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Hair Color/Hair color faded. What now?


QUESTION: Though I used a "color safe" shampoo and washed every other day, my medium brown hair color faded after just two weeks. I basically was coloring it my natural color but wanting to do it to cover grays. Now the color has faded out of the grays, so they are showing through.  I also had a natural ombre to my hair so I mimicked that with a highlighting kit.
At first, it looked exactly like my natural hair color, minus the grays. Now it's just a real disappointment. It faded lighter to a light brown with an unnatural brassy tone to it. I was really hoping to do something that would match my natural color so that when the roots started showing, it would basically be just the beginnings of grays peeking out at the scalp against my natural hair color which would have in theory matched the colored part. No such luck.
How soon can I recolor? I have tried semi-permanent and haven't had luck covering grays with it... but might it work better now? I could use between permanent colorings? And I'd also like to preserve the ombre, so can I apply to just roots and blend outward?
BTW, I have relatively fine hair, if that's of any consequence, and the highlighting kit did do some damage.
Thoughts? Advice?
I just don't want this to be an ongoing battle until I'm ready to surrender to the grays.

ANSWER: Hi Alison

I would be first curious as to what product you are using. It sounds to me like you are using a non-ammonia color. If that is the case, just switch to a permanent color. Pick a shade and level that best matches your hair color. Apply to the roots only for 20 minutes and than pull through up to the ombre, (You said you want to preserve your ombre) I will tell you that you are doing a whole lot for a non hairdresser. But you seem to be on the right road. Using a professional product will ensure proper results. This should work with less fadage for you. Let me know what you are using...just curious.

All the best

NIck T

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your reply. The product I used was Revlon Colorsilk, which I understood to be permanent. Is it possible my hair doesn't hold color very well? The product was well reviewed online, but I actually just yesterday bought a box of nice n' easy for the second try, since it is also well reviewed. Maybe it's just a matter of finding the product that works best with my hair type?
I agree starting off with an ombre is not a newbie endeavor, but my goal was to move forward only dealing with the roots for the most part.

ANSWER: Hi Alison

Off the shelf colors are nowhere as good as what we use in salons. While both of these products promise to deliver what we do, it just isn't always the case. I suggest you go to a Sally's beauty supply and buy a tube color and 20 Volume activator (sold separately) than you will surely see a difference.

As far as doing the roots and not covering the ombre, it's not impossible. Put the color on the roots and pull it right up to the line of demarcation from the ombre, than pull it through only the last 5 minutes, and you should get exactly what I think you are looking for.

Good Luck

Nick T

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you. One question about the developer. If I don't want to lighten my hair at the roots at all, what is the benefit to using volume 20 instead of volume 10? Thanks!

Hi Alison,

We use 10v for deposit only, but you need to be at least less than 50% gray. Anything after that, we recommend 20v for total coverage, and sometimes it does give you a slight lift, depending on formulation. It's your choice, less than 50% gray go with 10v.


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The PsyCOLORgist


Ready to color your hair, and don't have a single clue on how to start? I will try my best to guide you in your new or old hair color venture, whether you are going to a professional or trying to do it yourself. If you are going to see a professional I can help by answering all questions regarding your initial consultation, what to say to your colorist, how to describe what your wishes are and well talk about realistic expectations. Everything starts with a good conversation; learn how to discuss hair color in terms which make sense to a colorist.


I started as a young assistant at Vidal Sassoon in 1982 and got the training that has always sustained me throughout my professional life. I first became involved in hair color in the mid 80s when I realized that my passion for painting was a vehicle understanding hair color. I joined the industry of hair color teaching and began a career as a platform artist in 1991. The next 25 years, took me across the USA and North America doing all hair shows, demonstrations on both hair cutting and hair coloring. I went from regional education, to national, eventually crossing into North America and being promoted as the USA Artistic Director for It&lyhairfashion, N.A. My hair salon is an award-winning destination for hair expertise, and I am proud to say that I have one of the most elite hair expert teams working for me.

Modern Salon Magazine Salon and Day Spa Westchester Magazine

Involved in hair shows and teaching professional hairdressers for over 25 years.

Awards and Honors
Best Hair Colorist of 2011 awarded by "Westchester Magazine" in New York. Featured in Modern Salon as one of the top national hair colorists.

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