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ash turned my blonde hair gray

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Category: Hair Talk
Forum Name: Hair Color
Forum Description: The tricks and tribulations of changing your hair color
Printed Date: June 24 2018 at 7:26am

Topic: ash turned my blonde hair gray
Posted By: austinelizabeth
Subject: ash turned my blonde hair gray
Date Posted: June 23 2005 at 11:20pm

This is LONG, so thanks for reading :-)

My hair is naturally a medium-light (getting more medium than light as time goes by) ash brown. It was quite blonde until I was about 16 and over time (I'm now 34) it has darkened. In the last two or three years it's also gotten more coarse (esp. after I had a baby almost two years ago).

I used to be able to do all-over color (blonde) myself and get fairly reliable results. I would use a neutral blonde and that's what I got. As my hair has changed, I typically get a strawberry blonde color (i.e. it pulls red). Pretty, but not necessarily what I want.

I had not colored my hair for some time when I had a woman do it for me about six weeks ago. She did an all-over color and sure enough, it pulled red. She assured me that when she did my highlights, it wouldn't show (which is silly, since highlights weave around and would of course leave a lot of the underlying, but whatever). She ended up using too many foils and didn't tone it well, so the color was super golden yellow (with reddish underneath. Ick). My hair did not feel fried, and it behaved well.

But I HATED the color, so I went to an expensive salon (Aveda) to repair it. The woman did get out quite a bit of the yellow, and all of the red, but she insisted on adding lowlights, which I told her would look bad in contrast to the very light hair I ended up with. Sure enough, the lowlights were too low and made my hair look a bit frosted. Still too golden yellow for my taste, too. But it was a good job and so I lived with it. Again, my hair texture felt good and not too dry or fried and it has stayed in nice condition.

SO ... and we're getting to the end, I promise ... I let it go for about six weeks. My darker roots were growing in, and as is common, my hair was turning brassier.

I decided that I would take my chances and dye it myself, this time. I called L'oreal and explained the whole story. I was told that if I wanted to get back to an overall medium blonde, I should use a medium golden blonde times 1.5 (two boxes -- one as normal, plus half the color solution from the second). I balked because I don't want golden blonde hair, but the woman said, "Would you rather have discolored gray? I know you want ash, but an ash dye will turn your hair gray." I almost followed her advice. But when I went to Sally Beauty, they said she was wrong. And my (non pro) intuition said she was wrong, I mean hey, my hair was yellow, so I wanted to add ash.

Well, she was right. So now I have strawberry medium blonde roots, and otherwise grayish-tinted medium tone hair. I wouldn't call it blonde, I wouldn't call it brown. It's the color of a heather gray t-shirt, but not so gray you'd think I was an older woman. Anyway, it sucks. It's not wear-a-hat bad, but it is definitely not pretty. It looks super drab.

I really can't afford and don't trust professionals these days (the last round cost me $300, between the two women). I'd rather take my chances.

Would you:

Put a golden toner in? Is this what "deposit-only" is, and if so, what brand? OR
Use a red-toned shampoo (what brand?)? OR
Do you have other advice?

Please just don't say "see a professional." I know, but I'm in denial.

Thank you so much for reading this whole story and for your time and advice.

Posted By: Susan W
Date Posted: June 24 2005 at 6:54am
I'm not a pro either, I just wanted to say sorry to hear about it!  If you go for a color depositing shampoo, it should stick pretty well to your hair since its been processed a lot (but you will have to use it many times and not condition after it to get a good pigment buildup...and I'm talking about the ones that look like paint in the bottle, not the ones that are translucent in the bottle and are "color enhancing" - those won't do anything for this situation).  They may make some color depositing conditioners these days too - they didn't have that last time I was doing this, and that would be better than not conditioning your hair since its quite processed.  A red color depositer can turn your hair very red, if you prefer ash, you may not like it, but you will have to decide.  You can try a brown color depositer, you may have to mix it with red to get a natural brown color over the gray - you would have to try it and see (red mixing may give it red undertones though so you still may not like it if you don't like red).

Shampoos do take a lot of effort, and may not be worth the trouble.  One thing it can do is take up some time though, to give you a chance to see if any of the grayness is going to wash out.

I don't want to tell you what to do to dye it though, since your roots are golden and your hair is ash gray, you may get a mix of results on your head.  If it were me I'd just decide to go reddish brown and use a red shade, then use a green based ash brown over it (to get complete coverage of the white hair)...but again that'd leave you with reddish brown hair which you probably don't want (since you've hated everything golden it may not flatter you - you seem to prefer ash on you). It also may be two different colors on roots and ends, and may wind up with your lowlights much darker.  So, I didn't just say "go see a pro", but it really would be easier! 

Maybe you should try interviewing your hairdresser before you sit in the chair.  A lot of people who want to keep very long hair do that to make sure they aren't going to get their hair chopped off by someone scissorhappy.  Talk to them first about what they can do, and make sure you believe them, and that they know what they're talking about before you sit in the chair.  If you don't think you trust them, or your gut instinct tells you not to go there, you can schedule and appointment for later, think about it, and cancel over the phone if you decide you don't trust them.  There's nothing wrong with talking to a few people before you let them touch your hair!

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