You helped me stay light... now help me rejoin the dark side
August 30, 2012 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Another help me not screw up my hair question. MeFites helped me through my last at home hair event, hoping you guys can do the same now!

I have been bleaching out my hair from dark brown to golden blonde for several months now. I do love it, but the up keep is just too much for me to handle. Doing it on my own is too much of a pain (I've done it before, and while it looked fine it took me all afternoon to bleach and then tone), and I can't afford to go to the salon every few weeks to keep it up, and when I do it only looks good for 2 weeks before I have dark hillbilly roots again. So I am wanting to go to something that will require less maintenance, and I can easily keep up with myself. I am thinking of going to a nice auburn type color that wouldn't should my roots to drastically. The question is, I have a couple months of growth of my roots right now, and the rest is bleached obviously. Can I buy supplies from Sally's Beauty and dye my hair like normal all over and get a decent result? Or am I going to end up with orange hair and still near black roots? If I went with a darker color closer to my natural color, would it be any easier to do at home or any different? Or if I am going back to a darker color and I going to have to go to a salon the first time? And can I upkeep it myself at that point? Any advice would be helpful! Thanks MeFites?
posted by Quincy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Clearly, I finished this question in a rush and did not have time to proof read until now. Please excuse the numerous grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Apologies.
posted by Quincy at 1:28 PM on August 30, 2012

OK, I've done the at-home dyeing bleached hair darker thing. I really, really don't recommend it. It will come out MUCH darker than whatever is on the box and may fade unevenly. If you wanted a really dark color then I would say you could attempt it knowing and being OK with those two issues.

I'd recommend going to the salon to get the color done the first time and have the colorist recommend a drugstore product that you could use to maintain the roots. If nothing else they should be able to tell you what color to look for. When it's time to do the roots for the first few times, do it when you don't have anything to do the next day. That way if something goes horribly wrong you'll have time to get it fixed.
posted by tealcake at 1:43 PM on August 30, 2012

Ombre is so in right now. This is the ideal situation for ombre. You've got the blonde ends, you've got the dark roots, now you just need the medium toned middle to blend out the harsh root line. Go to a salon. Do not do this yourself. Go to someone who has done ombre color before. Ask to see pictures of their work. Spend a bit of money at the start, because you're about to set yourself up for virtually maintenance free color.

Then, when ombre is no longer so hip, your hair will be grown out enough that you can chop off the blonde ends and be back to your natural color.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 2:25 PM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

I highly recommend a salon. I tried this recently and not only didn't the auburn take fully, I now have darkish auburn roots and pinkish tinted blonde hair that is becoming more blonde again every time I wash it. And it's not a good looking shade of blonde. Just waiting a bit since I don't go out much and don't want to fry my hair on another attempt. It so does NOT look Ombre :-(

If nothing else, ask the clerks at Sally because that's what I should have done.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:37 PM on August 30, 2012

Salon, at least the first time. Bleached hair is so porous, it will take on color unlike previously unprocessed hair. If you try it yourself not knowing what you're doing, you will possibly end up at a salon for corrective color anyway. Save yourself the panic and head to someone qualified first off.
posted by cecic at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2012

I had this problem and I called one of those hair-color hotlines. They recommended that I put the color part (no peroxide) of a really red color on my hair for about 20 minutes. Then I could color with an auburn color. It looked very nice and was a good transition.

Call L'Oreal at 800-631-7358

Garnier is at 866-964-0135

Clairol is at 800-252-4765

This will be fine!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:02 PM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

For this kind of thing, if you can afford it now, bring in a pro. Ge a one-time color fix/treatment with the goal of getting your hair to the point where you can grow it out without worrying too much about the roots, and then ask how to maintain it on your own.

You could ask about options for a short haircut sometime in the future, too.
posted by juliplease at 3:36 PM on August 30, 2012

I agree with the posters who recommend you have it done at a salon. You can then take over and do it yourself. I have yet to find a decent over the counter product. I buy Redken haircolor--which is normally only available at salons-- at I like the EQ shades line. It really makes my hair look like a pro did it, and it's very easy. Costs about $10 and application, so it's pretty inexpensive. You can find specific instructions on how to do it online.
posted by waving at 3:41 PM on August 30, 2012

I've done this quite recently, but the difference in colors between my natural hair (medium brown) and bleached hair (medium blonde) was not as big as what you describe. That being said, if I was you, I'd totally do it at home, but I have the history and twenty years of experience doing all sorts of things with my hair.

I'd advise you bring your hair back to your original color, rather than attempting reds/auburns on bleached hair. On bleached hair, reds will come out more intense and ugly orangey color, and they will wash out unevenly (and they will start washing out immediately!). The hair forums I read are full of these stories of people going from bleach to reds, thinking it will look better and crying on the internets two hours later.

So you could go to Sally's and choose a *non-permanent* color (I've had good experiences with Wella Color Charm) which is *a shade or even two shades lighter than your natural hair color*. Don't be fooled by the names, look at the samples. Non-permanent color will come out darker than the samples, too, so this is one of the reasons we're choosing a shade or two lighter. Despite what the words "non-permanent" imply, it will also not wash out completely from bleached hair - it will gradually lighten over the next four-six weeks, then you can repeat the procedure until you have grown your hair enough to chop off the bleached ends. Whatever color you choose, the golden bleached tones will still shine through the non-permanent color. This isn't bad, though - it actually has given me a very beautiful and unique color of "old bronze" that I'd never be able to replicate if I tried.

What Ruthless Bunny describes is called pigmenting (using just the pigment in the first stage, then doing color the normal way) and I've heard good things about it, but never tried.
posted by Ender's Friend at 6:41 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

You're going to need a filler if you want the darker colour to stay.

You could try using a direct deposit dye (my favourite is Goldwell Soft Colour Mousse) repeatedly over the course of several weeks to 'stain' the bleached hair a darker colour, then either dye over it yourself. But I think I'd prefer to get someone who knows what they're doing to take care of it.
posted by nerdfish at 4:40 AM on August 31, 2012

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