once you go dark...

Fall is just around the corner, which means lots of girls are going to be coming in to darken and richen up their color. I am all for this! I love darker, warmer, richer tones or colors for fall and winter to help brighten up our generally paler skin in the colder months.

Alexa Chung - Photo from polyvore.com

Alexa Chung - Photo from polyvore.com

Photo from bloom.com

Photo from bloom.com

Minka Kelly - Photo by StyleBistro

Minka Kelly - Photo by StyleBistro

What's not to love about that rich deep color like Alexa's and Minka's? We are all ready to call our hairdresser right now after seeing their gorgeous locks, but  have you ever taken a good thing too far though? Like, if you look good with dark brown hair, you must look good with black hair obviously. One time I dyed my hair black, which actually, I loved for the time being. When I wanted to go back to brown, the stylist told me my best bet was a heavy highlight. Apparently they had never heard of toner or a color remover and I walked out with black hair, brown roots, and orange highlights. I have never cried over my hair until that day. It was awful and cost a fortune to fix! Thank God it was winter and I could wear a beanie. Was that just me? I wish it was, but sadly, I am fixing this mistake all too often at the salon. 

Here's what to expect when you are over your dark hair (days, weeks, months..) - you will either have to strip the color out, either with bleach or with an actual color stripper. Both are not a cake walk and should not be attempted by just any old stylist. The way that you lift out color takes serious time and attention so as not to fry your hair and to lift out as evenly as possible. Color cannot lift color out, so don't get all crafty and go run to Sally's and buy color, that is not professional color no matter what you tell yourself. You will most likely end up going to get it fixed any way, so save yourself this step of more damage and frustration and go to the pro in the first place. 

Dark hair is beautiful, I do not ever want to discourage anyone from doing it! I just want to be honest with what can happen if you or your stylist get over zealous with how dark you go.

My hair got pretty dark here at the base. At least 2 shades lighter than my natural color. I loved it! But when I was ready for a change we shampoo capped with bleach to lift two levels, then recolored with a lighter brown and threw in some highlights. 

My hair got pretty dark here at the base. At least 2 shades lighter than my natural color. I loved it! But when I was ready for a change we shampoo capped with bleach to lift two levels, then recolored with a lighter brown and threw in some highlights. 

Perfect color for the wedding! I wanted to be more natural and not as trendy. Still a deep, rich brunette with the highlights that reflected light beautifully. 

Perfect color for the wedding! I wanted to be more natural and not as trendy. Still a deep, rich brunette with the highlights that reflected light beautifully. 

Here are a couple great steps you can do at home to help strip out unwanted color or tones.

  • Wash like a mad woman. Preferably with a clarifying / purifying shampoo, think Paul Mitchell Tea Tree, even Head and Shoulders, or if you are really desperate...Dawn dish soap. Yep, you read that right. Dish soap will strip your hair like crazy! This is great for blondes who have been toned either too gold or too ashy as well. Don't forget to rehydrate that poor hair / scalp of yours! Deep conditioner & masques are a must. 
  • Give it time. If you are a brunette that went too dark, and you aren't in a wedding next week, give it time. Washing and time will be better on your hair than going back in there. Blondes who added too many / too dark of low lights, wash and time would do you well too. If you are still unhappy in a couple of washes, then call your stylist and explain. On that note, you will catch way more flies with honey than vinegar. Be kind and explain that it's not hideous(unless it is) and is simply too dark or too many low lights. We as stylist want you to love your hair, we aren't out to get you. But nothing is worse than a mean, hard to please client. Don't be that girl. 
  • HYDRATE! Dry hair is going to absorb color unevenly a lot of the time because of the inconsistency of elasticity and porosity. Your color will take more evenly, have more shine, and last longer if you have healthy and moisturized hair. My fav 7 years later is still It's a 10 or Brazilian Blowout masque
  • Use a color shampoo / conditioner. Once you have achieved your color you love, use color shampoo and conditioner to avoid fading or unwanted tones. Davines has amazing alchemic shampoos and conditioners ranging from copper to blue. Blue / purple based shampoos are wonderful for blondes or naturally grey hair who love ashy or beige tones. Also perfect for this seasons lavender and grey blondes! Matrix So Silver is wonderful. 

Beware if you are trying to go dramatically lighter, you might be charged a "color correction" fee depending on your hair / stylist. Ask up front what you are looking at price wise so you aren't surprised by your bill. Keep in mind if you come in with a level 3 dark black cherry hair and four hours later you leave with light brown hair with highlights, your stylist will charge your more for time & mass amounts of product. 

I hope that helps! As a girl who loves to go really dark at times, it's worth it. I love to switch it up. Just know, when you are ready for a change, you will be adding that extra stress of bleach and striping onto your hair. Realize it might take you a couple visits to get you back to your lighter color again. Allow for extra time at the salon when you go in because it is hard to lift out. And take good care of your hair! It is hard to take all that chemical change, so be kind to your hair. Use good moisturizing products and don't rip that brush through your hair. 

Any hilarious / horror stories of things you have done to your hair? Miracle products you swear by? Colors / styles you will never do again? I would love to hear about or see them! 

xoxo

Lexi