Hair Color Correction

Shannon Boyce
bad hair day

Anyone can run into unexpected issues with hair color, especially with so many factors to consider, like the condition of your hair, the starting shade, and how closely you followed the dye directions. The end result might not always be what you envisioned, but most common problems can be resolved with appropriate color correction.

Hair That Is Too Light

There are a number of reasons why dye may perform differently than anticipated. Perhaps your color was not light enough to begin with, you left the dye on for too long, or there were multiple colors in your hair already. Each can affect the finished product. One of the most concerning issues related to color correction is hair that appears too light. To fix the problem:

  1. Choose a slightly darker shade of dye from the same brand. It should be one to two shades deeper.
  2. Keep the dye on for half the time it says on the box and check the color every five minutes or so.
  3. Rinse thoroughly when you are satisfied with the shade.

Another option is to wash your hair with a purple shampoo and conditioner. The Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo 10.1 fl oz + Purple Conditioner 10.1 oz Duo is a great example. This will tone down the light color and make it look more natural over time.

Hair That Is Too Dark

wash with clarifying shampoo

Color correction is also needed when hair turns out darker than planned. This issue can occur for several reasons. For instance, if the dye was left on for additional time, if the hair is damaged (unhealthy hair is more absorbent), or if the the dye shade was too dark to begin with. Thankfully, the solution is simple. To fade a darker color, reach for a clarifying shampoo like the Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two. These shampoos strip oil from the hair. However in this case, they work to remove unwanted pigment.

  1. Wash your hair several times with the shampoo. Each time you do, it will lighten the color and take you one step closer to your desired shade.
  2. Deep condition with either a hair mask or leave-in conditioner. This will prevent your locks from becoming dry and dull.

Brassy Hair Color

It is the most dreaded issue: blonde hair that looks brassy. This happens when the color fades. Instead of fading to a lighter color, it instead appears brassy. That means shades of yellow, gold, and copper will peek through. To prevent brassy hair, wash with a purple shampoo, use a lower setting on heat tools, spray on a protectant before you style, and shelter your hair from the sun. To color correct brassiness, use the Colorist Secrets Brass Banisher from L'Oreal Paris:

  1. Start by squeezing the Anti Brass Gloss into the Developer Creme Bottle. (Both are included in the Colorist Secrets Brass Banisher kit). Shake well to mix the products together.
  2. Put on gloves and apply the mixture to clean, dry hair. Start from the roots and work down toward the ends, making sure your hair is completely saturated.
  3. Leave the product on for five minutes. To significantly reduce unwanted brassy tones, leave it on for an additional five minutes.
  4. Gently rinse your hair with warm water. Finish by applying the Hi-Moisture Deep Conditioner. Leave it on for two minutes before rinsing. Then let your hair dry as normal.

Patchy or Uneven Hair Color

Despite reading the directions and applying the product as described, color can turn out patchy or uneven. This happens when the hair still has dye in it. Faded areas and grown out roots can also cause it to appear uneven. This can also occur if the dye was not thouroughly applied to all sections of the hair.

  1. To deal with this issue, color your hair again. Make sure that the dye is from the same brand and is in the same shade as before.
  2. Start by applying the dye directly to the patchy areas. Leave on for ten minutes.
  3. Apply dye everywhere else. Keep it on your hair as directed and rinse well. This will even out the color and get rid of those patchy spots.

To prevent it from happening again, pick up an extra box of hair dye. That way you will have enough product to cover every single strand.

When to Visit a Professional Salon

professional coloring

Now and then it is necessary to go to a professional hair salon. Qualified colorists can handle more complicated types of color correction. If the suggested methods do not work (or do not make you feel happy and confident about your color) then it is time to head to a salon. A professional colorist will assess the problem and come up with a solution. Keep in mind it might take multiple visits depending on the specific issue. Another reason to visit the salon is if you notice unhealthy or damaged hair.

Don't Panic

Hair color correction can transform a problematic dye job. With targeted treatments for common issues, it is always possible to achieve great color.

Hair Color Correction