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How to Dye Blonde Hair Brown

Light brown hair
Light brown hair | Source

You might believe that to dye blonde hair brown, all you need to do is apply a brown hair dye and wait for it to develop. It's actually a little more complicated than this though.

Depending on how light your hair is, and what shade of blonde hair you have, you could end up with your blonde hair turning green or another unexpected color if you simply put a darker shade on top of it.

Dyeing your hair from blonde to brown

When you have dyed or natural blonde hair, there is a yellow base tone hiding underneath the color you actually see. It is the cool tones in your hair that neutralize some of this yellow and give you anything from a golden blonde to an ash blonde color. These cool tones are important even in a golden blonde shade, and without them your blonde hair would simply be a fluorescent yellow color from the underlying base pigment.

The problem with simply applying a shade of hair dye to blonde hair, is that a dark dye doesn't take into account that your hair has a yellow base when brown hair is meant to have an orange or red base. Ash brown hair dyes contain significant amounts of blue and green pigment to counteract red tones. This is why they can be used to tone your hair to a nice brown after you've bleached black hair dye out, or they can be used to tone out red brown hair colors like mahogany or bright red to a more natural shade.

When applied to hair that has no red or orange tones however, an ash brown hair dye is extremely overpowering and instead of turning resulting in an ash brown hair color, you'll end up with either dark gray or even a murky and horrifying shade of green. When you have blonde hair, you don't have any red tone present, and the use of this ash dye can be a significant mistake. This is an example of why you need to be careful and dye your hair properly if you want to go from blonde to brown hair, and it is not just ash brown dyes that will lead to an unexpected color if applied to your blonde hair.

Warm brown hair
Warm brown hair | Source

Avoiding hair color mistakes

If you want to dye your hair brown, you have to be very careful in regards to what dye you use or you will end up with a completely unintended color and a trip to the salon for an expensive color correction service. There are two easy ways to avoid this:

  • Filling your blonde hair
  • Using a warmer shade

When you fill your blonde hair, this means that you pre-pigment it and fill it with a tone like gold or red to prepare it before you apply the final color. This introduces the necessary tone to your hair that the brown hair dye is meant to be built upon.

You can also sometimes use a warmer brown hair dye instead. The only problem with this method is that for whatever shade of dye you use, the outcome will be cooler and contain less red and copper pigment than the actual shade of dye you use. This can make it a little complicated to get an exact shade and you can still end up with an unintended result.

Golden brown hair
Golden brown hair | Source

Filling blonde hair

If you have blonde hair, depending on what shade of blonde you have and how light your blonde hair is, you may need to fill it with gold or red tones for the best result before you dye it brown. This can easily be achieved by applying a warmer shade prior to using the desired brown shade.

You can fill your hair with a colored protein filler or a demi-permanent dye. Colored protein fillers are especially great for porous hair because the protein helps normalize the porosity of your hair and prevent hair dye from coloring unevenly. If you bleached your hair when you dyed it blonde, it is likely porous, and a protein filler is the preferable way to fill it. If your hair is naturally blonde, it doesn't matter too much which option you choose.

If you decide to use a demi-permanent dye to fill your hair, use a shade that's at least one level lighter than your desired brown hair. You can dye your hair a neutral or warm brown after filling it with a copper or red shade. If you want an ash brown hair color however, use a demi-permanent dye that is two levels lighter than your desired brown shade, and use either a copper or red shade.

The reason for this is that you need some red tone in your hair so that your ash dye doesn't turn out green, but you don't want so much red that it turns out too warm even after applying an ash brown dye.

If you're having trouble working out which color to use to fill your hair, you can use the table below to quickly identify the shade you need. The number that precedes the shade is the hair level, which tells you how dark the shade is. The name of the shade corresponds to this level and also tells you the primary tone. For example, if you wanted a dark neutral brown color, this is a level 3, and you need to apply a level 4 medium red brown to fill it first so that the color turns out exact.

Desired brown color
Demi to use
5 - Light ash brown
7 - Medium red blonde
4 - Medium ash brown
6 - Dark red blonde
5 - Light natural brown
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium natural brown
5 - Light red brown
3 - Dark natural brown
4 - Medium red brown
5 - Light golden brown
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium golden brown
5 - Light red brown
5 - Light auburn
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium auburn
5 - Light red brown
5 - Light mahogany
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium mahogany
5 - Light red brown
5 - Light burgundy
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium burgundy
5 - Light red brown
 
 
Light brown hair
Light brown hair | Source

What are demi-permanent dyes?

Demi-permanent dyes differ from permanent hair dyes in that part of the color in the tube is oxidative like a permanent dye, but part of it is also direct. Oxidation is the reason why if you open a tube of permanent hair dye, the color of the hair dye product is usually white or a beige color before it is mixed; it needs to oxidize first. When exposed to air or developer, it begins to darken and take on the actual shade.

A demi-permanent dye will be colored right from the moment you squeeze it out of the tube, but will oxidize further when mixed with developer. In this way, it doesn't last as long before it fades. The low volume of developer used, which is usually between 5 - 7 vol, also contributes to this quicker fading and means it isn't very damaging and can be used to fill hair if necessary, or to tone hair that has already been dyed.

You won't likely find a demi-permanent hair dye in supermarkets or pharmacies, and will need to know exactly what you're looking for in order to buy them, because the fact that they are a demi-permanent dye isn't usually labelled on the tube. A few great demi-permanent dyes include Igora Viviance, I.Color I.luminate, and Matrix Color Sync.

Dyeing with a warmer shade

Instead of filling blonde hair with red prior to dyeing it brown, you are also able to dye it with a warmer brown shade than your desired color. In this case, a natural brown would turn out more like an ash brown, while a golden brown would turn out closer to a natural brown. The extra red tones in your warm dye compensate for the missing tone in your hair.

For cooler shades of brown, you'll notice that shades that are one tone warmer than your desired shade will give you the color you want. This rule slows down and stops working when you get to caramel brown, where you should use a caramel brown shade for an almost exact color. You can use the table below to decide what dye to use when dyeing your blonde hair brown.

The main exception to this rule is with mahogany and burgundy hair colors. These shades contain red and violet tones to give more of a purple color. In this case, the yellow tones present in your blonde hair can counteract the violet tones in these colors leading to shades that are redder than they should be. If this is a problem for you, add violet intensifier to your mahogany or burgundy shades to boost the purple color.

Desired brown shade
Dye to use
Ash brown
Natural brown
Natural brown
Golden brown
Golden brown
Caramel brown
Caramel brown
Caramel brown
Red brown
Red brown
Mahogany
Mahogany
Burgundy
Burgundy
Streaked brown hair
Streaked brown hair | Source

If you dye blonde hair brown and take these rules into account, you'll end up with the brown shade you actually want instead of making a mistake that would require a color correction. Hair color is all about the interaction of tones, and as you start to grasp how these different tones interact with each other, you'll be able to dye your hair any color without ending up with unexpected results.

Do you have a question about dyeing blonde hair brown, or want to know more about how the different tones in your hair contribute to its color? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.

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562 comments

goodnews11 profile image

goodnews11 2 years ago from CHENNAI

Nice tips my dear friend!! Voted up!!


soblessed 2 years ago

great tips, thanks.


Adria 2 years ago

I have pale yellow blonde hair, I like it but not a lot so I want to go a darker blonde or light brown. Can I dye my hair a warm toned, or red or gold toned darker blonde and be fine? My main concern is it just turning an odd color like green. So dye my hair with warm toned hair dye since i have pale yellow hair and It wont turn green??


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Adria,

Blonde hair turning green is only a problem when you dye it with a dark ash dye. What happens is that the blue tone in the ash, which is designed to neutralise orange, overpowers what little warmth is in your light hair. The excess blue plus the yellow in your hair then combine to give a green colour.

Use either a natural, beige, gold, or strawberry tone and this won't be a problem. I'd recommend a beige for the best results.


Jennifer 2 years ago

Hi, I dyed my hair blonde a while ago and now it's not too light but not too dark either. I want to go back to my natural hair color which is a medium brown. Looking at the color chart I would have to fill my hair using a Light Red Brown color in order to get a Medium Natural Brown, but recently I went in to Sally's and I bought a permanent Light Burgundy Brown color. I was planning on leaving it that color for a few days and then go in with the Medium Brown, but would using the permanent Light Burgundy Brown give me the same results as using the demi Light Red Brown and get me the exact Medium Brown color later on?


Bree 2 years ago

I recently had my hair ombre'd and it came out way blonde than I wanted. I wanted just two shades lighter than my natural hair which is a dark warm brown...but I now have blonde ends...what should I do?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Jennifer,

Burgundy shades have red tone, but they also have a strong violet tone. You'll find they end up looking quite purple if you apply them to blonde hair. If you want to use the burgundy shade and keep that colour for a while, then when the time comes that you wish to return to a natural brown shade, you would be best using a golden brown shade to neutralise the purple out of the burgundy.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Bree,

You can dye over the blonde with a natural shade to darken it. Two shades lighter than dark brown is light brown, so use a light natural brown.


Devin 2 years ago

Hi my mom has bleached hair and it is really unflattering to her skin tone.. We want to take her a little darker and natural for fall. Like a light golden brown or darkest blonde ..only problem is her roots are an ash tone and her mid lengths and ends are quite brassy. I know I need to use a filler but what color filler ? There is warm brown, red, and gold...and do I only put the filler on her roots? I don't want to use too many different formulas please help


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Devin,

Apply filler to any hair you need to darken. Alternatively, use a natural shade mixed with a little of the equivalent gold shade for the roots (Around 25% gold), and use the natural shade by itself on the lengths.

Natural shades contain all three primary colours so they darken blonde hair without causing it to turn green or anything like that. The reason you'd add gold to the natural when dyeing the roots is because the roots are an ash tone and will need a little extra warmth to give a golden brown result.

It shouldn't be necessary to mix shades for the lengths, but if they're very brassy you may want to add a little ash tone to that mixture to cut down on the warmth so the golden brown looks more subtle.


Nina 2 years ago

I went platinum blonde over the summer and now that my tan is fading, I want to go a few shades darker to maybe a level 8 or 9 beige/cool blonde. Gold blondes don't look good on my skin tone so I'm not sure if I should use a red based filler/demi?! I also have about 1/2" -3/4" of med brown roots so not sure how to get them to blend? Should I pre-lighten the roots before I add an all over filler/demi?! I don't want to fry my hair any more than I already have with the platinum so not sure if pre-lightening is a good idea! (Then I'll have to write you back about wig recommendations!!) ;-)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Nina, you don't need to fill your hair when you're dyeing blonde hair to a darker blonde. Apply a natural blonde at your desired level and that will darken it. A natural tone tends to be slightly on the cool side. It isn't ash, but it won't be a golden colour.

As for the roots, the only way you can blend them is if they are the same colour. Alternatively, if they are your natural colour and you haven't applied any dye over them (Including any blonde dye you may have used on the platinum, or toners), you can lighten them with a high lift dye. If your hair is very damaged though, it'd be best not to touch them at all, or at least not until you've used protein treatment to strengthen your hair back up.


Sera 2 years ago

Hi, my hair was cooper for years and I wanted to go cooler tones like grayish-matte and natural medium ash color. My hairdresser bleached my hair and used 7.1 however he did not do any pigmentation before! So the result came as a light color with greenish tints. Currently, it has been 12 days since then and it turned a color like gold-blonde with slightly green tints :/ I really like the hair color under the shadow but under the light it's not actually what I want -becuase I don't want to be "blonde" actually!

Now I want to dye again my hair myself at home. I want to obtain a cool soft brown so this time I think to mix 7.1 and 6.1 . But I am afraid of having a greenish color again, so should I do a gold or red pigmentation before I use ash color this time? Thanks!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Sera,

What happened here is that a green based ash dye was used on your hair. Green ash is the best tone for neutralising red out of hair, because green counteracts red, but if it's used on copper or gold hair it will just result in a green caste that doesn't look very good.

I would recommend that you apply a quick bleach wash to remove the green tone, then dye it again with a blue-violet ash. For this purpose, you can use dyes like Indola Profession 7.1, Igora Royal 7.1, Iso I.Color 7AA, or Matrix 7.1. All of these dyes are blue and violet based, rather than green. Using one of them will give you a proper grey ash. If you can't get one of these colours, just make sure that the ash you do use is blue based rather than green.


Emily 2 years ago

So I want to go brunette for the winter but I'm so nervous my hair will turn out green. My roots are brown but and my top layer is a bright golden blonde. How should I go about doing my hair the right way?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Emily,

What shade of brown were you after, and what level? Blonde hair only turns green if you use an ash brown dye on it. You still need to compensate for the lack of base tone depending on what colour you want to achieve though.


Amber 2 years ago

Hi- I have dark sandy blonde like almost light brown hair and want to go to a dark brown so I bought a color called "soft black" thinking since I'm starting with blonde I should aim for darker than I'm trying to go. Do you think this color will work for getting me a dark brown or should I try something else?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Amber,

If you apply the black, it will actually turn out black. Depending on how porous your hair is, this may fade to dark brown after several washes. It'd be better to use an actual dark brown shade though, then refresh the colour a few weeks later if any fading occurs.


Haley 2 years ago

Hey! I had bleached hair that was very yellow and my hairdresser toned to about a level 8 natural blonde. After a few weeks it was back to looking yellow so I figured I go darker because I was sick of having dark roots. I died my hair with Demi Permanent die to see if I would like having dark hair. I mixed 3/4 level 7 natural blonde with 1/4 level 8 medium ash blonde and used level 10 developer. This came out to a level 5/6 medium natural brown color with a hint of ash that I loved! My problem is according to your article I should used a warmer Demi permanent before the permanent color that I want. I didn't know Demi permanent could be used as a filler so now I'm afraid to color my hair. So because I used that Demi permanent die in the nuetral/ash, what permanent die should I use to get my hair to the color I had with the Demi permanent color? Do I wait for this to wash out and follow your charts?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Haley,

Level 7 is a medium blonde, and level 8 is a light blonde. Neither of these shades will dye your hair brown. A medium brown is a level 4. However, because your hair had been bleached, it is likely porous so colours can often turn out darker. This won't last and it will rapidly fade to the actual level that was used.

The directions in the article, based on filling hair, will work for everyone, but it's not entirely necessary. It's more so that people who read the article but don't ask for tailored advice, aren't going to end up making a colour mistake because of their individual circumstances. Filling is the easiest method for ensuring your darker colour turns out properly.

What you can do instead is use a natural shade, because these are balanced and contain red, yellow, and blue to restore the natural base tone of a darker hair colour. If you wanted a slightly ash tone, you would mix the equivalent ash shade into the natural, just like you have done.

Alternatively, if you do want to fill it, you can do so with a level 5 light red brown demi. Top that with a 4 ash permanent to tone over this base and you'll end up with a subtle medium ash brown colour.


Trisha 2 years ago

Hi : ) I am so confused when it comes to dying my hair. I have been dying my hair light blonde for years. I want to go to a light brown, but when I've tried in the past it's just turned greenish/ grayish. You talk about using a red filler, but would that turn my hair red? I don't even know where to begin to make my hair a normal color!!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Trisha,

Hair is made up of many different colours. In the case of blonde hair, the base tone underneath your blonde colour is yellow. This is what makes your blonde hair 'blonde', whilst the other tones that contribute to your colour are what gives the blonde its shade (Like ash, pearl, natural, golden etc).

Brown hair, on the other hand, has an orange or red base, depending on how dark the brown is. The problem with dyeing blonde hair brown is that if you just apply a light brown dye, that dye is meant to work with the orange base to form the actual brown colour. Because your blonde hair is missing the orange base, the colour doesn't work properly.

What happens is that the green and blue tones in the dye, which are the cool tones for brown hair, aren't balanced by the orange base tone because it is missing, so your hair turns out really ashy or even green. You need to add the missing tones back in for the colour to work properly.

To adjust for this problem, you can fill your hair with copper before you even dye it. To do this, apply a dark copper blonde to your hair. After that, you can apply your desired light brown colour. The copper becomes the base tone, and the light brown covers it to form a rich shade of brown. I'd recommend using a light ash brown if you fill your hair, unless you're after a warmer result. Your hair won't turn orange, it will only be orange until you apply the brown dye to finish the colour.

You can also use a natural shade, because this shade contains balanced tone. That's why they're used on grey hair too. A light natural brown will dye your hair light brown without turning it green. For a warmer brown, mix a little of the equivalent light golden brown shade in with the natural.


Cat 2 years ago

Hi, my natural hair colour is bronde with very ashy roots but very warm (almost coppery) ends. The top section of my hair is highlighted and has been over-processed, far too light blonde. Recently I did my own hair with a box kit at home, down to a medium blonde as I am in the process of trying to get back to my natural bronde colour. I used a "neutral" medium blonde. The roots turned out very warm toned, almost orange, and the length where the highlights were over-processed turned ash grey. Most of it has washed out now, and it looks ok now, but I'm wondering what to go for next time I home colour, as I still want to go a shade darker.

From what I've read so far I could either use a "warm" dark blonde and take the risk of the roots looking even more orange, OR... I could use a strawberry blonde on the over-processed parts that went grey the first time, and then dye over that (presumably a few days later?) with a neutral colour. Decisions decisions.


Realystik profile image

Realystik 2 years ago

This is great. I have been a blonde - not naturally - for years and years. Want to go to a rich brown but have been a little intimidated to do it. I have found inspiration and courage from your article. Wish me luck!!!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Cat,

As the highlights are lighter than the rest of your hair, they will really grab onto dye. That's part of the reason why your lengths became so ashy. Your roots, on the other hand, were lightened by the dye, revealing the warm undertones. This occurs because you can't control the developer strength in box dye. It's already preset and measured. The dye probably contained 20 vol or higher, which will lighten your regrowth. The unexpected results you got also depend on dye brand; box dyes shouldn't be used at all for the best results.

If you use a warm blonde on the roots, it will, without question, turn out more orange. You need to use ash to counter warmth. The best way to go about fixing your hair is to mix, in equal quantities, a natural dark blonde with a gold dark blonde, and apply that to your lengths. Don't apply this to the roots. Apply a medium ash blonde to your roots to correct the warmth and remove this as soon as it has neutralised to your desired colour. Both dye mixtures should be prepared using 10 vol developer.


Cat 2 years ago

Maffew - thanks so much for your response. I will try that out next time I colour, and let you know how I get on :) Please let me know if you happen to work in the southwest of the uk, as I'd be interested to have colour with you!


Kat 2 years ago

Your amazing and may save my bacon! I'm on holiday in two days and I've got a disaster. I was growing my box dyed hair out but wanted to brighten it for my holiday. The bottom is ash blonde and the roots were mousy. I used dark ash blonde dye today. It didn't change my roots at all but sent the ash blonde dyed sections at the bottom green. I'm thinking I could dye the green sections darker to match my roots?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Australia, I'm afraid. However, the UK has some of the best colour brands in the world and I have no doubt you'd be able to find a great hairdresser without too much effort. Particularly, look for someone who is passionate about their job to the point that they're happy to explain what they're doing as they do it. This way you can learn more about how it's done whilst knowing you've chosen someone who is serious about what they do.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Kat,

I take it your roots are darker than your blonde colour? I'd recommend bleaching them first before applying a dye to tone it. If you have dark roots, they can't always be lifted to blonde with dye, especially if you're using box dye. Bleach is a better option.

As for the blonde that has turned green, that is a result of the ash. Because this hair was already ash blonde, and likely lighter than a dark blonde, the dark ash blonde dye you applied produced a significantly ashy result.

You could darken it, as you were considering, by using a warm colour, which will also neutralise the green. You could also wash it with clarifying shampoo to quickly fade out the ash, or apply a mild bleach wash to strip the ash out, then tone it with a natural shade.

The option you do take really just comes down to whether you want to darken it all over, or you would still prefer to lighten the roots and correct the colour back to blonde.


Keeli Tanner 2 years ago

Hi my name is keeli. I have color-treated blonde hair, but my natural color is like a dirty blonde. I am wanting to go darker to bring out my features more, but I've done this before and I do not like how I look with a warm brown color. I love the ash brown. I am afraid to dye my hair red so I'd prefer to dye it natural brown like you mentioned in your last chart. You said it should turn out looking like an ash brown. Is this safe to do without getting green? or is it more recommended to go red? And will it be warmer than ash if I dye it natural brown? Also, could I dye it natural brown, wait 10 minutes, then put ash brown dye on it? Help!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Keeli,

An ash brown dye is formulated to turn out ash toned when applied on an orange or red base, because that is the base tone of brown hair. Blonde hair has a lighter, yellow base tone. For this reason, if you apply an ash brown dye to blonde hair, the ash is very powerful and without the orange base tone that is normally present in brown hair to subdue it and balance out to a natural hair colour, you will end up with grey or even green hair.

For another example of why this happens, consider how ash dyes are used when you lighten your hair. If you were to bleach black hair to orange, then apply a light ash brown dye, you don't end up with light ash brown, even though that's the shade you're using. The ash tone neutralises the warmth that was revealed during bleaching, evening it out to more of a natural shade. Or to be more exact, the warmth in your hair, and the cool tones within the dye, cancel each other out to form a neutral colour. The warmth is still present in your hair, but the cool tone that is now in your hair combines to form a different colour. It's the same as painting really.

Natural shades, on the other hand, are balanced shades containing red, yellow, and blue in combination. This is why they're used on grey hair, and also why they are used to dye hair darker. They're slightly on the cool side of neutral (There's slightly more blue than red and yellow), so if you apply a natural brown dye to blonde hair, you will end up with a result closer to an ash brown, but it won't turn green thanks to the warm tones that are also present in the dye and able to fill in the missing warmth in your blonde hair.


Keeli Tanner 2 years ago

Got it. That makes sense. Thank you so so much!! (:


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

No problem, good luck with your colour!

If you have any other questions or issues, feel free to ask.


Stephanie 2 years ago

Hi Maffew,

I understand the concepts of color fillers, however my hair was a bubblegum pink. It has now faded to a washed out pink color. I want to do a filler because I feel like my hair is terribly porous, but I don't know what color to do since I do not want to enhance the reds in my hair too much.

My hair was previously bleached to attain the bubblegum color. I want my final color to be a medium ash brown. Do you have a suggestion on what fillers I should use? (Also I have access to a professional store so if you have any brands you recommend I would appreciate it!)


Stephanie 2 years ago

Also, thanks for the article! It was super informative and thorough!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Stephanie,

Medium brown hair has an orange red base in the same way that your blonde hair has a yellow base. You know that if you apply an ash blonde to that, the yellow is neutralised and is no longer visible. It's still present in the hair and gives your colour depth.

In this same sense, you're best using a red dye to fill your hair because it needs that base tone to build on and form an actual brown shade once you apply the final colour. It is the final colour that will produce the ash result, whilst the red you would have put in your hair gives the depth.

To do this, apply porosity equaliser, then Wella Color Touch 6/4 as the filler. This is a dark red blonde shade, and a demi-permanent dye. Finish the colour up by applying more porosity equaliser, then Wella Koleston 4/71 to darken and tone the colour. Koleston is permanent.

If you have a preferred salon brand, I can translate these Wella shades to that brand.


Stephanie 2 years ago

I have used wella before and that will be perfect for me. I really appreciate the help! Im glad the pink wont give me any troubles! You're the best.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Glad to have helped, and that's great that you're able to use Wella; it's a dependable high quality brand.

The pink in your hair won't cause you any issue because you need to fill it with red anyway, so that is in your favour. Because your hair has been lightened, the medium brown may fade a little over time after you do it, and this will reveal some warmth. If that happens I'd suggest applying Wella Color Touch 5/1 as a toner to neutralise the warmth and take it back to more of an ashy tone.


sasha 2 years ago

hi my name is sasha and I have quite light ash blonde natural hair, but have always wanted to dye it a chocolatey brown. Having just finished growing my hair out of a terrible bleached blonde I did a few years ago, I really don't want to ruin my hair again. Is there any no-ammonia or henna way to dye it? I don't want it to be permanent and just want to try to see what I look like with darker hair. Is there any "20 rinses" dye that is suitable and that will make my hair look the same when it's over? thanks!!!


December 2 years ago

I bleached my hair and it came out yellow and orange, what can I do to darken it up without it turning green or something ?


Ella 2 years ago

Hi Maffew,

Firstly, just wanted to thank you for writing such an informative page. I feel like I understand things a lot better, but just need a little more advice, so hopefully you will be able to help me.

I am naturally a level 3 - 4 brown and have very long hair. I wanted a bit of a change so went to the hairdressers and got some ash blonde highlights, from roots to halfway down my hair, then bright pink to the ends.

My highlights aren't too bad, maybe a little brassy, but its the bleached part from half way down my hair to the ends that I am unhappy with. When the pink washes out (which isn't many washes) my hair is an awful shade of orange. My hairdresser said I just don't have the right hair type for bleaching and there was nothing she could do without ruining it. I'm unsure how much truth there is to that though.

However, even though I love having the pink, it barely lasts one wash and I just don't have the time to maintain it. So, I want to get rid of the highlights and the pink (orange) and go back to my natural dark brown colour. Please can you help?

I think I understand the concept of fillers for blondes, but as half my hair is more orange than blonde, what tones would I use to fill in my orange hair? (Not red tones?).

Also, as I am wanting to remove the highlights as well, would I have to use a different filler to the one used on bottom half of my hair? (A golden/red tone this time?) and will it affect my existing natural brown through the highlights?

And will the fact that my highlights are kinda blonde, but the other half of my hair is orange effect the colour of the dye I purchase and will that effect the overall colour of my hair? I just don't wait to have half a head of streaks and the other half at bottom a completely different colour lol.

Sorry, I know that's a lot, just really worried about my hair. I really appreciate your time reading this though and can't wait to hear your response. Thanks again for writing this article. :)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Sasha,

You can use a semi-permanent dye to do this. You would need to use a warmer brown colour to counter the ash and produce a chocolate brown. I can't give you any assurance that it would all wash out though. Even though semi-permanent colours don't penetrate the hair, they can leave a lasting stain if you use dark shades on blonde hair.

Henna dye, I wouldn't recommend at all. It's difficult to remove and can never be completely stripped from the hair.


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi December,

Use a natural brown shade to dye it darker. This will darken your hair back to brown without resulting in a strange colour result. If it's a little too warm for your liking afterwards, tone it with a semi-permanent ash brown.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Ella,

Dark brown hair is very dark indeed, and as a result, it will generally cover any lighter colour without untoward effect. One problem that could occur is that your lighter hair may be more porous and it will fade much easier. This means that whilst your hair would be dark brown after you dye it, in the weeks following it may wash out to a lighter, uneven brown. Filling your hair will help prevent this to an extent, but it may still occur. You can refresh the colour with a semi-permanent if this happens.

For the actual dyeing process, because a dark brown colour has a red base, you need to fill your hair with red. Specifically, I would recommend using a light red brown demi-permanent dye as the filler. You can apply this to both the highlights and the pink hair because you need it filled all over. This will form the base for your dark brown.

After it is filled, you need to complete the colour by applying a natural dark brown shade. This covers the red and darkens your hair to the dark brown you want. The natural shade itself is needed because a natural shade contains a more balanced amount of warm and cool tone, suiting it towards darkening hair. Also, just so you're clear on exactly what colour you want, this is what a dark brown looks like: http://img.buzznet.com/assets/imgx/8/9/7/7/3/5/1/o...

If you want a lighter brown, drop down the levels accordingly. Ie, instead of using a light red brown as the filler, then a dark natural brown, you could use a dark red blonde, then a medium natural brown.

For a better idea of how filling your hair works, think of the colour transition it went through when your hairdresser bleached it. It gradually lightens from an actual brown colour until it becomes more red. This red transitions to orange, then to a golden colour, and finally to yellow. This is because what you saw when you looked at your brown hair was the combination of the rich, dark red base colour, merging with a cool blue tone.

The cool tones are the first to go when you bleach because they are more superficial are less concentrated. Without this cool tone, you have red hair. As more of the warm base tones are bleached out, it moves towards a lighter yellow colour. If you toned it by adding violet in at this point, this neutralises the yellow first to a beige blonde, then a natural blonde, then finally to an ash as more cool tone is added from the dye. So in other words, the base tone is your darkness and depth, and the cool tone on top blends with the base to form actual hair colour.

This is why it's so important to add the right base back into your hair if your hair has been lightened and you want to dye it darker again. If your hair was a light blonde all over, for example, and you applied a light ash brown dye, you'd end up with green hair because there is so much cool tone in the ash dye (In the form of either blue or green tone), and the required light orange base for light brown hair is missing. The result is that instead of the orange base and blue tone from the dye combining to form a nice brown shade, the blue tone is more dominant and blends with the yellow in your hair to create a strange green colour.


Ella 2 years ago

Thank you so much for your help and advice Maffew. I really appreciate it. It makes a lot more sense to me now.

If I could get my hands on a trade card, what shade number would you recommend for the demi permanent (wella 5/4??) and the natural brown dye?

And say I can't get a trade card... would a wella semi permanent (colour fresh) do the job as the demi?

Thank you so much again :)


Mary 2 years ago

Hi, My name is Mary, my hairdresser messed up my hair so i have very blonde highlights on honey blonde hair,it supposed to be light brown with little bit lighter highlights,color is not that bad but it doesn't look good on me! I want to dye it all in dark blonde or very light brown! I don't have where to buy a demi-permanent dye, I was going to try with some wormer shade of regular dye but I was wondering is there going to be big difference between highlights and rest of thr hair! So I should dye it with golden brown? I don't want ash brown but i don't want it to golden either! Please help!!!


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

If you were planning on using Wella dye, use Wella Color Touch 5/4 as the demi, then Wella Koleston 3/0 to finish the colour. Color Touch is Wella's demi-permanent line, whilst Koleston is their professional permanent range.

If you know that your hair is porous, or you've experienced darker results than desired in the past, I'd recommending dropping the level down by one and using Color Touch 6/4, then Koleston 4/0.

Good luck with your colour Ella, and feel free to ask any more questions you may have.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Mary,

As you're not going many levels darker, filling is less important; especially if you're after a dark blonde shade. I would recommend using a dark natural blonde for the particular colour result you want.

A natural shade is a balanced shade, meaning it contains all the primary colours, and no one tone is overly dominant. This is why it's used to dye hair darker or dye over grey hair that is resistant to colour. If you use this, it will darken your hair, evening it out to the same level and producing a neutral result. Often, it will be slightly on the cool side when you use a darker natural on lighter hair. It won't be ash though.

If you want a light brown, you can follow this same direction by using a light natural brown to darken your hair and even it out. It's up to you whether you decide to use a dark blonde or light brown. Also, if you know what brand of dye you'll be using, I can tell you exactly which shade you're looking for if you have trouble working out the numbers. Some of the different dyes I'd recommend include Wella, Matrix, or Igora, for the best colour.


Mary 2 years ago

Hi,I come from the small country an I have to buy online if I want that buy dyes you recommended to me but it's kind of urgent,I'll try to choose the best I can find! Another question I forgot to ask is considering my highlights are grow out about 5-6 inch,do I have to dye first length of hair, then roots or how do you recommend? I dye my roots to honey blond so I don't have to many colors because my natural hair is dark brown. Before that blond tragedy I head great light brown hair and dye just roots with dark blond,so easy, but I wanted change and now I want to go back like it was before .It's really a shame because color and highlights I have now are great but on me it looks so unnatural,it doesn't fit me at all!!! So,back to the problem,which parts do I dye first and how long to hold dye on each part? I hope I explained well, my english is not the best,my apologies if I wrote something wrong!


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Your explanation was great, so no need to worry there! Let me know if you're having trouble understanding anything I've said and I'll try and explain it better.

Your roots won't be too much of a problem. I'd recommend you dye them before you dye the lengths to make it easier, although there are a few different ways to dye both at the same time if you're up for it. Just don't apply it after or it won't lighten properly.

As for how long it will take, the dye you apply to your roots takes longer because it needs to lighten. The dye to your lengths will have a shorter development time. It varies by brand, but you're probably looking at a development time of 40 minutes to the roots, and 30 minutes for the lengths. Some brands can also be sped up by using heat from a blow dryer or hood.


Mary 2 years ago

I understand perfectly!!! Thank you so much, you've helped me a lot, rest is up to me, I hope it will turn out ok!!!


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Good luck Mary! Feel free to ask if you need any more help or have any issues with the dye.


Mary 2 years ago

Hi! It's me again,I dye my hair and it turned out ok but now problem is roots,that 5 inch that is not bleached turned out quite reddish brown and the rest of the hair is pale brown,that part needs one more dyeing but i don't know what to do with red in roots, how to fix that,which dye should I use or should I use different dyes for each part?


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi again Mary,

The roots need to be dyed with an ash shade to neutralise the warmth. If they are darker than the rest of your hair, you will need to lighten them before you do this.


Cathy 2 years ago

Hello! I was heavy highlighted blonde..my roots grew out about 2 inches and I have 3 kids and just wasn't wanting to dish out the money to pay for more hightlights. I put a medium auburn dye on my hair first then used natural medium brown. My roots look kinda red (I didn't apply the auburn to my roots) and the rest of my hair has some red also but not as much as my roots. Also, all of my hair is somewhat darker than I wanted. I was wondering if I could apply a light ash brown to neutralize the red tones? Will it turn the part of my hair that was previously highlighted green or a muddy ugly brown color? Even with the medium brown on it? Thanks a bunch!


Cathy 2 years ago

I also meant to mention that my hair is naturally about a light/ medium ash brown (naturally no red tint at all)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Cathy,

When filling your hair, always use a shade that's lighter than the final colour. Otherwise the red, or whatever other tone you're using as the filler, can show up in the final colour. A filler shade 1 - 2 levels lighter than the final colour is normally best.

As for your roots, it's hard to tell why they have turned out somewhat red. It's possible that the natural dye you used was more of a warm natural instead of a true neutral shade. The auburn could have also absorbed into the roots as you were colouring with the filler. It's somewhat similar to when you wet a piece of paper towel. The water moves into the surrounding area. Even when applied to your lengths only, some colour may absorb into the root area.

To fix it, a demi-permanent light ash brown is actually your best option, so you're right on the mark there. Because it's a level lighter than your hair currently is, the toning effect is less rapid and intense. The colour will develop over a longer period so you can easily see when it reaches the tone you want, then remove it. Your hair won't turn green either, and as for the shade of brown you end up with, that's entirely up to you because you can choose to remove it sooner or let it progress to the end of development for an ashier brown. You could also use a semi-permanent if you want a non-damaging option that will wash out quicker if you're worried about the colour result.

Finally, as for the colour turning out slightly darker than you wanted, this does happen a lot of the time when you dye light hair with a dark dye. If this is a problem you face often, I'd suggest using a porosity equalising spray before applying dye, and using a dye that is one level lighter than the colour you actually want. The current darkness of your hair will correct itself after a few washes so you don't need to worry about that.


Cathy 2 years ago

Hello Maffew,

Thanks so much for your reply! I appreciate your advice so much! Going to get a light ash brown now, lol :)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Good luck with your colour Cathy! If you need any further help or have any other questions, feel free to ask.


Cathy 2 years ago

Hi Maffew, it's me again..haha. I put the light ash brown on last night and let it develop for 20 minutes, no green and the hair that was blonde to start with is an excellent color but the root growth that was my natural color is almost orange, ugh. I'm thinking maybe light brown was too light and maybe it lifted?? I am not sure. I thought about getting a root touch up kit and applying it to just the roots, something darker? I am not quite sure though. If you think I should go this route, what color would you recommend that will cover the light orange roots? Thanks in advance


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

What volume of developer did you use? There shouldn't be any lift with 10 vol. Or at least, very minimal lift. If you used a box dye, you wouldn't have been able to control the developer volume and it probably contained 20 vol, which would lift, and that would explain the brightening effect.

In any case, it sounds like your roots were darker to begin with, or else you would have noticed the same colour deposit as the lengths. You can bleach the roots with a mild bleach preparation, then tone with light ash brown; or you could just tone with a darker ash. Lightening the roots before toning is the best option because it will give you an even colour.


Cathy 2 years ago

I used a box :( I will lighten the roots and then put light ash brown on this time. Thanks so much!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Good luck, you're almost there. Let me know how it turns out.


Jamie 2 years ago

Hi. My hair on top is heavily highlighted with an ash blond while the bottom half is an ash dark brown. I would like to change it to a chocolate brown (the whole head). I would also like to do it at home. What color brown dye should I use? Would a red brown work?


Lola 2 years ago

So if I have blonde hair and I want to dye it dark brown, do I use a filler/a red dye first, and then put the brown that I want over that? And how red does it need to be? Like, does the brightness of the red have an effect on anything?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Jamie,

The red brown would turn out too red for a chocolate shade. You can mix some of it into a natural and that will give you a better chocolate and it will darken your hair properly because it fills in the missing tones. Use about 25 percent red brown in the mix.


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Lola,

Technically, you fill your hair with the base tone for the colour you want. For light brown, that's a light orange. Medium brown is an orange red, and dark brown is red. There's a base tone chart in my how to bleach hair article for reference.

In the case of dark brown, you should use a medium red brown as the filler, then cover that with your dark brown.


natascha 2 years ago

Hello!! Please help lol. Ok ive been getting my hair professionally done for awhile now and she didn't do what i wanted. So id like to try it myself. I have a lot of bleach blonde pieces and some pieces of red and a brown. I want my hair to be deep burgundy. What kind of filler do I need to use before i dye it?? Please help


Cody 2 years ago

Hello! I just recently tried to go from a very light yellow blonde (almost platinum) to a light ash brown. My hair unfortunately turned a grey blue color. Is it possible to add a 7 medium red blonde demi on top of this and then try the ash brown dye agan? Thank you do much! :)


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Natascha,

The filler depends on how dark you want it to be. For light burgundy brown, use a dark copper blonde. For medium use a light red copper brown, or for dark burgundy, use a medium red brown.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Cody,

This happens because the ash brown contains strong cool tones like blue or green that would normally be balanced by the natural warmth in your hair. If your hair is a light blonde, this natural warmth isn't present, so the cool tones become dominant. That's why your blonde turned blue when you tried to dye it brown.

For correction, orange is the best tone because it counteracts blue. Try a 7 copper. It will probably warm it up just enough to get it to an actual ash brown colour without the excess grey or blue tone. You don't need to dye it twice, you just need to add warm tone back into the hair to neutralise some of that excess cool tone and you'll have the colour you want.


jackie 2 years ago

Hi there

My friend has blonde hair and is looking for me tondye it red-brown....what do you recommend? Also will she get a hot root if i pick a colour with red? Thanks!!!!


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Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Jackie,

When you dye blonde hair darker, you can run into problems because brown hair is meant to have an orange or red base. When this is missing, colour results can become odd. For example, ash shades can turn out grey, green, or blue; mahogany or burgundy shades turn out a pinkish purple colour; certain red shades can turn magenta whilst others may look too coppery; etc.

I would suggest that if your friend's hair is a lighter blonde, add gold into the hair before you apply any red shade that also has violet tone. This includes mahogany, burgundy, and even some straight red shades. Warmer reds are generally alright as is, but you'll still get a deeper and more natural colour if you fill the hair first.


Lauren 2 years ago

Hello,

First, thank you for the article, I learned a lot! I have always had my hair done professionally, but I just cannot afford it anymore, especially with Christmas around the corner.

So I have bright blonde highlights on my top layer of hair, but underneath and about a finger length of my roots is my natural color, which is an ashy blonde (my mom always called it dishwater blonde!).

I want to dye it an all over brown color. Will it be okay if I use a natural light brown color all over my hair? Will it all come out to different shades?

Thank you!


Lauren 2 years ago

Another question,

Should I get a box color that is a shade darker then I actually want? So if I want a natural light brown, should I use a natural medium brown dye?

Thanks!!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 2 years ago Author

Hi Lauren,

Dyeing it with a light natural brown is perfect. That will avoid any strange colour results and give you an even brown. Don't use a dye that is darker than you want though.

When dyeing lighter hair to a darker colour, it's not unusual for it to end up slightly darker than expected due to the porosity of your hair or dye brand variation. If you use a darker dye, not only will you definitely not get the colour you want, but you may get a colour that is even darker than that shade itself.

As for box dye, I never recommend it as the best option. Professional dye generally always gives a better colour result. If you don't want to use a salon dye, or find it to hard to apply colour by brush though, you can use Wella Color Charm. This is box dye, but it's closer to a professional dye than the rest and Wella is a reliable high quality brand.


Brittany 24 months ago

Hello!

First of all, this was probably one of, if not the most helpful article I have read on coloring hair, but I still can't grasp it 100% and need help!

I am trying to figure out how to go from a previously professionally-dyed "caramel" hair color, to a chocolate brown. My hair has kind of faded to a golden brown though, (it pretty much matches Angelina Jolie's current hair color), and I have platinum blonde roots coming in. I don't mind the LEVEL of my current hair color, but have no idea how I would be able to color it a chocolate brown AND match that up with my roots. Any advice?


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Maffew James 24 months ago Author

Hi Brittany,

Generally you'll have to use a different shade on the roots as they're lighter and have less warm tones like copper and red. As for the actual shades you use, that'll depend on the exact colour you want as well as your hair's current colour. You've told me your current colour, but chocolate can mean different things to different people, so if you could possibly link to a picture of the colour you want, I'd be able to tell you what shades to use.


Brittany 24 months ago

This is the best example of the color I want:

http://tinyurl.com/p8tbppb

And this is my actual hair/root color. I really have no idea what to consider it. It's terrible, though. :/

http://tinyurl.com/pvr79q9

Side note: I found a color at Sally's called "Chocolate" from L'Oréal's Mega Browns line. It is a level 7 with level 4 red-violet bases. Do you think it would it be okay to use that? And if so, what would I have to do for my roots so that they don't turn out so much lighter than everything else?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 24 months ago Author

Hi Brittany,

There's a medium natural brown base to that colour, but it's a warmer natural tone. She also appears to have some lighter streaking. The streaking could be natural from the sun. Either way, it's a level lighter and slightly warmer than the base colour. There's a subtle copper tone, as well as a slight violet tone visible in the lighter streaks.

Your current colour looks like a dark caramel blonde to light caramel brown shade judging by the picture, but it's hard to tell with the lighting. I can definitely see that the roots are quite a lot lighter than the lengths though. To get it all the same colour and to achieve the right tone, I'd recommend filling it with a light copper brown before applying your final colour. That will give it the warmth it needs to build a good foundation for your final colour. If this isn't done with lighter hair, you can end up with a colour that is either wrong, or too intense. Mahogany would become a bright purple colour, for example.

After this, apply a medium natural brown. If you want the same streaking effect as the picture, you can apply a mix of 50 percent light natural brown / 50 percent light mahogany brown in foils to sections of your hair. The foils would need to be applied before the base colour, and then you will have to apply the natural brown to the rest of your hair that isn't sealed in foil.

The way this process is going to work is that the filler builds the base for the final dye and stops it from turning a weird colour, helps it last longer, and prevents the roots from turning out noticeably different. When you apply the medium natural brown, this covers much of the copper tone, but there is enough copper left in the final colour to give it more of a warm natural tone, rather than a true neutral. The natural / mahogany blend applied to the foil highlights drabs some of the copper, whilst incorporating red and violet tones into the colour, giving a similar tone to the streaking in the picture


Brittany 24 months ago

Thanks, Maffew, you helped so much.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 24 months ago Author

No problem Brittany,

If you need any more help with the colour or run into any more problems, feel free to ask.


Casandra 23 months ago

My hair was highlighted over 6mo ago my roots have grown out drastically my hair dresser used a light mocha blonde on it n it came out horrible I put a light brown on it to lessen the Orange effect on roots and to darken the bottom so I could go deep burgundy is that ok


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Casandra,

That's fine. You may notice quicker fading of those sections of hair, as well as a somewhat different tone compared to the rest of your hair. As highlights are only a small amount of hair, it shouldn't be too much of a problem though. If you encounter any problems with the way the colour turns out once you dye it burgundy, feel free to leave another question about it.


Michelle 23 months ago

HELP please,I have had bleached hair for years,I wanted some brown pulled through for winter and the hairdresser has messed it up big time :(( firstly on Saturday,it went all blotchy so she put more bleach on,still a mess,Monday more bleach and the brown was ginger,went to another hairdressers yesterday and more bleach and the brown still ginger :(( how can I get my hair fixed ? It's dead and horrible,it's very mucky and dull,all I wanted was blonde with some brown highlights and it's ruined :(( x


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Michelle,

From what I'm understanding your hair was originally blonde and you wanted some brown added to that. Is this correct?

What would have happened is that because your hair was a light blonde colour, any darker colour used will show it's primary tone really noticeably. This means that if a warm brown shade is used, instead of actually looking like a warm brown, the gold and copper tones in the dye become very dominant and it looks ginger instead.

The hairdressers never should have bleached it to try and get it out though. That's not the best option. Hair dye remover would have allowed it all to be washed out fairly easily. At this point after all the bleaching, your best option is to tone the brown lowlights to get it to more of a nicer neutral brown instead of ginger.

To do this, you will have to use the end of a tail comb or tinting brush to separate the brown hair away from your blonde. When you've separated out an entire section, clip it together using a sectioning clip or bobby pin. Do this for all the brown lowlights. Once you have it all separated, go through and foil the brown hair with an ash dye that is one level lighter than your hair currently is. This will tone out the orange. Depending on how long you leave it in, it will go from ginger, to a warm brown, to neutral brown, and then to an ash brown. Watch it carefully and rinse it out when you like the colour.

If you want, you could also lowlight your blonde with a natural blonde shade to help undo some of the bleaching which has likely stripped out your blonde colour and left you with yellowish hair. To do this you would have to foil the blonde dye into some of your blonde hair. Finally, apply a beige blonde colour to any hair that isn't foiled and that will help give you a multidimensional blonde colour by toning the rest of your blonde hair.

As for the condition of your hair, deep conditioning treatments will work wonders and make it feel soft and healthier. You need protein treatments to restore its strength though. Redken Extreme Mask is a great treatment you can use to repair and condition your hair at the same time. Use it every time you wash your hair at first, then gradually cut back to a few times a week, then once a week, then as often as needed. It only takes 1 - 2 weeks before your hair is noticeably stronger and healthier.

If you're able to show me a picture of your hair I can tell you the exact shades of dye to use. Otherwise, if you don't know what level (Darkness), the brown and blonde hair is, you can judge it yourself by looking at a hair colour level chart on Google. It's important that the level used is correct for this to work properly.


Vanessa 23 months ago

Hi Maffew, hoping you can give me a definitive answer as to what I should do - I'm currently growing out my hair, which a few months ago had been super short and bleached blonde, and is now still short (and curling), with bleached ends and several inches of light-medium brown roots. I'd like to do something in the chocolate brown family all over, something warm toned. If the ends remain somewhat lighter that's absolutely fine with me. What do you suggest? Do I need a filler?


Kirsty 23 months ago

Hi I need a little advise for ages I was firing my hair from brown to blonde with nice and easy box dye and it worked great then towards the winter my roots were going orange but I had done nothing different so I decided to have my hair done at the hair dressers it was very yellow and bright rather than a beige colour so I used an ash box dye which the n I loved it but once again my roots are coming through I don't trust going back to hair dressers because every time I have ever gone it's not been how I wanted I think it's best I go back to brown but I'm very pale I think a coppery or reddish brown would be beat how do I get from my hair now to this, I wouldn't say my hair was in great condition either it's very short but I have such thick hair thanks :)


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Vanessa,

If you don't fill it, what happens is that the primary tone in the dye often becomes far more noticeable than intended. In the case of ash brown for example, you can end up with dark grey hair, or even blue or green. With a warm brown, your main concern would be that the colour won't turn out as rich and true to shade as intended because it's not built on the proper base. I'd recommend filling the ends with a gold-copper shade, then dyeing it all over with the chocolate shade.

There's actually an added benefit to this too: after filling hair, the final colour doesn't fade as quickly.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Kirsty,

It's interesting that you note the colour stopped working in winter, and I feel that's actually the answer as to why it stopped working. Warmth drives chemical reactions because it is energy, and the lightening of your hair is a chemical reaction. In warmer temperatures, your hair lightens quicker and more effectively as the peroxide is reacting more readily.

You could potentially try wrapping your hair in plastic wrap and then tying a towel over it. This traps in the warmth from your scalp and will warm up your hair so that it lightens better. If it's really cold, you can even use a blow dryer on a low setting to warm up the towel as the dye processes.

As for what went wrong at the salon, the hairdresser didn't tone your hair properly and that's why it was yellow and bright. Using the ash dye was the right move as this adds cool tone into your hair to counteract the excess warmth.

If you've been dyeing it blonde using box dye, your blonde colour probably isn't too far from your natural colour and thus hasn't been lightened significantly. This means that it's less likely that you will need to fill it before applying the brown as you'll still have a lot of warm colour left underneath. Filling it will still always give a richer colour result, but if you just apply a copper brown, it's very unlikely you'll run into problems.


Vanessa 23 months ago

Thanks SOOO much Maffew!!! Happy holidays!!


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

That's okay Vanessa. Have a good Christmas and New Year. Leave another comment if you run into any issues with your colour.


Lacy 23 months ago

Hi

I need an advise. I had blond hair for a while and wanted to go brown again.

I knew that ashy tones would turn my hair green and I was afraid to use darker color so I used 7.0 hair dye.

Now I see I should used golden brown to get the result I wanted. It did not turn green but is was some ugly greyish-brown color, I did not like it, it was some dead color without shine and red pigments and I used 6.35 hair dye and still did not get desired color.

I want to leave it for a while but I need an advise which color should I use next time. I want some pretty light brown color. Did not know it will be this hard, maybe I did not use dark enough hair dye.

Please help.


Lacy 23 months ago

To be exact. I want light beige brown, is there some advise which colors I can mix to get this one ...?

I did not know that I have to fill my hair first, I am afraid if I re- color it later with desired color it still would not work, what should I do to fix this.


Kirsty 23 months ago

Thanks for your advice :) nice to get a straight answer from someone :)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Lacy,

A natural tone is often on the slightly cool side, and this is why it turns ashy when applied to darker hair. An actual ash definitely would have turned your hair green or blue though, and your best option for a golden brown would have been to use a mix of both natural and golden, or to fill your hair first and then apply light brown dye.

As for whether the dye you used was dark enough, a 7 is a medium blonde, so that's still lighter than the light brown you want, but as you had blonde hair, this turns up darker when applied. Adding warmth back into your hair now is a case of toning it.

To tone your hair, I'd recommend you use a 6 natural (dark natural blonde), mixed with a 5 gold (light golden brown), and a 6 red (dark red blonde). Mix in a ratio of 25% natural, 50% gold, and 25% red shade to get a nice warm colour and then apply that, removing it once your hair has reached the desired tone.

If you want, you could always even do a strand test first with a small amount of dye mixed up to get the best mix ratio for your hair. If it turns out too red, drop down the red and increase the gold. If it is too golden, drop down the gold and red and increase the natural. If it is too ashy still, increase the red.


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

No problem Kirsty, have a good Christmas and let me know if you run into any more problems with your colour. I'd be happy to help.


Kirsty 23 months ago

Hi so I commented the other day and used a golden brown on my blonde hair it turned out a nice copper colour I would say and I love it but after one wash it's faded like mad I used a permanent colour, my friend has suggested I use Hot Shotz semi permanent burnt copper will this be ok on my hair as it's still got a very blonde look to it and I don't want it to just be orange :/ ? Help please :)


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi again Kirsty,

That's great that your colour turned out nice.

I'd recommend refreshing the colour with a demi-permanent dye. A mix of 50% Igora Vibrance 5-57 and 50% 7-57 would work well. This is a golden shade with a touch of copper, so it would preserve the blonde without adding too much copper tone in. The copper semi you mentioned would be a vibrant copper shade, best used for bright orange results or toning red hair.


Kirsty 23 months ago

Hi I only just got your message and you were right I used the hot shotz today and my hair is bright red I'm devastated! I've put a light golden brown over and made no difference I have no idea what to do but at this rate would have been cheaper to go he hair dressers, nye party tomorrow and I can't go out like this? Any advice thanks for all your help


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Kirsty,

Neutralising the red requires ash tone. If you add golden brown, all that does is add more gold tone into the hair without affecting the red.

To fix this quickly, and hopefully in time for your party, try a dark ash blonde as a strand test first. You should see it start to tone back to the copper blonde you liked. If there is no change, switch to a light ash brown. Rinse the colour out as soon as it reaches the shade you like.


maria 23 months ago

Hi I am white blonde and want a light brown color with violet tint I bought a 9 violet violet, 8 blue violet and a7 violet ash and was planning to mix all three...my sister/ hairdresser plans to fill my hair with a copper blonde...does that sound about right?? I want the colors to come out like the samples I saw they are majirel!!??


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Maria,

Great plan. If you're mixing all three of those colours in equal concentration, you'll end up with a colour that is about a level 8, which is a light blonde shade. This level has a yellow base. For that reason, I'd recommend filling with a gold shade and just a hint of copper, but it really just depends what you want the violet to look like.

Filled with gold first, the colour will look like a silvery blonde with a violet tint. Filled with copper however, the shade will look warmer and more pinkish. If you do go with copper, you also should make sure it's a lighter shade than the colours you're applying afterwards. Otherwise it won't tone out and your hair will look more like a strawberry blonde.

It's hard to guarantee results will be exactly like the samples, but filling with gold first is likely to produce the closest result. If in doubt, perform a strand test using a small snip of hair. How that hair reacts to the filling and dyeing will show you what needs to be changed in your formula.


Charlotte, Denmark 23 months ago

Hi Maffey James. Thanks for all the great info on this site.

I have naturally dark blonde hair, my hairdresser says. I used a 9.5.1 from swarzkopf on my hair and the color is great. But I am not good at doing the out Growth without touching the already dyed her,so after doing my hair 4 times over the last 4 months, the ends are greyish and dull. Hairdresser says greenish. Used wella hairbomb on it,1003 and it helped some. But hair is so dull and my face so washed out.

Can I use a Honey blonde 7.3 recital on it and get a nice Honey blonde color? Can I use numbers with 8 in it, to give it some life? Its so none shiny! What you recommend ? I hate yellow hir, but this greyish is not so god either. Like naturally blonde a lot and also lightbrown.


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Charlotte,

I'm glad you like my articles.

The Schwarzkopf Igora Royal 9.5-1 is a great colour, but like with any ash tone, too much can make your hair look grey. If it does actually look 'greenish', that's because whilst this dye is primarily violet based, it contains a small amount of blue tone. Blue plus yellow looks green. There's no actual green tone in your hair though as the dye doesn't contain green.

Then again, some hairdressers are so accustomed to using green-based ash on blonde hair that any over-toned ash hair will often be described by them as 'greenish' even when it was dyed with a blue or violet based ash. It's not a matter of it looking green, but rather, that the colour looks strongly ash and they associate that with green.

As the 9.5-1 seems to be strong enough to tone your hair and even cause it to look very ashy, I wouldn't recommend using a 7.3. The colour from that will be an intense gold on light blonde hair like yours.

What I would actually recommend doing is using Igora Royal 9.5-4, mixed with just a dab of 0-77. The 9.5-4 is a pastel toner like the ash version you use, except in this case it is a beige tone. The result is a soft gold tone. A tiny amount of 0-77, which is pure copper tone, will help give more of a honey colour whilst cutting down the blue tone in your hair that's contributing to its 'greenish' appearance. Go very easy on the 0-77 though, it's powerful and a small amount goes a long way. Apply this mix and remove it once it has brightened up your hair sufficiently.

This toner will produce a natural to beige blonde result without darkening your hair. If you do want to dye your hair to a darker blonde or even a brown though, let me know and I'll explain how to do that. To dye your hair darker, you'll generally need to fill it first or mix your desired shade with a natural or warmer tone to produce the intended result, and this requires specific direction depending on the exact colour you want, and how much darker you plan to go.


Casey 23 months ago

Hi I have a question my hair is like a medium blonde color it's not light nor a dark blonde. I'm wanting to change things up and go a dark brown from a box kit but after reading this I'm scared that my hair will turn out green. So if I'm doing it from a box what should I do to avoid from turning it green?


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Casey,

Generally, only a darker ash shade of dye will turn blonde hair blue or green. This is because of the missing base tone. Blonde hair doesn't have the same rich copper or red base that brown hair does, so the colours that are in the dye you apply don't blend and build up in the intended way and can produce a strange result. In the case of ash, blue or green tone used to neutralise warmth and give the hair a cool tone tends to overpower what little warmth is in your blonde hair, causing it to turn green.

The best way to get around this is to fill your hair first to ensure the proper base tone is present. For dark brown hair, you want a deep, rich red base for it to look the way it should. To get this base tone back into the hair, dye it with a light red brown first, then finish the colour with a dark natural brown.


traci 23 months ago

Hi I am a natural fishwater blonde and wanted to go very light and did so with bleach all over....now I'm an ugly yellow. Can I apply a light reddish brown 6RB to get rid of the yellow without turning orange? Would like to stay blonde but closer to my natural or a nice light brown even to just get rid of the ugly yellow. Please advise. Thanks


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Traci,

The 6RB would look like a bright copper red. You need a violet based dye to neutralise the yellow back to blonde. If you're happy with how light it is, toning it will fix up the colour without needing to do anything else.

If you want to go back darker though, I'd recommend applying a dark natural blonde (6N) in order to achieve this.


Traci 23 months ago

Hi again, Thanks for the response. I was going to try a violet shampoo for blondes but decided I did not like how light my hair was. I did try the 6RB thinking I needed to deposit some red tones in order to go Brown. (was too impatient to get rid of the ugly yellow) but was left with a weird coppery color like you said but not consistent to the ends. Not as bad as the yellow but still unbearably ugly too. Ugh...what is the easiest solution for me to become a dark blonde or brown? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Traci 23 months ago

Is it too late to strip the 6RB color back to the bleach blonde and then apply the 6N you mentioned? I would like to stay blonde but am not scared of going darker. I just did not like how light I became.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Traci,

Apply 6A and leave it in until the copper is toned out. You'll end up with a result somewhere between dark blonde and light brown after doing this.


Traci 23 months ago

Thank you! I will try this today and hope I get a good result. Praying I will not be an ash blonde!


Deanne 23 months ago

I have natural dark brown hair that I went to a salon and had dyed/bleached to an ash blonde. I hate it. TO make matters worse it fried, killed, and ruined my hair. I have been doing LOTS of conditioning treatments to mend it back to health. However I want this blonde gone and would like to go for a light as brown. How can I do this with out killing my hair further?!


Deanne Bailey 23 months ago

(To add a little insight to my question ^^)Oh and I had been dying my hair darker for years. SO I knew that the process wouldn't be easy on my hair, however we are talking about CLUMPS of hair breaking! I have been babying it since she finished the second go on my hair. I've been using coconut oil, argan oil, and deep conditioners. My next conditioning treatment will be a keratin protein deep conditioning treatment. So I guess the second part to that question would be how long should I wait to fix this mess?


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Hi Deanne,

Conditioning treatments are great for making your hair feel soft and smooth, but they don't actually repair damage. Protein treatments can repair the actual damage and I'd suggest you try using Redken Extreme Cat Treatment or Joico K-Pak Reconstructor. These are two of the best repair treatments and can often save hair that even seems beyond help.

As for dyeing it to light brown, you should preferably use a semi-permanent dye or a deposit only demi-permanent dye. The semi isn't damaging, whilst if you use a demi, that is only mildly damaging but will last a lot longer.

Whichever you choose, it's best not to dye it until some of the damage is repaired. Damaged hair is porous and it will soak up colour leading to results that are too dark. You also shouldn't be dyeing damaged hair simply because you risk making the damage worse if the dye is anything more permanent than a semi.

Once you're ready to dye it, I'd recommend doing a strand test with a dark natural blonde to see how dark it turns out and using a lighter or darker shade if necessary based on the results of that. This will give a result somewhere between an ash and a natural tone. If the colour isn't too dark but you need it to be ashier, mix in the equivalent ash shade with the natural to boost the ash tone. If it's too ashy, mix a golden tone into the natural instead to warm it up.


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Maffew James 23 months ago Author

Also, in answer to your second question, as to how long you need to wait before colouring. It's best to base that on the hair's condition. You can use a semi straight away as it can't damage your hair, but the more damaged your hair is, the more porous, and thus the colour could turn out darker, and may wash out really quickly.

If you use a product like Redken Cat to treat the damage, you're looking at about 2 - 4 weeks for recovery. Use the dye when your hair stops breaking and starts to look and feel healthier.


Ellejacob 22 months ago

Hi there! This is a phenomenal post, Thankyou.

I am hoping that you can give me some much needed advice please.

My hairdresser recently added more Ash then usual into the hair color dye and as a consequence my hair went a very very dark brown. She admits it the extra ash she added was minimal but I have told her that my hair grabs to dark color very very quickly. I didn't like the dull flat dark brown at all (I don't like my hair too dark) so my hair dresser bleach bathed my hair and my hair color turned orange. She then tried to apply the original hair color onto my orange hair. The original color is a rich medium chocolate brown which throws off red but to counteract the red she mixes an ash color, this gives me a gorgeous light ash brown clr with shine. However this time the color did not take at all and I was left with a brassy orange. I have been back twice and she has tried to apply the same color but for some reason my hair will not grab color properly. It is not completely brassy orange after 2 applications but more a brassy brown orange.... I have also noticed that my hair is crackling dry and split and lost its lustre after the beach bath (ends are dark though!). The color will not take from the roots to mid lengths.

What does she need to do inorder to get my hair to take the original hair color dye but I beg you I don't want it too dark bc this is what caused the issue to begin with. I think she uses a tint or a semi on my hair.

Do I need a color filler? Or will a neutral color filler with the original color do?

I appreciate your advice.

Thankyou ever so much


Tanya 22 months ago

i recently had my hair bleached, dyed blonde and wanted red highlights (which turned out very pink hate it, got this done at a salon)...i want to get rid of the pink and just color my hair back to natural color which is a light brown/dark blonde...can never connect with the hairdresser who did this mess, so thought of doing it myself, what would you suggest, would i need to go with a filler or would going with a natural light brown (7 or 8) do the trick...help i am leaving on vacation in a few days, the color was done just before christmas.


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Maffew- I am so impressed you answer everyone that I joined HubPages just for this post!! I hope you can help.

Until I was 21 I did my own hair.. Had a disaster..which led mw to find my godsend of a stylist who helped me take multi-colored risks the right way...

Unfortunately now I can't see him and I tried on my own. Why..why..why..?"

I have naturally (long, thick, wavy/curly) mousy light brown hair with blonde dimensions. We last dyed it to be similar to this, so i could have a clean slate. Well today I attempted to do my own subtle omvre with a Loreal ombre touch kit, OT6 for dark blonde to light brown hair. I did the ends... And added a few highlights around my face.

NOT COOL. No matter how long I left it in..The bright yellow never turned. Now I have a natural mousy brown base, and yellow ends and face framing pieces/bangs. I am mortified given the standards I have for hair.

First.. When can I start the filler/dye process? Its been soaking in macadamia conditioning oil since in prep for another possible dye...

Second.. If its an orangey-yellow and i want to go darker than my mousy brown.. What do you suggest as the darker all over shade? Medium? Reddish? I have medium combination cool/warm skin, green eyes.. And have been told I look great in reddish brown shades. Nut im open to at least a medium brown of any temperature..

And third based on that.. What level and shade filler should I use on ends/bangs?

Are demi permanent and semi permanent equal in this aspect?

Any suggestions on application since its separate areas and not an all over fix?

I am so appreciative on any feedback.. As is my husband and two little girls under two who are confused as to why it seemed my world ended tonight. Lol. ;) thank you!


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Ps idk if my edits posted but.. I did try purple shampoo and just didn't have time to go out for a violet toner.. I do have a Sallys near me so I can get pro product if need be.

Also, the darkest id like to go but would is "chocolate" and love tbe "mocha" shade.. but unsure of name brand stylist used.. :/ Maybe I am craving a red undertone? Lol


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Elle,

You only need to fill your hair if it is missing the base tone. For brown hair, this is an orange-gold to deep red colour depending on how dark it is. Blonde hair is naturally missing this darker base tone because blonde has a lighter yellow base and that's why it needs to be added back into your hair if it is blonde and dyed brown.,

For your hair, it's strange that it doesn't take the colour at all. The issue could be that the colour being used is simply too light. As you said your hair ended up very dark, and even if it looks approximately as light as it previously was now that it has been bleached, that is without toning. The original colour formula wouldn't be strong enough to deal with that amount of warmth.

I think what you'll actually find is that the bleach bath only took out the cool tone without significantly lightening your hair. The amount of ash tone necessary to cover the warmth that has been revealed would take it right back to a dark brown again if it was fully toned. You could lighten it more, and then tone using an ash colour. This would damage your hair more though so I would suggest avoiding any further lightening.

You could also try using an ash dye that is one level lighter than your current level (Without any other tones mixed in). Because your hair is such a warm red colour now, using a chocolate brown won't actually give you a chocolate brown result. Normally, the dye would add soft red tones to your brown hair, but in your case, you already have too much red so adding more red doesn't help. You need to use ash to neutralise some of that red to produce a chocolate result.

If in doubt, and given how worried you are that your hair will turn out too dark, I'd recommend applying ash dyes as a strand test to a small piece of hair, starting with a dark ash blonde colour first. If the ash doesn't correct the warmth, go a level darker and keep testing until you find the level that gives you enough toning without darkening too much.

Let me know if you don't understand any of this or have any more questions, and good luck with your colour!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Tanya,

Red colours will often turn pink on blonde hair. The problem is that blonde hair is too light for the colour to show up properly. Without the copper base tone that the red needs, it turns out pink instead of a rich red shade. To avoid this in future if you ever get bright highlights in lighter hair again, I'd recommend ensuring that the bright tone is either mixed into a natural tone, or the highlights are filled before dyeing.

To return to brown hair, I would also recommend filling. A natural tone can be used, but it's not the best option if you want the most reliable results. It's better to fill your hair whenever you're going more than 2 levels darker.

As you want a light brown, fill with a medium copper gold blonde (7CG), first. If you can't find this exact shade, mix about 60% 7C with 40% 7G to make it yourself. You want your hair to be a colour that is mostly copper with a hint of gold tone for it to have the proper base tone for light brown.

After this, apply your brown shade. For a fairly neutral tone, use a light natural brown (5N). For an ashier result, mix light ash brown (5A), into this. For a warmer result, mix light golden brown (5G), into the natural.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi aNice,

It's always good to try new colours. Even if you make a mistake, you still learn from it and improve your own skill and ability to dye your own hair.

Do you definitely want to darken the hair you lightened? If your only problem with the ombre and highlighted sections is that it is yellow, you can actually correct this fairly easily and tone it to either a beige, natural, or ash blonde instead.

If you would rather dye it darker instead though, this can also be achieved without too much issue. Let me know which you'd rather and I'll tell you how to colour it.

Onto your other questions, the mocha shade you like is most likely a Matrix SoColor shade. Their 'mocha' shades have a red tone with just a hint of violet.

Demi-permanent dye is best for a filler. Semi-permanent doesn't penetrate the hair and will usually fully wash out over time. You can use either a demi or a full permanent, but you can't use a semi.

For application, it's a tad difficult darkening the ends to the exact same colour and even the best approximation can still leave a perceptible difference. It's easiest to deal with this by applying the dye to the rest of your hair towards the end of application. After the ends have darkened, the last few minutes where the dye is applied to the rest of your hair really help produce a more even result.

Anyway, if you can let me know whether you'd prefer to tone your hair or darken it, I'll give you more specific guidelines.


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

You rock. I honestly have been going back and forth since I wrote this to decide whether I want to stay and keep trying... or clear my palette so to speak.... Maybe I'll try to attach a picture of me both ways and utilize your expertise/opinion on what suits me best.. if I can figure out how ;) I'm new to Hub, obviously! Let me add a couple links in a moment of me with either.. if I can't figure out how, I'm just going to make a decision and inquire! BRB...


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Okay I once I figure it out I'll post some pics (if it'll help you to coach me on re-coloring) and in the meantime I'm going to add a profile pic to help you see my features.. but I think my instinct is telling me to go back darker. I've actually been very light for quite some time, as you know it takes a long time to get there if you do it the right way, highlighting more and more over time. So I think it's time for a change. And in the future I want a darker contrasted ombre or bayalage so this would be best done the way I'm envisioning.. if I go a little darker now.

After looking up some color names, I think I'm looking for a medium brown. I figure I wanna go a little darker, it'll always fade. My stylist always told me I should stick with warmer tones, but I guess I'm open to cooler as well (since my natural color is ashy/mousy brown blonde.. isn't that a "cooler" base?). I am liking L'Oreal "French Roast," Matrix "Medium Mocha Brown," or something like that.

So I guess I need to figure out a filter for the front/bangs and bottoms. But please note it's okay if the bottoms of my hair are a LITTLE different than the all over color I plan on, at least it will give it a little dimension and subtle difference.

Also, after sleeping on it last night and doing the purple shampoo last night, it's not quite as orangey but DEFINITELY a yellow blonde.. the "you can tell someone does a cheap box dye" type of yellow blonde :/ The bottoms, ironically enough, are yellowy as well but a more toned down yellow.. almost have a peachish tint to them. Do-able blonde, but definitely still too yellow and slightly pinky-orangey.

My base/rest of my hair color is an ash/mousy light brown wit some lighter streaks (previous highlights that are still popping through).. not that bright but noticeable (if that affects the color I should choose).

I cannot thank you enough. I'll praise your name forever and follow you for life. LOL :)


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Okay I'm going to attach some photobucket links to at least show you some of the different color combos I've done in my hair... maybe your opinion on what fits me best will also help :) Going to attach links, then heading out and will be stopping by Sally's. =]


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

This is a link to an album. Password: colors

It goes from most recent to oldest. Thank you! :)

http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/SOLDIERSofFORTUN...


Ellejacob 22 months ago

Hi Devin,

Thankyou so much for this amazing post. I am hoping you can assist me with a question please. Recently my hair dresser decided to be creative and added more ash into the hair color dye and my hair took the color so much that my hair went a very dark dull ash brown. I certainly did not like the darkness of the color even though she said she varied the color ever so slightly. She then bleach bathed my hair and since then my hair won't take any color whatsoever at all! I am left with a faded dull brassy brown which looks awful. My hair is also very dry and crunchy. I have purchased the Filler that you recommended but I have read ppls reviews saying that when they added the filler to their hair color dye that their hair in fact took the color so much that their hair color was too dark. I don't want this too happen to me again. I want my hair to take the color but i Don't want it to turn too dark. What do you suggest my hair dresser do please? I am so desperate for some advice please. If you would like me to get the color/mix/ratio used in my hair or other details from my HD she will gladly give it to me bc she can't work it either. Thanks so much Devin. Elle


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi aNice,

Judging by the pictures, I'd say you do have warm-toned skin. Your complexion is light enough that you could suit anything from a medium brown to about a medium blonde best. I think any lighter or darker than this might be too much contrast, but sometimes this actually works and the contrast adds interest. It'd definitely be best to stick to more of a warm or warm-neutral tone with whatever shade you choose though.

If you do definitely want to go a medium brown, I'd suggest using Matrix SoColor 6M, which is a light mocha brown. It's a level lighter than you actually want, but lightened hair is often porous and can turn out a lot darker than expected. Using this shade would be more likely to get you closer to medium brown without ending up too dark.

The mocha shade also needs to be mixed with a natural tone when used for darkening. Applied to blonde hair, Matrix mocha shades can sometimes end up very pinkish because the blonde will really grab onto the red tone. Mixing with the neutral colour of a natural light brown helps prevent this. About half 6N and half 6M should produce a nice brown with that hint of red tone you want.

During application, I'd recommend applying this mix to the lighter hair. If you let that develop for 20 - 30 minutes and then apply to the darker hair, it will be more even, as I explained previously. As there is an ash tone present, it'd be best to change the mix a little to compensate for this by increasing the amount of 6M compared to 6N. Otherwise there will be a difference in the result, with your ash hair looking more neutral and lacking the same red undertone. It could look interesting though if you'd rather leave the mix the same and get more of a difference between the previously darker and lighter hair.

You could always test the colour mix first by cutting a small snip of hair from underneath at the back of your head. That will give you a better idea of how porous your hair is and whether it will turn out too dark or too light. It will also help you work out whether you like the way the mocha shade develops before actually applying it since you're still somewhat undecided.

If you have any questions about the process, or haven't understood any of this, let me know and I'll explain more thoroughly.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Elle,

Please refer to my earlier answer above. You don't need to use any form of filler on your hair. Filler is only required for darkening hair from blonde to brown, which is not what you're trying to do. You need to use ash dye to counteract excess warmth.


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Thank you so much. You are the best. I will let you know if I have any questions when I get up and out to the store and start the process later. :)

But basically, go half and half on the blonde hair..would you say 75/25 on the darker hair to compensate? Or not quite so much, maybe 60/40 or 70/30?


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

And for future reference, I'd love if you could advise on which toner would be best to remove the yellow in the event those products are unavailable and/or this happens again in the future.. Lol ;)


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Ok so.. I am the most annoying post-er ever.. I know. LoL but hopefully my experience can help others as well! I went to Sally's.. They don't sell Matrix. I picked up some other things so let me know if they're similar enough to heed your advice or if I need to adjust. I can always purchase the SoColor 6m/6n online if need be.

I bought: L'Oreal Preference permanent 6 (neutral base) and BR5 mocha (gold and red-violet based). The woman (young girl) at Sallys said thos is closest to Matrix mocha they have. And I got a 10vol developer. I also grabbed a Wella color charm 6N dark blonde in case too..

I also got a demi in case, Age beautiful 6N (light brown) and 6R (light red) to stick woth level 6 as you suggested, both demi.

And I grabbed some Wella toners in case all the above sucks to keep the blonde: T14, T18, (ash) and T28 (neutral). And vol20 developer.

Hopefully any of these will work per your advice.. The rest i can save for my next adventure. :)

Again, I will be sure to shout your praise from every social media rooftop as a huge thank you! Yay for Maffew!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi aNice,

The best toner really just depends on how dark the yellow is. The yellow in your pictures would probably tone best with an 8 ash. The ratio for the mocha on your brown hair...probably more along the lines of 60:40 mocha to natural.

As for the L'oreal colours, I'm not familiar with their box dye lines. I haven't even used their professional products to any great extent other than their bleach powder, so I can't give much advice on this brand. As it is a box dye though, you'll find the tube of dye in the box and you should mix this with your own 10 vol developer instead of using the pre-mixed developer they supply.

With the demi-permanent shades you have, the 6R is a red shade, which contains much more red than Matrix mocha. Matrix's mocha tone is a blended brown so it's more like a brown with red, gold, and violet tones; whereas an actual 6R will usually create a vibrant red result. If you were to use this, I'd recommend using even less of the 6R compared to the 6N.

Even if you don't use any of these shades though, a lot of them could be used to maintain and keep your colour vibrant as it fades. If you do use the L'Oreal or demis, I'd suggest just giving them a try on a small piece of hair first as I'm not familiar with the products and can't say for sure they'd produce the intended result.


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

The L'Oreal colors are actually professonal dyes in tubes, not box dyes. No developer came with them, I just purchased them solo as a professional would.

I may try the toner first. If all else fails maybe I'll order the Matrix colors. Thank you!


Ellejacob 22 months ago

hi there thanking you for your prompt reply. My hair dresser is doing just that, adding ash to counter act the warmth however my hair is not taking any color at all. I was under the impression that by adding filler to my hair color mixture it would help with the hair actually taking some color. Your thoughts please.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

aNice,

L'Oreal's professional lines include Majirel, Inoa, Luocolor, and Dia (Dia Light, Dia Richesse, etc). The L'Oreal dyes sold by Sally's are the same tubes and bottles that would normally be found in their Excellence or Preference boxes that are sold in supermarkets. If you've got the tube and developer, you're able to use that just like you would an actual salon dye, but I can't vouch for it's quality.

Above all, use whatever is affordable, easy to use, and most accessible to you. As long as it works, I wouldn't want you to feel like you have to buy more expensive or difficult to find products. Good luck and let me know if you run into any problems.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Elle,

It doesn't work like that unfortunately. The reason filler is used for lighter colours is because you need to actually replace missing undertones and then the desired colour is applied on top of this new foundation.

There are other circumstances where you would actually mix a desired tone with a natural tone to cover grey hair because otherwise it turns out too bright and won't take colour properly. This doesn't apply to your hair either though as you're not covering grey hair or darkening your hair.

Tell your hairdresser that if she's mixing the ash shade with any other tone (Especially a warm tone), she needs to get rid of that and use the ash by itself. If that doesn't produce toning, go a level darker until it does because the colour is too light. Judging by your description, it also sounds like your hair is porous at the ends, so I would suggest being careful applying to there and possibly using a lighter ash on the ends to avoid over-toning.


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 22 months ago from CT - NY

Thanks again- what a rip! I had no idea. I should have gotten a different brand, guess she was trying to find something with a mocha brown. That stinks, not going that route. I think I am actually going to do one of the Wella toners and keep the light instead. Since I bought three different shades, (all blue violet toned or just violet) I'll research to see which would be best. :]


Nikkiweeks 22 months ago

Hi, I'm having a hair emergency! So, a new stylist bleached my entire head, then put ion light cool brown on it. The brown didn't take and the rest of my hair is a brassy red orange color with blonde tips. Help! What do I do?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi aNice,

T28 is designed for darker yellow hair so it is more likely to cover.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Nikki,

If you still have red in your hair, it's likely it's too dark for the dye used. Try a full ash tone in light brown (5A), and if that doesn't work, use a medium ash brown instead. You'll need to apply the dye only to the warm lengths and not to the ends as the ends are lighter and will take the ash too readily.


Embla 22 months ago

Hi!

Ive dyed my hair a lot, with both henna, regular dye and bleach. I used to have dark brown roots and red ombre, but now i want to go back to my natural light ash brown colour. The lenghts of my hair has a clear red undertone but my roots (about 3 inches) have that real blonde yellow undertone. I've already bought the light ash brown for the top of my head and a slightly darker one for the lengths, so I what i want to know is if i can dye my hair with the same colour again if it turns out greenish and also if it makes a big differense if you use a light ash brown or a darker ash brown.

Thanks!


Melina 22 months ago

Hi. ...

my hair is dyed dark brown level 4 . I would like to lighten it yo a level 7 ash . I don't want it to come out too ashy or have any red undertones .... should I usebleach wwith 30 vol and then wait till it gets to the orange stage and after I wash it apply 7.1 ash colour ? If I the right colour, ? Or 7.1 and 8.1 mixed? ????


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Melina,

A 7 is a medium blonde. At that level, the proper base tone is a golden colour. If you stop bleaching at orange, it will still be too dark to reach this level.

However, your hair is dyed dark brown, so this makes it harder to judge the level as it lightens as red tone may persist into the blonde levels. This means that even if you reach a level 7 in terms of how light your hair is, it may not look gold. You'll need to judge it by lightness instead.

After that, tone with 7.1 until it reaches the desired colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Embla,

Light brown needs to be used for a light brown result as a darker dye will deposit a darker colour. Regardless, your hair needs to be light enough to actually be dyed this colour or else it won't have any effect. Dyed hair generally won't lighten any further with more dye, and you will have to bleach it first if any of your hair is darker than the light brown level, or if it is uneven in general.

As for turning green, if there's a lot of red in your hair, this won't happen. The green tone in ash brown dyes serves to correct excess red and neutralise to a cool brown result. A green result is generally only a problem if you're applying ash brown dye to lighter blonde hair.

Let me know if you have any further questions or need any clarification on any of this.


Mona 22 months ago

Hey! I'm in serious need of help. I got my hair proffesionally done and I am still not happy with the results. The bottom portion is perfect but the roots/top are a giant mess. They are orangish-brown but have the orange is pretty prominent. I want to dye my roots so that my hair looks natural. The colorWhat color should I use?? Thanks


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Mona,

What colour are the lengths of your hair? I'll need to know that first before I can tell you how to fix your roots as the process is considerably different if your desired colour is lighter or darker than the roots currently are, or whether the roots are the right level but just too warm.


Erin 22 months ago

Hi, I was wondering if you could help me.. I bleached my hair last night & I absolutely hate it. I don't want to leave the house because of it! It is a very pale blonde, white/platinum in places where I used to have highlights but mainly just the pale/slightly yellow-ish inside of a banana peel colour all over. I'd like to go back to my natural dark blonde and/or a light brown.. What shall I use to achieve this?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Erin,

It won't be too difficult, but you do need to fill it first to replace the missing base tone. For a dark blonde to light brown colour, you need a base that is golden to slightly orange. As your hair is mostly a pale yellow now, it'd be best to fill it by using a medium golden blonde mixed with a small amount of medium copper blonde.

After that, cover the filled hair with a dark natural blonde to finish off the colour. This will give you a fairly neutral colour somewhere between a dark blonde and light brown. I wouldn't recommend using a light brown dye though as hair bleached as light as yours is very porous and it'd be likely it would turn out medium brown or darker. The dark blonde is more likely to produce an actual light brown result.

Let me know if you need any clarification on any of this or have any further questions and good luck with your colour.


Erin 22 months ago

Hi Maffew, thank you for the reply, I will be giving this a try later on! Just a quick question, probably an obvious one.. but I use a demi-permanent for the filler and a permanent for the final colour, is a demi the one that lasts up to 24 washes?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Erin,

You can use a demi or a permanent. Just not a semi-permanent dye as this washes out too readily.

The demi does last up to 24 washes usually, but this can vary. Bleached hair will often hold onto the dye for a lot longer.


Erin 22 months ago

Hi again, just to double check before I take the plunge - will this method still work on the parts of my hair that are very white?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Erin,

Yes it will.


Erin 22 months ago

Hi Maffew, thank you so much for the help, you are a life saver! My hair is now a nice light brown/dark blonde.. it has quite golden tones in places & I hope that the orange-y colour underneath doesn't come through too much. Either way, I have been saved from my bleach disaster! Thanks again!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Erin,

It's so good to hear your colour is looking good. If you'd like to tone down some of that gold I'd recommend using a dark ash blonde dye for this. You can rinse it out after it reaches the colour you want.

One of the best ways to do this would be to use a semi-permanent dye or mousse. The reason for this is that they're easy to use, non-damaging, and if you get a mousse like Igora Expert Mousse, you'll get a few uses out of it. That way you can tone your hair a few more times if the colour is fading.

Fading will occur over time and some warmth will begin to show through but you can get rid of it by toning like this. If necessary, you can retouch the colour again in 6 - 8 weeks with another permanent dye and the colour shouldn't fade as quickly afterwards as the dye builds up.


Brit 22 months ago

I had the ombre look from a light brown (with the first two inches being my natural "mousy" looking color blonde, which looks brown to me, but apparently is a dark mousy blonde) the bottom was a yellowish blonde, I made the mistake instead of researching and decided to dye it light ash brown because I wanted something closest to my natural so it could grow out without any big distinction and I could let my natural grow and not have to do my hair anymore, just want it to have a break....without breaking! Sooooo now I have a gray/blueish color from around two inches from my scalp down to my ends, gets grayer/bluer the closer you get to the ends. Should I put a light chocolate brown on it (so it has warmer tones) in a demi-perminant (and can I get it from a store like "Sally's?") Also if that is what I am supposed to do, can I do the light ash brown a couple weeks afterwards so I can get the red/warm tones out because that's why I went with "ash" i did not want too much red tones in my hair, jUst wanted a basic brown :/ What should I do


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Brit,

Definitely don't apply a light chocolate brown. It will get rid of the blue-grey colour, but it will also result in a colour that is a lot warmer than what you want.

Instead, mix up medium golden blonde and medium copper blonde in a 75% to 25% mix, and apply this in layers to the darkest hair first, graduating down to the lightest hair towards the end of application. Leave until it warms up to your desired level of warmth and then rinse immediately. You should use semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye for this. I wouldn't recommend using a permanent dye though as permanent dye is damaging and that is something you're trying to avoid.

If using demi-permanent dye, I'd recommend Igora Viviance 7-57 as this is a medium gold copper and won't require you to mix any different shades together. Sally's probably sells demi-permanent dye, but it doesn't sell Igora or other professional brands. You'll need to find the right shade(s) in whatever brands they have if it's the only shop you can get to.


Brit 22 months ago

thank you for your time and advice! :)


Lizwillnow 22 months ago

Hello. Do you have a hair license or any type of cosmetology training?


Erin 22 months ago

Hi again! I feel as if my hair has started to go a bit of an odd colour - where my white blonde highlights used to be seem slightly grey/khaki to me, I'm not sure if i'm just being paranoid but it certainly seems like that has happened, especially after washing it a few times. I assume that the warm colour underneath still wasn't warm enough. Is there any way I can salvage this without making it worse, or shall I seek help from a professional?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

No problem Brit, good luck with your colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Liz,

I'm qualified in hairdressing; but not in skin care or any other specialisation of beauty. Unlike the US, these trades are separate in Australia and the hairdressing industry isn't licensed.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Erin,

What's the water like in your area? This sounds like mineral buildup and would make sense if your water supply is hard water or high in chlorine. You could try a chelating shampoo like Joico's K-Pak Clarifying shampoo.

Alternatively, adding soft gold tones will warm up the tone and help prevent it looking dulled.


delilah 22 months ago

Hello,

So, I believe I did everything backwards because of course I did it before searching online. My hair has been bleached blonde, it was a yellowy blonde with cool blonde highlights. It was the color I wanted and after 3 sessions my hairdresser finally told me she couldn't get it to what I wanted. I decided after a month and a half of waiting to attempt a red color on my way to taking it back dark brown, my natural color. I picked up a Demi color to use as a filler before applying the red hair color. I also picked up a red filler as well, but the lady at the store told me to use that with my red hair color and apply the dark blonde Demi color first. I did that. Now my hair is really blotchy and uneven and looks more medium brown. I haven't applied the red filler or red hair color yet because I'm not sure what I should do about the uneven color now. Any advice?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Delilah,

Sounds like you have very porous hair, which isn't all that out of the ordinary after extensive lightening. It's probably a combination of the porosity and highlights that resulted in the unevenness.

As for fixing it, do you still want to attempt the red or would you prefer to give that a miss now and head straight to dark brown? Going to dark brown right now would be the easiest, but if you want to go with the red, you will need to deal with the uneven colour and darkness first. If you let me know what you'd prefer to do I'll explain more in detail about how to reach the colour you want.


Delilah 22 months ago

I would like to go red, if I could. I know eventually i I will be going back to dark brown and just leaving it alone. My hair is short. It's grown out pixie. I will be cutting it into a pixie after this probably and then letting it grow back out. If red it just out of the question with me doing it alone, then I can go to brown.


delilah 22 months ago

Oh, this is the other stuff I got from the beauty store...color brilliance ion 6IR-66.6 and #10 red red protein color filler with a 20 developer creme. I have not used these items.


delilah 22 months ago

Sorry, I hit post comment to fast. I was going to add, if the dark spots will require lightening them to go red with bleach, then I would prefer to just go brown.


jennifer 22 months ago

Just last week I went to a salon and asked to get peek a boo highlights on the bottom of my hair and she ended up bleaching all the bottom and then put a ash blonde over it so it could look carmel!! My hair is naturally dark brown and I ended up telling her that I did not like it cause it just didn't look nice at all so what can i do to dye it back to my natural without damaging it more than what it already is?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Jennifer,

Use demi-permanent dye to fill your bleached hair with 5R (Light red brown), then cover that with a 4N (Medium natural brown). The use of slightly lighter shades here is intentional to counteract any porosity issues in the bleached hair that could result in a darker than intended colour. You still might like to strand test the shades first though to make sure your hair doesn't absorb too much colour for your liking.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Delilah,

A level 6 is a dark blonde, so it's unlikely it's going to cover darker brown hair. However, if you do apply it, it will still contribute a varying amount of red tone.

As for the uneven areas, those will remain and the dye won't remove them. You could bleach these sections of darker hair to even them up to match the rest of your hair, but that's not really going to help with the problem that caused the unevenness in the first place. Dyeing it again would still result in darker deposit on these porous areas. If you want a more vibrant red you would have to use a darker shade, and this would still also leave the uneven spots.

If you'd prefer to go back to dark brown instead of this, I'd recommend using the red protein filler with your dye. This will not only restore the missing base tone so that the colour turns out properly, but will also bind to porous areas of hair and repair damage at the same time. Dye with medium natural brown, but I'd recommend testing this on a small amount of filled hair first to ensure it doesn't turn out to dark.

The filler should prevent this and produce a dark brown result, but from what you've told me about how intense your last colour turned out, you will have to be more careful or it could end up black instead of dark brown. If the dye is too dark, go a level higher until it is right for you and then use that shade for the overall colour.


delilah 22 months ago

The demi color I got was a 6NB-6.07 and it looks like a reddish brown today. I guess when the highlights were nearly white it looks a little pinky/red and making the overall appear reddish brown. It's definitely darker then blonde. It's really a brown. Maybe a salon trip is a must.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Delilah,

That's why filling is necessary when you dye blonde hair darker. Cool tones turn grey, blue, or green. Warm tones turn coppery, reddish, or pink. Whatever tones are dominant in the dye will become very dominant in the dye result.

This is because the base of the colour normally forms the depth and foundation. The dye is designed to work with the colour of the base, and when this is missing, it doesn't give the colour you expect.


delilah 22 months ago

I should have Googled before jumping the gun. I was at my wits in and spent so much at a salon the last 4 months. I just want my hair to be somewhat normal again. Thank you so much for all the information. I appreciate it a lot!


Eloise 22 months ago

Question-

Hi, thank you so much for taking the time to write this out, it's so informative!

I have a question though, I bleached my hair last week, from Brown to a yellow/orange base, I was told to bleach it again to get desired white effect but decided that's ridiculous and I'm not killing my hair for a colour, I knew I couldn't go straight back to Brown without it going green but couldn't find any help on google as to what colour to go first and clearly wasn't smart enough to figure it out for myself! (Always the way, find the help after you've made the mistakes) so I decided to dye it blue/purple to cover the yucky yellow. It's now a faded blue/green tint blond silver colour, and very unflattering at that. My question is can I use a demi permanent red over this current colour and then go over in Brown, or must I wait for the blue to come out as much as possible first before starting the back to Brown process. (I used smart beauty semi permanent blue and purple dye mixed together.)

Thank you xD


Eloise 22 months ago

Also, can I dye my hair with so color sync Demi 3BR then go over with a 3W dark brown warm? Or must I go over with a 3 Dark brown. I don't have a desired shade, just dark brown, but dark brown warm sounded a bit nicer :)

Also, how long after dying it tone on tone red can I then dye it with the permanent brown?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Delilah,

No problem, good luck with your colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Eloise,

It's perfectly fine to dye over the blue/green. What shade of brown are you trying to reach? The exact shade of demi you use as the filler varies depending on how dark you want the brown to be.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 22 months ago Author

I just noticed your other comment stating what kind of brown you want, so my apologies for the prior question. I clearly need to get more sleep :p

The demi should be red based for a dark brown as dark brown has a red base tone. It should also be 2 levels lighter or else the dark brown won't cover it properly. Fill with 5BR if such a shade exists in the range you're using (5R if not), then cover with your dark brown shade.

You might also want to test all of this on a small clipping of hair first though as your hair has been bleached and may be porous. If it is porous it will turn out darker than intended. If this happens you can spray it with a protein based porosity equaliser before dyeing to cut down on the problem or use slightly lighter shades so they turn out as dark as desired.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Sandra,

It is more porous because the bleach tends to strip off the cuticles on the surface of the hair shaft which would normally slow down dye penetration. As you're using a protein filler, this helps a lot because the protein fills in highly porous areas and helps to equalise the result, but it can still turn out darker.

There's two main ways you can combat this. The first is to use the instructions you were given. Shorter contact time means less chance of it ending up too dark, but it will also mean it will fade much more rapidly. Your second option is to use a slightly lighter dye for the full development time so that the lighter shade comes out to about as dark as you want without being as prone to fading. This can require a bit of testing to find the right level though, and a good rule is to try 1 - 2 levels lighter depending on how porous your hair is.

In any case, it's up to you and either method will work, so do whatever you find easiest and most practical and feel free to let me know if you have any problems with the colour.


Sandra 21 months ago

Hi Maffew,

I have Ombre hair - my natural colour, which is warm dark blonde/light brown to the ombre which is bleached to a fairly brassy blonde. I want to go back to my natural colour. I have a hair protein filler to use and then a dark neutral blonde dye (Vidal Sassoon Salonist) The instructions say to apply to roots, develop for 30 mins, then mix remaining dye with a serum and apply through lengths, as previously dyed hair is 'more porous' than Virgin hair. Shall I follow these instructions for getting rid of my ombre, or shall I reverse it in order to get the bleached hair left in the dye for longer? Thanks!


Toxic 21 months ago

Hi there,

I have been lightening my hair for 2 years now with Revlon coloursilk ultra light sun blonde 03. My natural colour is a dark blonde/ light brown, (although over the years I have been everything you could think of!) I have used bleaches and crema colours in the past, and am actually quite happy with the cheap Revlon box dye. My hair isn't in too bad a condition considering what it's been through. It's super-long but obviously porous. Reading your posts here I have learned that the conditioners and oils aren't enough, and that I need to do regular protein treatments too.

I'm thinking of going a slightly darker shade of blonde. Although I like the colour result I get in the end, it seems that I need to leave it on for an hour so that I get enough lift to avoid the roots being too orange. I still need to tone them out using the fudge blonding shampoo for a few washes, but then end up with lots of purple patches which has resulted in me having white sections of hair. I have been considering sticking to the Revlon range but choosing the medium ash blonde which is a 7. I have used red fillers before but only when adding dark peek-a -boo highlights.

I have read all of the other Qs and As on here, and it seems like most people are wanting to go darker than me. I still want to remain fair, but even and without too much gold, and not as much obvious regrowth when it comes through. If you think I would need to use a copper filler, please confirm the application process. When I did this in the past I was advised to apply the filler and then after 20 minutes processing time, and once it feels tacky, add the next colour right on top. Would this be correct?

I've been considering doing this for a while but it just seemed to hard, and I insist on doing it myself!

Thanks


Toxic 21 months ago

The other colour I like is the 04 Natural light blonde, but am worried that it wouldn't be too much different. Quite unsure here, like the medium ash but not wanting it to look too dark.


Sandra 21 months ago

Thabks for taking the time to help! Last question - I also have a box of Demi - literal casting creme gloss in sweet honey - 8304. It's about the same lightness as my bleached ends but lighter than my natural colour. I was going to put this on before the neutral dark blonde to reintroduce some hold tones, but I've noticed the developer contains hydrogen peroxide. Does this mean it will lighten my natural hair colour? I want to avoid this but can't accurately put it solely in my bleached ends as the ombre fade into my natural colour is very gradual... What do you think? Thanks!


Sandra 21 months ago

Sorry - that's loreal, not literal!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Sandra,

There's two types of demi-permanent dyes available: oxidative and acid-based. An oxidative demi like yours still uses developer like permanent dye but it's a very low strength and there's only a small amount of ammonia in the dye. All of this means any lightening is negligible but yes, a small amount of lightening occurs with any dye that is mixed with developer.

Overall it shouldn't be much of an issue. If you apply it all over, you may see a slight warmth show up in your darker natural hair, but this will then be neutralised by the darker dye when you finish the colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Toxic,

The purple patches from the Fudge shampoo is definitely consistent with porosity, although this can also happen if you have patches of lighter hair as this will lead to colour grabbing more on that hair compared to any darker hair.

As for your filling process, that's the correct way to use a protein filler. If you're using a demi as the filler instead you would use each colour separately though so it's just a matter of whichever you'd prefer to use. Protein filler will help reduce porosity as well as repair your hair slightly too.

I'd recommend just one thing different with your colour though; using a golden protein filler, maybe with just a dash of copper mixed in. A level 7 has a base tone of a deep gold colour, so although you can still use red to add warmth back in, it doesn't lead to the best colour result. The ash dye you'd apply afterwards would most likely be blue-violet based depending on brand, and this won't tone red properly so you end up with too much warmth leftover.

Also, if you wanted to try the light blonde shade you've mentioned, you can always apply it to a small amount of hair to gauge the result and see if it's dark enough. This is the best way to ensure the result is going to be the right level if you don't know how your hair is going to react.


Sandra 21 months ago

Thanks. I ended up going straight on with the dark neutral

Blonde. It turned my natural hair ginger but successfully darkened the ends, so tonally at least they were even, if not in colour. So I then went over with light natural brown. It's a nice even colour all over, though still quite red, so I'll let it rest a while then go over with a light ash brown. So overall, not a disaster! Thanks for your help.


Toxic 21 months ago

Hi again, and thanks.

Spot on. The patches that go purple are porous and very light.

I've never even heard of a protein filler, but this sounds like the way to go if it will also repair some of the damage.

It sounds as though I will end up darker than I would like in doing this. Your advice is fantastic and I really appreciate the honesty. You just wouldn't get that from somebody trying to sell you something!

I really just want to get rid of those light patches, and have it all even.... but perhaps not quite so platinum. If I do try a level 7, will it still try and lift and therefore damage? Or should I try a demi? If I did and test and like it, what would the best application method be....to do my roots first and get it all even before trying to change it? If I get a ' crema colour' all of the blonde shades they all recommend using a 30 vol for the lift, but if I got a 10 vol, that then becomes a demi, right? Which wouldn't lift the roots at all would it, but perhaps tone?

Back to the protein fillers...is something that could be used on its own just to fix up lighter patches, or is that a silly question?

Thanks


Toxic 21 months ago

Is it true that even going slightly darker you still need to fill? Would I need to fill if going just that one slightly darker blonde shade?

Ta


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Sandra,

Was that with the Vidal Sassoon box dye you mentioned earlier? If the developer was pre-mixed, chances are it was at least 20 vol and this would have caused the lightening in your natural hair. If possible, use a dark ash blonde in demi-permanent or the same shade in permanent with 10 vol as the developer. That will tone it nicely without anymore lightening.

If you're after an easy and fix that physically can't cause anymore damage or lightening while you rest your hair, you could use a semi-permanent dye. This will gradually wash out, by which time you can go over it with an ash tone to correct it.

Overall, it's great that your colour has turned out nice and even. The warmth shouldn't be too hard to correct.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Toxic,

No problem.

Any oxidative colour will cause damage. Demi-permanent can be oxidative or acid-based though, and the first kind is only very very mildly damaging, whilst the latter is non-damaging and can actually make your hair feel smoother and conditioned after dyeing. With permanent dye, the potential lift and damage is related to the developer concentration and you can use 10 vol for minimal lightening for toning or darkening.

As for your roots and the application process, do you have dark regrowth at the moment?

With the protein fillers, these are generally only sold in clear, gold, copper, and red. The clear is used before any dye where porosity will be an issue and no filling is needed, whereas the coloured versions are used for porosity and filling.

As for dyeing darker without filling, you definitely can, as long as it's not more than 2 levels darker. Any darker than that and you run the risk of getting a strange result because of the missing base tone. What sort of tonal result would you prefer? (Ash, neutral, beige, golden)?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Oh, also, you can use a clear protein filler to help treat porosity, but it won't necessarily completely curb the problem. The lighter hair will still take more tone from shampoo just because it's lighter, though it may help reduce this a little.

If you're having trouble with the shampoo you can always dilute it down with a plain shampoo in the meantime. This reduces the pigment concentration so it won't overtone as readily, but it also won't tone the darker hair as effectively as it can when used undiluted. It's kind of a trade-off.


Toxic 21 months ago

Great advice, thank you. I do have dark regrowth, not too obvious but about 4 weeks growth so need to get onto it soon. The tonal result I'm looking for is either a beige or an ash. Definitely not a golden, that would not suit my skin tone.

Where would you buy a protein filler from? It is great to learn that I won't have to use a coloured filler if only going slightly darker.

I never thought to dilute the toning shampoo, I just alternate with a moisturising shampoo. That tip may come in handy, although I'd keep half undiluted for when I need it.

Oh yes, purchased a protein mask today :-)

Thanks


Eloise 21 months ago

Thank you so much :) I'm going to be using Matrix for both the demi and permenant. I just have to find the activator and developers because I haven't been able to buy them all together at the same time. I used eBaY for the colours and will go to a salon to pick up the activator and developer. I'll let you know the results! :)


Eloise 21 months ago

I have already bought socolor sync in 4BR as a filler. What colour brown in the matrix socolor range would you suggest I go over this with?

Also, what volume percentage developer would you suggest I mix the permanent dye with? I was planning on using the matrix developer, it says it can be used for darkening as well as lightening, but I wasn't sure what volume percentage to get. I assumed a 10% or 20%?

Thank you so much for your honest advice :)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Toxic,

I apologise for my late reply.

You can buy protein fillers at beauty and hairdressing supply stores, and sometimes even in chemists and other beauty retailers. You could also buy them online from supply stores, beauty shops, and Amazon.

The regrowth would be best dealt with separately as it will need to be lightened. If you try to lighten it after dyeing your lengths, any dye that has made contact with your roots can make it harder to lift the regrowth out. Doing them first will also help with a more even colour because you can apply the final colour onto the roots as well to get it all the same colour. I'd recommend lightening your regrowth to just a little lighter than what you want the lengths to be, filling your lengths, and then applying the final darker blonde colour after this.

With the final colour, use either a natural tone, natural ash, or ash tone so that it doesn't end up too warm. A natural tone will give you a warmer beige result on top of the filler, while a natural ash or full ash will give a cooler result. Anything warmer than this will likely give more of a golden result.

Of course, those shade recommendations are based on your use of a coloured filler beforehand. If this isn't the case, use a natural tone for an ash result, or a beige tone for a natural result. Anything cooler or warmer can cause problems as the lighter hair can absorb the strong tones very easily.

Also, in regards to the shampoo, you shouldn't need to worry about your hair turning purple anymore once you reach a darker shade of blonde. There will be a much lower chance of over-toning.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Eloise,

That colour is a tad dark to use as a filler. You'd have to apply a level 3 to cover it, and that could turn out anything from a dark brown to something closer to black on hair that has been previously lightened. I'd recommend using a filler that is at least a level 5 in lightness so that your desired shade covers it properly. This is especially important if using Matrix Color Sync, as demi-permanent dye will always turn out even darker than intended.

With the developer for the permanent dye, you should be using 10 vol, which is 3 %, for darkening without lift. It won't actually lift your hair regardless of the strength when mixed into a darker dye, but the higher the strength, the more damage that occurs. 10 vol oxidises the colour with very little damage to the hair as it's very mild.

Let me know if you need me to elaborate further on any of this or you have other questions.


Toxic 21 months ago

Your advice is very thorough, and yet you explain it so that it's easy to comprehend. Your time is certainly appreciated by many!

I will definitely tackle my roots first, getting them lighter than the bulk of my hair might be tricky, but I'm sure I will manage.

I will wait a week or two and give my hair a few good treatments first and choose my colours carefully.

Thank you so much!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Toxic,

I'm glad you've found it helpful. Good luck with your colour and let me know if you have any trouble with it or need any more help.


Kelly Cinquegrana profile image

Kelly Cinquegrana 21 months ago from Toms River, New Jersey

I have bleach blonde/platinum hair on my top layers and black on the underneath layers. I have a tiny bit of regrowth coming in right now. I've experimented with my hair for years. I like the effect my hair has right now, but I'm sick of the work that goes into it every few weeks. I want to get close-ish to my natural dark blonde/light brown hair with some highlights. Will this work out if I use red protein filler on the bleached blonde and use color remover and red protein filler on the black? I know color remover will leave me with weird orange anyway... Then use an ash or warm brown then highlight later on? Will it work or will my hair turn out 37 different colors? Thank you!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Kelly,

It's best not to use red as the filler for a dark blonde or light brown result. Dark blonde for example, has a mostly gold base tone, with a slight orange tinge leftover. Best practice to replace this would be to use a medium golden copper blonde in demi-permanent, then cover that with a dark blonde dye in ash or natural.

As for the black, you don't need a filler for this because it already has a base tone. The problem with this though is that the base tone for black is a dark red and this will be revealed by lightening with bleach or dye removal with hair dye remover. To achieve an even result, this needs to be lightened up to that same golden orange base tone that is needed for the dark blonde.

You can definitely use the dye remover on the black though, but it doesn't always work. Results will mostly depend on how many times you've dyed it, and will also depend on what colour was underneath. If you only applied the black once, chances are it will all be removed in one process. In any case, it will still give partial removal in hair that has been dyed a lot and if that happens you'll need to lighten it further to make it even, then dye with an ash tone to correct the warmth.

With the highlights, you can plan them better later on. They could be done at the same time as the darker colour, but this would just complicate application and make it more difficult for you.


Thao Nguyen 21 months ago

I recently got an ombre, my hair has now grown out quite it a bit so now I have black roots with medium ash blonde fading out to a light ash blonde. I want to do a dark brown to a deep purple ombre. What should I use for my hair? what color filler should i use first?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

Apply a red protein filler to your hair, let this absorb, then cover the upper lengths with a medium natural brown. I wouldn't recommend applying a dark brown on lightened hair as it could turn out practically black instead as lightened hair can be very porous. The use of the medium brown dye avoids this and gives more of a dark brown result.

To the lower lengths, apply a light violet brown and blend this slightly with the end of the natural brown so that there's not banding and it makes a smoother transition. Fudge Headpaint 5.22 is a good purple dye for this, though it really depends on what brands you have available to you.


Eloise 21 months ago

hey :) Thanks for your advice, I've done my hair and it's come out lovely :) It's got more violet red tones than expected but that's my fault as when using the matrix line I accidentally mixed the sync with developer and permanent with activator!! Silly my, but the base is there and I'll leave it a few weeks to see what happens, if it goes down a bit ill reapply the 4b with developer! :)

I do have a question though, my mum wants her hair brown again as she has had blonde highlights for years but she's let it grow out to almost an unflattering ombré effect. How would we go about colouring this? I know which colours to use, but not whether to apply the red based tone to just the blonde ends? Or all over the hair, I assume just the blonde bits in Demi tone and then all over with the permenant colour?

If you were nearer to us we would just pay you to be our personal hairdresser I think!


Thao Nguyen 21 months ago

should I use demi permanent dye or permanent? Can use a gold filler instea d or it won't turn out right?


Abi 21 months ago

Hi, I dyed my hair blonde yesterday (my natural hair colour is a dirty blonde/brown colour) and it turned out a horrible shade of blonde, almost ginger. I then used colour b4 today to strip my hair of the colour, it ha no gone a slightly brighter blonde, kind of strawberry blonde. I want to go back to a brown as i hate my hair. Do you have nay tips of what colour i should use? I cant afford to get it done professionally.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Eloise,

That's great that your colour has turned out nice.

For your mum, apply the filler to highlights, then brown colour to the highlights. Towards the end of application, apply to the rest of her hair to give it an even result.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

Protein filler or demi-permanent. Technically, you can use a permanent dye as the filler if you can't get anything else, but it's less damaging if you only use permanent for the final colour.

The gold filler would help prevent problems by adding warmth back in, but it isn't the right base tone for dark brown hair so it can still turn out odd.

The proper base tones are red for dark brown, red-orange for medium brown, orange for light brown, gold-orange for dark blonde, gold for medium blonde, yellow for light blonde, and pale yellow for very light blonde to white. Using the right base tone for the darker colour you want is always the best way to get it to turn out perfect.


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Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Abi,

Dye over with a light natural brown. Your hair still has a lot of warm tone in it so it shouldn't need filling to reach brown.


Winnie 21 months ago

Hi

I bleached my hair to a very platinum blonde and then used semi permanent silver/lavender color on them for a couple of months. I wanted to go darker so I used a permanent dark mahogany brown on my hair last week and it turned my hair olive green. What other permanent color can I use to get it to a dark chocolatey brown (not too dark that it looks black)? Thanks so much in advance!


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Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Winnie,

You need to add red into your hair to cancel out the green. A light red brown (Shade code 5R), should add enough red in to correct the green without darkening it more or making it too warm.


lily 21 months ago

Hi my hair is bleached blonde like a level 9 ash blonde with violet in the dye and I've been continuously using purple shampoo, plus i have regrowths that are like a level 5 brown, i understand i need to filler my hair with light red brown demi permanent colour but do I put that through over to my regrowths too? or do i simply leave my regrowths out of the filling process? btw the level brown i wanted was a level 6 after i fill my hair with red.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Lily,

Level 6 is dark blonde. If you want that colour, fill with light golden copper blonde (8GC), then finish the colour with dark natural blonde (6N).

You don't use red as the filler in this circumstance because dark blonde has a base tone of gold with a hint of copper. Also, the roots don't need to be filled; they need to be lightened one level to match your lengths.


Courtney 21 months ago

Hello,

I have a client who is a natural level 6 with grown out golden highlights (about level 7/8) who would like to be a level 5 chocolate brown. I was planning on using Paul Mitchell demi-permanent color. Should I fill her highlighted areas with a medium copper color and then use 5N mixed with a little 5G (to have the final color be rich looking and to have it reflect a lot of light)? Thank you!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Courtney,

Sounds great.

Demi-permanent dyes can sometimes turn out darker than intended, although I'm not sure about the Paul Mitchell brand. You might find a copper protein filler better if your client has any porosity from the highlighting as the protein helps to equalise this and prevent too much colour absorbing.


Jam 21 months ago

Hi I was wondering if I could get your opinion please. I was a dark brown color, then the hair stylist bleached it because I wanted a light caramel brown. It came out medium brown/copper ish. I went back a couple days later and they bleached it again. It came out yellow blonde! I told them to fix it and I'm not sure what they used shortly after that but it toned down the yellow color to a gold color. My hair is now goldish with some copper tint. How can I get it to a nice light brown color? Thanks!


Quinn 21 months ago

Hi, I had an ombré done on my naturally black hair a while back. It was my natural black to a light brown to blonde ends. I recently went to have it colored to a rose gold color however, the stylist bayalaged my hair lifting the bottom to an even lighter blonde and highlighted top to blonde. Then she toned it with some red which made my ends a lil pink but the highlights on top were a brassy orange red color. I read that to counter the brassiness, I needed to use an ash color. So I used a light ash blonde color all over not thinking about the blond pinkish ends!!! Now the highlighted parts up top are a warm med to dark brown but the bottoms are very ashy grey slightly green tint to it. Needless to say I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm looking to keep the bayalaged look but to have the bottom a light/med brown. Please help! I'm so desperate and have lost faith in any stylist to color this Asian hair.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Jam,

That's odd that toning produced a gold shade. Sounds like they've used something warm; possibly slightly darker on top. If an ash dye was used, that would have actually toned to beige, then neutral, and then to a dark silvery colour depending on how strong the toner was and how long it was left on.

The copper you see also suggests some kind of warm shade was used. When hair is bleached past the golden stage to a proper yellow there is no copper left, and there's no reason you should be seeing copper tones unless it was added back into your hair.

As for fixing it, what kind of brown were you after? Ash, neutral, golden, etc? Because of the gold and copper warmth there now, you can always go over with a light natural brown and that will dye properly without needing to fill it first. The result is going to be a cool natural depending on what brand of dye you're using.

For other results, like an ash or golden shade, I'd recommend still using a natural tone and mixing the desired shade into the natural so that it darkens properly and doesn't turn out a strange colour. This means you would use half light natural brown and then combine that with half part either ash or golden for that respective result. This is only necessary because you're dyeing over lighter hair and whatever tone you use has a stronger effect. The natural tone subdues this as it's balanced.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Quinn,

Do you mean you want the bottom section of the ombre dyed from blonde to brown? Whilst preserving as much of a bayalaged look as possible? It's somewhat more difficult to dye it darker and still keep the bayalage, but it is doable if that's what you're actually wanting to do.


Quinn 21 months ago

Hi James, yes I want the bottom section of ombré to be light brown but my problem is that since I did light ash brown, it is now very ashy grey green. What do you suggest I do to get that color and still keep the bay algae? Or what do you suggest for getting my hair light brown all over?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Quinn,

Easiest way would be to foil the bayalage with conditioner to keep it separate. Then apply a copper protein filler to the ends that you want to dye darker, leave that to absorb, and finish it off be applying a light natural brown on top of the filler. After it develops, rinse it out and then remove the foils.

As for the intense ash colour that will remain on the bayalage that was kept separate and not dyed darker, I don't think you'll need to worry about it. It's likely it'll just mostly wash out in a few shampoos. If it remains a problem at this point, or your just want to get rid of it immediately, you can go over it with a pastel red colour to tone out the green.


nikki 21 months ago

Hello James

Hair is yellow blonde wanted to put a dark blonde natural instincts rinse. Will my hair turn green?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Nikki,

It depends how light your blonde is, as well as what tone is present in the dye and how much darker you're going.

Specifically, the lighter the blonde and the darker you go over it, the more intense any result will be. If the colour is an ash shade, it can turn out very grey. Worst case scenario, the affect is even stronger and the base tone from the colour comes through. Blue-based ash gives a blue caste, or green-based ash will give a green caste.

I don't know what base tones the brand you are using contains, but given your current yellow colour, I'd recommend only using an ash tone if you're going up to 1 level darker. Use a natural tone (neutral), or slightly warm tone if going 2 - 3 levels darker. Fill the hair first if going any further as it won't turn out as good otherwise.


Thao Nguyen 21 months ago

Hi Maffew,

you recently reply to my comment saying "Apply a red protein filler to your hair, let this absorb, then cover the upper lengths with a medium natural brown. I wouldn't recommend applying a dark brown on lightened hair as it could turn out practically black instead as lightened hair can be very porous. The use of the medium brown dye avoids this and gives more of a dark brown result.

To the lower lengths, apply a light violet brown and blend this slightly with the end of the natural brown so that there's not banding and it makes a smoother transition. Fudge Headpaint 5.22 is a good purple dye for this, though it really depends on what brands you have available to you."

I was wondering if I can use the Kenra demi permanent in 5RV. Its a red violet brown.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

That's perfectly fine to use that for the final colour.


Thao Nguyen 21 months ago

So can i put on the red protein filler and then put the kenra demi permanent on top?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

Yes, you can.


Vanessa 20 months ago

Hi Maffew! Wow! Im totally impressed with all these questions and ur detailed answers to everyone. Thanks for sharing ur knowladge! Well, my question is... Im a natural medium brown but currently im a bleached blonde. My hair is way to light and yellow now so i decided to go back natural. I want to dye my hair medium brown to match my roots. What colored filler should I use and which hair color dye as final color ? And it's also true that we dont rinse the filler and just put the final color over it? Thanks for ur help! Going to Sally's tomorrow!


Jessica 20 months ago

Good Morning! I have a natural medium brown hair but I've been dying my hair light blonde for over 10 years ... I want to go back dark, to a medium brown. I have a friend that was on the same situation and got L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme in 5AR Medium Maple Brown and the color came out so nice! no green or red tones, it was just perfect. No filler was used. Do you think I could do the same on my hair? what's your advise? thanks!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Vanessa,

Thank you, I'm glad to help.

You need a red filler for medium brown. If it's a protein filler, this doesn't need to be rinsed out and the dye is applied on top. If you use a demi-permanent dye as the filler, this does need to be done separately.

Protein fillers help repair damage and equalise porosity so that the final colour doesn't turn out too dark or grab onto certain areas. Results tend to fade a little quicker than use of a dye though, whereas filling with a dye lasts longer and can produce a richer colour but there can be more of a chance of porosity issues. It's mainly up to you to decide which you'd prefer to use, based on what is easier for you and the condition of your hair.

If you do use a red protein filler, apply that first and then apply the final colour after the filler has absorbed. Develop the final colour as usual.

If using dye, use a demi-permanent red shade, two levels lighter than the final colour. In this case for a medium brown result, you'd get a good result using a dark red blonde dye as the filler. You use this lighter shade because you don't want it to be too dark or the red tones can remain somewhat visible after dyeing. Whilst this can always just be toned, it is easier to avoid it to begin with unless you wanted a warmer brown result.

As for the final dye, use a medium natural brown. A lot of brands don't offer other tones for a colour that is this dark, but if the dye brand you're using has pure tone concentrates, you can add a little ash/blue or gold tone to your dye to make it cooler or warmer. If the brand does have other shades of medium brown, you can mix a little medium ash brown into the natural for a cooler result, or you can mix medium golden brown into it for a warmer result.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Jessica,

Filler is always more reliable for dyeing your hair much darker, but it's not impossible to do it without a filler. The idea is that the filler is replacing the missing base tone so that the tones present in the darker dye don't end up coming out too strong. If the tonal properties of the dye are balanced in the right way for the result you want and the colour your hair already is, this can also turn out as desired.

However, I can't give you any assurance that dye will turn out exactly as you expect it to, as there are so many variables here. If you do try it and it doesn't work out, any strange result can be fixed if necessary, so feel free to try it if you would prefer and let me know if you have any problems with it. If you do decide to fill your hair first, you can read my recent comment above as it concerns the same situation and colour.


Vanessa 20 months ago

Hi Mattew! Its me again! Guess what? I went to Sally (before ur answer) and I got the filler#2 warm brown. I used the filler and also dyed my hair with a light chocolate brown (i was afraid of it getting too dark because i used the filler first) anyway... The color is nice but i can see some red on it (if i am at the sunlight).

So i want to go darker (i can still see my roots)! Can i use another dye now over it? A medium natural brown? Please let me know! Thanks again!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Vanessa, you certainly can.


Thao Nguyen 20 months ago

hi maffew,

Is it possible for me to add some pravana chromasilk vivids into the kenra 5vr brown to make it more violet?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

You should only mix shades that are part of the same brand and colour line. Mixing between brands can cause unintended color results because of the way the different dye compounds interact, or it could even cause an increased risk of allergies or form harmful byproducts in the worst case scenario. Manufacturers generally only test their products for effectiveness and safety when used as directed and not mixed with other different formulations.

It'd be better to add Kenra Violet Booster to the Kenra dye to increase the concentration of violet tone. Whilst I've never used the Kenra brand, it looks like they make their 5VR shade in both demi-permanent and permanent. As long as you're using the permanent 5VR, you can add the violet booster to modify the tone. It needs to be the permanent shade though or else the violet booster won't oxidise and thus won't have any effect.


Thao Nguyen 20 months ago

okay thank you for your help! and also thanks for answering my questions so patiently! it helped me out alot!


stacy 20 months ago

Hi Maffew,

My name is Stacy and my hair has been a medium red brown for years. I decided I wanted a change so had my stylist highlight it. It turned out good but after about 6 weeks it needed some attention. Shamefully I decided to do it myself. So I decided to bleach out all of my hair and ended up with a orange brassy color, I highlighted it and then toned it with wella pale blonde. It isnt bad but not what I was wanting. The highlighted parts are good but the other parts are to orange. I think I want to go dark again and be done with all the bleach.... Any sugesstions?


Jessica 20 months ago

i just went platinum blonde on top, black on bottom. The black is fine but the blonde is awful. Thinking of going to caramel brown on top or a purply one. What do I need to do? Thinking protein filler.


Thao Nguyen 20 months ago

Hey maffew,

So i dyed my hair with kenra 5VR demi permanent. It turned out nice but the top is lighter than the bottom., so can I dye another coat of 5VR on top to make it more intense?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

No problem, and good luck with your colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Stacy,

How much darker did you want to go? Also, would you prefer a warm, neutral, or ash brown result?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Jessica,

Best to use a copper protein filler for this, then apply the caramel or violet brown on top of that. It will give it more depth and ensure the colour turns out properly.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Thao,

You can redye it. If your hair still doesn't seem to be taking the dye, mix 5N into the 5VR. A neutral tone darkens more effectively, but it will result in a slightly less vibrant colour as it's going to dilute down the violet and red tone so you'll be best only doing this if dyeing it again doesn't help.


Err1 20 months ago

Ok so i am a box color blonde its yellow and a bit orange i want to go darker something like a mahogany auburn or a burgandy please help i want more red brown than a purple brown


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Err1

Apply a red protein filler, let that absorb, and then cover that with a mahogany brown. The violet tone is going to be softer here, rather than using a burgundy which is much more on the violet side. The red protein filler helps to keep it redder as well as giving the darker colour more depth.


Tracey 20 months ago

Help I have bleached my brown hair and put on a ash blonde but it is not for me it's an orange very light Color can I put a golden light brown on my hair


Sarah 20 months ago

Help! So about 3 weeks ago now I had highlights in my hair which basically turned into a gone wrong ombre which I didn't like so I went back the week afterwards and asked to go back to my normal colour which is dark brown. The highlights were bleached so half my hair was this bleached caramel colour. I asked her if she would need to pre pigment it with red before dying over it with the brown, she said she didn't want to put too much red in so would put a Loreal Majirel Gold Brown over it. Well it turned out green! She then put another semi permenant gold brown over it, and it made it a bit better but within a week it had faded out and looked awful. I contacted another hairdresser and she put a semi base brown on it, again it has faded out and I can see the khaki green in it coming through again!! She is now going to come back and put a semi permenant brown red in for 10 mins to try and pre pig it (Loreal 6.35) then she will put through a permenant brown (Loreal Majirel 6 and 7) to try and get the base colour back. What I want to know is do you think this will work?? I really can't mess with my hair anymore I'm so scared that this isn't going to work? Will a semi perm brown with red left on for 10 minutes be enough to pre pig it? And will a base permenant brown afterwards just make it go khaki again so I be using a permenant with warmth in still? I would be sooo grateful if you could help me!!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Tracey

If it's still orange, it's likely still too dark to be toned to blonde, and that's why the ash dye had no effect. You can put the light golden brown on, but keep in mind that it's a darker warm shade and it may end up too intense. If this happens, you can always tone afterwards with light ash brown to fix it.

Using a light natural brown mixed with the light golden brown would help avoid this from happening to begin with, but it's also going to depend on how warm your hair currently is.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Sarah,

Red is the complementary colour to green, and when both are present in roughly equal intensity, they will cancel each other out. In this sense, adding red into your hair through any means will actually cut down on the green look.

As for whether the process you've described will work, there's a good chance the permanent brown will add more green into your hair and just result in the same problem. The issue is probably more to do with the Majirel brand and you shouldn't see this sort of thing happen with dyes that have a blue base level.


Sarah 20 months ago

Thank you, do you think perhaps I should be using a red pre pigment instead of a semi permenant red? Then perhaps just putting a normal box dye on (Loreal Excellence in natuaral brown) would help? I'm so worried that I'm going pay another stack of money and its not going to work again?! Or can you recommend any hair dyes to use? My hair is naturally dark brown but where the dye has not covered the bleached areas it is a khaki green colour :(


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Sarah,

It's best to use a protein filler or demi-permanent whenever filling hair. You can also use a permanent if you have nothing else available. Semi-permanent dye washes out too quickly and completely and the colour won't be stable.

Cover with light red brown (5R), or red protein filler. If using dye, develop this, rinse, and then prepare the final colour. If using protein filler; apply, allow to absorb, and then apply the final colour on top of it. For the final colour, use dark natural brown (3N). If you can get Wella Koleston, or Igora Royal, use one of them. If not, even Wella Color Charm, which is Wella's box dye equivalent will produce better results because the dye isn't green-based. Use 3N for the final colour.

In the meantime while you get everything together, you could always take a semi-permanent red dye like one of the red shades by Manic Panic, Rusk, or a similar brand and mix a small amount of that into shampoo to create your own red toner to neutralise the green. If you apply this as the final shampoo whenever you wash your hair, it will keep the green away until you decide on a more permanent course of action.


Sarah 20 months ago

Thank you so much for your advice I really appreciate it! I'm hoping it will be sorted this time but will keep you updated!! I also found this which is a bright red conditioner perhaps I could use this as a toner to neutralise the green if it doesn't work?!

http://www.beautybay.com/haircare/revlonprofession...


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Sarah,

No problem and good luck with your colour. Let me know if you have any problems.

You should be able to use the conditioner as a toner. It depends on how intensely coloured it is. You want it to be strong enough to neutralise the red without making your brown begin to look warm, but you could always trial it on a small section of hair and dilute it down with plain conditioner if the colour is too strong.


grace sheedy 20 months ago

Hi Maffew,

I'm a natural blonde but lately my roots have darkened alot so my roots are a dark ash blonde and my hair gets alot lighter towards th end. It has brown and red undertones but I'm not really sure if i should just go and dye it brown or should i dye it before. Can you help please??


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Grace,

How dark did you want the brown to be: light brown, medium brown, or dark brown? The darker you go from your current colour, the less reliable the results tend to be with dye alone and it's better to fill first in order to replace the missing base tone that would be present if your hair was brown.


grace sheedy 20 months ago

Thanks Maffew! I want to go a very light brown as i find blonde dye very damaging to my hair. Also i read a bit about it online and it is apparently very damaging to your hair( even worse then blonde) Do you know if that is true?


rebeccabevin 20 months ago

Hiya Maffew!! I'm in need of your help!! im wanting to go back to the colour of my natural hair which is pretty cool toned! but i dont want it after a couple of washes to have reddish/orange undertones if thats the cases could i tone it with silver shampoo? and here is a picture its the most recently uploaded one on my page it goes from brown to blonde just scroll down a little :)

http://letsescapeandneverlookback.tumblr.com/post/... im from new zealand so brands are pretty limited xx


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Grace,

Not at all thankfully.

You see, the damage from dye is mostly due to the hydrogen peroxide content. Peroxide is used as the developer because it produces oxidation that causes dye to take on its intended form as well as also lightening natural pigment in your hair.

This would all be perfectly fine if the chemical reaction taking place was constrained to the melanin in your hair (Natural pigment), and the dye molecules. However, it also attacks the protein in your hair which forms its structure. It is this that actually causes the damage.

Blonde dye is used with stronger developer concentrations to produce the lightening you need to get your hair to blonde. The further you lighten your hair, the more damage it causes. Ie, if you are choosing to use a colour that isn't as light, you're decreasing damage simply because not as much oxidation is occurring.

Ammonia plays a smaller part too. Dyes which contain higher amounts of ammonia dry out the hair more and it also acts as a catalyst for the peroxide, increasing its effect. Blonde dye and other lighter shades contain more ammmonia to help drive penetration of the dye into the hair shaft, as well as boost lightening.

What all of this means is that by dyeing your hair light brown, you're lightening it less, as well as exposing it to a lower concentration of the damaging components of hair dye. All of this will improve its condition over time as it grows out.

Anyway, on to the actual dye process: if your hair is lighter than a medium blonde at the moment, I'd recommend filling it first so that the colour has the necessary depth and will turn out how it should. Medium to dark blonde can be fairly reliably dyed to light brown with the use of a neutral light brown shade.

This is 'natural light brown', or '5N' in terms of shade name and letter code for most brands. Most dye brands will be neutral if the shade is 'natural', and thus contain a balance of all three primary colours so that none turn out too dominant. Sometimes the natural tone is slightly warm or slightly cool though. As long as there's not too large of a difference between how dark your blonde is and the light brown, this isn't too much of a problem even if using a brand like this.

Otherwise, filling will always give the most reliable results. You could fill with a demi-permanent dye in medium gold copper blonde (7GC), for this; or you could fill it using a golden protein filler with a little copper protein filler mixed in. You need that small amount of copper to add depth even if you want a light ash brown result. If using a demi-permanent dye, process and then rinse out before using the final colour. If using the protein filler, apply, allow to absorb, and then apply the final colour on top.


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Rebecca,

Silver shampoo doesn't tend to have any impact on brown hair because most brands are designed to tone lighter shades of blonde primarily. De Lorenzo Silver is blue-violet based, intense, and strong enough to cause a more noticeable effect on hair that is as dark as light brown. The blue tone helps in this regard because it neutralises orange tones which are otherwise unaffected by violet toner. Not many other blonde shampoos have enough blue tone or are strong enough to be used like this.

In the De Lorenzo brand you can also get Cool Naturals, which is actually designed for maintaining cooler shades of brown hair. It's stronger and better suited to red and copper tones than a blonde shampoo. There are a few other brands that also make a shampoo like this but not many overall. There's a much larger market for blonde, red, and purple shampoos. Brown hair tends to fall by the wayside.

Semi-permanent dyes are another option. A mousse like Igora Expert Mousse is one in particular that I like to recommend because you can apply it while washing your hair after shampooing, making it quick and easy to use. If you use the 5-0, that will help tone light to medium brown hair. 4-0 will help tone medium to dark brown hair.

If you can't find anything better though, there is another alternative that is more DIY styled. If you're familiar with or have ever used bright semi-permanent dyes like the ones made by Manic Panic and other brands you'd know they make intense shades of blue. red, green etc. There's no reason you can't add a small amount of a bright colour like this to a plain shampoo to create your own toning shampoo. You need to add blue to neutralise copper, and green if the unwanted tones are more reddish.

If you go this route, just be careful to add small amounts at first and work out the right concentration. The dyes tend to be strong and a little will go a long way. You also need to use it last as semi-permanent dyes like this have a conditioning base and will decrease the cleaning ability of the shampoo you add it to. Wash first with your regular shampoo and then rinse and apply the toning shampoo before conditioning.

Once you work out a good concentration and mix for how dark your hair is and what unwanted tones are present, you can use this to tone your hair if you have nothing else available. It's not as precise as a pre-formulated shampoo but it will work much the same with just as little time or effort. Other than that, you can also use ash brown semi-permanent dyes but these will take more time for processing and such so would require more commitment just to maintain the colour.


Kelci88 20 months ago

My roots were orang and the rest of my hair was a really light blonde almost platinum....I got a natural dark brown dye and my roots are close to my natural color....but the rest of my hair is ash brown...and its a pretty color but doesn't work for me....how can I get the rest of my hair to match my roots?? Will honey highlights work??


sarah 20 months ago

My dirty blonde hair was highlighted 2 months ago professionally. I wanted a rich brown but got a reddish dark blonde. Not flattering to my redddish undertones in my skin. Should i buy a chestnut color if i want a rich brown?


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Kelci,

This is because it wasn't filled. The lack of the warm base tones that are normally present in dark brown hair leads to the hair that was previously platinum looking ashier after dyeing. The roots reach a closer approximation of the shade because of the warmth that was present in that hair.

As for fixing it, you can mix a small amount of medium red brown into a medium golden brown dye and use that to tone it. This will warm it up by adding gold and red tones back into your hair and stop it looking so ashy.

Otherwise, yes adding highlights in a warm tone will also make the overall colour look warmer, but this will require you to commit to highlights so you should only do it if that's what you actually want.


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Sarah,

Depends what you mean by 'rich'. As for the highlights, they will likely benefit from toning and this can take them from that red dark blonde colour to more of a neutral light brown. If you want a warmer and deeper colour though, it'd be best to separate out the highlights and recolour in foils again using the new shade.


Andrea 20 months ago

Hi, I've bleached my hair to basically a platinum blonde with darker blonde bits throughout, and it's very ashy.

I want to go slightly darker, to a light to medium ash brown, would I use a light natural brown permanent dye or a demi? I've also read that you can use any permanent box dye and just mix the color with a 10 developer to make it a demi, is that true? I really want to stay away from any red tones, and I'm also scared of it coming out too dark since parts of my hair are so light.

I bought a 500 natural medium brown foam dye at the store and I'm wondering if I can use this or if I need to pick up something else. It is a Permanent color.

Thanks!

Andrea


Tamzin 20 months ago

Hi I found your brilliant advice too late...I have dyed my hair and have ended up with green grey tinges when it catches the light. How do I sort this out? My hair used to be blonde- home box dye, I then went to hair dresser to have it dyed dark brown and kept the colour going at home with boxed dye. I then got high lights, I then got to the stage where I am fed up with getting roots and just kind of want lower maintenance so went and bought a medium blonde colour and have got the green grey tinge. My natural colour is dirty blonde and I want to go back to that. Help me please!


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Andrea,

The best way to do this would be to apply a copper protein filler, allow that to absorb, and then apply the light brown dye. Your hair is very light and there's high chance you'll get a strange result if you don't fill it first.

As for the demi-permanent dye, there are two types: the first kind is partially oxidative and uses a very low volume of peroxide (Usually 5 - 7 vol), to develop the oxidative colour in the dye. Part of these demi-permanent dyes is direct dye, which doesn't oxidise and is more like a stain. The other kind is acid-based which is a true deposit only colour, doesn't contain oxidative dye, and isn't mixed with peroxide.

A dye that is permanent can't really be made into a demi-permanent dye. Definitely not with 10 vol anyway. 10 vol developer is primarily used for tone-on-tone results or darkening hair. With most brands of dye, it is the lowest volume that can be used for permanent results. Using a lower volume of developer than this causes the dye to be less permanent but this isn't because it causes the dye to become demi-permanent. The dye just doesn't oxidise properly so it doesn't fully develop and the undeveloped dye molecules wash out readily.

However, there are some professional brands that produce dyes that can function as both demi-permanent or permanent at different developer strengths because they contain a combination of direct dye and oxidative dye. Used as permanent dyes, they don't last as long as they should, and used as demi-permanent they last far longer than they should. It's a trade-off for the convenience.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Tamzin,

You'll likely find that if you allow it to fade, it will go from green to a nicer ash tone. If you can't wait though, you can neutralise the green with red tone. This is best done with a combination of red and yellow as if you just remove the green, it will still look quite grey. You need to add a small amount of gold tone in to warm it up slightly.

There's a few ways you can do this. You could use a clear or pastel permanent dye and mix small amounts of a light red shade and gold shade in. You could do the same thing but use red and gold concentrates instead of actual blonde shades to add the required tone, depending on brand. You could also mix concentrates with a small amount of 10 vol developer and then a small amount of shampoo, applying as a toner.

Alternatively, an easier way may be to get bright red and bright yellow semi-permanent dyes and mix a small amount of each into either shampoo or conditioner. You can use this as a temporary toner to neutralise the ash whilst it fades.

It really just depends what you can get and how comfortable you are with mixing and applying dyes. Anything you do to add red and gold into your hair neutralises the ash, but it's up to you how you go about doing this and whether you would rather use temporary or more permanent options. However, with any option make sure you be careful with how much tone you use. The right amount of red will neutralise the green, but too much and you end up with a reddish tint instead.


Tamzin 20 months ago

Me again! I have gone and got a semi permanent red dye-pillar box red by Schwarzkopf and a champagne blonde toner (Schwarzkopf) again semi permanent. I want to trythe easier way you suggested-adding it to shampoo. How shall I go about it? Do I add say a 50p sized blob of red dye to shampoo lather it up and then leave it ten mins then wash out and dry as normal and then say the next day do the same with the blonde? I really appreciate your expertise and your very fast replies, thank you.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Tamzin,

I'd recommend using a very small amount at first and testing it for a few minutes to watch the colour change. Start with a pea-sized amount added to about 30 ml of shampoo on a section of hair and then adjust the strength from there before using it all over.

With the champagne toner, if it's one of those Schwarzkopf Live toners you can use it after the shampoo. It's a conditioning base so it will condition your hair. You may want to test it first though to see how strong the gold tone is. If it gives too much gold and you don't want your hair to look that warm, feel free to tone it down with conditioner.

Let me know if you have any problems. In any case, if you add too much of either tone, it will wash out after a few shampoos. The ash will also continue to fade, so in time you will find you don't need to continue toning to hide it.


Tamzin 20 months ago

Thank you so much Maffew will give it a go!


Tamzin 20 months ago

I think I used a tad too much red and now have a pink haze, today I used the blonde toner and it just seems to have given it a strawberry blonde tinge. Shall I just leave it alone and let it wash away? I tend to wash my hair every other day so it shouldn't take too long to wash out these tinges and the grey/ash blonde should it? what do you suggest?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Tamzin,

The excess red you used will wash out fairly quickly. It can be hard to get the concentration right because a small amount will neutralise the green but too much will start to then go the other way. It's similar to how violet toner on blonde hair will neutralise yellow, but if too much is used, it starts to look purple instead of neutral.

Wash it a few times and then only use more red if the green starts to reappear. Hopefully you won't see the green tone reappearing though as it will have washed out at the same time. Continue to use a beige or gold toner if it still looks very greyish.


Tamzin 20 months ago

You are a star, thank you so much for all your help, you have stopped me panicking and making a bigger mess of things. Happy Easter and once again thank you


carla rene 20 months ago

Hi, my natural color is very light brown that looks golden only in the sun, I had a full highlight done that turned out badly; chalk white highlights except the top of my head where they were orangey gold. Had my hair dyed level 5 chocolate brown at Aveda salon, they told me the dye already contained filler. My hair is now very red outside especially at the roots, and very gold in indoor light, and a medium/dark brown. It looks unnatural on my very pale neutral face. Any way to

get it neutralized and a shade

lighter? Should I let someone strip the color and re-dye?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Happy Easter to you too Tamzin, and good luck. Let me know if you need any more help with the colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Carla,

At this point you could always bleach wash it with a mild mix of bleach and shampoo to lighten one level. After that, you need to tone with an ash shade to neutralise the warmth. This would require a light ash brown for a light brown result, but given that the previous use of a light brown dye has turned out darker than intended, you may have more porous hair and it will likely be better to use a dark ash blonde for toning instead to avoid it ending up too dark again after.


Angie 20 months ago

Hi I need some advice. I have a natural color of medium natural brown, slightly warmer. I'd like to go back to that. I've had my hair bleached on top numerous times using Kenra powder with a 30 developer. I also had magenta added the last time. The magenta is now at a point where what hasn't washed out seems like it never will! So there's magenta on both my natural hair and the bleached. I need it all to be one solide color again. I want my medium natural slightly warm brown back. Other factor is my hair is stacked in the back with an asymmetrical front. Which maybe only made it difficult to highlight but I'm unsure. Please advise. TIA!!


carla rene 20 months ago

Looking at my hair more closely, each strand actually looks a golden color, as if the dye lifted the rest of my hair to a gold and deposited very poorly so a lot more red is visible than brown. Maybe a bleach wash isn't necessary and I am actually

needing more color deposited to

reach a medium natural brown? I am wanting a natural warmth that isn't a fake red.


marquitad 20 months ago

Hi, I am so happy I stumbled across your page, I bleached my virgin hair extensions to a golden yellow color I would say it is at a level 8. I tried dyeing it by using revlon colorsilk in medium ash blonde and dark ash blonde but there is a greyish/green tone to it that is more noticable in certain lighting. I am wanting a color similar to this. I I have different lengths that I have dyed I would like for the longest length to be the lightest please help if you can I have been trying to get this hair color right for weeks now and I would hate to waste over 500 dollars worth of extensions. I have included links to the colors I am hoping to achieve not sure if you will be able to click on the or not but basically it is khloe kardashians ombre look and adrienne bailon http://lossip.com/49286/hair-trend-stay-ombre/3/

or

http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/09/06/adrienne-bailo...


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Angie,

It'd be best to fill with a red protein filler and then dye over that with medium natural brown. Although your hair still has some warmth because of the previous magenta colour, the filler is going to help ensure it does have the depth it needs and will also help create a slightly warm result.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Carla,

A bleach wash is really only going to be necessary if you do want it lighter or need to remove a lot of any unwanted tone. If you're happy with how dark it is though, you can use a medium natural brown to add more depth in. That shade has enough cool tone to cut down on the warmth, but it isn't going to take it all out. That way you will end up with a softer warm brown.

Alternatively, for a more controlled approach, use demi-permanent dye and apply a mix of light ash brown and light natural brown, then leave to process until you like the way it looks. The longer you leave it, the cooler the result.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Marquitad,

If you're getting a really green looking ash after toning, this could have two different causes: 1. It can be the result of using an ash blonde dye that happens to be green-based. Some brands are like this. Better brands design their ash shades to transition to blue, then blue-violet, and finally to violet as the shades go lighter, which gives the best tonal result because green neutralises red, blue neutralises orange, and violet neutralises yellow. The closer the formula of the ash to the tone you're correcting, the better the result.

2. Or, if the ash is blue-based and is being used on hair that is mostly yellow, this can also cause a green-grey sort of result. This is because blue plus yellow mixed together will create green. This can also happen when using a darker ash dye on lighter hair, like with the use of a 7A or 6A on level 8 hair because the ash is really intense if used on hair at a lighter level. You can get around this next time by mixing your ash shade into a golden or natural shade to soften the ash.

With the warmer sort of result you want to achieve, and your previous troubles, I'd recommend using a natural shade for toning instead. This will still neutralise some of the gold from bleaching, but it won't result in a very greyish or green colour because there's less cool tone in the dye.

You'd be best carefully washing the extensions a few times first to try and fade out the previous colour first though. Dye remover could also be used to take out the dye. It doesn't cause damage, but it can dry the hair out. As extensions aren't growing like real hair, they aren't nourished by natural oils, so you just need to be careful to condition them properly and treat any dryness that occurs through dyeing, dye remover, or even washing if you want to keep them strong and soft for longer.

Following that, use light natural blonde (8N) for the lightest hair, and medium natural blonde (7N), for the darker hair. Let me know if you have any problems with the colour or need further clarification, and good luck.


rosie 20 months ago

Hi,

Ive currently got red/purple hair. Ive used a colour b4 hair dye and my hair as gone dark yellow slight orange tint. I want to achieve a caramel brown hair colour. Ive tried putting on semi permanent hair dye which has honey tones but it keeps going red, please can you help x


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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Rosie,

Mix the honey shade into a natural (Neutral), shade. Even though you want a warmer kind of brown, the act of dyeing darker means that any tone will show up more intense on your lighter hair. The natural shade helps to dilute down the warmth so it's more subtle, and it also gives it more depth overall.

Let me know if you have any further trouble with it, and good luck with your colour.


marquitad 20 months ago

OMG thank you so much for responding to all my comments! You don't know how much you have helped me! This is where I will be coming for all of my hair care needs!!! Blessings!


marquitad 20 months ago

I have one last question if you don't mind, I only dyed one part of my extensions that resulted in yellow. The remaining extensions are still the yellow level eight color from bleach. You recommended that I use a 8n for the lighter parts and a 7n for the darker parts, will the 7n most likely give me a brown or blonde result? And is neutral the same as natural? Lastly is there any brand that you would recommend from Sally's beauty supply? Thank you so much again! Blessings!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Marquitad,

No problem, glad to have been helpful.

The 7N is a medium natural blonde, whilst the 8N is a light natural blonde. You can see an approximation of the levels here: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-iWhk6ZHFdhI/VSYv1HviIRI/...

Neutral and natural refer to the same shade. Of course, if your extensions are indeed lightened to level 8, the darker dye can end up more intense and cooler in tone than usual. It won't turn green-gray, but you may want to drop the levels down and use 9N and 8N if you definitely want to get more of a beige result.

Sally's doesn't have a very good selection, but if you can't get anything better, go with Wella Color Charm. It's a box dye, but you can't get salon dye at Sally's. Wella makes excellent salon dye and their Color Charm dyes are the best as far as home products go.


carla rene 20 months ago

Thank you for your advice! I've decided to wait one month to see if my hair color lightens on its own so any lightening I have to do will be minimal. If it's a level 5 murky reddish brown with gold undertones what color would I need to lighten it to before dying again if my goal is, say, a level 6 honey brown?


marquitad 20 months ago

Thank you again for all your wonderful help and advice!!!


Rae 20 months ago

Thank you so much for this article! It was the most helpful one I could find on the net that actually made sense with the combination of tones. My orange hair is now a beautiful vibrant dark brown with hints of red to it. I love the red hints so that isn't an issue for me. Anyway thank you!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Carla,

Aim for a light golden orange colour. This is the base tone for level 6, but more importantly, you need that gold to be starting to appear. When you get to that, tone using a light ash blonde dye (8A), and remove once it cools it down slightly so that the gold and copper tones aren't so strong. You want both of those tones in your hair for a honey shade, but you want them to be more subtle and understated than what they will be immediately after lightening.

You could also use a honey shade of dye alternatively. Mix it half and half with a natural shade or a lighter ash shade if you do this because you still need some cool tone here as the dye will just accentuate the gold and copper in your hair without giving it a balanced and rich tonal result.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

No problem Marquitad,

Let me know if you have any more questions or have any trouble with your hair.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Glad you found the article helpful Rae, and that your colour turned out nice. If you ever do get tired of the red tinge or the colour is starting to fade and looking more reddish than you prefer, you can always tone with ash to neutralise it.


kirsty 20 months ago

Hi i bleached my hair and iv got tones of white,yellows etc iv brought a golden brown dye would this be ok?i have a red 6.66 i could put in it if need be.

many thanks


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Kirsty,

Would you prefer to dye it brown now, or were you hoping you could tone it to a nice blonde? If you wanted to get it to a nice blonde colour, you should get good results using a light natural blonde mixed with light golden blonde. This will even it up and result in a soft beige blonde result.

If you definitely just want to go back to brown though, you'll get the best results if you have an exact colour in mind. How dark did you want the brown to be? Light, medium, or dark? Also, what tonal result would you prefer? Ash, natural, golden, caramel? All of this helps to choose the filling process because you need more of a copper pre-pigment before a light brown, but you need red for a dark brown.

Regardless of what you want the brown to look like though, definitely do consider filling rather than just dyeing it with a brown colour. With the lighter white hair and your hair being a fairly light colour overall in comparison to any shade of brown, you will risk a strange or unintended result if you just cover it without replacing the missing base tone.


kirsty 20 months ago

hi im mousey blonde natural!so looking for a golden brown i know i have to replace the red i have a spare red to add to it if needed hehe.

i feel a little stupid as i am a qualified hairdresser altough the colouring is not my stronge point when it comes to correction hehe.

so looking for a light golden brown.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Kirsty,

For a light brown colour, you want a base tone that is more of a golden copper rather than red. Red tones come more into play when you are aiming for a darker brown colour.

It's similar to how blonde hair is built from a gold or yellow base. Dark blonde has a base that is mostly golden with a hint of copper tone remaining, and this transitions to gold, then to yellow, and to progressively lighter shades of yellow as the hair gets lighter. If you want to darken your hair without risking a strange result, you need to add the base tone for your desired colour back into the hair because this forms the foundation for the colour.


kirsty 20 months ago

Oky doky thank you for the advice i shall let you know how it goes lol.


Heather 20 months ago

HELLO. I had my hair done yesterday and it was suppose to be ombre but my hair is now mostly blonde with brown lowlights. Some of the blonde is very blonde and some is yellow, and my roots are mousy brown my natural color. I just want a medium brown not ash. What should I do?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Heather,

To dye over the ombre, fill using a copper protein filler and then dye over that with medium natural brown. If you'd prefer though, the use of a red protein filler will give a warmer medium brown. You could also use a dark red blonde dye as the filler instead if you can't get the protein filler or would prefer just to use dye.


Jennifer Holowiak 20 months ago

Hi, I have had my hair blonde for two years - I was orginally using loreal paris light ash blonde and then I went to revlon 03 ultra sun blonde - its not so much bleach blonde - its a light blonde. I want to go dark brown. I don't know if should do the auburn first and then dark brown or can I just go over it. The last time I went from blonde to brunette I got chestnut brown and it made my hair red and I have to go over it with a medium brown.


Dalija 19 months ago

Hi!

I dyed my hair blonde and this is what I got: http://i60.tinypic.com/2lve1oz.jpg

Now, I wanna return it to my old color: http://i57.tinypic.com/2q9dq9j.jpg

Since I already have some kind of orange in my blonde, what would happen if I went and dyed my hair straight to brown, without dying it red first? Can I do that? Is there any possibility for me to dye it straight to brown? And which brown I should use? Thanks in advance.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Jennifer,

That's actually the reason why you fill blonde hair when dyeing it brown. Your previous result of red hair occurred because the red tone in the chestnut shade becomes dominant. This is because it's a warm shade and the red tone in the dye is very strong when applied to lighter hair. Instead of having subtle red tones, you end up with more intense red or copper tones.

As for getting it to dark brown, fill using a red protein filler and then apply dark natural brown on top of this. You could also use a dark red blonde dye as the filler if you can't get a protein filler or just prefer dye. The final colour should be dark natural brown (3N), or dark ash brown if you'd prefer an ashier result.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Dalija,

Best to dye it no darker than light brown if you're not filling. The darker blonde colour, as well as the warmer tone present will help, but you'll still find that a cool dye ends up ashier than expected, and a warm dye ends up much if you just go the dye route.

To get around this, use a natural tone; eg, light natural brown. This will give you a coolish neutral brown. If you want it to be ashier, mix a little light ash brown into this shade, but don't use the ash by itself. If you want a warmer brown, mix a little golden or copper brown into the natural.


Dalija 19 months ago

Thank you so much for answering me, I'll definitely use light natural brown.

I just have a couple of more questions.

1. I dyed my hair 5 times (bleaching and toning) in 6 days, so how long should I wait till dying it again? (As you can see on the pictures it's quite thinner now)

2. Can I somehow get this kind of color? https://jonathanandgeorgeblog.files.wordpress.com/... http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1875180/images/o-CARA-DE... https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/24/92/dc...

If not, then I'll just go with light brown and see what's gonna happen. Anyway, thank you SO much for answering me!!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Dalija,

If you're worried about the condition, use a demi-permanent dye. It will need to be re-applied after a few weeks to maintain the colour, but it's a better option for keeping your hair healthier if you're worried about how many times it's already been treated.

As for when you can dye it again after your past colouring, the best option is to at least wait until there is no dryness from the previous treatments. You can use leave-in conditioners and conditioning treatments for this. To maintain the best condition and prevent any further breakage though, I'd recommend starting to use a protein treatment once a week as well and wait for repair to commence over a week or two before dyeing it again.

Protein treatments repair structural damage that occurs during chemical treatments, whilst conditioners are mostly only effective for treating dryness. It's still important to keep your hair moisturised as dry hair is brittle and more susceptible to further damage and breaking, but a protein treatment is the best option if you need to strengthen your hair up.

As for the colour in those pictures, it's about a medium blonde in terms of darkness, with lighter highlights. Your hair is close to this lightness overall, but you can't get the exact same colour without the use of foiling or balayage to produce the same multi-dimensional effect. You can tone it with a medium ash blonde dye to neutralise the warmth and get a similar cool toned medium blonde result though. You can use a semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye for this and leave it to process until the warmth cools down sufficiently.


Mikaela 19 months ago

Hi, I have just bleached my hair and in some parts it is blonde but others it is a brown/orange sort of colour. I'm going to dye it to blue but I am not too keen on bleaching again. I was wondering if I should bleach it again or just put the blue dye straight in? Thanks.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Mikaela,

It depends a lot on how dark the blue dye it is. The darker the dye is, the easier it will be to cover everything. A lighter dye will look less blue in orange areas, as well as remain darker in those sections. It won't necessarily look bad, but if you bleach just the dark areas until everything is even, this will produce a better colour result.

Otherwise if you definitely don't want to have to use bleach again, choose a blue that is dark enough to cover properly and this will look more even.


carla rene 19 months ago

My chocolate brown hair has actually faded to a brassy golden brown probably level 6. Would a 7 ash demi tone down the gold? Maybe with a blue violet base if there is one?


Steph 19 months ago

Hi, I have always used box dyes and they work great! But, recently I wanted to turn my blonde hair a lovely dark brown. However, I've been a blonde for years and when I colored my hair brown it came out dark red and keeps getting redder, especially in the sun. What brown shade should I use to make my hair brown with no red? Thanks!


charity 19 months ago

I dyed my hair blonde last week with a "born blonde" kit from the store. My hair is like a Lisa Simpson yellow. I HATE it! I don't have much money and I want to fix it myself. So how can I get my hair to a medium/dark brown?


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Carla,

Ash dye, one level lighter than your current colour will effectively tone it. With demi-permanent dyes, use an ash that is 1 - 2 levels lighter because deposit-only colour turns out darker than other colours.

Also, be careful with levels. Level 6 is dark blonde, 5 is light brown. The traditional level system runs from black at level 1 to near-white at level 10 and this is what most dyes will use. Some brands use a slightly different system that is more stretched out and expanded (The smallest number is still black, and the largest near-white, but there are more steps in-between), or they will consider 2 to be black and everything is one level ahead of what it would normally be (These brands call light brown level 6, but some brands consider dark blonde to be light brown, depending on what you're using). If you're basing your hair off the levels used by one dye brand, you can run into problems if you extrapolate their system to a different brand. It'd make everything simpler if all manufacturers just used the same system, but unfortunately they probably never will.


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Steph,

Apply an ash shade one level lighter than your current colour. The ash tone neutralises the red and takes it towards a neutral shade. You can use a demi-permanent or semi-permanent dye for this if you would prefer something that will wash out over time or that will cause less damage.


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Charity,

You could always tone your blonde to achieve a nicer colour that is beige, neutral, even silvery if you would prefer.

Otherwise, fill with red protein filler or dark red blonde dye. Then dye with medium natural brown to finish the colour. I'd recommend not using a dark brown dye as it is likely to turn out close to black. Your hair tends to become porous after lightening and dyeing it blonde and any darker dye you apply can turn out darker than intended. A medium brown dye will turn out somewhere between medium and dark brown.


arnell 19 months ago

Hi maffew my name is arnell my prom is Friday..I dyed my hair a blonde color and I wanted to get my natural brown back well any brown back and so I bought a dark brown rinse will my hair turn green how do I know if it is an ash dye please help me I'm stressing and pron is so close what do Ido


Amanda 19 months ago

Hi,

I got my hair dyed last summer to a ashy kind of blonde baliage with my natural roots remaining in tact. since then my hair has grown out a lot and has gone very slightly brassy in some areas and I want to now go towards a medium ash brown or a dark brown with cooler tones all over. Should i still go about filling it with a reddish brown even though my roots are my natural brown color? I dont want it to result in two different brown shades once i apply the ashy brown on top. Im most comfortable using box dyes i can find at target, so if you have any color suggestions that would be great. Thanks in advance! This article was so very helpful.


Ashley 19 months ago

I've highlighted my brown hair blonde for about 2 months now and it's currently a few different shades ranging from blonde to reddish brown. Can I fill it with a light red brown Demi with a Demi developer and then cover with a medium natural brown Demi with a level 10 developer? I don't really want to have to use permanent if I do not have to.


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Arnell,

The problem with using darker colours straight on top of blonde hair is that brown hair has a deep copper to red base and this is what gives it its depth and makes it look brown. In dyed blonde hair, this has been stripped out, whilst in natural blonde hair, it doesn't exist because blonde has a golden to yellow base. The technique here is to add it back in so that the brown colour you use turns out the way it should.

In order to do this and get a nice dark brown colour, apply a dark red blonde dye and use this to fill your hair. The result is a coppery-red colour that will form the base tone. After this, apply medium natural brown or medium ash brown to finish the colour. As hair is porous after being dyed blonde, using a medium brown shade like this is likely to turn out closer to dark brown, while dark brown has a high possibility of turning out black, so I'd recommend sticking with the medium shade. Use the natural tone for a neutral to slightly warm brown result, or the ash tone for a neutral to cool brown result depending on what you would prefer.


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Amanda,

You need to fill the blonde areas or else the ash brown dye can turn out dark grey or even green there. You don't need to apply the filler dye to any brown hair though.

Overall, because you're applying to your natural hair and the blonde, the colour result can be slightly different regardless of whether you fill or not. The colour you get is the result of the colour you have plus the colour you add, so whilst you can approximate the same colour, there is always the chance of this difference because the combination of colour will be different for both areas. Filling should actually help reduce this, rather than make it more noticeable, as you're adding back the depth that the blonde hair lacks.

To do all this, apply dark red blonde or dark copper blonde to your blonde hair, develop, rinse, then apply medium ash brown to finish the colour.


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Ashley,

I'd recommend going no darker than dark red blonde with the filler if you're aiming for a medium brown result. Otherwise the brown colour won't completely cover the filler and will look warmer than intended. This is fine if you actually want a warmer result though, but to be avoided if you want a neutral or ash result.

As for the dye, you can use protein filler or a demi-permanent dye first. It is better to use permanent for the final colour as anything below this will wash out. If you only want to keep it for a few weeks though, there's nothing overly wrong with using a demi-permanent dye. Just keep in mind that as it fades, it will become warmer and you will need to tone or redye it to deal with this warmth eventually.

Also, use the specific peroxide strength recommended for the brand you're using. Not all demi-permanent dyes are meant to be used with 10 vol. Many are though. One more thing to keep in mind is that it is mainly the developer that causes damage, so if that's what you're worried about, a permanent dye with 10 vol developer causes roughly the same amount of damage as a demi-permanent dye with 10 vol. The difference is that the demi contains direct dye as well and less oxidative pigment (Permanent pigment).


ShelleyHeath profile image

ShelleyHeath 19 months ago from Birmingham

Useful stuff... I myself underwent quite the hair dye disaster by not seeking proper input about how this SHOULD be done :)

Thanks, voted up!


sara 19 months ago

i bleached my hair to go from black to blonde and it was a little bit orange so i dyed it non permanent ash blonde, most of the orange is gone. but my hair is too light blonde and I want to make it very dark golden blonde , so how can I achieve that without it turning orange or green??


sara 19 months ago

also my hair looks brown at home, but in the sun it look the same as before I dye it ash blonde. (it's a a mix of yellow and a little bit of orange) and it's too light


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Sara,

It'd be best to use a dark natural blonde dye for this. The natural (Neutral) tone is a balance of all three primary colours, so it is best for darkening hair without suffering any untoward effects. You can mix a little dark golden blonde into this shade to enhance golden tones for a dark golden blonde result, or you can adjust the colour by toning separately after dyeing it if you prefer.


sara 19 months ago

thanks so much for answering, and I'll try that. I have another question, when I bleach my roots do I need to tone it first with ash blonde then do it dark golden blonde ?


sara 19 months ago

also what developer I must use 20 or 30 to get my hair dark golden blonde?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Sara,

The use of dye or bleach for the regrowth depends on how dark your hair is. Professional dye will lift up to 3 - 4 levels at most generally. You can squeeze an extra level of lift out using high lift dye. For anything more than this, you need to bleach and tone instead for the most reliable result. Eg, if your roots were dark brown, which is level 3, using a salon brand like Wella Koleston or Igora Royal with 40 vol developer gives a good chance of achieving the necessary 3 levels of lift to reach golden blonde. If they are black though, or you need 4 or more levels of lift, you'd be best bleaching.

For anything lighter, adjust the developer accordingly. 20 vol for about 1 level of lift (Up to 2 levels in some cases, and with specific brands of dye), 30 vol for 2 - 3 levels of lift, 40 vol for 3 - 4 levels of lift at most. The brand of dye you're using determines how well it can lift with any specific strength of developer. Whilst the peroxide in the developer is what lightens hair, the ammonia in the dye acts as a catalyst and boosts the effect of the peroxide. Different brands of dye vary in how much ammonia they contain. (Ammonia-free dye contains a different compound which has the exact same effect as ammonia).

As for the ash tone, you'll often see that using an ash tone when aiming for a lot of lift still results in a more golden result because of the sheer amount of warm underlying pigment that is revealed by the lightening. To use anything warmer than ash when lightening from brown to blonde colours is less reliable. If necessary you may need to actually tone with more ash after lightening if it is too warm. If it is slightly cooler than you want, tone with a golden shade to correct this and then adjust for next time by mixing the ash shade with a neutral or golden shade. There's no guaranteed way to determine how your individual hair type will react until you dye it.

Now if you're using bleach on the regrowth instead of dye, there is no cool tone being deposited by the bleach so you end up with a colour that is the result of the underlying pigment. This is going to look very golden, to the point that it doesn't look like a golden blonde shade is meant to. You need to add a small amount of cool tone back in to soften this warmth for a natural looking golden shade.

You can do this by toning with a lighter ash dye and removing when enough warmth has been neutralised for your liking, or using either a natural blonde dye or a mixture of ash and golden. Eg, if you were using a demi-permanent light ash blonde dye for toning, you would apply this and leave it until enough warmth is revealed for your liking and then rinse. No need to apply two dyes to achieve the colour. Use demi-permanent dye if possible, and the low-strength developer indicated for the brand you choose. If using permanent dye, use 10 vol developer for toning.


Natalie 19 months ago

Hi I have very porous bleached blonde hair with dark roots, I want a light caramel brown first question do I just apply a caramel or red first then caramel? Next question is once I have the desired light brown will I be able to have it ombré dyed or highlighted as block brown doesn't suit me - thanks in advance xx


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Natalie,

I'd recommend mixing the light caramel brown with a light natural brown rather than using it directly. Because the colour you want is meant to have a more noticeable copper tone, filling is less important, but the natural tone will really help to make sure the result is well-rounded. Otherwise it can end up orange because your light hair really grabs onto the copper tones in the caramel dye.


Irina 19 months ago

Help!

I hope you can help me, I toned my hair with 3 parts of brown ash and 1 part of golden brown(my hair reviously bleached with a horrible redish yellow)unfortunately it turned out ashy green!

I wonder if it is because I left it for too long on my hair(25minutes)or if I should have used more golden instead.

How can I get rid of this horrible colour? Shall I use golden brown with 10 peroxide? If so for how long?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Irina,

Assuming there was noticeable yellow tone after your hair had been bleached, you were heading into the blonde levels there. Using an ash brown dye on top of lighter hair like this is what causes it to look greenish because the strong ash tones are very dominant on lighter hair.

Adding gold won't help much with the green because gold only neutralises violet. If you look at how violet shampoo is used to tone blonde hair, this is an example of how complementary colours work. It can be reversed and gold will tone out violet. In a similar way, green neutralises red, and this can be reversed by using red to neutralise green.

However, it can be more complex than this. The ash can be green-based and this directly causes the green tone, or it can be blue-based, which on top of yellow hair can look green. This is because blue + yellow = green. If you know what base tone is present in the ash dye you used, that will help tone the unwanted colour out. Otherwise, adding both red and gold tone is the most effective way to correct it if you don't know whether blue or green tone is responsible.

To do this, use semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye only. No permanent dye for this as you only want to add colour. Mix it roughly as 75% dark golden blonde and 25% dark red blonde, apply, and process until the green is corrected. Remove it after this or you'll start to get warmth building up in your colour.


amy young 133 19 months ago

Hi iam wanting to go from a light ashy latte blonde to a ombre brown ashy blonde so iam going to colour the top part of my hair with a medium ash brown iam so scared incase it goes green what would you suggest and would i apply it in a semi permanent dye 1st then a permanent after as i will be useing box dye x


amy young 133 19 months ago

Would a golden brown cover ash blonde and what woukd golden brown turn out like on a medium redy brown hair


amy young 133 19 months ago

Hello me agian lol Ive done some research on the colourfull protein filler as i can not find a red fiĺer in the uk if i was to appky the protein filler to the ash blonde and then a ash brown straight over the top will that cancel out the green and go straight to a ash brown or if i used a light brown over the top of the protein filler will my ash blonde turn light brown also if i dont use a protein filler and used a natural brown over ash blonde will it go green


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Amy,

If you can't get protein filler, fill using dark copper blonde and then apply medium ash brown on top of that. This will ensure the ash turns out the way it is meant to. The filler needs to be demi-permanent or permanent; only use semi-permanent dye as a filler if you're using another semi as the final colour because it will wash out and cause the colour to change.

Let me know if you have any other questions about this or run into any problems, and good luck with your colour.


amy young 133 19 months ago

Thankyou so much wharmt about if i wanted to go light brown woukd it be same dark copper blonde


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Amy,

Use medium copper blonde and light ash brown for a light brown result. The filler should be about 2 levels lighter in most cases or the warm tone persists into the final colour instead of just becoming the base tone.


amy young 133 19 months ago

Thankyou for replying also would i need to use a dark copper blonde if i was to use light brown


amy young 133 19 months ago

Sorry to be a pain ive found this shade to use as a base colour to turn ash blonde light brown.

Nice'n Easy No-Ammonia Shade 93 Light Golden Red Up To 24 Shampoos

would this work as a filler to get the ash blonde to a nice light brown

thanks maffew x


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Amy,

Should be fine, but it's hard to tell how dark it actually is as it doesn't use the international colour code.


Tina 19 months ago

Hi there!

I'm really lost with dying my hair at the moment. So my hair is blonde which is on Asian hair and it's like a gold kinda blonde but I really want to get it to an ash brown colour. How do I get there and what products do I use?


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Tina,

Depends how light your blonde is. If your hair is dark brown, and you only want it as dark as a light or medium brown, you can use the level you want in natural brown. The result will be a cool to neutral brown.

If the change you want is more than 2 levels darker than your current colour though, fill your hair first before dyeing with a mix of half ash and half natural brown. Fill with copper for light brown, red for medium brown, or red for dark brown. Either use protein filler for this or apply demi-permanent dye in the required tone at 2 levels lighter than your desired colour.

Eg, to fill and dye light blonde hair to medium brown with this method, fill using dark red blonde (Dark blonde is level 6, which is 2 levels lighter than medium brown, which is level 4). The finish the colour with a mix of medium ash brown and medium natural brown. If using protein filler, fill with a red protein filler and then apply the same colour mix as before.


Tina 19 months ago

I'd say my hair is a level 8-9! So to get a ash brown color, I put a medium or dark red blonde on my hair then finish off with a medium ash brown/ medium natural brown? How long do i have to wait aswell? Thanks so much for your help!


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Tina,

Develop the demi-permanent dye as filler for about 20 minutes, rinse, and then apply the final colour separately for the full development time. If using a protein filler though, apply this, allow to absorb, and then apply the final colour directly on top.


Brandy 19 months ago

Hi! I have naturally dark blonde/brown hair and have been bleaching highlights for years now myself with now problem. I never need to tone, it usually ends up a warm blond that gets cooler the more it gets bleached over time, but never orange. I went a little overboard and ended up dying too much this time with bleach and it's too blond... it's going for the ombre, so I'd like to blend it with my natural color and take down the blond to a darker shade... I would like to do this using toner if possible. I always thought I was a brunette until a couple years ago when the hair colorist told me that I'm actually a dark blond. But my hair can get pretty dark to the point where I would consider it brown. I don't want to go that dark, I'd like to blend what I have bleached in middle towards ends with my natural color at the roots. Thank you!


Amira 19 months ago

Hi Maffew!

Thank you for this article. It is very helpful!

I was wondering if you could help me please...

I have ombré hair (dark brown virgin hair at the roots and bleached blonde ends, i would say level 3 at the roots and a mix of 7 and 8 on the ends).

I want to dye my hair so that i'll have my virgin roots and a medium chocolate ombré.

So, i'm going to pick up a red demi-permanent dye to fill my hair and a chocolate permanent dye to finish the color.

But, i was wondering, should i limit the application of these products to the bleached hair only? Or it doesn't matter if i apply them to the whole head? Will they warm up my roots if apply them even on my virgin hair? I don't want to alter the color of my roots at all.

Also, after i apply the demi-permanent color to fill, i reckon i should rinse it, right? But the permanent color to finish must be applied to dry hair, right? So, should i wait for my hair to air dry after i rinse the demi-permanent dye or can i just go ahead and use a blow dryer and then use the permanent color to finish?

Do you have color references that you would like to suggest for what i'm going to do? I think i'll buy them from the Schwarzkopf Igora range...

Thank you so much for your time :-)


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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Brandy,

Light or medium blonde should work well if your natural colour is somewhere between a dark blonde and light brown. Mix half natural tone and half golden tone and this will darken properly without looking too ashy or warm.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Amira,

You've got the right idea, but keep in mind that a chocolate brown does contain red and copper tone which gives it its warmth. This on top of the filler could end up a little warmer than intended. Though it does also depend on how dark the demi-permanent dye used as the filler is - use something around medium red blonde in level and you shouldn't have a problem with the chocolate dye. Otherwise, fill using dark red blonde and then cover that with a mix of half medium natural brown and half medium chocolate brown for better results.

As for the application procedure, you'll notice very little red tone picked up in your dark brown hair from the demi-permanent dye you're using as a filler, but this can happen. Keep it to the bleached hair to avoid this if you don't want this to happen. The permanent dye, however, must only be applied to the bleached hair as it can lighten your natural hair. Demi-permanent dyes won't generally cause any lift to occur, so this problem is mainly only with the permanent dye.

You do need to rinse the demi-permanent dye too before application of the permanent dye, which should be applied to dry hair. If you use a red protein filler instead, the dye can be applied on top of this without the need for two steps. You can air dry or blow dry your hair; whichever you'd prefer.

As for colours to use, medium chocolate brown in Igora Royal is 4-6. There's a few different variations you can use based on secondary tones though if you want a slightly different shade: 4-63 contains an ash secondary tone, giving a result that is slightly cooler than the 4-6; 4-65 contains a gold secondary tone, producing a warmer golder tone; and 4-68 contains a red secondary tone, producing a warmer, redder result. Whatever you choose, mix it with 10 vol as the developer.

For the filler, you can use Igora Viviance 7-88 (Mixed with Viviance 1.9% developer), or a red protein filler. If using the Viviance demi-permanent dye, rinse after processing. If using protein filler, apply the final colour directly on top of this.

Another alternative is to use Igora Royal 0-88 mixed with water as the filler and then apply the final shade on top of this with 10 vol as the developer and process for 20 minutes. If you do this, the water should be distilled or demineralised because minerals like iron react with the peroxide used in permanent dyes, causing unwanted effects like boosted lightening and increased damage. Mix in a ratio of approximately 1:2 to 1:3 dye to water.


Alana 18 months ago

My base color was a dark, warm brown when I had highlights done by a friend and the color came out as bright and pale yellow after she used bleach and I am now stuck with a very unflattering color all over my head ): I did a test strand with a box dye labeled "light ash brown" and all it did was turn the test strand gray, yikes! If I apply a box color such as "dark reddish brown" is it reasonable to expect that color to turn my hair into a medium, natural brown?

Thanks


Heather 18 months ago

Hi! I have medium brown roots with brassy blonde heavily highlighted hair. On a test section, I applied Igora Vibrance 6-68 filler on the highlighted portion. Then Igora Royal 5-0 on the entire section. I used the appropriate developer for the filler and 10 volume for the permanent color. My hair came out very dark, too mahogany and possibly a hint of purple. I was trying to achieve a medium natural brown. My dream color is Kate Middleton medium chestnut but, I am way off!


Heather 18 months ago

Sorry, I didn't really ask a question. Should I mix a level 6 golden color with the 5-0? Is my filler too dark or the wrong shade? Thanks so much for your time!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Alana,

No unfortunately. The reason your hair turned grey when exposed to the darker dye is because the primary tone becomes even more dominant and over-powering on top of lighter hair. In this case, cool tones become overly dominant and give grey or even blue or green hair. The same effect can happen with a warm, reddish, or auburn brown. Copper and red tones become very dominant and the colour looks more red.

Best practice is to fill your hair first using protein filler or demi-permanent dye. If using protein filler, use a gold to copper filler prior to light brown, copper to red filler before medium brown, or red filler before dark brown. If using demi-permanent dye, use the same tone choices in dye, at least 2 levels lighter than your final colour. This prevents strange colour results by restoring the missing underlying pigment to your hair and balancing out the tones that are present.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Heather,

Sounds like a combination of the darker filler and porous hair for the darkness. There's not a lot you can do about the porosity other than use protein treatments and a porosity equaliser prior to dyeing, as well as using a lighter shade than what you want, but the good news is that although porous hair absorbs a lot more colour than it should, this darkening fades off fairly quickly. Don't worry too much about the colour being too dark until you've washed it a few times as it will likely settle down to a medium brown after a few shampoos. If it doesn't, you can use dye remover to strip part of the dye out and then recolour it as necessary.

As for the tone on the other hand, the filler has a lot to do with this. I'd recommend using a shade at least 2 levels lighter in most cases. There are definitely situations where you won't follow this rule: eg, using a shade one level lighter and then applying a natural tone or a warm tone tends to help enhance and produce richer auburns, reds, and coppers. For a natural or cool tone though, you want to keep it lighter or use an ash shade as the final colour on top or else too much of the colour shows through from the filler.

The chocolate tone in Igora is a combination of all warm tones (Red, copper, gold), as well as violet, and this contributes to the purple tone you're seeing. That and the darker shade both give the overall mahogany appearance. You can indeed correct violet tones with gold, and a demi-permanent dye at level 6 is a great way to go about this. Mix this with ash at level 6 to tone out excess red and copper tones contributing to the warmth and it will take it closer to a neutral brown.


Tiffany 18 months ago

Hello :-) I love to color my own hair and I did an ombre look on it awhile back and I ended up doing more of it blonde than I wanted. I want to add in some more brown... sort of like highlights in reverse lol. I was kind of thinking of getting a highlight cap and just doing a brown color. Does that sound dumb? I guess I would have to do a filler and than a different brown shade so it won't be green? And also I want to bring the blonde higher up almost like eye level. What do you think would be a good way to do this?


Lin 18 months ago

Hi, my hairdresser bleached the ends of my hair for an ombre look and it's now a brassy yellow/slightly orange. I really don't like it and it's making me so self conscious. I need to fix it before my graduation this weekend. If I use a boxed dye in a dark brown/chocolate brown, will my hair turn green? Or will the yellow blonde just turn the shade of brown I want?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Tiffany,

Be careful of leakage or covering too much hair when using a cap. Foil is more precise but the cap is definitely easier if you've never applied highlights or lowlights.

Ideally, pull the hair through, cover with protein filler to match how dark you want the brown to be, let this absorb, and then apply the permanent dye. With the filler, you want a golden to orange colour for light brown, orange for medium brown, or red for dark brown. If protein filler is not available, either apply a demi-permanent shade in the tone as above, 2 levels lighter than the colour you want (Though this will have to be rinsed before application of the final colour). Or, apply either a permanent dye concentrate or intensifier, or a regular colour 2 levels lighter, depending on brand and what is available, in the necessary tone as above, mixed with water. Then, apply the final colour on top of this. This method doesn't require rinsing before application of the final colour, but it can be less reliable.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Lin,

It won't turn green with a chocolate shade. Green will only occur with ash shades, and sometimes with a natural tone. Chocolate, rather, can turn overly reddish. Ideally, mix it half and half with the equivalent natural tone if not filling to reduce the chances of a lot of red tone absorbing; eg, half medium natural brown and half medium chocolate brown.

However, best idea is always to fill first using a protein filler or demi-permanent dye, which will prevent strange colour results from tones becoming too dominant as it replaces the missing underlying pigment that has been bleached out of your lighter hair.


mrukh 18 months ago

hello.. I have bleached my hair upto level 9.. Iam N4...

But i want to get a silver grey colour... But am not able to do... I used p0+30 vol... But cant get it..

I bleaced again.. Upto pale yellow... Still no silver grey hair...

I toned it with violet shampoo...


joceyluv 18 months ago

hello...i went to get my hair done yesterday and i hate it. my hair color is an ashy blonde but has purple/grey tint all over. my hair was bleached before i went to get it fixed.. i was thinking of going light brown or brown....but scared itll turn out green...


mrukh 18 months ago

actually I want to have silver grey highlights along with my ash blonde highlights ...

I tried and had a strand test but couldnt able to get that platinum blonde silver colour.....


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Mrukh,

The key to this is getting the hair to that pale yellow stage. Some people can have a different idea of what 'pale yellow' means and it's possible your hair is not as light as you think it is. Ideally, you need it to be this light prior to toning for it to look silver: http://hairstyles.thehairstyler.com/hairstyle_view...

If that's not the problem, the likely cause is the dye used. What brand were you using? As long as it's light enough, dye using something like Wella Koleston 9/1, ISO I.Color 9SA, Matrix SoColor 9A, or Igora Royal 9-1 using 10 vol as the developer. These are all examples of quality dyes that will achieve a silver result when used on a level 9 pre-lightened base. Of course, there are plenty of other brands you can use if you can't get one of these shades or prefer a different brand, as long as your hair is indeed light enough.


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Joceyluv,

That violet-grey tone will fade out to a normal ash blonde as it's the result of over-toning. As the colour fades, there is less violet tone and it stops appearing so dominant as the tones balance back out.

In any case, if you do want to go back to a light brown colour, fill first with either medium copper gold blonde 7CG in demi-permanent or a copper protein filler, then finish the colour with either light natural brown 5N or a mix of 5N and 5A (ash) or 5G (gold) for results that are cooler or warmer respectively. This prevents green tones or other problems that can occur by adding the right foundation back in for the colour you want.


madison 18 months ago

Hi, a few months ago my hair dresser did baylage type highlights in my hair and it didnt turn out quite as expected, now my hair is almost like a coppery blonde with dark roots and i was wanting to try and dye it myself this time with a ash dark brown and add ash blonde highlights but im not very experienced in dyeing hair, any recommendations? ?


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Madison,

The easiest way to do this is to foil the ash blonde over the blonde hair that you want to apply it to first. This separates it from the rest of your hair that you will be dyeing dark brown. Make sure that the ash blonde colour you're using is the same level or lighter than your blonde hair currently is or the ash result will be very intense.

As for the dark brown; after applying the foils, the hair that is left is what you will apply this to. This needs to be filled first though or it can easily end up a green-grey colour from the dark ash brown you want to use. If you think of the colour transition that your hair takes from dark brown to blonde, and remember how it changes from brown, to red, to orange, and then to gold, yellow, and finally pale yellow, this is the underlying pigment in your hair. This needs to be replaced in lightened hair for the colour to look the right way.

To do this, apply a red protein filler to the hair that isn't covered with foil, allow this to absorb, and then apply the dark ash brown on top of this filler and continue to process as normally.

Once it's developed, rinse the brown dye out first as best as possible to avoid it rinsing into the foils. If it does wash through the foils it can affect the colour of the highlights slightly, but most of this will wash out fairly quickly as long as it doesn't maintain contact for too long. After this, rinse the foils out, shampoo, and condition as usual.


Amira 18 months ago

Hi Maffew!

First of all, thank you very very very very much for your advice. I asked you about what i should do for my hair a couple of weeks ago... you took the time to write such a detailed reply... it really does speaks volume about your level of passion and kindness. I am truly touched by this and completely amazed!

Can you please help me one more time? :-)

Here's the thing. I had an ombre (virgin roots level 3/4 and bleached lengths level 8/9/10). I didn't want to (and still don't want to) do anything on my roots and wanted a chocolate brown for my lengths.

I filled my hair with Igora Vibrance 7-88 and then dyed with Igora Royal 4-68. I love the level of darkness but i don't like the strong red/mahogany tone i got now. I think it was too much red since 4-68 is already a red chocolate... i should have picked something else! I want something a tiny bit warm but more of a natural slightly golden chocolate brown.

I've read your replies to others, i figured i need a gold and an ash to correct what i have now. I recently picked up Igora Royal 4-13 and Igora Royal 4-5 to mix. Are these the correct choices for what i'm trying to achieve? I'm not sure what will the result be if i mix these two?

Or, do you have better shades suggestions?

Also, what volume of developer should i use? Still 10 or 20?

I'm going for a permanent dye because my color bled like craaaaaazy the first time i washed it, oddly enough it didn't lighten much, it was more of the chocolate brown shade that washed away, and the red tone became more visible. So, a demi-permanent won't hold at all.

I'm still going to wait a couple more weeks so that it will be at least a month since i dyed my hair... to avoid any major damage.

Thank you again so much for your time and kindness.


Sam 18 months ago

please help! I have bleached blonde hair that is porous and damaged. I have roots of my natural color that is dark slightly ashy brown. I want to dye my hair a golden or caramel brown. I have a sallys card so can buy professional stuff just dont know what to buy or how to use it as im a beauty therapist. Just want to get my hair all one colour and stop any further damage from the bleaching. What will i have to do about the roots? And is their any aftercare products you can recommend as the ends are very dry.

Thanks


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Amira,

Apologies for the late reply, and I'm glad you found my advice helpful!

It's definitely fine to use those shades. The intention here is that you're adding ash tone to correct the red, and gold tone to enhance the golden shade you actually want. Be aware that any toning of the red is going to darken very slightly though. This doesn't mean it will end up a level 3 or anything like that, but it does mean you need to expect some darkening to occur because you're adding more colour in the form of cool tones to correct the red tone you don't want.

You can minimise this by applying the dye and rinsing shortly after it reaches the colour you want. Otherwise, working with level 5 shades is another option. As the pigment is lighter, it is less intense. It will still tone, but it takes longer to fully colour and you have more control because of this extra time. Either will work though.

As for what happens when you mix the shades (because you were wondering about this), the ash shades in brown colours are generally a blue to blue-green colour, so adding golden tone doesn't result in the ash being softened as violet is the only colour that neutralises gold. This means that the blue-green tone will neutralise red and copper tone in your hair, whilst the gold becomes enhanced. Ideally, you want to leave some of this richer warmth though, so don't take it too far because the brown can start to look greyish gold without a little copper and red tone to balance it out.

As for the developer, 10 vol is fine. If you have any problems with the colour or any further questions let me know, and good luck with your colour.


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Sam,

Is the new brown shade you want lighter or darker than your roots? Or about the same, and it's just the tone you want to change there (Ashy to golden/caramel)?

If you want it lighter, use a higher developer. 20 vol will lift 1 - 2 levels, 30 vol will lift 2 - 3 levels. 40 vol lifts 3 - 4 levels at most, but I wouldn't recommend using this on hair that is damaged. Stick to 20 vol at most if your hair is damaged. For darker brown shades, use 10 vol because you don't need lift. If you want it to be about the same level and just want to tone, use 20 vol as the developer because you need to lighten it slightly for the new tone to take properly without darkening beyond the overall colour.

For the lighter ends, you need to fill this hair so that it darkens properly and achieves the correct colour. You can do everything at once, or you can dye roots and ends separately. To dye it, fill using a copper protein filler on your lengths, and apply the brown shade as a mix of golden/caramel brown and ash brown. You need the ash to balance out the tone as it darkens. The overall result will be warm brown, but without the ash it will look more of a coppery to red colour.

As for aftercare, protein treatments are the best option for correcting the damage because they repair the structure of your hair. Redken Cat or Joico K-Pak Reconstructor are great for this. For the dryness, a good deep conditioner or conditioning treatment after shampooing, followed by a leave-in conditioner after towel-drying, and a serum before or after styling will correct it.


gail 18 months ago

hi mathew

my new hairdresser has just put dark ash on my very blonde hair and it has gone very ashy green i have gone back twice after letting him cut it very short it still has green in it which he says it looks ok even though i disagree do i move to another hairdresser to take green out, i really feel very upset that why is it when you go back with a problem that they have caused and don't want to rectify it. or is it the case they don't now how to.

i would really appreciate your opinion on this one, and secondly how do i now if i go to another hairdressers that this won't happen again. i liv e in stoke on trent staffordshire could you please recommend where to go to get it put right thanks gail


Gail 18 months ago

hi maffew sorry i have spelled your name wrong gail


Tara 18 months ago

I have as platinum as you can get hair, and have maintained it for close to 2 years but I'm sick of it! I get that I probably need to use a filler, so what color filler do you recommend and what color dye if I want it dark brown? I'm also allergic to hair dye, which is why bleaching worked so well as it gives me no negative reaction, so do you know of a dye that might work for me in that aspect? I'm willing to suffer the reaction at this point to get rid of this awful blonde color though, but last time I ended up with gray and blue hair in patches and a reaction. Not worth it! Please help!


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Gail,

The green occurs because the blue tone in a darker ash blonde dye is overwhelming on your light hair. That blue tone plus any yellow tone in your hair mixes to form the green you see. The best way to correct this will depend on whether you want to take it back to how light it was as well as correct the tone, or whether you're happy with it's current darker colour but just want to remove the green tinge.

In the former situation, dye remover followed by recoluring it with another lighter ash dye will lighten it back up and correct the tone. In the latter situation, toning will fix the colour and this needs to be done using a very small amount of red tone mixed into a golden blonde shade, applied and rinsed as soon as it warms up sufficiently. The red tone counteracts green, but if you just use this alone, the colour will shift to neutral and then to pinkish if left on for longer. Adding golden tone produces a more well-rounded result by reversing the ash as the red neutralises the green tinge and the gold will produce a beige result.

Most hairdressers should be able to do this for you, but an individual hairdresser can vary greatly in their level of experience and areas of expertise. Some may prefer cutting hair or applying highlights, whilst others have more of an interest in colour corrections or blonding. Specifically, if you find a colour correction specialist, or a salon that specialises in blonde hair, it will be more likely that you'll find someone who can give you the blonde hair you really want because this is what they work with every day and they often have a keener perception of tone.

I definitely believe your hairdresser should have listened to you and addressed your concerns properly when you returned. It's good customer service in any industry (Not just hairdressing) to listen to people and help them achieve exactly what they want if possible. Better to move on and find a salon that does actually listen to you. Look for hairdressers who ask for feedback during the service and ask further questions to clarify the colour result you're hoping for and this is the best indicator you've found someone good because it is a sign of good communication. Apart from that, it certainly can be hard to find the right one and you're not wrong to worry about it. Just don't stress too much and feel free to talk to people before setting an appointment to get a feel for how they interact with you and that should help a lot.


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Tara,

This is fairly easy and you can complete the colour by filling with a red protein filler and then applying dark natural brown dye. You shouldn't get any reaction to the protein filler, but without knowing the exact ingredient it's hard to be sure. The dye used on top of the filler is a problem if it will give you a bad reaction though.

If the allergy is mainly itching or a rash and nothing too serious, you may be able to mostly avoid it by taking an antihistamine prior to dyeing your hair. I don't want to outright recommend this without urging you to consult with your doctor or a pharmacist on this first though as there is the possibility of it reacting with other medical conditions or medications if you are taking anything already. It's always best to check on things like this first.

Otherwise, if you can work out exactly what ingredient you're allergic to, this will help in choosing a product you're not allergic to. If you don't react to bleach, it's not likely ammonia or peroxide you're allergic to. I'd suspect the paraphenylenediamine in permanent dye is what you're sensitive to. This is the actual dye compound which colours your hair and you can avoid it by using semi-permanent dye. However, whilst you can dye your hair with semi-permanent dye, it will wash out over time and will need to be repeated after a few shampoos to keep it dark and vibrant.

In short, do find out what you're allergic to specifically if possible and let me know if you have any clues as to the ingredient that is causing it. It will help choose products that you won't react to. If nothing else, you can consider consulting a doctor on the antihistamine and take this before service to decrease or avoid a reaction, but only if it's mild.


Tara 18 months ago

I'm not sure because semi permanent dye gave me a worse reaction than permanent. I have a great doctor who will help me if anything goes wrong as I am on a lot of medication for fibromyalgia as well. Thank you for your input, and for replying! I appreciate you!


Tara 18 months ago

One more question : I want to get the filler tomorrow from Sallys. What level of developer do I use and do I put the filler on, let it set, rinse, dry and then dye or does the dye just go right on top of the filler before rinsing? I've seen it both ways but I'm not sure which way is correct.


Tara 18 months ago

It was the PPD and Sallys Beauty Supply sells PPD free dye and protein filler. I am successfully a brunette again all because of you! Thank you times a million!!


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Tara, sorry for the late reply.

That's great that you've been able to finally achieve your brown hair colour. Feel free to come back if you have any problems with other colours in the future.


Hannah 18 months ago

Hi,

a couple of weeks ago a bleached my hair white but I dont like it I would like to go back to my natural cololr thats a light golden brown in some lights in looked blonde. but I dont know how I dont want to have red under tones because red looks horrid on me. A friend said I could get golden blonde dye and leave on a few minutes longer than the intended time and it will come out darker will that work? if not how can i dye it back without red untones?


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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Hannah,

It needs to be filled for the colour to turn out properly. Fill first using 8G (Light golden blonde) in demi-permanent to return the missing golden base tone that was removed when your hair was bleached. Follow this with a mixture of dark natural blonde and dark golden blonde (Half and half of each colour) to finish the colour. This will give a dark blonde to light brown result with a soft golden tone to it.


Rachael 17 months ago

Hi Maffew,

Fantastic post, thank you! I wish I had read it yesterday, before I dyed my hair :-/. It was a golden blonde, with a small amount of dark blonde roots, and I dyed it a light brown (the box didn't say it was ash, but it didn't say it was golden either) and now it has a very subtle greenish tinge (the roots are fine). How do you suggest I correct this? I don't mind going a little darker brown, but not too much, as I have quite a few white hairs I don't want to be too obvious every time I get a bit of regrowth!

I'm wary of going too red or using a gold colour because I have a cool skin tone with blue grey eyes, and I've heard that these are not the best colours for me, but there is so much confusing information out there, I'm not sure what to do!


Rachael 17 months ago

I should add though that my natural hair colour when I was a kid was golden blonde, so perhaps a golden brown won't be terrible? Aghh, don't know!


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Rachael,

If you apply a mixture of half dark copper blonde and half dark golden blonde in demi-permanent dye, this will correct the tonal balance. The reason the lighter shades are being used is to give you more control. As your hair is light brown, dark blonde tone will take less dramatically and toning will occur over a longer period of time (Whereas if you applied the same mix in light brown, this would work fine, but toning will be quick and increase the chance of ending up with warmth in mere minutes).

Basically, apply and it will tone over about 10 minutes or so. The copper will neutralise the blue tone that is giving that green tinge (Blue tone in the brown shade mixed with the gold in your blonde hair creates a green tinge), and the gold adds soft warmth to further balance out the overly ashy tone. Rinse when you're happy with how much warmth you're seeing. If your aim is only to remove the green tinge but keep an ash tone, this will mean you'll end up removing it sooner once that green tinge is corrected. Leaving it longer will lead to a natural brown result, and then further towards a golden brown.


Rachael 17 months ago

Thanks Maffew, so helpful!! Is there any way I can get away with using just the one hair colour, for example if I was willing to go a little darker?

Thanks :)

Rachael


Rachael 17 months ago

Or suppose I wanted to go a little darker anyway? At the moment it seems too light, almost blonde still in certain lights :-/


Kelcey 17 months ago

Hello,

My natural hair colour is a light cool-ish brown, I have really pale skin and green eyes. About 4-5 months ago, I decided to get my hair lightened to a medium ash blonde. My hairdresser used a kind of balayage effect so my hair is sort of a weird mix of lighter and darker strands that blend together to make this weird slightly caramel colour, which doesn't suit me all that well. Also, my roots have grown out a fair bit now and it's just starting to look really tacky. The problem is, I had to quit my job a few months ago and I'm unable to get another one because I'm in my last year of high school and I need to focus on studies, meaning I have zero money with which to pay a hairdresser to go back to a more uniform light brown colour. I'm really unsure how to do it at home! Because of the un-evenness of my hair, just whacking any old dye over the top of the blonde isn't going to work, plus there's the problem of my darker roots to contend with. I'd really love to avoid bleaching my hair again as it's already so damaged (I haven't bleached it since I first got it done though). Would you have any advice for me on which dyes to use to get my hair back to a light ash/beige brown stage? Thanks so much :)


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Rachael,

You can use the dark copper blonde by itself and this will still remove the green tinge. It won't balance the colour out properly though so what will happen is that it will go from greenish to ash, then to a cool neutral before starting to take on a warm copper tone if left on for longer. If you just want to remove the green tinge and get it to an ash or more neutral colour, this will work fine. If you want to get it more towards a proper neutral or warmer shade, it won't work for this.

As for darkening, the best route would be to apply a mixture of half medium natural brown and half medium golden brown. Once again, this combination is going to give a more balanced result. If you had to use one of them alone though, I'd recommend choosing a brand that has a natural gold if possible. This shade will have a natural primary tone and a gold secondary tone, so it does already include some gold tone. You need the natural to darken properly, but you also need the gold or a small amount of chocolate tone in there to prevent it from getting too ashy as it darkens. A natural gold shade is the closest approximation without having to use 2 dyes.


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Kelcey,

Easiest way to deal with the difference in levels and even it out is to fill and then dye over that with the final colour. As for the roots, you can sort this darker hair out by increasing the developer.

To do this, fill using demi-permanent dye in dark copper gold blonde, or dark copper blonde. Apply this to your lengths, process, and rinse. Once this is done, the lighter areas become filled in with copper tone to form the foundation for the darker colour. Then apply light natural brown as the final colour and this will finish up the darkening and evening. The result is going to be roughly neutral and you need that natural tone for it to darken and cover properly, but you can mix up to 50% light ash brown or light golden brown into the natural for an ash brown or beige brown result.

If you do this, you'd be using half the natural shade and half the modifying shade, but it would mean the use of another dye and thus more costs. Another option is to use natural ash, or natural gold dyes if available depending on what brand you're using. It's less precise but will help get the particular result you want without spending too much. Just make sure the natural / neutral is the primary tone and the ash or gold is the secondary tone.

Using the code, level is the first number, which is how dark the colour is - you want 5 in most brands for a light brown and the naming of the shade will confirm that this is the case. Then there will be a period, slash, hyphen, etc before one or more numbers, or the level number will simply be followed by letters. If it's numbers, natural is usually always '0' and ash is usually always '1', meaning a light natural ash brown is 5.01. In letters, this could be 5NA. Gold tones vary more often. They're often a '3' in numbers, but you're better off basing it on brand and not assuming this to be correct. Overall, if you have trouble reading codes and finding the right shades and have a particular brand you want to use, let me know and I will help you figure out which shade can be used in that brand.


Rachael 17 months ago

Thanks Maffew, once again :-) You've convinced me, I'll do two shades. Not sure if I'll do the lighter or darker option yet. I'll will report back the results.

Thank you a million times for the advice, you're a rare gem :-)


amy young 133 17 months ago

Hi maffew, i have a set of ombre extensions dont know if your familer with them they are the foxylocks honey spice ombre starting from a really light brown going into a light blond my current hair colour is a ash brown could you suggest me putting a ash brown over the light brown on them or will they go green how can i message you a pic so u an see the colour x


Nadieh 17 months ago

Good afternoon,

I don't want to dye my hair brown but medium blue, but this is the only site I've found that talks about dying over blonde hair instead of wanting blonde hair. How do I make sure my hair doesn't turn greenish and is there any way to calculate how much lighter the dye will be on my hair because of the natural light blonde? Is bleaching required? Thanks for your time.


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Rachael,

Glad you found it helpful and good luck with your colour!


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Amy,

I'd recommend using a mix of natural brown and a small amount of chocolate brown (Ideally, about 75% natural shade, and 25% chocolate shade). The natural tone will do a good job of preventing it from ending up too ashy without resulting in the warmth, and the chocolate tone you add just helps keep it balanced.

For the specific colour to use, base it on what level of brown you have. Eg, if your hair is medium brown, dye using medium brown shades to match it. Have a look at the swatches of the brand you're using and this will help you work out how dark your hair currently is.


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Nadieh,

To make sure it doesn't look greenish, you need a blue dye that will cover at the level your hair currently is. For example, if you had medium blonde hair and applied a pastel blue shade, this will cause a green colour because the lighter blue isn't strong enough to give a blue colour on hair that dark, but it is strong enough that the blue tone it takes will mix with any gold or yellow tones to create green.

Of course, there's no completely easy way to determine how dark colourful dyes like blue and purple are because they usually don't use a level system like permanent hair colour. This means that the easiest way to test it is to do a strand test first. If it looks green, use a darker blue colour or pre-lighten your hair. If you can find pictures of other people who have used the same dye, this will help you visualise how dark it is and then compare it to how dark your own hair is. If the blue colour looks at least 2 levels darker, there is a good chance it will cover properly without any need for lightening.

Finally, some brands will provide recommendations on how light your hair should be for the dye to take properly. Not all will though.


amy young 133 17 months ago

So would i get away with putting a ash on after the natural brown and a bit of choclate are those 2 the base coats before adding the ash brown to match my hair colour x


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Amy,

The natural and chocolate mixed together is going to give closer to an ash result. When you dye hair, the colour you get is a combination of the colour that is already in your hair, and the colour you add. If you've ever used a purple shampoo on blonde hair for example, this is an example of how the violet tone from that combines with yellow in hair to give a neutral colour. Even though you're applying violet, you don't end up with violet.

In the case of your extensions, these already have an ash tone, so if you go and apply that darker ash on top, the ash becomes even more intensified and the result is going to very grey to even blueish or greenish. The use of a natural tone gets around this, and it also darkens better than if you used a different shade because it's balanced and contains a fairly neutral combination of all three primary colours. Even this can give a result that is too ashy when used as a darker dye on top of hair that is already ash though, so this is why the small amount of chocolate is mixed in because this adds a little warmth to get it to a nice natural looking ash that isn't too grey. You're basically using dyes that will work with what you already have present in the hair.

Of course, it's perfectly fine to tone it with a little more ash or chocolate afterwards if need be. You shouldn't need to do anything else, but if the colour is too cool you can use a light chocolate shade to add warmth, and vice versa with an ash shade if it's not as cool as you want.


amy young 133 17 months ago

Great info thankyou so much maffew x


Robin 17 months ago

Just got blonde highlights put in and am not happy with them at all. My hair is dark brown. what will happen if I put a medium brown violet over the highlights?


Ari-Berry 17 months ago

Hi! A couple months ago I bleached my hair and dyed it gray. As the gray faded I ended up with an ashy golden blonde with dark brown roots. I tried to dye it the color of my roots and the box color was a bit ashy and the color didn't take evenly. My ends and roots are brown and the middle has a lot of greenish blonde. I've been box dying my hair for years so I know it wasn't because I distributed the dye poorly but it's still uneven. My question is, can I dye over it tomorrow or in a couple days? And if I do, should I used a similar brown shade with warm tones or should I just buy the same exact color that I already put in my hair today?


rdzgnn 17 months ago

Hi,

i recently visited the hair salon looking for a ombre / blayage style. However the woman decided to dye it by foiling more ashy blonde tones. So now my hair is my natural colour (light brunette) and ash blonde and some very bleachy looking!

I want my natural colour (roots have not been coloured) How can i remove the ashy blonde tones to make my hair a more brown colour?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Amy,

I'm glad you found it helpful.


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Robin,

On the darker base, you may see a violet tinge. If you're using a permanent dye; especially a box dye, where you are using the supplied developer, there may also be some lightening of your dark brown hair, which will reveal more warmth and give a slightly more red tinge as well.

On the highlights, these will grab onto the violet tone in the dye and it can look more of an intense violet shade.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Ari-Berry,

If you mix a little red and copper into the shade you're using, this will counteract the green tone. Chocolate brown is useful for this because it contains all the warm tones (Red, copper, and gold). As for the actual shade to use for dyeing it brown, this should be natural / neutral brown so that it darkens properly. There's still the chance of it not taking as well, or looking ashier than it normally would with this shade, but it's the best option if you're not filling your hair first.

Pre-pigmentation with the use of a filler is the best way to dye lighter hair to a much darker colour. For anything more than 2 levels darker, fill with the base tone for the colour you want. Eg, medium blonde has a golden base tone; if you were going from platinum to medium blonde, you would pre-pigment using this colour and then apply medium blonde on top of that to avoid strange colour results or the colour not taking.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi rdzgnn,

The best way to do this depends a lot on how much lighter the highlights are. If they're a lot lighter than your brown colour, fill first with dark copper blonde in demi-permanent, and then dye with light natural brown. If there's a particular tone in your natural colour you want to replicate, mix about a quarter of this into the natural shade. Eg, you could mix it as 75% light natural brown, and 25% light golden brown to accentuate the golden tone. To get it to blend nicely, start with application to the highlights only, then apply to the rest of your hair for the last few minutes.

If it's not overly lighter though, dye over it with light natural brown. If you're able to apply to the highlights only, mix a little of a warm brown shade in to counteract the ash tone and balance it out. If you can't isolate out the highlights and it's going to touch the rest of your hair, use the natural shade alone.


Rachael 17 months ago

Hi Maffew, thanks so much for your advice about a week or so ago, it really worked! You suggested using a dark blonde mix so I'd have more control, but I couldn't find the right tones, so

used light brown instead. Worked great, green is all gone, and is an actual colour now!!

I have a couple of silly questions. I don't really know what to do next time I need to dye my hair. As you said, it got a little warm, so I would like to nuetralise itto a natural brown. And I also don't know what to do about regrowth, and not sure if the colour will fade back to green again??

Sorry for the probably really silly questions!

Regards,

Rachael


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Rachel,

That's great!

With any colour, you'll generally see fading over time, so even though the warm mix will fade out, the green tinge shouldn't return because the ash tones will also fade to some extent. Although it's a bit warm now, I'd recommend giving it a few washes to see what it fades to before you worry too much about toning it further to perfect it.

As for the regrowth, is this lighter or darker than the colour you want? The best way to colour it to match will depend on this as darker regrowth will require using a higher developer volume and a cooler tone to lighten it and counteract warmth to match, whereas lighter regrowth is best dyed with a natural tone, or a slightly warm tone to allow it to darken properly and not end up too ashy or green after dyeing. If it's really light compared to the lengths, you may even prefer to fill it first for the best results.


Rachael 17 months ago

Hi Maffew, thank you! My natural hair colour is dark blonde to light brown, so I *think* my regrowth will be the same shade but slightly lighter. I also need to hide some white hairs. Could I just apply a natural light brown to the regrowth? Could I apply it to the lengths too if the colour has faded? Or will I have tonal issues again? I'd like to continue using demis or semis as my hair needs a rest after being blonde.

thanks :-)

Rachael


Rachael 17 months ago

Sorry, I meant to say the same shade OR slightly lighter. I've never gone light brown before, so this is just a guess.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Rachael,

The natural is fine by itself if it's slightly lighter. A natural tone is actually the best for coverage of grey/white hair because it contains all three primary colours, and this is also why it's the best for darkening as it balances out the tone properly. Other shades that have a strong dominant tone, like an ash or golden shade tend to absorb readily onto lighter hair as you've noticed with the green tinge previously.

You're also fine to apply to the lengths. The best way to do this is to apply first to the roots only, and then pull through to the lengths during the last 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how much it has faded. It will refresh the colour and help even it out so that everything looks the same.

As for the use of a semi or demi-permanent dye, this is also perfectly fine. I'd recommend a demi if you're darkening though as it will give better results and last longer. Either product will need to be repeated after the fading becomes noticeable though as a semi will usually fully wash out in most cases (Sometimes it can leave a stubborn tinge), and much of the demi-permanent dye will also wash out. More pigment becomes lasting with some demi-permanent dyes though as most brands tend to be partially oxidative.


Rachael 17 months ago

That's incredibly helpful, I will use that advice when needed in near future. thank you so much for all your help, it's been a life saver :-)


amna 17 months ago

Hi. I dyed my hair medium blonde 6 months back and now they are slightly faded in tone. I have bought a new dye Loreal Golden light brown. Will it be good to cover my natural black hair plus those blonde highlights?


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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Amna,

It will lighten the black, but it won't take it all the way to light brown, and it will leave it very coppery because the underlying warmth is revealed and there is no ash tone in there to neutralise it. With the blonde hair, this will really grab onto the gold tone in the dye and may look overly warm. If you wanted to go through with the dye, you'll get a better result mixing the golden shade half as that and half ash on the black hair, and using a natural shade mixed with a small amount of the golden shade on the blonde.

Otherwise, best way to do this is to bleach the black hair to a light orange, fill the blonde to get it to this same orange, and then dye over it all with a mix of light golden brown and light ash brown. This will give the most even result overall. The ash is to counteract the orange so that it's not too warm.


Tara 17 months ago

You helped me get my platinum hair black again, so I trust only you with hair questions. I found a PPD free dye to use for my allergy, but I still had a reaction. As annoying as this is, it keeps fading! Its a permanent dye, but after 2 weeks I'll notice the fading. I've dyed 3 times and its beginning to fade again! I don't shampoo for 48+ hours after I dye, use color sealant, and don't blow it dry and very rarely use my straightener. Is there anything I'm missing here, or do I just need to suck it up and use a regular dye since I'm allergic to everything anyway?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Tara,

The PPD in permanent dye goes through a chemical reaction that leads to lasting colour. At first, the molecules are small and often colourless, but once mixed with developer, it's oxidised, leading to larger molecules that take on the intended colour. How all of this applies to your fading problem is that these larger molecules are too large to wash out of the hair, and this is a big part of what makes the dye permanent, so it's not too surprising that a PPD-free dye won't last as long. There's really nothing quite as effective for really permanent colour unfortunately.

It could also be partly because your hair was quite light prior to returning to black. Because there's so much dye, a small amount of colour loss tends to be more noticeable because there's very little natural pigment underneath. Previously lightened and dyed hair can also be more porous, so colour washes out easier.

At this point, I wouldn't recommend going with the regular permanent dye because it causes you so much grief, but maybe sticking it out until you can get a good idea of how your regrowth is reacting to the colour. If you're seeing a lot of fading here too, it's the dye. If the new hair is holding dye very well, it's the porosity of your previously dyed hair that is leading to fading. If it is the dye that's responsible and you definitely want to keep it black, I'd recommend discussing it with your doctor to minimise the allergic reaction as much as possible before using a regular permanent dye.


Tara 16 months ago

Thank you so much. You are simply amazing.


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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

No problem Tara, good luck with your colour.


Lea Dickson 16 months ago

Hi there

do you have a colour chart detailing the levels required of red and brown dye to dye bleach blonde hair brown relevant to the UK market. The numbers seem to be different on our products


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Lea,

The levels for browns are: light brown as 5, medium brown as 4, and dark brown as 3. This is based on the traditional level system which ranges from 1 to 10; a 1 being black, and a 10 being near white. Most salon dye brands will use this level system like this, but there are variations. Box dye brands tend to do whatever they want and don't always use the traditional system, or even something which seems ordered.

Your best bet if a brand doesn't follow the level system is to use whatever it does state to try and figure out approximately what level it is. If it says light brown, this is 'hopefully' going to be similar in darkness to the light brown shades of other brands. If you can find the colour chart for the brand, that will give you a better idea of where the shade fits within all the shades that brand produces. Apart from that, everything else is just trial and error because two brands may not line up the same: sometimes a light brown is darker or lighter in a different brand, and even tones can look different; Eg, a gold in one brand may be more intensely golden in another brand, or a mahogany in one brand may be more reddish whilst in another brand it's more of a violet shade.


Taylor 16 months ago

My hair is light brown with medium blonde balayage and I want to achieve a dark ash brown. What products should i buy from Sally's to get my desired color?


Jonas Rodrigo profile image

Jonas Rodrigo 16 months ago

Great tutorial.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 16 months ago from North America

Changing hair colors is a fascinating subject! Your instructions and explanations show how complex a procedure it can be, but your Hub is understandable and people can follow it well.

I have auburn hair, more brown than red, but I know it will be white one day. Does the information you have given apply to white hair as well?


LisaPearce 16 months ago

Hi Maffew, love your Hub and advise

You give on hair colour! Can you give me some advise I'm natruly mousy brown to dark blonde but have been highlighting n bleaching my hair for a few years! I want to try and get it back to a more natural colour like my roots how ever none of the hair dressers I've been to can never get this colour right on my hair. I had a light brown put in which I think was 6/8 after a few washes washed back to blonde so I used a box colour dark blonde I now have gingery roots with blonde ends I want to get to a natural light brown but with out any gold in or going too dark please help and do you also work freelance/ mobile ? As would rather pay someone who knows what they are doing with my hair. Kind regards

Lisa


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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Taylor,

Red protein filler, or light red brown demi-permanent dye, followed by dark natural brown or dark ash brown dye. Not all brands have an ash shade at the dark brown level. In any case, the ash tone is barely perceptible when the colour is this dark so the natural and ash shades are going to look very similar.


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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Patty,

The same rule applies with white hair. Whenever your hair is much lighter than the colour you want to dye it, there is no foundation for the new colour unless you fill it first. This is why grey hair is dyed by mixing the shade you want, like a red shade for example, with a natural shade, because the natural contains all the primary colours and will darken the hair properly so that the colour turns out as intended. Otherwise in this example, any darker hair would take the dye properly, but any grey hair would just look bright red.


cheryl 16 months ago

Hi Maffew,

Thank you for this wealth of information. I've spent quite some time reading the comments, looking for some help with two toned hair. I definitely need some help, so thank you in advance for when you have time to comment for me. I have long hair, fine, bleached highlights, and a lifted base from med cool brown to dark ash blonde. My problem is finding something to break base without exposing warmth in my re-growth, and how do I protect the bleached highlights from getting muddy? I use a highlighting cap to bleach highlights, but you know how it catches up and becomes very washed out. I don't know what to use

Or what method will give me back some dimension and give my hair a rest. Please help.


Christy 16 months ago

My hair is lifted as high as my stylist says it can go (I doubt that, because it's not white blonde). I want to be a neutral brown. So, I think I need to fill it or use a warmer brown than I actually plan to be?


Sue58 profile image

Sue58 16 months ago

Hello Maffew, I have shoulder length fine thin hair, with blue/green eyes and warm skin tone.My hair is currently very light ash blonde with about two inches of new growth coming in.My natural hair colour is between a dark blonde and a light brown.I want to add some low lights to my hair and was wondering what colour would compliment the very light ash blonde with the root colour that is coming in.Thank you so much for your advice.


Ara 16 months ago

Hi Maffew!

What peroxide should i use ? I have bleached my hair blonde and I'm trying to go to a caramel brown. Please help!!


KristinNicole14 profile image

KristinNicole14 16 months ago

Hello, Maffew! Thank you for making an informative and helpful site. Although I comprehended the instructions, I'm afraid when it comes to my own hair, I find myself horribly lost. Here is my color:

https://instagram.com/p/4g7_RgS0zE/

I have been bleaching it for years, experimenting with various shades here and there, but always returning to the blonde. After bleaching, I use Wella Color Charm Toner in T18 (lightest ash blonde) and T10 (pale blonde), though mostly using the T10 these days. However much I love the color, my hair is damaged and thin now, so I am done with the bleaching process for awhile.

I want to achieve a dark blonde or a light brown. What would be the simplest (and devastation-free) way to go about attaining either color result? I prefer Wella.

Oh, and at the moment, I have an inch of dark brown roots. Should I bleach that first? When you have a moment, I would sincerely appreciate your input. Thank you in advance.

-Kristin


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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Lisa,

Apologies for the very late reply. Sometimes when you've lightened your hair, it won't hold dye as easily. It can also fade more readily simply because there's not a lot of natural pigment contributing to the darker colour. All dyes fade, and when the pigment from a dye is the major contributor to a dark colour, this fading can be a lot more obvious and extreme.

Ideally, with the fading that's occurred in the past, it may help to give it a few protein treatments and then fill it prior to dyeing it brown to build up strength and try and treat the porosity. Whenever you fill light hair, this alone will help keep it from fading so much and so quickly.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Cheryl,

Any lightening will reveal warmth past a certain point, but you can help compensate for this by using an ash tone. The only problem with this is that if overlapped onto highlighted areas, it is going to grab that ash tone. Another way is to use a lighter dye that's not going to affect the highlights so much, and using this to lighten your roots slightly for a short period. As long as you don't take it too far you won't get too much warmth appearing, but you can only go so light past your natural colour before this does happen.

As for giving your hair back some dimension and allowing it to rest, if you lowlight it this can help blend it in with your regrowth as well as get rid of the muddy look. It just depends whether you're happy with it looking a little darker because adding lowlights will darken the overall appearance of the colour.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Christy,

To get it closest to a neutral result, filling will be best. Whilst you can compensate for your light hair by mixing shades, the less complicated you make the process, the less chance of problems arising. Ideally, fill with a dye at least 2 levels lighter than the brown you want, then use a natural brown shade, eg, light natural brown for a light brown result.


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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Sue,

A natural blonde, or beige blonde would work great with your darker natural colour, as well as the ash blonde. You don't want it to be too ashy when applying lowlights because it can look more of an intense grey colour over lighter hair, but you also don't want to go too warm or it will clash with the ash blonde shade. A natural is closer to a neutral, whereas a beige tone is a slightly warm shade. You also don't want to go too dark with it depending on how light your blonde hair is or it can look odd, so no more than 2 levels darker for a more natural result.


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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Ara,

Whenever dyeing darker, toning, or in any situation where you don't need any further lift, 10 vol developer is fine. Higher volumes are generally for lightening, although some brands recommend at least 20 vol even for darkening and this can be either because they are intending for a small amount of lift to occur for the colour to show properly during tone-on-tone dyeing, or because the dye needs a bit more oxidation to work as effectively as intended.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi KristinNicole,

When you have very light blonde hair like yours, you can run into problems dyeing it darker because whatever tone you use tends to grab and become very dominant. Ash can look grey, or even blueish or greenish; whilst a warm blonde or brown shade can pull a lot of copper or gold tone. The easiest way to get around this is to fill your hair prior to dyeing.

When you fill hair, you pre-pigment it with the missing base tone for the darker colour you want. This way when you dye it with the desired colour, it has a better foundation to sit on and it turns out closer to what is intended. It also doesn't fade as quickly. To fill it, all you need to do is take a demi-permanent dye 1 - 2 levels lighter than the final colour you want, and apply this first. If you want a dark blonde, you would use a golden shade for this, whilst if you wanted closer to a light brown, you would use more of a golden copper shade.

As for the roots, you can lighten them before or after, depending on what you find easiest. One method would be to fill your hair, rinse out the demi-permanent, and then apply the final colour with a higher volume of developer to the roots prior to applying it to the lengths. This would allow you to do it in one process. Otherwise, it's fine to lighten them at a different time, or even lift with bleach and tone using a separate dye if preferred.


Kaylee 16 months ago

Hi, I'm currently a light bleached blonde (sort of ashy but with slightly pink roots underneath leftover from when the whole underneath was dyed pink)

I have bought nice'n'easy natural light auburn, do i need to do anything to my hair before I use it?

I tried to go auburn before when my hair was white and it faded out to a boring dark blonde colour within a few days, so will this happen again??


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Kaylee,

It depends on how dark the shade is. Ideally, for anything darker than 2 levels past the colour you currently have, your hair should be filled prior to applying the darker colour. This will prevent the auburn from turning out flat, as well as help it last longer and not fade as significantly.

If the colour isn't this much darker, you don't necessarily have to fill it with any pigment, but you can still use a colourless protein filler before you apply the dye to help reduce fading and give a more even result.


Stephan 16 months ago

Hello, Maffew-- I have been scouring the web, and your prompt responses have caught my attention, so I hope you can help me out with this:

I'm attempting to take a blotchy bleached and toned beige blonde, with light to under-processed brassy pieces (toned with Wella T-35), to a 6N Natural Dark Blonde. I've read your responses carefully above, and made the decision earlier to apply a 8GC Light Golden Copper Blonde as a base, and put a permanent Wella 6N on top. I decided to do the 8GC and not darker because only my ends are darker, and my short hair will need a *shorter* trim after this.

I was planning on doing the process in the next couple days, but my issue is that I had 1/4in roots coming in, so I thought I would bleach and tone that to the same beige before going dark blonde. The plan was to use my comb applicator bottle-- this went badly wrong, since I didn't use the right ratio of liquid:creme developer for a runnier product. Basically, I didn't get complete coverage of my head, and now I've got random brown bands at my roots.

Now, here is the tricky part, and I don't know how to go about it. I've done a 6A with 40 developer (plus a blue pigment cooler) on my virgin hair before, and it has lifted and deposited a dark blonde. I really want to run the comb through my roots with a 6A + 40 dev., lightening it to a dark blonde, and then putting the 8GC & 6N with 10 dev. in that order. The only issue is that my roots at this point aren't evenly brown...there are very light/platinum pieces with brown banding. I absolutely do not want to go in there and bleach these pieces... The Wella 6A has a blue base. If I do this and the platinum pieces turn grey, will the 8GC and 6N then cover it up? Both of those will be perm colors, and I know I will leave the 6N on for at least 40 minutes, and I can do the same for the 8GC too. This sequence is what I'm feeling really comfortable with, so I'm hoping you can advise to tweak it!

Thank you so much!


Sarah 15 months ago

hi I just dyed my hair using a nice and easy ultra blue I was supposed to leave it on for the 90 minutes I freaked out when I see my hair turning orange so I washed it out after 20 minutes. after washing it out it does have some blonde in it but still has a tenth of orange Coppertone I want to go back to my natural medium brown what can I do or used to get back to my natural color??


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Stephan,

Speaking of prompt responses, this one is rather late, so I apologise for that. It's fine to lighten the darker patches, and any blueish tint to the lighter hair will be cancelled out by the darker filler as copper neutralises blue. That plus the natural shade on top gives fairly good coverage for any eventuality.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you want an ash result, you can mix a little 6A into the 6N. You don't want too much though or it won't darken properly, but anywhere up to half will be fine. Vice versa, for a warmer result, add a little 6G. The 6N by itself will give a roughly neutral result, but it can sometimes turn out slightly warm or slightly cool depending on what brand is being used.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Sarah,

I apologise for the late reply to your question. A natural or neutral brown dye is fine for this because you've still got a lot of copper tone present. If you want to ensure an ash result or a chocolate result (Cool or warm respectively), mix a quarter of ash or chocolate medium brown into the natural tone. IE, if you were using 60 grams of the natural tone, you can add 15 grams of one of these shades to modify the tone.


Denice 15 months ago

Hello, I have black/dark brown hair on the top layer of my hair and a medium ash golden blonde at the bottom. How can I get the bottom to look like the top colour without creating more damage and for it to go green? Thanks.


mariz castro 15 months ago

hi i have a golden brown hair and im planning to dye it ash brown or maybe dark brown would it be okay? or what hair color can u suggest .. thank you so much ..


Alicia 15 months ago

I currently have a very light ash blonde hair color. My natural color is very dark brown. I would like to take my hair back to a dark color and would love for it to be a burgendy dark shade. What do you recommend. thanks!


Jenny 15 months ago

Hey Maffew,

I have bleached blonde hair which is close to platinum, I want to do an Ombre and keep my ends the way they are, do I need to use a demi or can I just go full color?

Also I have extensions, should I take them out before colouring or are they okay to leave in? I am certified in extensions but not dye's!

Thanks :)


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Denice,

As you're only a level away from the colour you want, you'll be fine to just go ahead and use a dark natural brown to even it out to the same colour. If you use a demi-permanent dye, this will be almost non-damaging. Permanent dye is fine though and still not very damaging as you're not using it to lighten. Best to use nothing higher than 10 vol developer with the permanent dye to minimise damage though, which means pouring out the provided developer from a box dye if you're using that and adding your own developer.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Mariz,

If your hair is already brown and has that warm golden tone, this is perfectly fine. It's more of an issue when you have blonde hair or very ashy hair. I'd recommend using a natural dark brown rather than an ash tone though, as it is a darker dye you're applying so any tonal dominance will be amplified.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Alicia,

If you fill your hair using a copper protein filler or dark copper blonde demi-permanent dye, this will work fine. If you use the protein filler, apply this, let it absorb for 20 minutes, then apply the burgundy dye on top. If you use a demi-permanent, apply both dyes separately because they can't be mixed together.

If you don't fill, burgundy or mahogany brown colours tend to turn out a bright violet-pink sort of colour, but if you want this kind of result it's one way to easily achieve it.


Laura 15 months ago

Hi,

I currently have highlighted hair (to very blonde, white in places but with warmish undertones as the highlights were put through previously dyed dark auburn/brown hair). I also have about two inches of nautral lightish ashy blonde regrowth. I am wanting to dye my hair back to a light auburn colour (box says 6R). How would you go about achieving an even colour?

Thanks !


Elly 14 months ago

Hi,

HELP!!! I recently had my hair bleached (almost platinum) blonde! I't's gone quite yellow on the top and is not how I want it at all! I want to get it back to a darker blonde/light brown tone all over.... how do I do this without it going green?

Thanks.

x


aNice127 profile image

aNice127 14 months ago from CT - NY

Hi Maffew! I've come to you many times and really not only admire, but TRUST your advice, as virtual as it may be! ;)

So my question is: to dye my hair a nice light 5/6 natural to golden brown.. how do I go about it since I have since added highlights? Facts below:

--Regrowth of virgin hair ~1inch, level 5ish ASH MOUSY BROWN

--Base of majority of hair is a Wella 6N/6NW w/even warmer tones lightened from sun

--Highlights I added (using Matrix light master) now range from 8ash-8golden, a few level 9's in there from touching up...

So.. I am fine if I do an all over color, having the highlights stay a different color than the bulk, as it will add some dimension/highlights even when darker (IF they will remain lighter). But, my worry is my ROOTS.

**Do I use two different volume developers to ensure the color is even if I apply, say a 5 or 6 with warm undertones? Or since the roots are virgin, they'd take it faster and I just apply it to the base first, and do roots last?

And the highlights?

**Do I need to utilize a warmer shade than I want all over so it becomes somewhat even? Or can I use the same shade with warm undertones and risk that the highlights will turn out ashier?

(SIDE NOTE: After I dye it all an even color again, I do plan on adding highlights again or possibly an ombre effect. I just sort of want a clean slate, and a good base a little darker/closer to my natural regrowth for the fall so it's lower maintenance as it grows).

I am used to Wella but also open to any other brands you'd recommend.

Thank you SO MUCH in advance!!

Let me know when


Smacciemac 14 months ago

Hello.. I have been a bleached blonde for a long time now.. I have decided to stop with the bleach for a while due to hair breakage etc.. and wanted to go darker.. I went to a new hairdresser who was an "expert" on this.. She talked me out of going dark brown.

She used a bleach free Pre-Lightener on my dark roots and I chose a level 8 natural blonde (I was currently a 12ish.. extremely light). I am not sure what she did, but when I left the sink, my hair was a horribly uneven brassy mess with extremely reddish brassy roots from the prelightener.. We then for the next 3 hours proceeded to ash my hair out. She went over everything with an ash blonde and used a AA on my roots, then had to use a AAA on my roots.. then went at my roots with like ashiest ash AAAA she had possible with a 7% peroxide..

When I left, my hair was decently even. I still saw some brass in my roots, but I was done and just wanted to go home.. I was the level 8 was muddy and looked more like a muddy 6 1/2 to 7.

In the past 3 weeks the color lightened quickly which I expected and now the bright brass roots are popping through.

Now to get to my question.. I just want to go to a level 5 rich brown, that has no red in it because red tones look terrible on my skin. The rest of my hair is a natural to a little more ashy level 8ish now that it faded, but I have 3/4 inch obviously reddish brass roots and now new virgin roots that are not that long but still exist past the brass..

Where do I go from here? I figured due to the fact that my hair has been colored from the bleach already and I wanted to go darker, that I can just go to a level 5 natural, but with the brass roots etc.. I am not so sure..

Also my natural color.. though I haven't seen it in many years.. from what I remember, its about a 6 mousy brown with Extreme red undertones that no hairdresser has ever been able to neutralize.. hence the bleach for years. There are some grays now in the middle of my head also, but I can worry about those later..

I was also thinking of a demi just in case i hate it? Any advice will be VERY welcome!!

Thank You

Sharon


Diana 14 months ago

Hi maffew, I bleached the bottom of my tips not to long ago but it's really blonde & I really don't like it & I want to go back to a dark brown hair. I was just wonder if it matters what type of hair dyed I use from any store like target to get my hair back to dark brown. I have a yellow blonde hair if I use golden brown on it will it come out as dark brown. I'm really confused I need help?!?!


Marie 14 months ago

Hello I have a question

I had bleached blonde hair before and I dyed my hair dark brown and a week later I noticed my hair had a greenish tint to it also my hair color is fading how can I fix it? Please help :(


Laurie24 13 months ago

Hi Maffew. I have been trying to achieve a dark brown for years, everything I try seems to turn it black. Even the salon turned it black. Is there some trick to this, I don't know about?


Daisy993 13 months ago

Hi maffew over the summer I went to a local hair salon since I wanted blonde hair. I wasn't very happy with the results since it looked too gold. About 4 days later after washing the color was like a strawberry blonde which I liked, the more washes my hair had the more orange/ gold tones would appear. So I decided to buy a color box dye from garnier nutrisse in color ultra light natural blonde. It's bleach free but all it did was turn the mid shaft and ends darker to a light blonde brown color. Then on Friday I dying it blue black, again with a garnier nutrisse box dye. Once my hair was dry I noticed I had a very light brown color showing on some spots. I didn't worry since it looked nice and barely noticed and I was in a hurry to get rid of my blonde-ish hair before a wedding the next day. On the next day I began seeing ashy gray green spots. That was mostly noticeable in direct sunlight. But now after the wedding I do notice it more and tried the ketchup method but seems like it didn't help and it's more noticeable now what should I do? Can I fix it with a box dye? I don't want to go back to the salon.


daisy993 13 months ago

Hello again Maffew here's an update on my hair after it dried overnight. I dont see the gray green tint anymore but I do notice ashey very light brown hair color. Seems like the dye bled a lot after rinsing out the ketchup, shampooing and conditioning it. Should I dye it again with the blue black dye?? I love this color how can I achieve a black colored hair with out it looking gray green or ashey? Btw my natural hair color is dark brown.


Kayla Rollett profile image

Kayla Rollett 13 months ago

I dyed my hair blonde. My roots turned out white and the rest is a yellowish color! I am so irritated with this. I just want to get back to a darker color. What do I do? I read the charts. Im just worried about dying my hair a color and my roots pulling differently than the rest. Please help!


Renee 13 months ago

Hi!

So I just dyed my hair from a dark red brown color to a very bright blonde yellow color. I first bleached it and then used an ash toner twice to get rid of most of the yellow. Now that it's this very bright blonde color I want to go a little darker. Like a natural brown color. Could I just use a golden brown color from the box or should I go get a toner?


Quency 13 months ago

Hi Maffew!

I have really bright blonde hair. I also have my roots coming in about 6 inches which are a light brown. I want my hair to be a medium natural brown and I don't want my hair to come out looking orange or green any suggestions?


Sofiaave 13 months ago

Hi Maffew,

My name is Eva. I know you wrote this article a while ago, but I'm so happy I found an expert who can help!

Long story short, I'm a natural dark brown, almost black, and went bleached blonde. I decided to go back to brunette, but not my natural hair color. I wanted a caramel brown so I could let it grow out into a natural ombre, similar to the photo of the girl you have featured on this article. The salon did a terrible job. First of all, they didn't use a filler and even though he used a demi permanent color, I was left with super dark, muddy hair. I went back to get it fixed and it came out a chocolate brown. I was relieved that the green was gone, but it still wasn't the color I wanted. I told the stylist that I originally wanted a lighter color and she said to get the light color I want, I would have to bleach it again. This made me furious because I literally just had bleached hair and if it wasn't for them, my hair would still be light.

So the chocolate color has now faded into an olive color. Here's the only photo I have of it: https://instagram.com/p/9T7ULjmfyb/?taken-by=lades...

Since I don't want to bleach my hair, I've decided to settle for a warm brown like this: http://www.shelookbook.com/wp-content/uploads/2013...

How can I achieve this myself? What exact color should I put? Can I use a permanent dye with a 20 or 30 volume developer to get a light warm brown like in the photo?

Thanks so much for your time!!


Penny 13 months ago

I have highlighted pale blonde hair, not white, like light blonde. I want to color to my natural color from what I can tell is natural light brown. I planned on letting my roots grow out a bit and just color the blonde only when I do it. I found a nice&easy natural lighter brown that looks exact to my roots and eyebrows. What should I do to fill and get that color. I know it will fade quickly, how often can I reapply? What should I fill with before coloring? Thanks so much in advance for helping, I'm scared.


Emma 13 months ago

Hi there

I have recently gone blonde but it's got an orange look to it, I'm wanting to go a light to medium brown how and what should I do to get this?

Many thanks


Natalie 12 months ago

Hi I have natural dark brown hair which I have also dyed dark brown for years, it got to the point where is was too dark (almost black) and I wanted to go lighter so I had it stripped and re-coloured at a hair salon, it ended up being a lighter brown with a lot of red, I have since tried 2 permanent brown colours myself - the first was a medium cool brown by clairol, this did tone down some of the red but it did still shine through in natural sunlight, the last colour I have used was about 2-3 weeks ago which was a loreal paris 4.01 cool brown. My hair is in good condition and it looks a nice medium-dark brown colour until the sun shines on it - then you can see the horrible red shiny brassy tones coming through. What colour would you suggest to use to get rid of the red, I have been looking at garnier nutrisse creme or garnier olia either the dark natural brown 4.0 or 4.12 or 4.15. I don't know what to do for the best, I just want to have a nice cool dark brown hair colour that has no red tones to it as I have fair skin and blue eyes. Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks x


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 12 months ago Author

Hi Penny,

Apologies for the late reply. If you fill it with a medium copper blonde colour before dyeing, that will ensure it takes properly.

If it's fading a lot after dyeing, you may want to consider the use of protein treatments to help strengthen your hair. This will deal with the porosity and stop it losing colour as easily. You can also touch it up with demi-permanent or semi-permanent dye to keep it dark. With a demi, use this every few weeks at most; it's not very damaging but it still does cause a small amount of damage. With a semi, you can use this as often as necessary because it's non-damaging; but it will wash out after a few shampoos.


Lucy 12 months ago

Hi! My current hair colour is a light blonde, ashy in some areas, a little yellowy elsewhere and beigy at the roots. I want to go a nice deep, cool brown since reds in any form are awful on me and make me look ill so it's necessary this doesn't happen. I bought a box dye - Schwarzkopf Live Colour, 880 'Tempting Chocolate'. It is a little warm but I'm not sure how much it is and if I would have to use a filler. Also, by using a red filler with a slightly warm colour give me an even warmer colour? If so would it be better to use the dye on its own and use a neutraliser after?


Lorna 11 months ago

I have been dying my hair bleach blonde for 11years and my family would like me to go back to my natural color of medium brown for my daughters wedding in august 2016. I would like to do it myself but when i have tried in the past it always turns out green or grey. I read your article but am still a little confused on where to start. Could you please help. Thanks.


Jpage 11 months ago

My hair is an ash blonde right now I want to go to a medium brown can I use a warm brown to get the result I want or do I still need to fill it first


Stephanie 10 months ago

Hello Maffew,

My natural hair is a medium brown but I bleached my hair blonde maybe 1 year ago.

I haven't bleached it since but I still have the blonde. My blonde is like a light blonde & somewhat brassy. Roots coming out.

I want to dye my hair a really light brown.

I somewhat understood the article but it will be really helpful if you can tell me how I can get the lightest brown step by step

Thank you!


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 10 months ago Author

Hi Stephanie,

To begin with, you need to fill your hair. If you think of the colour change your hair takes when it was originally lightened to blonde, what you're doing now is the reverse of this to add that pigment back in. This gives a longer lasting result and prevents ending up with a strange colour from the brown dye.

To fill your hair for a light brown result, I'd recommend using 7CG (Medium copper gold blonde) as the filler, in demi-permanent if possible, or permanent if you can't obtain a demi-permanent dye. Protein filler in copper or copper gold is fine too, but this will be less exact and may show warmth into the light brown colour after you finish dyeing. It'd be a better option if you're happier with a warmer result.

After you fill it, I'd then recommend applying a dark blonde permanent dye for the next step, or a mix of dark blonde and light brown. You'd do this because lightened hair is often porous and you're wanting a really light brown result. This will ensure it won't end up too dark, which may happen if you use a light brown dye directly because your hair will soak up more colour.

As for the exact shade to use for the final dye, base this on how you want the colour to turn out. For a light golden to neutral brown, use 6N or a mix of 6N and 5N. For a neutral to cool light brown, use a mix of 6N and 6A. For a stronger ash result, use a either 6A by itself, or 6N with a small amount of 5A (about 3 quarters 6N to 1 quarter 5A in the mix). There are plenty of other combinations of shades you can use to get the most precise match for what you want, and I can help you with this more if I know what shade of light brown you would prefer.


Hillary 10 months ago

Hi,

Ive been dying my hair bright red using 20- 30 volume for about a year. Im letting it fade out because I want to dye it a lighter brown/golden brown. My ends are washing out a blondish colour the middle is staying red and I have brown roots. Im going to keep letting it fade out for a while but when im ready how would I achieve the brown colour I want?


Steph G 10 months ago

Hi Maffew

My hair colour was between a 7/03 and an 8/03 and the product used to achieve this was Vitons by Clynol, so it wasn't too dark or light just an in between color.

Then before Christmas a hairdresser coloured my hair with highlights and made a real mess,

The base color was a 6 and the highlight s were orange with a dirty yellow color and as thick as 1 inch when I asked for very fine.

I put up with this and didn't complain.

Now I have around 1cm of grey and a horrible color with a mixture of dirty yellow and orange highlights.

I would like to be a nice warm 7 not dark as some colors in a 7 can be too dark.

I would like to have a nice medium blonde and light blonde as I do not suit dark hair and look too gaunt, but I don't know where to start.

I would be happy with a medium blonde with a few highlights around the face area.

I don't want to be dark but a nice shade of dark blonde.

Please could you help .

Many thanks .

Kind regards to you


Em 10 months ago

In need of advise.

1. I recently bleached my hair light blonde with some white due to my previous highlights, after 3wks my black roots is out and i bleached it but only turned into light orange as it is too hard not to overlap the parts where the bleached overlapped it lifted my already bleached hair lighter turning it to almost platinum. ButI didnt like the light orange roots! Can i rebleached it again? But how can i safely do this without damaging or less overlapping the already bleached hair once again?

2. Now that i know keeping hair this light is not an easy task,id like to know now my options if time comes i get tired of keeping up with my black roots. What should i do with my level 10-11 bleached hair? I dont want to go dark, maybe just a medium ash blonde or a light blonde that does not look white nor orangey. If you can imagine what im trying to describe. Hehe i want my hair still on the light shade but a shade where i can grow out my roots without bleaching it anymore maybe to just lighten it up 3 shades lighter to eventually transition to ombre. Or you can suggest base on my decription of my hair at the moment.

Lastly, Im only familiar with wella products can you pls help list the products i can use for this type of scenario for future reference (when im fed up with my roots) so i can stock it up for emergency. :)

Thank you so much for help! God Bless you!

Em


Eia 9 months ago

Hi, i bleached my hair and applied a purple toner to achieved a not so brassy hair, afer that i dyed my hair with a dark ash blonde and turned it green, what should i put to make it light brown? Can someone help me, thank you in advance.


ano 9 months ago

thanks for the advice


Jeanne 9 months ago

Hi Meffew!!

First of all, I want to applaud you for answering all of these question for sooooo long!!! I noticed it's been 5 weeks since you've answered one, but I'm seriously PRAYING that you will answer this one!!

My 14 year old daughter had her hair bleached 6 ( yes 6) times in one week at the #1 rated salon in our area. She was going from a Demi permanent black to blonde. We showed the stylist a pic of solid blonde hair, but for some unknown reason she took it upon herself to basically balyage her hair. I wasn't aware until after bleaching it to yellow, she started painting in level 7 Demi Redkin color... Not just to give her fake roots back, but down the lengths of her long hair ( especially in the back). Once I noticed she was doing this process, there was little I could do because I did NOT want bleach in her hair again. Long story short, 6 inches cut off and tons of very light ( level 10) highlights, we now have a drastic highlight/lowlight head. I have BABIED it for the last 3 weeks and luckily she still has hair on her head, and it is slowly but surely coming back to life after spending over $400 on product and alternating from protein to masks/ moisturizing treatments its in pretty good Susie. Obviously I am going to wait awhile, but my question is this....we want her hair back to her natural level 6. I have read EVERY comment on here and have not seen this question asked.... First, should I use a neutral protein filler mixed with a little red first ( can't find copper) and then a Demi? Or a Demi over a Demi? Which is more gentle since I already give her protein treatments? Also, when applying, do I do the filler/ Demi over the whole head or just the highlights parts? Will the level 6 blend in with the level 7 put in that really hasn't faded? I don't mind dimension, we just hate the contrast. Please please please answer.... I have searched the Internet 24/7 for weeks now and you ROCK!! You give the best info!!! Thank you in advance!!!


Jeanne 9 months ago

So sorry Maffew... Auto correct for above question :) ( Meffew)


Jeanne 9 months ago

Sorry, me again.... Also, the level 7 looks like a level 4 in her bleached hair, therefore making the highlight contrast horrible looking!! Also, the word "Susie" in the above comment was supposed to be "condition"... Not sure how that happened lol


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 9 months ago Author

Hi Eia,

If you apply a warm brown that is the same level as the ash brown you have used, this will balance out the tone by adding warmth back in. The result will be approximately neutral to slightly warm or cool afterwards.

If you want to keep it on the ashier side, use a copper brown that is 1 level lighter than the ash, apply this, and develop until the green is neutralised and the ash becomes more subtle.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 9 months ago Author

Hi Jeanne,

Filling it and dyeing back to level 6 will definitely decrease the contrast, but the effect will depend on whether there are any areas that are darker than level 6 currently, and there can still be slight differences between the different levels of highlights because of the amount and tone of natural pigment present / artificial pigment from previous colour. In any case, you can get it fairly even and it will be much closer to what she wants, without the extreme contrast.

Ideally, you need a golden copper tone for a level 6 result, because this is the base tone for this level. Red can be used because it too contains copper pigment, but results will be a lot warmer and the red tone can persist into the final colour to lead to more of a strawberry blonde unless a lot of ash tone is used to counteract this. The easiest way to get around this would be to just use a demi-permanent dye as the filler, rather than a protein filler.

If you can find 8GC (Light golden copper blonde) or 8CG (Light copper golden blonde), either of these can be used. The intention behind use of a level 8 shade is to help prevent the colour from becoming too dark. This can happen when hair is porous, which is often the case with a history of extensive bleaching.

The filler you use should be applied all over, rather than just to highlights as this will produce a more even result. For the most even result, you want all sections of hair to dye to close to the same golden orange tone. At this point, it won't darken too much as you're mainly adding in warmth as a foundation. Aim for the tone to be similar across all sections, and the final dye will add depth to get it all to the same level.

Once that's done, you can base the shade selection of the final dye on how the hair has reacted to the filler, as well as the tone your daughter would prefer. A natural tone needs to be used as the majority of the dye because this is needed for it to darken properly, but you can mix varying amounts of ash tone into the natural to lead to an ashier result. The dyes you use should be permanent for best results, but a demi-permanent is fine to avoid additional damage. With a demi-permanent as the final colour, the dye will need to be reapplied every few weeks as it fades. Permanent will still fade, but will last a lot longer.

If the hair has absorbed a lot of the filler due to porosity, or it looks very orange rather than a golden orange, this is where you need to add more ash tone, up to half of the total amount of dye used, to counteract this. If porosity wasn't a problem, or the filler doesn't look too orange, you can use closer to one quarter ash tone. These amounts will give a neutral to slightly cool result in most cases. In the event that it still looks a little too warm after dyeing, you can correct it by using a semi-permanent or demi-permanent ash toner by itself on top of the previous colour and leave until happy with the tone.


Tami 9 months ago

Hello. My natural hair color is a medium brown. I have been professionally having my hair dyed blonde but it kept turning a yelloish sometimes slight orangeish color. About a year ago we started to try and dye it brown. It keeps coming out a brassy copper color. I got tired of my hair not turning brown. So I went to Sally's and a lady told me to use 2 bottles of 8A Clairol color with 2 bottles of 20 volume and 2 packets of red/gold remover packets. It came out less brassy than her color but it is not brown. I am now confused by what you are saying to add to my hair because I just took it out. I just want to have medium brown hair that will cover my now appearing gray patches on the sides of my ears and top of my widows peak. Please help me to understand I don't want to keep walking around with brassy blone hair or turn it green. I thought my natural color was an 8 but this chart sounds like my hair is about a 5.


Jeanne 9 months ago

Thank you so much for your prompt reply Maffew!! My daughters natural hair is a actually a level 7, not a 6, so should I move up to a level 9GC instead? Also, I believe you meant to mention 2 different colors above in your reply but you mentioned the same one back to back ( you said 8GC or 8GC...)

Also, since her highlights are a level 10, the underneath a level 7 Demi ( that looks like a level 4) should I try to use dawn detergent, Prell, lemon, etc to lighten those dark parts beforehand? Also, she has some orange tones in the middle of the underneath middle layer of her hair, so when using the filler, should I make have 2 different mixtures (one with a little ash for the orange parts ) , and then cover the whole head with the desired tone or will that just make it more uneven? Also, will a level 8/9 Demi as mentioned above make her darker hair underneath even darker?

One more question, if I use a 5 vol developer rather than a 10, I will just have to leave it on longer to get the desired result, therefore not really making it more gentle, correct?

Thank you again!!! I wish you lived here... We'd all pay you a fortune to do our hair!!! I have so much faith in your chemistry regarding haircolor!!!


Jeanne 9 months ago

My apologies.. Just figured out one question by re-reading. I guess some brands have 8GC and others have 8CG, but both are the same, so just disregard that part!!


Jeanne 9 months ago

Me again... Ugh. Do you leave the Demi copper filler in over bleached hair or wash it out prior to putting the Demi color on? I've heard both... I specifically heard that if you leave a copper based filler under a neutral grown it will continue to darken because it does not stop oxidizing., Also, if using a copper based Demi filler, should you go one level lighter than the actual Demi level you choose as your color?


jupiter justice profile image

jupiter justice 9 months ago from Los Angeles, CA

Why, why, why would you ever want to do this? It doesn't make any sense once you have reach the upper echelon to step back down the ladder. Great write up nevertheless! It's very informative and highly detailed. Great work!


Adney john 9 months ago

My natural hair color is a medium brown. But i like black color. you can suggest me how hair is black?


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 9 months ago Author

Hi Adney,

You can dye medium brown hair to black without issues. It's only when hair is much lighter than the new colour that it won't turn out as intended.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 9 months ago Author

Hi Jeanne,

Yes, you should drop the level down if that's the case. If her hair isn't overly porous you can still use the level 8 as a filler, as it's more dependent on how well the hair absorbs dye.

The shades in my previous reply are 8GC or 8CG. The letters are changed around because the first letter is the dominant tone and the next letter is secondary, meaning that 8CG has a stronger copper tone than 8GC, but both are usable as the filler and preferable to a shade that is primarily golden or copper alone. With the level 7 however, you won't need the copper anymore because the base tone is gold. 9G or 8G is fine for the filler depending on how porous it is.

If you can get the level 7 sections to fade a little, that will help lead to a more even result, so definitely feel free to try this first. If this doesn't work, that's fine but these sections may remain darker. It likely won't be too noticeable or look bad by any means, but they'll remain as lowlights.

With the orange tones, you can make an ashier mix just for those sections. Those areas may also look slightly darker after dyeing because there is more warmth to be neutralised. When you tone hair, you add an opposing colour and it is the combination of the unwanted colour and opposing colour that forms a neutral tone, so you're really adding more pigment even though it appears to result in the removal of an unwanted tone. The stronger the unwanted tone is, the more pigment needs to be added to correct it. Again, the visible difference shouldn't be too significant in the final result and the natural tone in the mix will go a long way to even it all out.

As for your question about the darkening to the underneath section, this is a possibility, but it shouldn't be too intense in that regard. When a lighter shade is applied to darker hair, the total amount of pigment present is still increasing and there can be some darkening, but there's not really enough to cause a significant change unless the hair is very porous, and this can be adjusted for by dropping the level further down. A strand test can be a good way to gauge porosity if in doubt, by taking a small amount of hair and applying dye.

With the 5 vol developer, it's true that it can take longer to process. A weaker developer means less oxidation, and oxidation is what develops the colour into its intended shade. You will still less damage using it, but the amount of damage occurring from 5 or 10 vol developer is fairly minimal, and the difference between the two strengths isn't overly noticeable. The main reason to use 10 vol rather than 5 vol in a demi-permanent dye is to produce longer lasting results, and potentially help to lift a little underlying pigment for a more vibrant result. 5 vol won't last as long because the dye doesn't oxidise as readily or penetrate as deeply, but this can be beneficial if the hair is very porous and you want to limit absorption, so feel free to use your own judgement here based on the condition of the hair.

Onto your last question, about leaving the filler in when applying the final colour (Unless you meant something else and I've misunderstood), this is fine. It's more typical to leave a protein filler in and apply dye on top of that, but the same technique can be applied to a dye filler, as long as the type of dye being used as the final colour is the same as the filler. Ie, it's okay to apply a demi on top of a demi, but you shouldn't necessarily apply a permanent on top of a demi.

Theoretically, it should still work if you do this, but a permanent dye has slightly different ingredients and you end up adding ammonia and other products into the demi which will cause it to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft and become more 'permanent'. To mix the two will also generally entail mixing colour lines or brands because most brands have separate lines for permanent and demi, and this isn't advisable unless recommended by the brand because you don't know how the two different products will react together.

That's also correct for the level of the filler, which should always be at least 1 level lighter than the target colour. As I've mentioned earlier in this reply and in my last reply, you may need to use a shade that is 2 or even 3 levels lighter than the target colour if the hair is very porous. The aim of filling is to add a base tone back in that is a level lighter than the target colour and will act as a foundation, so if the hair is going to absorb too much pigment and end up as dark as the target level, or even darker, the lighter filler adjusts for this. So, to be more specific, you want the end result to be 1 level lighter than the target, and you may have to adjust the level of the final dye as well if porosity was an issue during this process.


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 9 months ago Author

Hi Tami,

If you think about how dark brown hair turns to red, then orange, and finally to yellow when lightening you can look at this as the foundation of the brown colour being revealed and gradually bleached out. When returning to a darker colour, the reverse process needs to take place to add this foundation back in, and that is what this article describes. The same is even true of blonde hair itself, with darker levels of blonde being gold or even golden orange, and platinum being a pale yellow underneath the shade you see when lightened.

If you're appying brown dye over blonde hair and it's turning coppery, this is an indication that your hair is absorbing a lot of warm tones from the dye. This will usually happen if a warm brown is used, whilst a natural or ash shade of brown on top of much lighter hair will turn greyish or greenish. Basically, whatever tone is most dominant in the brown dye, this is what will become prominent on hair that hasn't been filled before application.

As for the natural level of your hair, does your hair look brown or blonde? Level 5 is the lightest brown, whilst level 6 is the darkest blonde. Being in-between these two levels gives a colour that most refer to as 'bronde', where the hair is not quite blonde, but not quite brown, and this is a possibility. This is a level 5 shade of brown for reference: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/66/58/6a...

Once you know the level, you will be able to plan how to progress to your target colour of medium brown. If the level is 2 or less lighter than medium brown, which is a 4, you'll generally be fine dyeing it with natural medium brown alone, or a mixture of half natural medium brown and ash medium brown if warmth is an issue and you want a cooler result. If it's lighter than that, it's better to fill it before dyeing to ensure it turns out as dark as required and has the necessary base tone present for the tone to turn out correctly. A final dye is used after the filler to reach the desired level and tone once the foundation is in place.


Dixie 9 months ago

I just paid big bucks to get me hair done blonde and I have yellow roots and I am sick of paying people who dont know what they are doing so I have decided to go back to a brown and leave it alone. Question is how can I dye my hair back to brown and cover the yellow roots and come out with a nice warm brown color. I really like the Carmel Brown color and that is what so please advise me!!!! Thank you for your time and help.


ashley 9 months ago

I have had very blonde high lights for the last 2 years so my hair is very porous. Right now my roots until my ears are more of a golden blonde and the further you go down the lighter my hair gets. I want to go to a dark/dirty blonde or possibly a very light brown. I'm not sure what to do, since i have different colors on blonde throughout. My natural hair color is a light brown. I want to get closer to my natural color so i can grow out my hair to allow it to heal.


ashleyjenkins1 9 months ago

My natural hair color is light brown, though for the past 2 years I've had all over blonde highlights. Recently i filled in my blonde highlights and my roots until about my ears came out a golden blonde. It doesn't look bad but i just want a change. I would like to go a dark blonde/dirty blonde or possibly even a very light shade of brown. Since i have a few different shades of blonde im concerned it'll come out patchy or green. What would you recommend? Thanks


Natasha 8 months ago

Hello, I'm planning on dying my level 9 hair to a caramel color. I'm also considering using "Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1" to a Caramel Blonde Dye. What kind of developer should I use a 10 or a 20? Thanks


JazzBlakk 8 months ago

Hello, I'm asking once again with a login name, I"m going from a level 8 to 9 hair color, and I want to go to a caramel/light brown permanent color. What is the best developer for me to use with Caramel? Is it a 10 or 20? Also is it okay for me to use Ion Color Brilliance Absolute Perfection Booster Step 1 along with Step 2 ion conditioning sealer? Lastly, when I choose the caramel from Sally's am I looking for "Caramel Warm" or is Caramel automatically a warm color to use on level 8 to 9 hair? Thanks


Lynette A. 8 months ago

I got my hair bleached blonde at a salon about 3 months ago and now feel like going a few shades darker to a dark blonde/light brown. My hair does have a yellow tone to it right now. What steps should I take in order to get the color I desire? My natural hair color is very dark brown in case that info is needed.


Andrea 8 months ago

I bought natural warm auburn and natural lighter brown but both are permanent is that still OK to use???


Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 8 months ago Author

Hi Andrea,

That's perfectly fine. You just need to make sure that the auburn colour is a lighter level than the final shade. Otherwise the final shade won't cover and it will continue to show red tones after dyeing. The goal is to use the warmth as a foundation and you need the auburn to be at least 1 level lighter, or 2 levels lighter if your hair is very porous.


Caroline 8 months ago

Hi, All your advice sounds amazing...if some what technical for me..but Im really hoping you might be able to help...

In the past year I have gone from dark brown (With Grey) hair to very light Blonde. I didn't enjoy the blonde so asked my hair dresser to put it back to brown. She put some yellow looking stuff on twice then put a semi permanent on twice too. It became a very nice redish brown. This has now faded really badly and although I can tie it up all the time it looks Yuk. I would like to go back to dark brown and have left in my cupboard a box of dark golden chestnut and a box of chocolate brown. (At the moment we cant afford for me to go back to the hair dresser) Which would you recommend I do? or should I purchase an alternative colour? I would be happy to be darker than my natural colour, maybe not black but happy to go pretty dark for a bit...I have about 3 inches of regrown and the rest, which comes to below my shoulders is a sort of light brown yellowish now....Can you please Help! thanks I hope.


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