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Going from semipermanent to permanent

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francesgrimble View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 10 2005 at 1:27am

I'm middle-aged.  I have very fine, mostly straight, rather limp hair, which is about down to the middle of my back.  I have not permed it for something like eight or ten years, I never blow dry it, and it's in good condition.  My natural hair color is medium brown with any natural highlights tending to gold rather than red; but overall, it's just brown.  I still have some hairpieces of synthetic hair, bought before I ever colored my hair, which matched it very well.

When I started having a few strands of gray here and there, I used semipermanent dye (the kind that mostly washes out after about six or eight weeks) in my natural color.  Then when I got more gray I switched to semipermanent color darker than my natural color.  That covered the gray pretty well for about six years.

But now, I have some pretty solid pieces of gray in front, although as far as I can tell a lot of my hair is still mostly brown.  But the semipermanent dye is just not sticking to the solid gray very well.  It doesn't look good.  And I've never liked the really dark brown color anyway.  BTW, it's L'oreal ColorSpa in Espresso.

So, I now want to use permanent color in my natural color. I would prefer to dye my hair at home. My husband is happy to help--he already helps with the semipermanent dye--so reaching the back of my head is no problem.  We already figured out we should practice with parting my hair and combing water through before we try to do that with dye.

I took one of my old hairpieces to the drugstore and hunted around for a hair color that promised 100% gray coverage and looked like it would produce my natural shade. I came up with L'Oreal Excellence Creme in Medium Golden Brown.

But if dyeing hair is anything like dyeing textiles, it's hard to go from darker to lighter.  And although the dark dye washes out enough to look kind of crummy (especially over the gray) in six or eight weeks, I bet it takes a lot longer to wash out 100%.  And I don't want to go around with crummy-looking hair for months.

So:  Do I have to go back to the drugstore and buy a bottle of color remover and use it before the permanent dye?  Or does the permanent dye have a process that removes semipermanent color while the dyeing is going on?

Also:  If I screw up, is it safe to put semipermanent color over the permanent?  Can I use semipermanent color for maintenance?  Or am I locked into permanent color forever?  How permanent is permanent color anyway?

Thanks for any advice,

Fran




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Kuroneko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kuroneko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2005 at 4:41am

Permanent is very permanent.  It might fade somewhat, but it's with you until it grows out.  As far as I know, there's no reason you can't use permanent over semi, or semi over permanent.  Things like henna you won't want to try a chemical dye over, however.

It is harder to go lighter, but so long as you're using a permanent dye, and aren't trying to go more than a couple of shades lighter, it's not a big deal.

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eKatherine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eKatherine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2005 at 5:39am
Yes, you need to remove the color before you go lighter. You can get Colorfix at Sally's. I used a L'Oreal product that I got at Walmart, and I don't recommend it, it lifted my color way too much.


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francesgrimble View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote francesgrimble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2005 at 10:32am
Thanks!  As for the L'Oreal hair color remover, blast. I saw it at the drugstore too . . . can you control how much it lifts by how long you leave it on?

Fran
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francesgrimble View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote francesgrimble Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2005 at 11:21am

I had a brain wave and called the L'Oreal customer service number on the box. They were very helpful and willing to talk a long time.

They told me not to use color remover. They said it's a last resort, for if I have some major problem or a lot of color buildup, and to avoid it if at all possible, because it's really hard on the hair.

They said I do have to get most of the semipermanent dye off.  It fades with 28 shampoos.  They said I need to get all those 28 shampoos in and to wash my hair more often to get the dye out.  They said not to use a shampoo "safe" for color-treated hair, anything else but not that.  I will go look at the shampoo we have to see what it says.  They said once I color my hair with permanent color I _do_ have to use some kind of  shampoo for color-treated hair.  So does every other source I've read, BTW.  They were not pushing any brands.

They also said that not _all_ the semipermanent dye will come off in 28 shampoos.  They said I've been coloring the ends of my hair a long time and the dye just soaks in.  They seem to mostly want to get off chemical residue from the semipermanent dye but think not all the color will come off.  I said, but I'm going to a lighter brown and they said, yes, but I'm still depositing another layer of dye on my hair and the permanent dye might come out too dark. 

So, they suggested that even for my first application I follow the touch-up instructions, do the roots and the really gray area for 35 minutes and the rest of my hair for 10 minutes.  Putting on a new color as a touch-up is the one part of their advice I'm dubious about.

They told me to cover my grayest area first, in applying the dye, so the dye stays on there longer.

They said if I have hair as long as the middle of my bacj, which they consider long, I should always use two boxes of dye, one is not enough.  This is also true for the touch-up, as the touch-up still works the dye all the way through the hair, it’s just not on the main part as long.

They said it is just fine to use a wider comb than the one that came with the applicator bottle, but it has to be one with coarse teeth. The old one I was thinking of dedicating to dyeing has teeth as big as the one they gave me, but I want a new comb as a replacement. They said fine teeth squeeze the dye off too much as you comb and that's not good.

They said medium brown is a very safe color, that you can't go wrong with it. They said that it's when people use dyes with red or purple, or try to "do something really creative," that they get the awful dye jobs.  They told me to color my hair on a weekday during business hours, and if anything goes wrong to call them on the spot and they will give advice.

Fran

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eKatherine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eKatherine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 10 2005 at 3:04pm
I'm not surprised that the folks at l'Oreal told you not to use their product, theirs acts just like bleach. I applied it for much less time than the instructions recommended, and it lifted me to light blond. I'd definitely not recommend their product under any circumstances, but I've heard lots of good things about
Colorfix.


Just looking for a few good hair slaves - is that too much to ask?
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