The last few times I have had my hair coloured I have been left with orange tones, why is this?

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For a long time now I have had my hair coloured blonde but I am never happy with the result. My hair is naturally light brown and I was getting it coloured with Wella Colour Touch 7.7 with blonde highlights. The colour was lovely at first but on the third time of colouring the semi-permanent colour was giving of orange tones in the sunlight. I decided I should go for a more natural colour, so a family member who is a hairdresser put a 7.3.1 semi-permanent all over which looked ok, but after two weeks faded back to blonde with an orange tone.

From past experiences I’ve had a 6 Wella semi-permanent colour and this does not show orange but is very dark! Also I’ve had so many disasters (all in salons) I feel physically sick getting my hair done! I can’t drink or eat anything before I go in, and the next day after I’ve had it done I feel achy like I’ve ran a marathon.

Most people say ‘just don’t get your hair done’ but I want a natural colour like a light ash brown so it does not need much maintenance. Another problem is I have the odd grey hair coming through as well as naturally curly hair so straightening is something I often do.

Can you give me some advice on which colour is best to choose and what the best route for me to go down will be?

Thank you so much xx

Anon, Scotland


Thank you for your question. I think your best option would be to seek professional advice from a highly trained colour technician. The best way to do this is to go into a salon which specialises in colour. It is obviously very difficult to give you the absolute best option when we cannot see your hair.

If you are too worried to go into the salon and only want to do this service yourself then I suggest that you use an ash tint. The ash will cancel out the gold/orange tones. When your family member used the 7.31 it contains gold. This means that it would have enhanced the warm tinge that you already have in your hair.

If you would like to make the colour a light ash brown you will need to use a 5.1. I am not too sure if you would be happy to use this colour though as you thought a 6 was too dark. The 6 is actually a dark blonde base colour, so I think to put a light brown on the hair would shock you a fair bit. Maybe stick to the 6.1 which is a dark ash blonde.

Joseph Koniak, Artistic Director of Joseph Koniak and Eleven Hair, London  

Having your hair done should be an enjoyable experience and the fact that you get so anxious beforehand is worrying. I would be inclined to agree that if you find it such an ordeal then is it worth actually going at all?

As for your colour dilemma, and looking at the history of your hair, I can see that the old colours used all contained warmth (apart from the Wella 6) 7.7 is a brunette toned shade and 7.3 is a golden tone. These when applied to light brown hair will enhance your hairs natural warm tones and will then over time fade to a brassy hue.

If a level 6 is too dark, then maybe a colour on a level 7 with an ash tone is a good idea to try, this will be cooler than you have had before but also not too dark.

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

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