Monday, November 11, 2013

Hair Color at Home...Why Not?

When it comes to doing hair, I like to be as meticulous as possible, even if it takes more time.  Yes, time is money, but having to redo someone's hair (especially when it comes to the delicate world of color), it pays to do it right the first time.  That said, when it comes to my hair, I'm lazier than a hound dog after the hunt.

I don't remember ever buying a hair color kit from a drug store.  I pay my good money at professional beauty supplies to get quality ingredients and mix my color up right.  But the other day, since I happened to be in a CVS, and I didn't want to drive out to my usual place, I broke down and picked up a box of Garnier Nutrisse.

In my defense, I've been putting in a lot of hours at work and I am no longer in a salon where access to supplies is as easy as a weekly order.  The lovely young lady on the box with the gorgeous hair wore down my reservations.  This is where I lost my ability to reason properly.  It's hard to tell, but it's a light-to-medium brown with a whisper of auburn.  Just what I needed to enhance my color.  I hadn't highlighted in months and I was looking a mess.

After doing a foil weave, my friend offered to help me with my color.  I could see she might be a little wary of using a *palette, so I said, what the heck? Just slap it on.  She did a GREAT job.  The color did not.

What went wrong???  As soon as my hair dried I knew the problem.  First, I should have stuck with the *palette.  Second, even though I never use these colors, I should have applied the color theory I knew well for using a darker color with a red tone.

What appeared to be a very natural color with a hint of red turned out to be a dark red-violet concoction way too stern for my pale, 40-year-old features.  Here's why:

While I didn't like my very washed-out hair, the color took advantage of it and turned my blondish ends very dark.  Since haircolor companies know how badly red tones wash out, they sometimes overdo it and add a blast of violet-red.  So what you see is NOT what you get.

Here is why the palette would have been a better idea:
When you apply color all over your head, it can look like a solid mass of that color, for better or for worse.  And if you do not try doing a strand test (mixing up the color and testing it by applying it to a good thick strand of hair to determine the outcome), you may not be too happy with the result.

Using a palette is like using foils.  Usually this awesome device is reserved for low-lighting or for adding a new tone to natural hair.  When you foil or paint pieces into hair, it has a very natural looking result (as long as you do it right).  Throwing one color all over your head, particularly if you still have color left from an old job, may really wreck your style.

Lucky for me, there is a solution.  Since my hair looked so dark, I foiled in about 10 foils with a low volume developer (10 volume and 20 volume) with bleach for about 25 minutes.  This way I didn't get blonde streaks I didn't want.  I just lightened the hair around my face so I didn't look so washed out by the dark color.  Much better!

Color always fades.  Those few foils will help me deal with the color as I adjust to darker hair and as my hair slowly drops some of the intensity over the next few weeks.

Color questions?  Drop me a line!  E-mail me at and I will respond!

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