FAQ - My Colorist Cannot Make My Hair Ashy Brown


I have dark brown hair & want a light brown ashy colour i have been going to my hairdressers telling them this but every time after colouring my hair with a full head colour i still come away with reddish results all the time. I am always disappointed i have since been back at the same place despite the results, its a place that I like going to & it's also very convenient for me. I have booked yet another appointment & i have explained again about how i am still washing my hair with the silver shampoo as they keep suggesting with me still getting the reddish results & when i booked another appointment they told me that they will use a toner this time. Do you think that will this work or have you any suggestions? Thanks


well your colorist should explain to you that what you want cannot be done without bleaching your hair and depositing the brown color. But that may not turn out perfectly as well.

This is what is happening if they use ash brown color over your naturally dark hair:
The chemicals in the bottle work on natural pigments in your hair, bringing them to certain "level". Then the pigment in the bottle gets deposited into your hair - which "mingles" with the chemically altered pigments that were few minutes natural. Ant that's it. There is nothing else a colorist can do for you, because there is not such powerful ash brown that could do what you want it to do. No scientist developed such color in the bottle and no scientist will ever be able to do it in one step coloring process (= permanent haircolor in one bottle).

Your options:

Single/double process coloring - either color (depending on a color of the hair) or bleach hair to yellow stage, and then apply the ash-y pigment to your tresses. But no colorist knows an exact pigmentation in these bottles, so they do not know how exactly it will turn out if mixed with your hair color bleached to the yellow stage on the first try. The best way it would be do a test - snip a small amount of hair, bleach it and then apply the color from bottle. The bleached hair color level would have to be the perfect "shade base" for the ashy brown that is in the bottle.
If it would come to somewhat desirable shade (you are looking for) then the hardest trick would be with each touch up. Your colorist would have to bleach hair to almost same yellow "level" as previously done - your colorist has to have a good eye for the bleached shades.

Also consider:

  1. bleaching and then coloring is time consuming
  2. it is actually two processes (done in one session) - so therefore more expensive
  3. after "first initial color correction", the bleach would be applied only to regrowth area - so if your hair is not strong these heavy duty chemicals won't be gentle to your hair

Highlighting idea - Probably another solution would be to highlight hair in fine strands to a very light stage and then apply a toner. This light hair mixed with your natural hair color can create an effect of ashy & lighter brown color. However, you have been coloring your hair, so on your color treated hair (you no longer have a natural hair color) it could come out a little different than on natural hair you will grow each month. You really need to employ a colorist who does a really fine highlights and understands pigmentation in the hair.

I hope this helps in making a decision what your next step will be.

Credit: Above image is published on the internet by to me unknown owner, but is the best illustration of the Highlighting idea mentioned above.


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 advise you to have your hair done by a skilled and reputable hairdresser/colorist in your area.

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