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Author Topic: Problems dying hair from dark brown to light brown - it turns ginger then black!  (Read 981 times)  Share 

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  • Newbie
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  • Current Colour: Dark brown
Hello all, I'm a guy with longer hair (around 10 to 12 inches in length, which I suppose is long for a guy) and decided to join these forums for some advice on different aspects of hair care. First of all I have a question about dying hair. I've been trying to dye my hair from dark brown (around 3.0 on the colour scale) to a lighter shade of brown (around 5.0 to 6.1 - ok technically I know 6.1 is 'dark/ash blonde', but it is more or less light brown too). I use a natural/organic permanent hair dye with no amonia etc from a Greek company called Korres btw, which I buy online.

My natural hair colour is medium to dark brown. However last year due to starting to get some grey hairs, I started dying it dark brown (about 3.0) with permanent hair dye, which made it almost black looking. Recently I have been wanting to dye my hair to a lighter shade of brown, somewhere around 5.0 to 6.1 because I just thought it looked too dark.

I read up about the subject, and most advice said I have to remove the existing dye with a colour remover first, then I can dye my hair the lighter colour.

However I am having problems. Firstly, when I use the colour remover, it turns my dark brown hair to a coppery/gingery colour! (I use Deco Bes colour remover btw, which says you have to apply it to dry hair, leave on for up to 45 mins, then rinse out). Secondly, I have tried dying my hair immediately after rinsing out the colour remover, but it always ends up going back to black, even if I use 5.0 or 6.1 colour dye (it says in the instructions for the Deco Bes colour remover that hair can be dyed another colour right after rinsing out the colour remover, whereas other sources say I should wait a while or even use the remover several times). I tried this process on 3 occassions and always got the same results.

The hairdresser who cut my hair last time said it's perfectly normal for hair to turn a gingery colour after using colour remover. She recommended I try hair dye in a 6.1 to offset the ginger so I can make it light brown, but I tried this and it didn't work (as I said, it just turned my hair black again).

What am I do wrong, and can anyone suggest a remedy? I should add that I have been using straightening irons most days for about a year (with a heat protector spray), and at one stage a lot of styling products etc which might have built up in my hair, so this might have something to do with it. Some other advice I've read suggested I use baking soda in with my normal shampoo to strip the colour. Other advice said just keep dying my hair 5.0 or 6.1 with the same hair dye and it'll eventually lighten. I've also heard that using a clarifying shampoo might help cleanse the hair of any build up. I do use good shampoos and conditioners already btw, with no parabens or sulfates, plenty of argan oil etc, so it can't be my shampoo that's to blame (Hask is my favourite brand right now).

I'm trying to understand the science behind this all, and need to find the best way to solve this. Do I perhaps need to bleach my hair first, before colouring it light brown? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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    • Janine Basil Pop Accessories
  • Location: Manchester
This is going to be a long answer that I don't have time to do now. I'll just say I'm coming back with an answer when I have time... it's just a bit complex to explain... I'll be back (or maybe someone else will explain in the meantime :) )
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The following users thanked this post: Hair2020

  • Newbie
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  • Current Colour: Dark brown
This is going to be a long answer that I don't have time to do now. I'll just say I'm coming back with an answer when I have time... it's just a bit complex to explain... I'll be back (or maybe someone else will explain in the meantime :) )

Hi Janineb - no problem, there's no rush to get back to me. I look forward to your reply when you get time. Thanks.
 

  • Senior Hair Addict
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  • Current Colour: Brownish
  • Location: Scotland
I'm not the expert that Janine is but I'll have a bash  ;)

If you've been using box dyes then you need to know that they usually lighten the hair slightly then deposit dye - which is why, when you use a colour remover, you find your hair has gone ginger. 

After using a colour remover it's very very important to rinse for as long as possible with very hot water.  Colour removers (as far as I understand them) "shrink" the dye molecules in your hair, then you have to rinse them out.  The water needs to be hot to keep the hair cuticle open to let them out.  Any leftover hair dye trapped in the hair will re-oxidise (become dark) if you try to dye over it with a box dye.
So after using a colour remover you'll have to cope with ginger hair for a while so you can give it a few very hot washes & rinses before attempting to dye again.

I'm not sure if bleaching your hair would be a good idea if you're using box dyes (the damage adds up) or if you'd be better off trying to "neutralise" the ginger tones with a direct dye to get closer to a lighter brown without further peroxide damage.

Can we see a picture of your hair? 


Hope that helps somewhat until Janine is free to give a more comprehensive answer.
 
The following users thanked this post: Hair2020

  • Newbie
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  • Posts: 3
  • Current Colour: Dark brown
I'm not the expert that Janine is but I'll have a bash  ;)

If you've been using box dyes then you need to know that they usually lighten the hair slightly then deposit dye - which is why, when you use a colour remover, you find your hair has gone ginger. 

After using a colour remover it's very very important to rinse for as long as possible with very hot water.  Colour removers (as far as I understand them) "shrink" the dye molecules in your hair, then you have to rinse them out.  The water needs to be hot to keep the hair cuticle open to let them out.  Any leftover hair dye trapped in the hair will re-oxidise (become dark) if you try to dye over it with a box dye.
So after using a colour remover you'll have to cope with ginger hair for a while so you can give it a few very hot washes & rinses before attempting to dye again.

I'm not sure if bleaching your hair would be a good idea if you're using box dyes (the damage adds up) or if you'd be better off trying to "neutralise" the ginger tones with a direct dye to get closer to a lighter brown without further peroxide damage.

Can we see a picture of your hair? 


Hope that helps somewhat until Janine is free to give a more comprehensive answer.

Hey thanks for your reply, that makes sense. What is direct dye btw? Is it different/better than box dye, and where can I buy it? And sure, if you bear with me I'll attach a photo of my hair in a future post.
 

  • Senior Hair Addict
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  • Current Colour: Brownish
  • Location: Scotland
Direct dye is also known as semi-permanent dye, such as the dyes sold on the Beeunique website (which is currently down temporarily due to illness I believe).  So the likes of Adore, Directions, Manic Panic etc. 
They require no mixing with peroxide / developer and cause no damage to hair.  They will of course fade & wash out over time but because they're not damaging, you can refresh your colour as often as you please.  And there are methods to minimise fading.

However - they're not always very good for covering greys unless you bleach first.  Or so I'm told.  I only have a handful of greys myself and they don't bother me so I'm not the best person to ask about that.

Adore have a decent range of "natural" colours if that's what you're looking for.  The Beeunique gallery is still accessible although the shop is offline.  (Links at the top of the page)
 

 

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