I like doing things myself, and for the longest time, I used to go to hair dressers to do my haircuts, my colouring…etc. But for the last couple of years I have been doing everything myself. And I’ve learned so much from this. It wasn’t easy. Doing your own hair means making a few mistakes here and there, and taking time to correct it. But don’t fret. Doing your hair yourself also means you get what you want, and you don’t have to pay hefty fees to stylist that sometimes make mistakes too! They are professionals, but they are not flawless.
Back to Brown
I recently decided I wanted to go lighter than my natural black again. I used to rock a dark blonde way back when, but this time around, I decided I wanted to do an ashy light brown instead because it is healthier since it is less levels of lightening. My hair had grown out at the roots and was virgin black hair to my ears, and below was pre-lightened brownish hair stained with a tinge of purple from when I rocked purple hair. So here begins my misadventures. I want to tell you right off the bat that if you have hair that is not uniform in chemical treatments, this is where colouring gets tricky. I mean really tricky. But still, I am not bowing down to the professionals yet.
So I grab the light ash blond colorant I always use when I used to do a dark blonde. It has a base of dark blue toner, to combat any orange colours in hair that arrive when trying to lighten hair. I know this time I was aiming for brown, but I still wanted the toning effect to get rid of excess brassiness, so I thought the same colorant can be used, but to get brown, I would just use weaker volume peroxide for less lift. Okay…so guess what? I was right about using a weaker peroxide, but wrong about the blonde ash toner in my colorant! It saturated the middle shafts of my hair–the parts of the shaft that were the most porous, and when I washed out the colorant, I had stained the mid sections an ashy green! I also still had some purple tint on the very ends, and my roots were a warm brown colour, because it was healthy virgin hair that resisted the stain of the ash green. I basically had 3 colours in my hair! Not what I wanted at all.
Trying to fix Tri Coloured Hair!
So not happy, I start researching how to get rid of the greenish part in my hair. I figured that I could live with a bit of uneven hair colour tones, but just not ashy green. I heard remedies from bleaching again, to ketchup, to salt! I decided on using a lemon juice soak to get it out. After an hour of soaking the bottom half of my hair in a mixture of lemon juice and conditioner, I washed it out to find little to no change.The ash colours were still there. And I was still unevenly coloured.
Emergency Box Colouring:
I don’t usually use box colour kits from the pharmacy, but waking up to tri-coloured hair was bothering me a lot. Warm roots, grey/green mid-shaft, and greyish purple tips was driving me mad. I walked to my corner pharmacy to fix this once and for all! Two boxes of colour kits since my hair is long. I figured where I had gone wrong was in using a colourant with a ton of toner in it to begin with. The ash blond colourant was made for people who were aiming for blonde, not brown, so there was no darker colour but bluish toner to fill in areas that I had pre-lightened before, therefore staining it green. The science of hair colour finally hitting me in my face. Every hair color has a tint of either red/gold/green. But there is also a base colour of different concentration depending on how dark you wanted to go. Ash blond does not have any base colour. Where as if I wanted brown, I would have to use a brown base especially where I had pre lightened before! Too complicated for words. After the redo in a light golden brown colour from the store, the green was finally covered. But then a new problem presented itself. Dull brown hair!
Clarifying to remove the over dye:
I put lemons into my hair again to remove the over-dye. When hair has over dye in it, the strands are too saturated, they can’t shine because of it and are weighed down. This is when one can use different remedies and products to remove some of the dye. I used lemons, because I had some, but I think clarifying shampoo works too. After this I shampooed twice. The result the next day was this:
So at the moment I am rocking a slight reverse ombre, which is lighter at the crown, and gradually darker in the ends, which is not the worst thing. If it really bothers me, in a few weeks, after my hair has rested from all the peroxide, I can always lighten the ends and recolour. But my main point is still true. DIY hair colour may require tweaks done over the course of several weeks to give your hair a rest. So no, the professional stylists have not won, but I know now to have a bit more respect for how hard hair colour chemistry can be.