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Ask Rona: My Hair Is Fading and At-Home Dyes Aren't Working. Help!

QUESTION: Hi Adrienne & Stephanie! My question is about coloring my red hair to go a little bit darker and brighter. My hair is very light with a lot of blonde, plus some grey at my temples and cowlick- now that I’m getting older. My hair looks “faded” and I have to color my hair at home because of budget restrictions; but, I must say that finding good red colors in the retail world is very hard and frustrating. I have used L’Oreal Paris’ Feria Double Intensity Auburn Red and have also mixed together L’Oreal Excellence 9RB Light Reddish Blonde and L’Oreal Excellence 6R, Light Auburn. My hair is so light that if I put the color on top of the grey and wait 30 minutes before running it through the bottom, it grabs really dark at the top and you can tell it’s lighter on the bottom. If I put it all over my head at one time and leave it for 30 minutes, it really does a number on my hair and always leaves it dry and dull. YES! I condition and get regular trims. My hair is quite long, too. Can you give me some advice? Thank you so much!

ANSWER By: Rona O’Connor:  In general, when coloring red, depending on how much grey you have, it can grab brighter, so the roots could turn out a bit brighter than the ends. When I color redheads, I never put the same color on the roots that I put on the ends because you have completely different textures on long hair from the roots to the mid-lengths verses the ends because the hair on the bottom has been there longer and is typically more porous and will not absorb the same.  I think you’re right: because you would like to be a deeper and brighter redhead, you would need to add more red vs. blonde in a color formulation; but, very honestly, it may be a good idea to go to a professional to get their expert opinion.  They can look at your hair and give you a consultation and if you feel comfortable, have them balance your color out for you. Sometimes it’s best to stretch your investment and put your hair in the hands of someone who will have the right answers.  Some salons will give you a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose. I hope this helps you decide what’s the next step to get your best red!

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