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Hairstyling/Hair color question


I have very dark brown hair.  I have my hair done professionally My hair dresser uses the lightest ash blonde with a green base on the roots with 50 vol peroxide. ( my hair is very hard to lift) then she slices in highlights. It cost me $175 every six weeks. I want to do the roots myself.  I went to sally's and the girl told me to use Clairol Soy4plex 12a  high lift cool blonde she said its a green base.  She said to use it with 40 volume peroxide and that should lift the roots enough to blend in but just in case I bought some purple shampoo. I wanted to know if there is anything better?  Years ago when I was home raising my kids I used to buy loreal les blondiness in a box the lightest ash blonde, it used to get me to a strawberry blonde then the next time I did it over the strawberry it would turn blonde, but I always had that ring of strawberry. Is there anything better? I have been doing online research but right now I don't know what to do

Hi Debbie,  

This is really a hard question for me to answer. I do not, under any circumstances recommend  doing color at home. And in your case that would be especially true. So here's the thing. In 32 years of doing hair, I have never used or needed to use 50 vol developer. If that's what it actually takes to lift your hair, there is nothing you can buy yourself is going to get even close. Plus, if you have a surprise and it doesn't turn out right, it's going to cost you a lot more than the usual $175 to get it fixed.

I guess my first question to you would be, do you really need the whole thing done every time? Every six weeks? Most of my clients get the full color, and a full highlight once. Then, the next visit, we do just the color without the highlights or we do the full color and I paint a bit through just the top and front hairline like a 6 foil fashion or just the full color without the highlight. Then in the next visit, we do the full color and we'll do a partial highlight again.  About every third or fourth visit, we do the whole thing again.

Have you talked with your designer about finding a way to make your visits a little more budget friendly? The fact that your hairdresser uses 50 vol sends up huge red flags to me when it comes to trying to do this yourself. I can tell with a fair amount of confidence that if your hairdresser thought it was possible to get your hair as light as you want it with something you can buy yourself and 40 vol developer, she wouldn't be using a formula that aggressive.

I would recommend talking about alternatives. I can't imagine, regardless of how you wear your hair, that there isn't some way to maintain your look without doing the full color and full highlight every 6 weeks.  If your hairdresser can't find a way to make that happen for you, it may be time to find another hairdresser.

In rereading your question, I notice that you said the color you bought was a 12A. While I know thT is an ash, and keep in mind, I don't use that product, but with most color lines, once you get to a level 12, the ash base is not green, but Violet. Sometimes, you can find a 12  AB which would be blue.  But I have never seen a level 12 with a green base. Doesn't mean it isn't possible. The thing is, green counteracts red. There is no need to have a level 12 with a green base because green won't neutralize yellow and that's what you would have at levels 9 and above. If you genuinely need 50 vol developer, I don't think  a level 12 and 40 vol is going to get you where you want to be. And, just as a reference, I charge twice as much to fix a mistake as I do to do it right the first time. The reason is, it takes a lot more expertise and practice and education to do corrective color. I just think you should cover all your bases and reach all your options before you put that color on your own hair.  


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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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