Do we have any hair color experts on here?

msroseJune 15, 2014

I would love my hair to be this color of blond. Can I achieve this color with an at-home kit and what color would I use? Does it matter what color my hair is to begin with? I think it's mousy blond/brown with some gray mixed in. I've been coloring my hair for so long, I'm not really sure. I see people with blond hair that look yellow and I certainly don't want that. What makes one blond turn out yellow and one more neutral like the one I like? I know she has hi-lites, but I would like the color of the hi-lites all over as a solid color.

I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to go this light, but once again, how do you get this instead of yellow?

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Yes, I think there are a few of us. Usually, in order to get to a lightness without yellow, you have to use a double process. (1. removing natural color then 2. adding the new color you want). That means bleaching your natural color to a lightness that removes the yellow (all hair colors go through certain stages of color to lightness. Lighter hair colors just have to go a few shades to pale yellow or white, darker hair goes through many more including orange and all shades between to pale yellow). Then the second step (of double process), is adding the color you DO want. That 2nd color will cover/hide any pale yellow left in your hair - you don't want it bleached too white or it won't hold the new desired color.

Sometimes you can have heavy highlighting (highlighting does not color every hair on your head) that will make it appear almost all one lighter color. If your natural color is light enough, it can then grow out looking better than if you had lightened every hair on your head (more grow-out/roots may show with overall lightened method- but if your natural color is light, this may be an easy grow-out, too). Gray hair can also turn yellow if not lightened enough, even tho it looks like there is no color to it. The bleach will open the hair shaft so that the new blonde color will "stick" to it.

As your hair grows out, you then just have to have the roots lightened (highlighted or all bleached) and then the formerly lightened hair color refreshed with another application of the 2nd part of the process (the tint/coloration). If you've chosen highlights instead of all over bleaching, then the 2nd step refresh must be done with a bleach free product, so it doesn't alter the hairs that weren't highlighted (they could turn orange or yellow if you use a coloration that has peroxide in it). If you've bleached the whole head, then you can use either a permanent color (with peroxide) or a temporary color (non peroxide).

I would NOT recommend doing either of these at home, but find a talented colorist to help you achieve the look you want.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 3:09PM
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My hair color is achieved by doing highlights and gray cover one time, then just gray cover (in the base color) the next. Every few months I get sparsely distributed low lights which are a bit darker than the base color. I go like clockwork every three weeks. I have a great colorist, thank god!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 5:31PM
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I don't know if I would attempt this at home. Love the second photo. You'd have to look for blondes that are called "champagne" or "beige" vs. anything that sounds like "golden." But, still, this is a very light blonde. My concern, though, is that it might turn out very ashy for you. Then you'r still stuck visiting a salon but for color correction.

If you already have color on it, then, definitely use a professional.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 6:39PM
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Here's what you can do which worked for me, but not as heavy like the picture. I streaked mine but I put in a lot of streaks.

Buy a light blonde boxed hair color. Do some online research for reviews first, before you decide which brand to buy.

Take a thin but noticeable strand of hair close to the side of your face. Color it, rinse and dry. This will give you an idea if you like the color or not. If you like it, do more strands. If you REALLY like it, lol, do all your hair.

If you don't like it, it won't be that noticeable because it will blend in with the rest of your hair.

I have dirty dishwater blonde and it tends to turn orange so I have to leave color on longer.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 7:04PM
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Sorry no advice but I wanted to say I would sacrifice many things before I would give up professional hair treatments. I choose to think of it as stimulating the economy. I pay him so he can pay others and keep that cash flowing around.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 7:44PM
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Posted by hhireno (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 15, 14 at 19:44

Sorry no advice but I wanted to say I would sacrifice many things before I would give up professional hair treatments. I choose to think of it as stimulating the economy. I pay him so he can pay others and keep that cash flowing around.



I would not color my own hair.

The few times I tried it years ago it looked like it was done at home. Most do because the products aren't professional and professionals can get more natural variances through techniques.

The photos don't look like do it yourself results, but you never know!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:26PM
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Wow, I had no idea it could be so complicated. The thought of bleaching my hair completely before adding another color is pretty scary. I would love to find a professional that could give me the look I want, but that's scary too knowing who to trust. Do you do the double process with highlights also?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 10:38PM
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yes, usually, unless your hair is very light. In the olden days we used to frost hair by pulling it through a rubber cap with a crochet hook! Now it's done with foil, bleached and wrapped to process, then the toner (a non peroxide color) is used on all the hair. It will only deposit color on the bleached hair and maybe a bit (very temporarily) on unbleached gray. Sometimes, with the right color hair (very light anyway) you might be able to get it bleached to a nice blond without any toner, but not usually.

If you don't have a colorist, watch for people in your town who have hair like you want and ask them who does theirs. Most people are flattered to be asked. Maybe not ask who bleaches it - some may want to believe they look like a natural blonde :) Never pick your hairdresser by how her own hair looks. If hers looks great, you can assume someone else in the shop is cutting it and coloring it, so find out who does HER hair!

And as they say on GW, it's only color (paint).

This post was edited by olychick on Mon, Jun 16, 14 at 2:12

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:35AM
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Another one here with the same advice: kids, don't try this at home! I think unless you are very young, the second look isn't one you want to go for--that very pale blonde probably is going to end up looking like a super bleach job on most folks, and even my 25 year old niece who wears her hair almost exactly like that, doesn't look all that good.

I get highlights and if you find a good stylist, you should be able to end up with a look like mine--people refer to my hair as blonde but it isn't completely bleached.

Good luck, having your hair done by a professional who knows what s/he is doing is money well spent in my book.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 6:56AM
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My hair looks very much like the first picture. Naturally, my hair is mousy brown with some grey coming in and very thick, but fine.

I used to get highlights at a salon, but I found they always made me blonder than I wanted to be. About 12 years ago I started using the highlighting kits that you wear the cap and pull strands through. I do it about every 2 or 3 months. One time I use the colour for light brown hair and the next time I use the colour for dark brown hair. The hat has many holes for pulling hair through and I only use every second or third one.

Hairdressers always comment positively on my colour and often ask if it is natural.

If your hair is coloured now, I would not try the method I use until you are rid of that colour. As others have suggested, visit a quality salon.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:18AM
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I think you should transition to this look in several steps, see how much your hair lightens after the initial colouring, because it does lighten depending on the frequency of your shampooing, what kind of shampoo you use, etc...

I try not to wash my hair for 72 hours after a colouring, I find that it helps set the color and not wash it off too soon.

When I get too much of an overall blonde effect, I have low lites put in.

so from what you describe with your hair and doing it at home, I think you should go with a gradual lightening, and observe between colourings on how your hair reacts . I would not try to be as blonde as that 2nd picture in one application.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 8:16AM
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I have highlights put into my hair every three months. IMO, for middle-aged to older women, if the highlights are too light and don't have some of the gold tones, it comes off looking like you have gray hair instead of highlights.

My hair is a mousy blond/brown with some gray mixed in, and it is a one-step process to highlight.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 8:27AM
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I cannot imagine paying for colorizing every 3 weeks, as pro coloring is hideously expensive. Just no justification for the expense in my life. But I bet your hair looks amazing!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:12PM
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I go 4-5 weeks. I just had highlights done last month. So, this week it will just be root touchup. I have the highlights done about every 3rd time.

It really depends on how much grey you have, how fast your hair grows, and how far you are going away from your natural color. If you are just coloring greys or warming up your color, you can get by with home hair color. I used box color while I was in grad school but still went for professional cuts.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:04PM
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The first picture is almost exactly my hair color. My natural hair is mousy brown with lots of gray. I have the base color done every seven weeks, and have it cut at the same time. Every third visit I get highlights and low lights. The low lights are key and keep you from getting too pale of a shade of blonde over time.

You cannot achieve this look with any do-it-yourself product. No way. I am another who will pay whatever it costs for good hair color and cut. On the times when I get "the works" it costs over $200, close to $250 with tips. I cringe every time I pay but I truly think it is a worthwhile investment.

Good luck with your choice but don't try doing this yourself.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Though my color isn't exactly like the first pic, it is close. My natural color is mousey brown and I'v been coloring my hair since my teens.

I use box colors, usually L'Oreal, and usually stick to Medium Blonde. I only apply the color to the roots and hairline. There are times I want it a little darker (Fall/Winter) or lighter (Spring/Summer) so i"ll apply a slightly lighter or darker color, leave it on for half the recommended time and then comb it through with a wide tooth comb and let it sit for the remainder of the time. I only do this maybe every 3-4 months.

I have, what I think, is a fabulous hair stylist. He colors DD's hair as well as a friend's and is always complimenting me on my color. I always ask him if he can improve upon it but he tells me to keep doing what I'm doing:. I would happily have him do my color but he is adamant there is no need to.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:19PM
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so, you only color your hair every 3-4 months? or you only change the color then? (confused)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:38PM
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daisychain - Is there a particular brand you like? If you're just highlighting, it doesn't seem like you would cover all of the gray. Does it blend it with the highlights?

dedtired - When you get your base color done, does that mean you have no highlights until your next visit? Do I need to request highlights and low lights or is this how they usually do it?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Violet, I color every couple of weeks but change colors every few months.

msrose, DD's hair is close to first pic and she gets low lights and highlights.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:30PM
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I think it's nice n easy frost and tip. No it doesn't cover the grey, just blends it in.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 11:09PM
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That first pic has highlights and/or lowlights. You're not going to accomplish that look by just coloring your hair. I do color my own hair because it is dark and I have some gray. The professionals I have had try to color it end up giving me shoe polish black hair. My hair really "grabs" color. HOWEVER, I would never try to do a bleaching technique (highlights, etc.) myself. Self bleaching can really end up a disaster. Using a temp rinse to cover/blend gray is one thing. When I had my hair highlighted, my stylist did touch-ups every 3-4 months, it really wasn't that often. You don't want the look of all the highlights growing out at once.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:01AM
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I was naturally a medium brown color when I was younger, but when I was in my thirties to blend the silver I was getting and quite a bit of it I had it highlighted. I had my hair pulled through a cap and then bleached and then a platinum blonde color added, which really blended well with my silver, I never liked the yellow blondes for myself. It was beautiful for a month or so but always got brassy. I tried using the purple shampoos but didnt like them. Finally I gave up it up altogether. I worked with a girl at that time and she wanted the opposite, the yellow blonde but her hair actually turned a grayish blonde after a month or so. You never know what you will get unless you try.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:38AM
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My hair looks like what you want and I used to be a brunette. Now my hair is pretty white on top and salt & pepper on sides and back. I use L'oreal lightest ash blonde and I have no yellow. The white turns out blonde and the S&P parts look darker. I get tons of complements. If you use an ash color you shouldn't get yellow.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:09PM
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I would stay away from trying to achieve this yourself. It matters what color your hair is as well as the texture, tenacity, and porosity. Toners are sometimes used (separate process) to correct the finished color. Brassy hair can be corrected by applying a blue, violet, etc. toner. Hair color has levels that range from dark to light and youâÂÂre removing levels of melanin (the pigments in your hair) as you go. All professional coloring systems have their own set of âÂÂrulesâ for formulating their color line to get the desired results you need. All come with swatches and thereâÂÂs a process of figuring out what needs to be done. Ordering professional products online (tubes of color and developer) without having the rest of the information is about as much of a guess as buying box color, IMO. Also, depending on if bleach is used, if the person is slow or doing a lot of foils, etc. (I know you didnâÂÂt mention foils) the product should actually be mixed in different batches (with different formulations) for sections so that the bleach processes evenly and is finished at the same time.

On the plus side it wonâÂÂt take as long to achieve and should cost less than if you had really dark hair!

This post was edited by sheesharee on Fri, Jun 20, 14 at 3:29

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:26AM
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