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Hairstyling/highlights and color


My natural hair color is sandy brown. I get it colored to cover the gray and my hairstylist highlights it with bleach to achieve slight blond highlights. My hair is being damaged by the highlights and after a couple of weeks my highlights get lighter and lighter and tend to have a white/copper/reddish color. Can my hairstylist use something else to highlight instead of bleach? Thanks.

Hiya Mary,

I'm not sure what you mean by white/copper/reddish color. Do you mean the highlighted pieces are are not the same root to end?

The simple answer to your question is no. Color will not lift color predictably. If your hair has color on it, lightener is your best bet. I have another question; is your stylist putting the lightener (bleach) over the hair that was previously lightened or only applying to the new growth?

Anytime I do color and highlights, or just highlight for that matter, I pretreat the hair with a protein reconstructor first, follow with the color service, and finish with a color lock sealing treatment. When I apply the highlights or color, I don't pull through the previously highlighted hair. I only apply the lightener to the new growth. A retouch highlight shouldn't damage your hair, nor should the color change after a couple of weeks. It's not unusual for colored or highlighted hair to be a bit dry or to need a bit of extra protein but this sounds excessive

I would recommend asking your stylist about pre and post treatments and which products you should be using at home to maintain the color. I would also recommend going in when the color changes so your stylist can see exactly what's happening. Without being able to see your hair, I would guess that overlapped lightener is the culprit. Doing a pre treatment will help tremendously in getting the color even from scalp to ends. I would definitely suggest having a nice heart to heart with your stylist. If S/he doesn't have suggestions on how to prevent, control and minimize the damage, it may be time to find a new stylist.

I hate to say that but if your stylist isn't addressing the damage when you go in for a retouch, or noticing anything while working with your hair, you may want to find one who's a little more attentive. Good luck. I hope that helps.  


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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