain Sallis of The Iain Sallis Trichology clinics

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