You are here:



QUESTION: My hair color is short dark brown.  I've always used box same brand of medium brown color from stores.  Now I  bought. Medium natural brown and the developer so I can mix it myself.  My question is will the medium natural brown lighten too much?  I don't think so because my hair is dark brown .  Medium dark brown might be too dark.  I like dark hair  but I don't want it black.

ANSWER: I'm going to need a bit more information.

What brand of color were you isnong before? what brand did you buy yhis time? Which developer did you buy? Are you planning on pulling it through the ends or just doing the new growth? Are you covering gray? Why did you change products?

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

QUESTION: I was using medium brown in clariol Perfect 10 for at least 6 years but the stores don't sell it  I went to Sally's and bought clariol soy 4plex liquicolor ,  I did have help when buying this. This only comes in medium dark brown and medium neutral brown.
I like the medium neutral brown because if I want to change and go darker then I will use medium dark brown . I color all of my short hair and I have grey too .  I also add grey magic, it's great  coverage for grey.
I don't think medium neutral brown will lighten too much because my hair is dark brown. The developer is clariol 30 to use with clariol haircolor .  My question is could it lighten or lift my dark hair? I will use medium neutral brown and if I want it darker than another time I will use medium dark brown.

ANSWER: 30 vol is too high.  Color doesn't lift color predictably so if you still have color on the ends it will affect it but its a guess as to how or how much. Where you don't have any color on your hair, is going to be very warm. Expect a LOT of orange roots.  The general rule is,  if you just want to deposit color, without making your hair lighter, use 10 vol.  UNLESS you have 50% or more best. Then you use 20 vol.

Clairol has a number on their packaging. I would recommend you call them and ask them what color would be comparable to what you used to use. They will be able to tell you exactly  which color is three same. Box color uses 20 vol by the way.  So, even if you do want To lighten your
hair a bit, 30 is still too high.

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

I returned the 30 developer at Sally's  and  I  changed to the 20 volume.  She said just as you said, the perfect 10 has 20 volume developer. Thank you
I have a question with grey magic.  It says to add
Mix hair color formula
Regular color formula is 2 oz color
2 oz peroxide. Shake
Add 20 drops grey magic  10 drops for every ounce of color (I use 2 oz of color 2 oz of 20 developer)
Do they mean after you mix the color with peroxide? Confused  It says mix formula.   I think she said 10 drops don't know why? In past I used about 15 drops   My hair is short very shiny healthy
I should be using 20 drops. Hope I'm not driving you crazy ???

Hi Christina,

You're not driving me crazy.

I don't use Gray Magic. I just  make the necessary adjustments to my hair color.  Just a personal preference. It doesn't matter when you add it to the formula. You need to have equal parts color and developer so measure them separately. In other words, don't measure the 2 oz of color INCLUDING the drops. Then, make sure you mix well.

By the way, Gray Magic is simply adding back in the missing pigments of gray hair. If you use a color designed to cover gray, it will have the added background you need and the color will come out a bit darker or warmer than you expect. Gray hair is missing the natural warmth, and gray magic replaces it that. It's basically giving your hair the yellows and reds it's missing to create 3 yellow's, 2 reds a 1 blue. That give the color you're applying something to stick to. Sort of. I doubt you want the full chemistry lesson here. LOL Anyway, the point is, if you've been using a total of 15 drops in the past, don't use 20 now. It's going to change the composition of the color you're applying. You're better off using less and tweaking the formula next time than you would be if you were to overshoot and then have to fix it.

I hope that makes sense. Either way, it doesn't matter when you add the drops.

Good luck :c) And, you are most welcome.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2016 All rights reserved.