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FAQ: Hair Chemically Stripped - What To Expect

Question:
My hair is colored, but I am planning to strip my hair with bleach and color it different color. Is it OK to do so? What should I expect to happen?

Answer:
Your description is not detailed enough to answer, so there are more variables than if you would describe the color you currently have, and what is your target color. Lets look at it if your hair is colored dark, then medium and finally if you are coloring your hair to a light shade.

  1. Dark hair - if you colored your hair black, dark brown or medium dark brown and if you want to strip your hair to medium brown, your hair may strip to different levels of red/orange-y shade. If you would like to color your hair to medium NON red/orange-y shade, you probably will have hard time toning it down.
    If you would like to strip your hair to a light shade, you may end up with yellow blond. Which you would need to tone down, but you may have a hard time with that task as well.
  2. Medium brown hair - if you will try to strip it to light color, you will end up with yellow shade (as in 1.), but it may be slightly lighter. Again it is hard to tone down a strong yellow pigment.
  3. Light brown/dark blond hair is probably easiest to strip, but again it really depends what kind of shade you were coloring your hair with previously. You may end up with yellow to pale yellow shade. Toning your hair would be easiest. 
Now another question is what color so you want to color your hair after you strip it? Is it "normal" color (browns or blonds) or some "wild" color (purple, blue, green)? Each color will intermingle with the pigmentation in your hair. A light vibrant color on deep red/orange-y shade would not show as well as on pale yellow/white shade. Also the vibrant colors (as in Manic Panic coloring) may mix with the deeper reds/oranges/yellows and create a secondary shade (ie. strong yellow in your hair covered with blue pigment may create blue/green shade.

For any shade (including strong vibrant colors), it would be the best to strip hair to pale yellow and then color your hair to the desired shade. Prepare yourself for a "dry" hair after you are finished with stripping it. You will need hair treatments to make your hair strong again. Be careful not to over-process your hair. It would be the best to put your hair into hands of a very skilled colorist, since this process involves strong chemicals and a very good pigmentation knowledge.

Products you can remove your color with:

  • color remover(ie. Effasol)
  • on scalp bleach if foil is not used (7th Stage by Clairol or Super Blue by L'Oreal)
  • if you want to remove color as in highlights, then off scalp bleach can be used (ie. Quick Blue by L'Oreal or BW2 by Clairol)


Note:

This post should be taken as a first step for a discussion with your hairdresser and/or colorist about your ideas, desires or problems with your hair. Under no circumstances, you should act upon this post ONLY. I strongly advice you to have your hair done by a skilled and reputable hairdresser/colorist in your area.