Hello once again. I wish I could say that I was more scientific about this . . . but I’ll try my best. What is unscientific about some of what I share below is that I expected to post sooner and didn’t take notes, so I’ve forgotten some details. It’s been some time, the reason being that I just really damaged my hair with what I did after my last post. The first photo is from my previous post, followed by photos from what came next; you can see the difference in the shine and then the lack thereof! I had bleached my hair, then dyed it Frosty Ash 12A/1210 as I had planned. I believe I put toner in it too, after it was too yellowish–but then it was too grey with the remaining orange tones. Talk about puky!
I remember being quite upset with the result, as my hair was super dry and frizzy, besides looking really puky. It looked worse than the photos, and I even went and bought some different hair dye at Target, thinking I’d dye it again soon to even the colors out. But . . . I waited. I didn’t really want to dye my hair again, only to make it a yellowish-brown color, and have to resort to bleach again later.
While I waited I used some products that I can share about. I bought some Manic Panic Virgin Snow, which is a natural “semi-permanent white toner.” I didn’t follow the directions, purposefully, since the stuff is expensive and I didn’t think it was necessary for what I wanted to do. I didn’t think it would eliminate the orange even if I used a whole tub of it full strength, anyway. What I did was put about a tablespoon of it together with about a tablespoon of basic white conditioner. I mixed it up well, massaged it all into my hair, and let it sit for 30 minutes. It indeed made my hair lighter (the orange too)–even my son noticed. So I was happy about that.
I also had purchased, for the sake of comparing brands, L’Oreal EverPure Blonde Brass Banisher Shampoo, along with L’Oreal EverSleek Reparative Smoothing Conditioner. I guess these are OK, but I think the cheaper Jhirmack Silver Plus shampoo works just as well. The conditioner didn’t seem worth the extra price, either. Because the Dessange California Blonde CC (Brass Color Correcting Creme) had gotten such rave reviews, I’ve used that as well. It seems to work pretty well, but I’d rather go with doing the Manic Panic with conditioner treatment once every two weeks along with using the Jhirmack and a good conditioner inbetween. I’ve been using Aveeno leave-in treatment, which is getting low, so I purchased ion youth restore solutions leave-in conditioner to try next.
Back to my hair color issues. I’m glad I waited. As my roots grew out, I was really surprised, as was everyone else, at how much dark hair I still had. When my hair was dyed nearly black, the white hair really stood out – or course – and the light hair I have now makes the blackish hair stand out. So, while getting my hair a grey-white was a good plan, it seems now that that would be too light. But how does one get a darkish grey color, one that’s sort-of inbetween white and black? I wanted that, but I don’t think I can attain it, not perfectly, anyway.
So, I decided to go darker than the Frosty Ash (which is basically white), using one of Wella’s blue based colors, instead of one that is violet- or violet-blue-based (as Nordic Blonde is). Wella has an educational booklet online that includes hair color images, but the color samples at Sally’s for the Wella colors look different than the graphic images. Based on the information from the book and checking the in-store color samples, I decided to go with Light Ash Blonde 8A/740.5, with one capful of cooling additive (and using level 10 developer only, due to the condition of my hair). Better to err on the light side rather than the dark.
Ok, so I did as I said I would: used Wella Color Charm Light Ash Blonde 8A/740.5, with one capful of cooling additive, using a level 10 developer. The results are “meh.” My hair is quite dry and damaged, so that’s part of it. But, I am disappointed at how dark it is. I really don’t understand the hair color companies calling that color “light,” especially with “blonde.” In fairness, the hair sample at Sally’s was pretty dark (much darker than the color as printed in Wella’s educational booklet), and I did want something a bit darker to accommodate my darker roots, but I thought it might come out lighter with the 10 developer. That color has a blue base, and I added that small amount of cooling additive (violet base, I believe). The cooling additive I think made a difference, and perhaps was too much? I don’t know. I DO want a greyer look to the hair color.
There is another similar color called “Medium Smokey Ash Blonde” that looks greyish in their booklet. I wonder if I used that (with no additive) with the 10 developer, and for a shorter period of time, if it would be more like what I’m striving for. My experimenting should stop, for my hair’s health sake, but it’s not without its fun side! If I do change it again with the hope that it’ll match my roots better, I’ll make an update.
What I’ve learned is that it’s notoriously hard to lighten hair that is dyed dark, and try to go back to your natural grey after coloring a long time. The best thing probably is to spend a lot at a good hair dresser. To avoid the horror stories I’ve read, just make sure about the person doing the hair makeover for you. In the meantime, you might find this article helpful: Do’s and Don’ts of DIY Hair Coloring. I didn’t know of this article when I started all this, but I wish I did. Thanks for reading!
Other Parts in this Series
Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (I) Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (II) Orange Hair: Misadventures in Going Natural from Dark Brown (III)