We’ve all been there. You dreamed of mahogany chocolate brown, impulsively thrown on some box dye and ended up with oily-looking jet black. Or you wanted to hop onto the bandwagon of ombre and ended up with a clean-cut line of different colours on your golden locks. Or maybe you strived for platinum blonde but after an hour with bleach on your head, your hair is not only brassy orange but also terribly compromised. Sounds familiar?
Colour correction services exist for a reason. Some of us really like to play with our hair colour, but we sometimes forget that the chemical processes behind it are much more complicated than they may seem. There are also cases of professional stylists failing to provide the intended result – may it be due to lack of proper knowledge, simple human error or communication failure. Let’s take a look at the most common issues when it comes to hair colour disasters and establish which type of colour correction can help your case!
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How does colour correction work?
There is no universal answer as there are many different ways one can fail when dying their hair. The exact process will always depend on the problem’s culprit – and so will the price and time needed. In the most spectacular cases, you may need to come back to your stylist a few times in the spawn of several weeks, with every appointment taking up to 6-8 hours. Yes, it’s not unheard of. The easier issues can be fixed in one sitting, but get ready for a long appointment. Any hair stylist will tell you that it is much easier to provide a colour service from scratch than to correct a failed one.
Now, let’s take a look at the most common problems and see what can be done to fix them.
You went dark and the colour is way too dark and flat
This happens all the time with dark box dyes. Regardless of your starting point, chocolates, mahoganies and tobaccos tend to all end up as almost jet black. Furthermore, even if the dye is deemed “semi-permanent”, they usually stay with you for the rest of the eternity. We are exaggerating, of course, but only slightly.
If it happens to you, first of all, do not try to lighten it up at home or put on a lighter colour on top of it! The first route is very tricky and can lead to serious damage, the second will not work at all and only make the layer of dye thicker. Wash your hair thoroughly with clarifying shampoo a few times in a row, put on a nourishing mask to fight the consequent dryness, and contact a specialist. Colour correction in your case will depend on the state of your hair and may take the form of using a lightener and then toning the effect or just adding some highlights on the length for visual lightening and dimension.
You went light and the colour is straw yellow or flaming orange
Ah yes, the famous brassy blonde, the dead giveaway of a botched bleach job. Human hair, naturally, has a lot of warm pigment in it. The natural undertone of dark hair is red, for middle shades it’s orange and for the light it’s yellow. When you are lifting the colour, the natural undertone gets exposed and until you tone it properly (supplement with a pigment of a contrasting colour), you will be looking like some shade of a Hot Cheeto.
If it happens to you, go straight to the specialist. In theory, you can try to tone it yourself, but the shade must be selected very precisely, otherwise, you’ll only make things worse. A hairstylist will tone your hair with the correct shade of toner leaving you with a much nicer shade of blonde.
You didn’t listen to us, toned your hair yourself and now it’s grey (but also kinda green, blue and/or purple)
It happens when you choose the wrong type of toner. We often think that toner = purple shampoo, but it isn’t the case. You tone different colours with different shades of toner, so choosing the perfect one is more difficult than one may think – you have to know your colour theory backwards and forward!
If it happens to you, you may try the clarifying shampoo solution mentioned earlier, but if it doesn’t help, colour correction will be necessary. Your hairstylists will add the proper amount of warm tones back to your hair.
Your roots are a different colour than the rest of your hair
It’s a very common issue with box dyes that makes the colour correction necessary. If you had previously altered the colour of your hair chemically then it is very likely that your virgin root will take the dye differently than the rest of your hair. Alternatively, If you are lightening previously coloured hair, you can fall victim to so-called “hot roots”. It happens when the heat from your scalp makes your roots respond faster to the bleach and the dye coating the lengths slows down the process there.
If it happens to you, go straight to the professional. They will be able to section your hair properly and apply the right shade to the roots first and then blend it with the rest. Colour correcting “hot roots” is more complicated and may involve playing with the toner first and then blending the colour of the roots with the rest by using a slightly darker shade.
Your hair is patchy and in a few different shades
Patchy, uneven colour may happen for a few reasons. If you have a long history of playing with colours (especially box dyes), it may happen that depending on the amount of dye coating in a particular place the new colour will take differently. But sometimes even virgin hair causes problems, especially if you are using a box dye of poor quality – some spots will take the colour better, creating a messy, patchy look. Finally, if you try to bleach hair that has been previously coloured with a box dye, you will probably end up with a very unflattering range of unblended colours that will be super difficult to tone and make even.
If it happens to you, get ready for a long and pricey process of making your mane cohesive. The “bleach cases” are usually the most difficult to deal with – and it’s not only DIY experiments that are to blame here. You have to be very honest during the consultation with a hairstylist when they ask you about your hair history – otherwise, you may end up craving colour correction even after a professional service.
Where can I find emergency hair colour correction services near me?
This part is actually very easy – all you have to do is either download the Booksy app or visit the Booksy web platform, where you will find top-rated hair stylists from your neighbourhood ready to help you achieve your dream colour regardless of the earlier mishaps. So what are you waiting for – life’s too short to have hot roots and poorly melted ombre!