Like atrocious haircuts, bad hair color is usually one of those beauty blunders which ultimately brings about unwanted panic. But before you succumb to the hysteria and hide under infinite baseball caps and scarves until your next coloring appointment, know that most hair color errors can be easily fixed, if you take the correct approach.
“Color is actually the easiest thing to adjust, if you understand your tools and use a gentle approach,” says Rick Wellman, Schwarzkopf Professional Color Ambassador. “Usually you don't need a power drill, as a manual screwdriver will do the trick. Any corrective color work, or fine tuning is pretty much all you need, and that can be done easily with the right tools."
To manage any hair color horrors, any of the expert advice below is sure to steer you clear of another dye job disaster. And with survival tips to get you through that hard and long time in between appointments, you can totally give those caps and scarves a well deserved break.
If Your Color Is Too Dark
Achieving the perfect hair color can often be slippery slope, being that sometimes your hair color can come out way lighter or darker than expected. But if you find that your desired blonde, caramel or auburn result is a lot darker than you had hoped, it can be a tricky, yet doable process to get your hair back to the way you’d like it.
“If your hair color comes out too dark, it can be a very complicated procedure to lighten it,” explains Matrix SOCOLOR Celebrity Stylist, George Papanikolas. “Your best bet is to wait a month to see how much the color fades with washing. If it doesn't fade, you can add highlights to gradually get it lighter. Otherwise, a more aggressive strip out of the color is the only way to make it lighter.”
If Your Color Is Too Brassy
Another hair color concern comes brassiness, which brings orangey and copper tones to blondes and other colors with lift. And while adding a good color neutralizing shampoo to your routine can help eliminate these tones, it’s always best to head off to the salon to correct this sort of problem.
“If the highlights are too brassy, then a toner can help if you wanted a little bit darker,” adds George Papanikolas. “But if the color is too orange and you want a brighter shade of blonde, then another round of highlights maybe necessary, as long as the hair is in good condition to handle it.”
For Pastel Shade Disasters
And if you find your pastel pink is looking a bit off, gold toner should usually do the trick, being that it brings natural warmth back to your hair fast.
“If your color has an off tone like pink or mauve, it’s because you need to put some of your natural warmth back in your hair,” says Deborah Gavin, International Artistic Director For Color Keratin Complex Color Therapy. “Adding a gold tone into your formula will definitely solve this problem, and make the color look more natural.”
If You Got Bad Color At Home
Dying your hair at home looks like a simple task, but it can also be a breeding ground for hair color blunders. To fix errors (hello, horrid roots!) yourself, it’s important to be extra careful, as even the slightest color accidents can really trash your hair.
“If you left the color on the roots too long or you chose the wrong shade and have hot roots, wait two days before fixing it,” explains Daniel Sanchez, Colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown. “Color does not lift color. If your color is darker on the ends, use a clarifying shampoo only on the ends to help remove the build up color.”
It may seem nerve wracking to salvage any coloring faux pas on your own, but it can be done if you select a dye darker than the color you previously used. Plus, coloring experts like Sanchez always caution against using bleach on top of color, being that bleach on top of bleach always equals a disaster.
“When it is time to fix it, use a shade darker than the previous formula. Apply only in the hot root area, and don't try to use bleach to fix color, says Sanchez. “Using bleach without caution proves to be a disaster, and you will for sure have to visit a professional hair colorist.”
Survival Items To Keep On Hand
But if getting to the salon is definitely going to be a challenge, there are some shortcuts to hide any less than undesirable shades. Tools like dry shampoo, braids and curling wands can all help colors blend together without looking unnatural, or being too distracting.
“Keep dry shampoo in your purse, and pulse into your roots every so often to keep the volume up,” says the hair care experts at ARROJO. “Limp hair will always show off less than stellar colors, and any bit of oil at the root will always make it look darker. Dry shampoo will help with oil absorption and volume.”
Similar to dry shampoo, curling wands and braids can help blend together as told by the ARROJO experts, being that added texture nearly conceals all color errors.
“Learn to love a curling wand, as texture and curls with blur and blend colors together,” says the experts at ARROJO. “ Braiding is also ultra in right now, and also helps by weaving colors together.”
For more hair color tips, here’s how to determine if you have the right hair color for your skin tone!