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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

How should I fix my hair?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (26784points) May 2nd, 2016

My hair is naturally a medium, neutral brunette (roughly 5.5/6A). It is to the middle of my back and in very healthy condition as I take exceptional care of it after suffering health related hair loss. I color it a darker, warmer brown (roughly a 4) using a demi color (not permanent) every 2 months at home. I like this option because it’s exceptionally gentle on my hair, shows no visible regrowth or lines of demarcation as my hair grows out, and only costs me $10—$15.

Recently, I decided that I wanted to add a few subtle, golden highlights close to the ends of my hair just to give a little bit of low maintenance dimension to a color that I already liked. What happened is that I ended up with hair that has been processed twice (I already had her redo it and it’s even worse than her first attempt) and it is nothing like what I asked for. She has been very nice about it, but frankly I don’t think she has the skill to fix it and I don’t have the nerve to ask a third time.

Now my overall base shade is 2 levels lighter than I prefer, I have about 3x the highlights I wanted, and the color around my face is completely different/darker than the rest of my hair. Should I:

1. Just go back to coloring my whole head with the demi and accept that the ugly highlights are going to keep coming through until they grow out? (Pros: easiest/cheapest/gentlest on hair Cons: total loss on the highlights;will be noticeable when the color fades.)

2. Attempt to use a demi toner over the whole head, use a small amount of permanent dye to blend in the highlights near the top and then find someone to give me some lowlights to blend in the upper part of my hair? (Pros: Salvages the highlights;results closer to what I had wanted. Cons: High maintenance;probably costly;Hard on my hair.)

3. Other?

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I would cut your hair short and wait for it to grow out before coloring again (for the health of your hair).

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

My hair isn’t damaged. It’s still exceptionally healthy for its length. I just wish to continue limiting the processing so that it stays that way.

ucme's avatar


Shave it all off & rock the shit out of it

CWOTUS's avatar

I doubt if people would even realize whether or not you had hair if you simply smile in their direction. So I’d vote for @ucme‘s advice and smile to beat the band.

Or just leave it as-is. You do know the old joke about “the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut”, right?

sʞǝǝʍ oʍʇ

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t really think that cutting it off, throwing in the towel (or shaving my head) are very useful solutions to a color mishap. I paid decent money to have my hair done and now my hair is an unflattering color, and more importantly, it isn’t at all what I wanted. I don’t think it’s unusual or unreasonable to want to get it closer to something that I like?
The color is considerably lighter than I had requested

It is also poorly done, with lots of choppy highlights somewhat close to the top of my head and solid dark hair around my face that doesn’t match any of the rest of the color.

jca's avatar

I would do your choice #1. Less costly, less work, less damage to your hair.

I don’t think cutting all your hair off is a practical solution.

Stinley's avatar

You may find that the dye that goes on the highlighted hair sets more permanently than it does on the non highlighted hair. So the first option might be easier to maintain than you think

janbb's avatar

Why not try no. 1 and see how it grows in? Since it’s not permanent dye, you can switch to tactic no.2 later if you want to. And I agree, the suggestion that you shave your head is not very helpful.

Soubresaut's avatar

I would find someone who is better at coloring hair—does any friend or family member have a recommendation? Or can you find reliable reviews?—and then ask this new/potential colorist: 1) would they be able to lessen and blend the highlights? 2) how would they do that? 3) how much additional “processing” would that be for your hair? .... and see whether you like whatever options they have, whether their answers are credible, and whether you trust them? You could always approach the conversation with “I’m just asking to get information, I’m not looking for anything done today” so that you have an out should you need it.

I recently got a new hairstylist whom I love—one of the reasons I feel so comfortable with her is that she talks about the techniques she’s going to use before she does anything new to my hair, so I’m never surprised. Also, the way she talks about the techniques helps to show me how much she knows.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think your only option is to dye your hair one colour again to cover the mess made by the colourist. I think you have to go back to, as much as you can, the blank canvas.

I’d check around and if you have a friend who has successfully achieved the goal you want, see who does their hair. That way, when you try again, you have more chance of finding someone who has a clue what they’re doing.

It’s horrible when someone messes up your hair. I feel your pain. I’ve got a fabulous hairdresser now and I’m dreading when she decides to go off and have babies or (please no!) gives up hairdressing.

JLeslie's avatar

She did botch it up, but it still looks ok. I would use your temp dye, and even when it fades, probably the lighter areas will not fade to quite as light as they are now.

I also had a color botch this last time. Way lighter than I wanted. I’ve just been living with it, but I don’t like it. I have extensions in so I’m not sure about which store brand would be safe if I had wanted to color it over again myself. I wasn’t in the mood to complain and have her redo it. I wanted dark brown and got light brown almost yellow. To me I just see the yellow. My husband keeps telling me it’s brown when I complain about it. Single process mind you, not highlights. Except, my extensions are a little darker. I wanted the extension to be the slightly lighter color in my hair overall. Meaning the extension I purchased are the color they are, and I wanted my real hair a mini amount darker.

jca's avatar

When you find a good colorist and a good hairdresser, the thought of them retiring or moving is dreadful. My colorist is not going anywhere, but my hairdresser is about 60, maybe a little older, and I don’t want him to retire ever.

Coloma's avatar

Hey there @ANef_is_Enuf so good to “see” you again.
I used the Clairol ” Natural Instincts” non-ammonia semi-permanent color for years and it is very non-damaging. Maybe try a shade of this product. It gradually fades away after several months ( says 24 shampoos ) and can also be used to just create highlights.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Soubresaut yeah, that’s where I’m leaning, as well. I just wanted some group opinions before I really made a decision, but I agree.

@JLeslie I didn’t know that you were still wearing your extensions, do you put them in daily or do you have them put in professionally? You may have told me, but I can’t recall. I still think about using them from time to time, not for length, but to add some thickness back in since my hair volume has changed so much in the last few years.

@jca a great stylist is priceless, for sure. It’s best when they are skilled at doing your hair and also when you have a good personality match, that’s a rare and valuable thing!

hi @Coloma! :)

Thanks all for your opinions.

Soubresaut's avatar

Best of luck!!

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve had them about 7–8 months. 3+ months the first time, then I did them a second time again, so I’m at the end of this current set. Their getting too grown out, and I’ll have to remove them soon.

They are the kind that you use heat to melt the plastic attachment thingy to your hair. I put them in mostly for fullness rather than length, but I did add about 2 inches in length. It easily could be much longer, but I have it cut.

The woman who did mine did a great job. The first time it was too thick, too many extensions, but this last time it’s so perfect.

It makes all my hair look in better condition.

I’m not going to do it again for a whole though. My husband doesn’t like worry about them when he touches my hair, it’s expensive, and it’s not as easy to swim.

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