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We’re going to hazard a guess that the number of people Google-searching “what to do when a box dye goes wrong” has gone up recently (while salons have been closed). The answer? A colour correction. Done by a professional, this time. We spoke to Natalie Jibeili, Artistic Director at eco-friendly salon, Lacquered and Stripped, about what goes down at a colour correction appointment.
By Beth Ludolf
What is a colour correction service?
A colour correction helps with three things; when the shade of your hair is either too light or too dark, there are unwanted tones or the colour is patchy. “This could be a small tweak, a drastic change or when a box dye has gone wrong,” Natalie explains, “there are usually a few different steps involved, compared to a normal colour service”.
How long does a colour correction take?
According to Natalie, “it could be anywhere between a few hours and a few months” depending on the desired look, the colour that’s been done in the past and the condition of the hair. “Colour corrections usually take longer than a regular colour service because they require more steps, more development time and more TLC – in other words, if you’re going for a colour correction, bring lunch”.
Going from light to dark
Going darker is easier than going lighter, but it’s not a case of simply putting a dark colour over the top. “Part of the colour correction will likely involve applying a base pigment to the hair before going in with the desired colour,” Natalie explains “this is due to the way colours work together and neutralise each other”. Basically, if you put a dark brown colour over light blonde hair without a pre-pigment, it could go green. No thanks.
Going from dark to light
Chances are, this will involve bleach so your stylist will need to assess how healthy the hair is. “Your stylist will then be able to recommend the treatment – or a treatment plan – that will work best” Natalie explains, “Highlights have a low damage level but take longer to achieve a drastic colour change, balayage and full head colour treatments can be much more damaging”. If the hair is in really bad condition, the plan may involve allowing the colour to fade and having regular protein treatments to strengthen prior to colouring.
Correcting poorly-applied colour
This one’s a bit trickier. Natalie says, “In some cases, bleach can be used but this depends on the condition of the hair, otherwise, your stylist will use techniques to mask the colour” – highlights and lowlights, root drags, balayage. The key here is to be realistic about what is achievable and in what time frame, “I’d rather have a client come back several times but maintain the hair’s integrity than try to push the hair in one sitting and damage it permanently”.
Do you have any expert tips?
“Remember to listen to your stylist – put your trust in them – if getting to the desired colour in one go will damage the hair permanently, your stylist won’t do it,” Natalie explains, “but that’s not to say you won’t get there eventually”. It’s also a good idea to treat the damage that colour corrections – and colouring in general – can cause. “It’s worth adding an in-salon treatment (like Olaplex) and doing weekly at-home treatments to nourish and strengthen”.
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