I went blonde for summer, but now want to get my hair back to my natural colour, which is light brown. Is this possible to DIY? I can’t afford hundreds at the salon… – Carlie
Carlie, of course you can DIY! Just do what I did when I was 19 and had been blonde my whole life, and buy an at-home dye that said ‘golden blonde’ because I thought a bit less ‘white’ would be good in my hair, and then end up with hair the colour of a soggy cigarette butt. Cute! Of course, I made haste to the closest hairdresser and tearily asked for it “to be fixed.” She used a rich brown semi and, enchanted with my new dark, shiny locks, I remained various shades of brunette for a decade. The end.
Now, while that was an especially exhilarating anecdote, it isn’t actually that far from the actual answer I am about to give you, Carlie. Because what I didn’t realise at the time of dyeing (ahhhh, the letter ‘e’ makes all the difference) is that you DO need to fill blonde hair with a “golden” shade, (which means it’s anchored in red tones – the exact tones that are stripped from your mop when you bleach it blonde), before you even think about getting it brown.
I do recommend a salon for this if it is at all feasible, because they are great at these big changes, and will do things to ensure your hair isn’t trashed in the process, and doesn’t fade after one wash, but if not, buy a semi-permanent dye in a warm golden brown shade.
Look for words like golden and chocolate, which are red-based, like Garnier HerbaShine in Dark Golden Brown, or Tints of Nature organic semipermanent hair dye in copper brown. (This is precisely why whenever you ask for a brown semi at the salon, your hair fades to red. Ask for a cool, ashy brown instead and for the love of washbasins avoid ALL talk of warm and chocolate.)
After you’ve done this semi, and dried your hair thoroughly, apply a second semi that most accurately matches your natural colour, or if you’re anything like me, your roots, which will be brazenly perched atop your scalp. Don’t be scared to go for a cool or ashy tone if that’s what you eventually want to achieve all over. Maybe L’Oreal Casting Creme Gloss in Light Brown or Iced Mocha? (Remember that colours may take darker than the box, because you have all that hungry blonde hair under there, desperate for a slurp of pigment.)