By Kimberly Creekmore | Owner | HairLoveDesignLLC
You needed a quick change and hit the grocery aisles for a new DIY hair color, but it went wrong. Whether it was a major life change – such as a break-up or new job – that prompted your need for a changem or you just needed some instant gratification, the box color did not deliver on your vision. Even though you read the fine print, checked the color comparison against your own hair and trusted that it would take your dark brunette to that desired level of fun blonde, it doesn’t always work.
Sure, you have a basic understanding of how hair color works, can follow application directions and are patient enough to wait 30 minutes for the magic to happen. But the final reveal takes you off guard. Instead of salon beautiful color, you find two inches of your roots are blond and the rest is a very reddish gold. Panic sets in, tears form and you run to Facebook to post a very scary picture of your new hair.
Maybe a deep brunette was what you were after and you can’t relate to the disaster of going blonde from a box? Putting on a pretty chocolate brown has its downfalls too. What box hair color doesn’t take into account is past color services or your natural underlying pigment (the underlying pigment is often that orange-red you see when someone who has dark hair has unsuccessfully gone blond); it also doesn’t tell you what colors you should avoid, or how your hair’s porosity will affect the color.
*Did you know that if you use any ash brown on over processed blond hair, likely you will end up with green hair; porous hair rejects all warm colors. And, warm colors are what give you that beautiful brown.
But, whatever your situation, it is clear that you need a color correction, and if DIY got you into it, it probably isn’t the answer to getting you out of it!
So, what steps can you take to find someone who knows how to fix it, how much money can you expect to pay for the color correction? And, should you dare try and fix it at home?
Not all salons are color experts!
If you are resorting to home hair coloring, maybe you haven’t really found someone you trust with your locks. Not all salons are known for their color expertise, but that doesn’t mean that someone in the salon isn’t. Make sure you do your due diligence and call or stop by the salon. Ask to speak with someone who specializes in color and corrections. Color corrections should be left to someone with extensive color training. Although it may look simple, hair color requires extensive knowledge and training. There are so many components that go into the perfect color and that is not something that can be found in a box or by someone without formal hairdressing education.
Just because stylists are required to attend beauty school doesn’t mean they actually have the knowledge to help. They may even make it worse or cause irreparable damage. See my article on choosing a new stylist to get some great tips on finding a new stylist.
How many visits should I expect to have before my hair is fixed, and will they cut it?
Choosing a color correction stylist and having a consutation is the first step. They will be the one to tell you how long the process will take, and whether or not you may have to cut any damaged ends.
While most at-home color does not end up as worst-case scenario, it almost never turns out how you want it. Most subtle color-gone-wrong can be fixed with a few color processes and a good conditioning treatment. The lighter you try to go, or if you’re using bleach, will raise the chances that you may require more in-depth services, multiple visits, and a shorter cut.
What I don’t recommend is trying to fix at home. If you are already unhappy with the DIY color, chances are that however you go about fixing it will not work, and could make the repair even more costly and damaging.
A few things to consider:
- Box color is developed for the average consumer. It never takes into account your unique texture and thickness of hair, or past color history.
- It will continue to darken as you apply it leaving the roots lighter than the ends.
- It uses a very high volume of developer, and with frequent use it will eat away at the hair, leaving it damaged and brittle.
- It eventually loses its shine and leaves a matte color behind.
- It is almost impossible to remove.
- Color corrections will be expensive if something goes wrong.
How much do color corrections really cost?
Color correction prices range from stylist to stylist, but often you can expect color corrections to be priced by the hour. This allows the stylist to use as much product necessary to achieve the desired result without adding surprise charges at the end. How many hours you will need, and price per hour, will vary depending on variables such as:
- How long your hair is.
- What your desired end result will be.
- How many steps will be needed to send you home with hair you can live with (not all color corrections will take you to your dream in the first visit, but they will get you to a good starting point).
- Processing of each color step can take up to an hour.
- Application of each step it can take 20 minutes to over an hour (depending on hair type and length).
- How many times you will need to come back to the salon to achieve desired result.
- Haircut pricing.
- Deep conditioning or *Olaplex treatments.
Keep in mind that you should have an Olaplex treatment or a deep conditioning treatment to keep your hair in the best possible condition, since it is being processed multiple times. These treatments usually cost about $30 and are absolutely worth it; do not let your stylist skip this part. You will also want to ensure you have, or purchase, a product that will continue the care at home.
*Olaplex is a revolutionary product that will relink the bonds that are broken during a chemical service and strengthen your hair immediately leaving it smooth and silky.
After Color Correction Care:
You should plan on investing in your home hair care whether you have had color correction or not, but especially after processing your hair. Ask your stylist what they recommend and go with those recommendations.
You may need:
- Color safe shampoo and conditioner.
- Protein shampoo and conditioner (will help rebuild the keratin protein in your hair).
- Color infused shampoo and conditioner, usually purple, blue, red, or brown (depending on the color issues).
- A leave-in-treatment
- Thermal protectant.
- A shine serum or spray.
- A take home deep conditioning treatment.
This could get expensive, but will save your hair and future services!
Just remember, you are not alone! The box hair colors are not in the business of building a relationship with you, they are selling you a dream on a budget and we all want that dream! Sometimes it works, but most often it is a disappointment.
Don’t panic, if instant gratification and budget was a factor in your choosing to try it at home, you may have to take a deep breath, understand that your road to repair might be slow and cost a little more, but will totally be worth it in the end. Be patient. Take the right steps, and choose a stylist with the right education. You will know when you find them!
And, if you have not found the person to care for your beautiful tresses, book a complimentary consultation with me, Kim Creekmore of HairLoveDesign. I am in it with you and want to create the most beautiful version of yourself and help you reach your dream hair.
Cowritten by Kim Creekmore and Juliette Riddle