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Old 01-02-2010, 03:07 PM
305 posts, read 1,548,507 times
Reputation: 717


I'm in my early 50s & have shorter hair, it's dark brown hair with grey that comes in if I don't color it. Usually use permanent color every 6 weeks, sometimes do it myself, sometimes have it salon-colored. Recently, (for no good reason but laziness) I let it go for 3 months without coloring. Had about 2 inches of grey roots showing (actually looked bright white, much whiter than previously, why, just due to aging?) After 3 months, there was such an extreme contrast between my white roots and my dark brown ends that started to look like I had a gigantic bald spot at my scalp!

Anyway, finally got my hair colored this week at a salon using the same stylist who had colored my hair 3 months earlier. 3 months earlier, my hair color came out too dark, almost black, and took weeks for it to fade, but at least the grey roots were totally covered up. This time, to try and avoid that "fake black" look, I asked for slightly lighter hair color (more medium brown rather than dark brown.) Well, the results were: my grey/white roots were hardly covered up by the color at all, the color hardly "took." (I have 2 inches of roots which look reddish-brown, while the ends of my hair remain dark brown.) Yes, my roots aren't grey/white like before, but they're are a lot lighter than the ends of my hair-- which give me a two-toned look! (And if you're wondering why I didn't speak up immediately about this at the salon, it was because I was shocked by the results, but wasn't quite sure how bad it was till after I left.)

Wondering why this happened-- was it because I asked for slightly lighter hair color? If so, shouldn't the stylist have warned me as the customer that this might happen? (this salon is lower-priced than most in this area, not the most upscale but also not the most bargain-priced, what responsibility do they have for this mistake?) Or is the reason for this result that I seem to have stubborn, color-resistant hair? Most of the time, I've asked stylists to leave the color in an extra 10 minutes (also do this when coloring my hair at home.) Well, for some reason, during this past appt, I forgot to ask for that extra time (maybe because the last time I asked for this at this salon, my hair came out dark black instead of brown?) -- could that be why there's such a color contrast between my 2-inch roots & the ends of my hair? (I know I sat there a full 30 minutes while the hair color set because I checked my watch right at the beginning & later when the timer went off, isn't that usually enough time?) So is it my fault that the color didn't "catch" like it should, because I forgot to ask for that extra 10 minutes? (and the salon/sylist are not responsible for this at all?)

Right now it's 4 days later and I've shampooed/conditioned (used products for color-treated hair)-- and the contrast between the roots and the ends looks even worse! Not as bad as when I had 2 inches of white roots & it looked like I had a bald spot, but not looking worthy of a $60 color job! (No, it doesn't look at all like highlights.) And of course, over time the color will fade further & look even worse!

I'm very dissatisfied, worried that the roots will soon fade right back to grey/white. But don't want to use that stylist again or ever go back to that salon. Instead, I'd like to correct this myself (without having to spend more money at a salon.) Would like to put dark brown hair color on the roots myself, using box color that's been successful for me in the past. Is this the easy solution or am I just asking for more trouble?

Questions --
-- will it damage my hair to put permant color over permanent color?
-- if not, can I add the color immediately? Or how long do I have to wait before coloring the roots? 4 weeks? (my hair will look terrible by then!)
-- any other solutions to this problem (besides just chopping off all my hair?)

Any helpful feedback will be appreciated, Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:46 AM
257 posts, read 972,497 times
Reputation: 335
It sounds like the stylist didn't leave the color on for long enough. Also, I have heard that grey hairs can be very stubborn (on top of the fact that your hair is already resistant), which is why special dyes for grey hair are sold.

If you do recolor your roots with permanent color, you should try to wait at least 6 weeks. In the mean time, I suggest using a semi-permanent color made specifically for grey hair. Since they don't contain ammonia or peroxide, the rinse will not damage your hair and can be used right away. You can even do it every week.

Have you considered replacing the permanent dye with semi or demi-permanent color? This way, when the color starts to fade out it won't be such a drastic change as opposed to white roots/dark ends.

Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:19 PM
Location: Northern NH
4,551 posts, read 10,561,454 times
Reputation: 3812
Did you contact the salon and see if they can help you fix this? I understand that this is very upsetting and I hate hate it when my hair doesn't look good! Not that this matters at all but $60 is very little to spend on a hair color so I am wondering if this is some indication of the salon experince but this is just a total wonder
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:29 PM
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,923,253 times
Reputation: 31787
I would contact the salon to see what can be done. Just as a suggestion but you might want to try highlights. The grey doesn't show as much when it comes in and you won't have to do the highlights but maybe two or three times a year. You will still need to color, but you can do that at home.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:43 PM
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,857 posts, read 45,779,461 times
Reputation: 58655
After I started getting more gray hairs, I found that going with 'hi lights' just works better. Then the gray blends in as if they are their own odd shade.

I would also take the advice of calling your whoever did your hair to see if they have a solution or speak to the salon manager. They are usually good about wanting to make their customers happy....especially in this economy.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:26 PM
257 posts, read 972,497 times
Reputation: 335
She said she doesn't want to ever deal with that salon again and I don't blame her.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:00 PM
Location: Northern NH
4,551 posts, read 10,561,454 times
Reputation: 3812
Oh sorry then I would go to a highly suggested hair salong that specalizes in color. This might be very expensive but well worth it in my opinion though.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:34 PM
Location: Indiana
562 posts, read 2,199,734 times
Reputation: 499
It may be that on "salon time"( how long they are willing to have you in the chair) your roots do not have enough time to take the color, and for the stylist to then blend out to your ends. I have pure white at my hairline, and DIY color, by leaving the medium brown on my roots for as long as 40 mins. if they are really outgrown.Then, I brush out to the ends where that will sit for 10-15 mins. Also, a warm color, like your new color could turn a glowing reddish tone on the white roots, so they didn't want it on too long. It is easier to dye the whole head dark brown, but if you're like me a lighter tone is more youthful.

If I were you, I would ask for subtle highlights on the lengths of your hair, in a nice caramel. This will lighten those ends so they do not look too dark.See if your salon will give you a discount since they are the ones who messed it up. Most salons seem to know how to highlight . Then I would apply a nice medium neutral brown with a brush, not applicator tip, yourself to the roots only, and let it sit 40 mins. Rinse very fast and thorough preserve your highlights. This deeper root,lighter ends will be a natural look, and your base color will appear to match the roots. Don't go too golden or the grey hair will"glow".

Then I would shop for a new salon OR do your own roots at home where you can give them the processing time with a permanent color that they need.When the highlights look outgrown, you can give your whole head about 15 mins with Natural Instincts no ammonia in Navajo Brown, which I love, to glaze them a soft golden brown. They will still pop through and you will look natural. Highlights are a good salon buy, but for my $$ no one can give my white roots the attention they need every 3 weeks like me. Its time consuming but not that hard.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:41 PM
Location: Indiana
562 posts, read 2,199,734 times
Reputation: 499
Oh PS, I re-color right away on the roots if they did not take the 1st time, I say don't wait! Your roots are not damaged old hair, and yes go permanent, why deal with this mess again when it fades? If you are staying in the brown family and have Caucasian hair, I don't really think you will damage the hair.
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:30 AM
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,952 posts, read 12,431,428 times
Reputation: 2089
I have grey hair and have not had wonderful luck with most salons until now. Also I have been coloring my hair for most of my life, but when my grey became more difficult to cover, I knew I needed help.

First, they probably didn't leave the color on long enough and probably used the wrong color - not sure. You should go back to the salon you went to. Also you must use permanent color.

I found a salon in my area that really specializes in color and they use Goldwell - amazing results. No fading. Great colorists. Also don't wait months - I color my hair every four weeks and darker hair may need every two to three weeks.
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