25 July, 2010

Hair Color Disasters

What do you do when your hair color ends up a disaster? Can it be fixed at home?
Should I save a few dollars by dying my hair at home by myself?
If you have a hair color disaster, it is from one of two possible scenarios:
You went to a professional stylist or colorist and came out with a hair color disaster.
You were suckered in by advertising and took the risk of coloring your hair by yourself, in your own home.

A common mistake people make is thinking that hair color is foolproof and will turn out like the picture on the box. NO NO NO! Do not believe this!
Hair color is not like paint that can just be removed with paint remover. Nor can it always be painted over.... Like a white wall, sometimes you cannot paint over the mistake with corrective white paint. First, you have to remove the wrong color, which can take a few sessions.
If you want to fix your hair color disaster, prompt action is necessary! Most experts believe you have a 48-72 hour window before the color has a chance to lock into the cuticle. Contact a professional colorist immediately.
Try not to panic and rush to find a solution that might cause even more harm. Many people try to fix their color problems themselves at home and often makes the problem a lot worse and can potentially damage your hair beyond repair.
Avoid the temptation to add more color or try to remove the color at home with bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Hair color is a reflection of light off the colored pigment of the hair shaft. Different colors add or subtract from the hair color giving it various hues and shades.
Hair dye is not like paint. It doesn't just "paint" the color onto the hair. Permanent hair color permanently changes the color pigment in the hair shaft - it does not wash out although certain colors may fade over time.
If you end up with a horrible hair color, it cannot wash out or be reversed. It can, however, be correctively colored back to a color similar to the original color. This should be left to the professionals only and can take a couple of visits!
IMPORTANT - Always do a strand test on a few strands of uncolored hair to get an idea of the color you are ultimately going to obtain. You can do a little bit of mathematical juggling by adding more or less of a particular color to get the desired color. For drastic changes in hair color do get professional help.
Apply the hair color on small, thin sections of hair, bit by bit, 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch in width. This may be awkward to do alone, so get a friend to help.
The ends of long hair are usually more porous than the rest, so apply the color to the middle section of your hair first, about one inch from the scalp down to about two inches from the ends. We do this because the body heat from the scalp causes bleach and hair dyes to develop quicker.
Some temporary fixes for your hair color disaster:
Colored shampoos which can sometimes help soften the bad coloring.
Cut your hair short to minimise the effect of the bad color.
Try to accelerate color fading - hot water is known to fade chemically colored hair, some volume shampoos and gels may help fade color (they are designed to open the hair cuticle which speeds up color loss)
Try using a shampoo mix of 2 oz. of 20 volume peroxide, 1 oz. shampoo and 1 oz. warm water. Stir well and apply starting where your hair color is the darkest. Speed things up by wrapping your head in plastic wrap and sit under a hair dryer. Check the color every 5 minutes til satisfied then shampoo and condition hair as per usual.