Purposeful dark root on hair not looking great
January 23, 2017 7:45 AM   Subscribe

At-home hair dyers: I went to my stylist and asked for white blonde hair with a root. After two sessions with her, I still do not like the root she gave me and I'd like to go all white blonde myself. Walk me through it?

First of all, I do not want to go back to her or see another professional. I'm pretty sure I can fix this myself because before growing my hair out for two years, I did all kinds of crazy stuff to my hair, mostly myself. I also am pretty peeved because my hair was NOT OK after the 1st session and she charged me $75 to fix it. My hair was virgin before going in. Currently, it still feels pretty good, and I have very thick, coarse hair to begin with.

In the 1st session, she lighted all but the closest 1/2" to my hair and then put in a semi-permanent neutral medium brown on the root. We used Olaplex during this process and then toned my hair.

Pictures below:

Hair after 1st session

As you can see, there were a lot of darker spots in my hair, which to me looked like she got some of the root color onto the hair shaft after lightening them. The root was also very coppery red (especially in natural light) and it was very yellow, still.

During the 2nd session, she lightened the ends a bit more and then placed a demi-permanent dark ash brown on the roots. We used Olaplex again (just the 3rd step) and toned again.

Hair after 2nd session

This time the shaft looks a bit better, though there is still some darker parts and yellow parts. The part that still makes me cringe is the root. I did not expect the roots to have a red band between the white and the root, and I haven't even washed my hair yet!

I'd like to get rid of the root and go white from root to end. My current plan is to use a dye remover (Color Pops) on the roots. Then, if necessary, hit them with 40 developer bleach (from beauty supply) pulling through on some of the yellower hair after 20 minutes. Then top off with Wella T18. I've used Color Oops before with good results and have seen a lot of reviews with good results, too. I'm honestly not sure how much of my root actually got bleached, either.

Thoughts? Do you think I can achieve this with minimal issues? Will I always have this weird hand banding at the roots?
posted by ancient star to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Omg please don't use any bleach from Sally's, from experience it will fry your hair and make it crunchy. I use Schwarzkopf bleach and developer and it's the best in the market. I am Asian and it gets my jet black hair to blonde in an hour (I do add a bit of olaplex too). If you think you need to remove colour first pravana makes a great kit for getting hair dye out. Both brands are pro brands but you can easily find and buy on the internet.

Afterwards I tone with a 50 / 50 mix of T-18 and the wella purple cooling additive. Gives me platinum blonde hair.
posted by raw sugar at 7:56 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

The banding is called a heat band (see point number 10) and it is the result of an improoper bleach job. You can risk doing this yourself (there are a lot of Youtube videos about how to do this correctly) but honestly? Your stylist effed up. This is like basic stylist knowledge. I would complain, and find someone who specializes in platinum looks.
posted by Brittanie at 8:11 AM on January 23, 2017 [5 favorites]

I bleach my hair every month and I also use Schwarzkopf bleach and developer. After trying a million different bleaches it is the best that I've found. If your hair was just done I'd probably wait at least a week though just to give your ends a break from all the bleaching. Bleaching over and over without a rest tends to destroy hair (in my experience).

Your plan sounds otherwise fine, but you might want to do a strand test first just to see how your hair responds and to find out if you need 20 minutes with bleach on the roots or longer. I'd do the strand test while the hair is on your head because the heat from your head affects how the roots will take the bleach. Clip all your hair up and just do a piece on the underside so that if it goes weird nobody will notice.
posted by Polychrome at 8:25 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

The difficulty lies in that it'll be VERY hard to keep bleach from the rest of your hair, which looks damned healthy for being completely stripped of color. If you try to strip just the heat band, you could really fry your hair. You may also inadvertently create another heat band.

Heat bands are really tricky. I know you don't want to go back, but if it bothers you, I'd have the hair person fix this.

The chances of you completely frying your hair and even having it fall out are way too great to mess with.

But FWIW I would not have noticed the heat band at ALL and I think your hair looks super!
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 11:02 AM on January 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

To be honest, I'd suggest you find another stylist. I agree with everyone that your hair looks great and healthy, but the risks of doing damage are huge at this point.
A couple of years ago, a new stylist totally ruined my hair - both color and cut. I so understand your determination to take over the process, it was devastating and I hated going to work for weeks. But I found a stylist who understood what I wanted, and I've never looked back, there is no doubt that what she does is far better than I could have done on my own. To find her, I asked friends and relatives.
posted by mumimor at 12:38 PM on January 23, 2017

I just looked at the second pix again. I honestly do not at all think your hair looks anything but healthy and awesome. I wouldn't touch it. Honest; it's really cool.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 1:40 PM on January 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

Well, I can't tell you not to do it yourself because I would be guilty of the foulist of hypocrisies. So I'll try and talk you through some of the follies of this course of action.

As others have suggested, I would let it rest a bit. Bleached hair has a magic oxidation point a few days in where a bunch more pigment lifts out. Do nothing for a few days, then shampoo/condition for a few more. Try a purple shampoo/conditioner (usually labelled for highlight/grey maintenance), see if it's enough to dampen the copper you are seeing (watch out for the lengths; if they are porous, they'll get ashy. If they are still a bit yellow, though, this will help them appear snowy white.) Put on dry shampoo and muss up your roots to distract yourself, and see how you feel about it in a week.

With regard to your dye remover, please read the label and make sure it will lift demis. Otherwise I wouldn't bother with it.

The reason why people are all omg just find someone else to do it for you, is because it's a very finicky job. Go nape to forehead, applying only on the dark root.

Do not touch your scalp, do not apply to the already bleached hair. Which is hard, because it's hard to reach the back of your head, and bleach swells like a mofo, especially when warmed, which it will be by your body heat. The best way to make this happen is to get a color barrier cream (don't use Vaseline, it doesn't wash out, ask me how I know!) and do an initial pass painting barrier cream to mask off the already bleached hair, then a bleach pass.

40 volume is not recommended next to your scalp. It is likely to burn you, and a fast processing time in this case increases the likelihood of uneveness, because by the time you've finished the whole application, the first part you did is ready to rinse out. Nthing the best bleach you can acquire. If it's pro stuff, make sure you can acquire the exact instructions and follow to a T.

Many bleaches have a anti-brass agent that obscures the true lift you're at, so wipe off a test or two thouroughly to judge before you rinse everything.

As pain-in-the-ass as everything sounds, it is basically a root touch-up, which you might want to know how to do sooner or later if you want to maintain a platinum look.

The wildcard, to me, is you mention two applications of dye to your roots, and I don't think we know what your natural level is. So you could end up with a huge orange band and a sore scalp, instead of the petite one now, if that dye refuses to lift. If it was me, I'd line up the products, mix little portions and do a big ol' test swatch behind the ear, and bail if the result is not up to par.

Somewhat hair-experienced friends are helpful in such circumstance, as are cosmetology schools. Hell, I'd pay them to have two techs work on my head, just to get it done fast and well. Good luck!
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 7:44 PM on January 23, 2017

Response by poster: So, the original session was last Sunday, the 15th, and then the 2nd session was last Thursday the 19th. I washed it today after 4 days. I didn't mention this, but the roots are very uneven! I can really only part my hair one way (despite the fact that I told her I like to part it in the middle, too).

Here are the after-washing pictures.

My natural hair looks like this.

You guys are totally right, 40 developer should not go on the scalp. I have an undercut so I'm actually going to shave off a bit along the undercut and do a strand test of the Color Oops to see how that turns out. Then we'll see what the best plan is. I might end up dying it a fun color instead. :(

Any other advice/ideas are welcome! I talked to the stylist who wasn't really interested in helping me within the next few weeks.
posted by ancient star at 8:20 PM on January 23, 2017

« Older Please tell me good things about Baltimore   |   Octopus parents that continue living? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.