Get Back to Your Natural Hair Shade Like a Pro
Whether you are a light blonde, dark brunette, redhead or have simply been covering up your grey, there might come a time when you realise that continuing on your current colouring path is no longer for you, and you want to grow out your colour. However, some colourant shades and effects are easier to grow out than others.
Below, I’ll give a quick overview of my advice for the top colours I see people wanting to transition out of.
Anyone who’s gone blonder will know that the upkeep of roots on a light blonde base is not only high maintenance, but it can lead to general damage in the hair if it’s been subjected to too much bleaching and lightening. However, the good news is this is also the easiest shade to transition out of.
Start by getting your hair to a shade 7.0. My article on why I love the 7.0 hair colour explains the shade in more detail, but applying a 7.0 base shade such as Colour Restore Caramel onto bleached blonde and light blonde hair can immediately bring depth and break up that root strap line.
As the months go on, the hair will slowly transition into a natural, balayage effect that is incredibly low maintenance. Adding a few balayage threads every few months can also break up that line between the new natural colour and the old lightened base (which is now covered in the 7.0 shade); however, in general, less is more. If you are naturally quite dark, you can then wait a few more months and apply a 6.0 dark blonde tone on tone shade, to bring further depth into the hair.
If you don’t have any greys and have been colouring to a much darker brunette or black, this can be quite an easy shade to transition out of. Simply apply Decolour Remover to the hair to eradicate the artificial dark or black pigments, and the underlying natural base will return. On very black hair you may need several Decolour Remover applications, but you should easily be able to return to your original colour.
Similarly, if you’ve been applying a permanent red colourant and you want to transition out of the shade, you can use the Decolour Remover to get back to your own colour. However, this will only work if the red is darker than your natural hair; if your natural shade is darker than the artificial red, it means you’ve lightened the hair, and therefore Decolour Remover would not be effective.
Fret not – if you have naturally dark hair and the red has been created through lightening, it is very easy to remedy. Simply apply a permanent natural base brunette colourant, such as 5N (if you are a chocolate brunette) or 3N (if you are a dark brunette). These shades will cover red immediately and create a permanent, darker shade.
That said, you don’t have to make a permanent change if you don’t want to; if it’s just that you cannot get to a salon appointment, use a semi-permanent shade such as Colour Restore Deep Red to retain your red, or Black Cherry or Chocolate to temporarily cover it.
Growing out Colour to Grey
If you are currently seeing grey regrowth and are contemplating making a full transition to grey, first consider switching to a semi-permanent colour in the interim. Semi-permanent colourants such as Colour Restore are generally weaker when it comes to full grey coverage, but they can blend out some of the grey tone and the starkness of a grey root strap as it grows through.
It could also be worth applying Decolour Remover to the hair, but it’s important to remember that hair colour removers cannot instantly reveal grey. When natural white hair is subjected to hydrogen peroxide (as found in the developers of permanent colourants), the white hair warps to a nicotine yellow colour. This means that when those with grey hair apply a colour remover, they are not left with a head of silver, but often an unusual yellow-blonde.
However, this is easily remedied with further care. Once you’ve used the Decolour Remover, wash your hair with only silver/purple shampoos (as your regular cleanser) and then use Colour Restore Iced Platinum – this will turn those nicotine yellow hairs to a cool blonde. If you are then able to add some bleach highlights throughout the hair, and again continue to use the purple shampoo and Colour Restore Iced Platinum, your natural grey will gradually transition through.
Lastly, if you have been maintaining a pure white platinum blonde and are now thinking of transitioning away from it, you have two choices; you can either move onto the 7.0 balayage shade described above, or try something different by applying a grey toner or overloading the hair with blue shampoo. When platinum hair has very dark roots and it’s toned to grey or metallic, the hair can suddenly take on the most impressive high grey effect. Let the tone get bluer and greyer the more the dark roots grow through, and it will become even more striking. These toners and shampoos are completely gentle on the hair, so you can maintain a really striking shade, without the need to bleach any further!