I think the most common hair coloring mishaps are hot roots and brassy hair. Ladies, we often get too ambitious and try to lighten far beyond what our natural, black hair can take. We’ve seen the all too common orange glow on black hair that has been lightened.
If you are suffering from these two common mishaps here are a few tips to try before you grab the scissors for Big Chop #2:
Fix Hot Roots:
You have dyed your roots to match the beautiful, auburn shade you’ve been rockin’ and now your roots are on fire and your hairline is glowing! What you’ve got my dear are “hot roots”. The scalp generates a lot of heat and this heat processes the dye fast, leaving your new growth more vibrant or “hot” than the rest of your hair. Here’s a few remedies to the rescue:
- Tone down your hot roots with semi-permanent color. Use a gold or ash base/toner to minimize the intensity.
- Retouch your roots every 1/4″ to 1/2″, in other words don’t wait too long to color new growth.
- When retouching your roots apply the dye 1/2″ away (mid-length area) from the scalp first, then go back and apply the dye to the roots.
- Choose a slighter darker shade than the one you chose the last time, with a 20 volume developer. The heat from your scalp will lighten your new growth up to the same level you started with.
Fix Brassy Hair:
You have followed the rules and lightened your hair only 2 levels, but your hair is “too warm” and you’re afraid you’ll blind people in the sunlight. What you’ve got is brassy hair. I love how boxed dye kits show the starting color as jet black and the end color a vibrant red or auburn. It’s usually too good to be true to lighten that many levels in one take. Chances are you will end up with brassy hair.
The underlying pigment in my hair is red-orange. In the summer my hair lightens from the sun and I can spot the red highlights. When I lighten my hair with haircolor, the red pigment in my hair gets “warm” and vibrant. Here are a few remedies to tone down the glow:
- Use a pre-color treatment to even out the porosity of your hair before you color. Overly porous hair will process haircolor fast and your hair can easily process “too warm”.
- If you are slightly brassy you can try using a violet or blue-based shampoo designed to neutralize brassiness and warmth. Take a look at a color wheel and notice that blue/violet is opposite red/orange. You are trying to cancel out the red-orange with a complementary tone.
- If you are very brassy and glowing in the sun, then you can neutralize the warmth with an ‘Ash’ semi-permanent hair color. Do a strand test first to see if it will work.
If all this talk about “hot roots” and “brassy hair” is freaking you out or you are traumatized from the DIY experience, it’s time to save your pennies and seek out a professional hairstylist. Like with anything else, it takes practice, knowledge and confidence to successfully color your hair at home. If you have graduated to a DIY haircoloring expert, maybe it’s time to shop salon quality hair dye…
Have you had a haircoloring mishap? I’ve heard of people using Grape Kool-Aid powder to tone down brassy hair! Got any sane DIY tips to share?
*DISCLAIMER: As you know, I am not a professional colorist. I am sharing with you my experience with coloring my hair. Coloring black hair is tricky, so I urge you to do a lot of research. Start off slow, for example try a temporary rinse if you are a newbie. It takes time and experience to determine what hair products and treatments will work for you. The key to healthy, colored hair is maintenance. Do your research and the payoff is beautiful, healthy, colored hair.