Love Your Hair

Undoing and Avoiding Hair Color Horror Stories

The temptation is great, and the instructions look easy. The words on the box promise hassle-free success and satisfying results, and wanting to believe them, you give it a try. After diligently following every step, you eagerly look into the mirror... and scream. If you’ve found yourself in what feels like a hairstyle horror show, you may be looking for a solution to your pigment plight. Take a break from Googling home remedies and plan a trip to the salon for a professional treatment. While you’re waiting for your salon visit, take a deep breath, relax, and read up on these tips and tricks for avoiding and recovering from hair color disasters.


There’s good news and bad news

We’ll give you the bad news first: unfortunately, there’s no tried-and-true trick to ‘un-do’ your hair color horrors. The good news? We see this all the time. A trip to the salon is your best bet. Color disasters come in all shades and styles, so restoration methods can vary dramatically. Oftentimes the remedy lies within a combination of products to prep the hair for several (if not more) custom color solutions to un-do the undesired hue, making it impossible to offer at-home solutions, as they range in complexity and are solved case by case. Knowing and understanding the fix takes experience and in-depth expertise in color chemistry. A professional stylist has years of training and access to a wide array of products to remedy the problem, so best leave this one to the pros.


Power past "panic mode"

When working through a color crisis, avoid caving into the temptation to bleach or color-correct from home. The last thing your hair needs is another round of chemicals, and regardless of what it promises on the package. DIY dye is almost sure to make the situation worse. When you try to lift or lighten the color yourself, you actually create a less stable canvas for a professional to work with, which may keep you from receiving immediate color correction.

Color-serviced hair
Creating eye-catching color like this should be left to the professionals, no matter how easy the box instructions make it sound. 


Most of us know someone who hated their new, funky color and grabbed some boxed dye to reverse it themselves, only to extend their color nightmare with months of more restorative treatment. If the hair is too compromised, even a seasoned professional won’t have a quick fix for you. Resist covering your color or making it darker, as it only adds more layers of pigment to your strands, creating more work to reverse, and potentially more damage to your natural mane. Our seasoned professionals are happy to fix $8.99 boxed dye jobs, but it will likely be a lot more expensive for you in the long run.


Alternative solution: If you simply can’t leave the house with your current hue, cover it up with a hat, head wrap, or scarf and book a one-way trip to your salon.


Stopping disasters before they start

The only surefire way to avoid color disasters is to avoid color treatments altogether. Stroll past the rows of boxed dye at the supermarket and resist the urge to impulsively try something new. Instead, head into the salon and talk to your stylist about what you can do to change up your ‘do. They may suggest a few well-placed foils or slight shade shift at first to help you prepare for a more dramatic transition. If you like the look and want to move forward with the change, you can always spring for something more dramatic.


Know the difference between “fashion” and “fad”

The longer you spend on Pinterest and Instagram, the more likely you’ll want to try trendy new colors, but as great as the temptation may be, you may soon find yourself wondering why you gave into the fad. Rather than running the risk of hating your hue, first try on some fun colors with temporary hair chalk. Rock pink strands for the day, or blue streaks at night. If you fall in love with the look, you can always head to the salon to make it official. Remember, even if you’re ready to commit to the color, DIY color placement is still best left avoided. Positioning, isolating, placing and painting hair yourself can be a challenge at home, especially with colors—like reds, oranges, and golds—that require proper calculation and mixing to strike the right balance between exposure and tone. In the end, your best bet is to leave it to the pros.

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