Why is there a gold tint in my blonde?

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My problem is that my hairdresser, and previous ones, does not get what I mean by clean blonde, as in no gold whatsoever.

I have just recently had a full head of highlights using two shades of blonde and an all over colour. Although my hair colour is blonde, there is a lot of gold in it.

My question is, do I go back and have a few more foils of really light blonde, or do I ask for a brown to break it up?

I really hope you can help as I am at my wits end. I have tried lots of hairdressers and they all seem to become complacent, even the high end ones.

Thank you so much,

Sharon, UK

Dear Sharon,

I honestly think you have a communication problem with your colourist. The very best way to communicate is with pictures of the blonde you are trying to achieve.

There are many names for different blondes, and I personally have never heard of a clean blonde. I do think I know what you mean by clean though. Most probably you mean ivory blonde, similar to the blonde Claudia Schiffer has. On the image included, this is a light ivory blonde with some very fine light hazelnut lowlights between the ivory colours. 

However, Claudia does change her hair colour often from pearls and ivory to golden tones. What puzzles me is you write you had a full head of highlights using two tones of blonde and an all over colour? Do you mean that after you had your highlights you also had an all over colour on top of the highlights or in between the highlights? There is a massive difference with this.

The whole point of having two, or even three, different tones of highlights is that you should not need an all over colour as well, this is over kill!

Unless you have white/grey roots, then a careful application can be applied to match the colour of the roots only. As I mentioned above the communication between a client and a stylist/colourist is the most important part so that both understand what should to be done to achieve the desired result.

Whenever you are after a new cut, style or colour, I always think the best way to communicate is by pictures. Images leave out the guessing and it will help the client and the hairdresser to understand what can be done and what is impossible or dangerous to the hair or unsuitable to a face shape or skin tone.

My suggestion is to find the hair colour you are after and take it to your colourist, asking them to copy the colour exactly.

I would also like to mention that most clean blonds have a very slight hint of gold unless it is pearl or ash blonde you want, so I personally would not use the word ‘clean blonde’.

Not being able to see your hair as it actually is, it is impossible for me to comment if lowlights (darker blonde or light brown) is the ideal solution for you. Neither can I suggest you have more blonde highlights added, as this could damage your hair’s cuticles and dry your hair out. There is nothing worse than dry blonde, straw-like looking hair!

I hope Sharon that my suggestions will help you to achieve the blonde you are so desperately after.

Good luck, and please use pictures to communicate!

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester 

I would not recommend brown as this will create a very heavy contrast. I would look to see if the salon has a toning or refresh service to clean up the blonde with a violet tone to remove the unwanted gold.

I see this happen a lot and it’s generally to do with how much pigment is remaining from the hair when the stylist had lifted the colour out. The stylist could either change the tone they are using or the strength of developer in the mixture.

It is always a good idea to take some pictures with you on your visit and ensure you get a consultation prior to the service being carried out. The pictures should show the colour you want and the colour you don't want, so you have a visual reference for both you and your stylist.

If you know somebody personally that has the colour you want ask them where they go, or even take them with you to show the stylist.

Please bear in mind that your hair will be different and may well require a different approach to achieve a similar result.

Hope you get the colour you want,

Simon Daniel, Salon Director of Belle Toujours, Cardiff

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