Standing in a pile of tear soaked tissues, the image of yourself staring back at you in the mirror strongly indicates something went wrong with your hair color.
As you are now venturing into uncharted waters, taking the wrong measure of correction can sometimes exacerbate the issue or damage the hair.
Tread carefully my friends!
Where to start when your hair color has gone wrong
Often the biggest problem with a color gone awry is a level issue (too light or too dark) or a tonal issue (too warm or too ‘muddy’.) Check out our guide to hair color shades to make sure you are going for the right level and tone for you.
If it’s not that simple and you have done the damage yourself, it might just be you and the toll free number on the box as the recovery team, please think about this before you proceed.
This is likened to calling a medical hotline and stating, “I feel like I am dying and need to give myself surgery right now; should I use my soup ladle or butter knife?”
I really, really do not advise doing anything by yourself in your bathroom at this point. If it is a touch too dark, and I mean miniscule, you can sometimes wash, re-wash, and re-wash again with a low-quality shampoo to cause it to fade, but it is still often uneven and ineffective.
When it comes to neutralizing colors, stripping, or lightening, remember it was either your lack of skill or a bad product that got you here in the first place. Seek a professional stat!
What NOT to do…
Next; never, ever (and I mean ever) try to strip out your own hair color! I don’t care how easy it says it is on the box, even we professionals seek counsel with the clergy of our faith before attempting this.
‘From the box’ hair color removal kits are mostly in the form of a fast-acting bleach, and do not have a stopping point. If unattended it will continue stripping color, then cuticle, then the substructure, and then “poof”–your head is adorned with bubble gum (actually it used to be hair, it just now resembles bubble gum.) Please, please please; leave this to the pros!
What will the professionals do?
Hair color removal in the hands of a well-skilled and well-supplied artist can often be a quick and simple remedy.
It requires a trained and forensic evaluation of what went wrong and where, the porosity, the remaining and underlying pigments, potential for damage, and how much neutralization is needed. This falls somewhere between art and science.
There are so many factors that I find it hard to offer any specific recourse as it comes down to a, “How bad are we talking?” scenario.
By seeking a professional you may minimize your recovery cost from that of a mortgage payment to simply a salon service. I don’t want to be repetitive, but to bring the point home, leave this to the pros!
Check out our guide on how to get the best from your Salon Colorist.
Don’t try this at home!
You will notice that I did not (and will not) offer advice on how to tackle this in your own bathroom. Integrity steers me from doing so. It is simply time to resign yourself and surrender that a Hair Colorist may be your only savior.
It is okay. You sometimes have to go beyond the pharmacy counter and seek a doctor when your health gets challenging.
This is another case where admission of powerlessness or lack of resources is actually empowering. And for those who do not heed my advice and try to go it alone, I promise to write an article on proper hat and scarf selection.Hair Color Removal - When It Goes Wrong...,