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Thinking of dyeing my hair brown (at home). Looking for advice/tips please.

(11 Posts)
MotorLoo Tue 18-Mar-14 10:33:17

Hi, my hair is naturally very dark brown and I'd like to dye it a lighter shade - a chestnut brown I think. I've had a few bad experiences with salons dyeing my hair in the past so was thinking of doing it myself..

Just wondering if anyone has any advice or tips?

Is there a certain brand that's better? I don't know much about hair dye - can I even lighten my natural colour at home? And if so will bleach be involved? (even though I'm not dyeing it blond wondering whether bleach will be in the dye as I will be going a lighter shade, if that makes sense). And finally, am I likely to be damaging my hair?

Any other advice gratefully received too. Thanks in advance.

laregina Tue 18-Mar-14 11:16:59

H MotorLoo. I trained as a colourist a few years ago so hopefully I can help smile

Firstly has your existing hair had any colour/bleach treatments on it previously? That will have a big effect on what you can do. That's because if your hair has previously been coloured a dark shade, you will not be able to lighten it at all without bleach. If your hair is its natural colour, you can go a couple of shades lighter just with standard hair colour.

Generally it's better to use standard colours (a mix of peroxide and colour) rather than bleach (using a mix of peroxide and bleach) because the bleach will cause damage to your hair and it will need a lot of looking after to keep it from getting in really bad condition - colour is generally the better option unless you have to use bleach (in the case of having coloured your hair before).

So assuming you are going with colour - the important bit is the shade number. The colours are sometimes shown as two numbers, ie 5.2, and the first number is the darkness and the second is the tone, ie mahogany, copper, ash, whatever. Home colours always come out darker than you imagine they will - for example a shade '5' may be called light brown something, but in reality it will be very dark, and too dark for most people.

If you have naturally dark hair it is probably a shade 5 or 6 at the lightest - so to lighten it a bit you need to buy a shade 7 or 8 - it may have a name suggesting that it's 'blonde', but it won't be, and if you go for anything darker (ie a lower number), you won't even notice it on your hair and it definitely won't be lighter.

Hope that helps a bit!

I'm a committed home dyer; use a cream permanent (L'Oreal Excellence) and can never remember whether I should be using colour 7 or 7.3. Like Laregina says, these both come out a mid brown, ignore what the name is called on the packet! But 7 is a plainer brown, 7.3 is a bit more chestnut and is the one that looks better on me. Both colour my naturally dark brown + grey hair completely. It's a doodle to use, just follow the instructions slowly the first couple of times and be careful about splashes. I have a special old towel that doesn't matter if it gets a bit dyed.

MotorLoo Thu 20-Mar-14 22:15:52

Thank you both, your replies are very much appreciated, especially as I would never have thought about looking at the number. I'm going to do it in a couple of weeks time as I need a good cut first so will let you know how I get on.
Thanks again thanks

MotorLoo Thu 20-Mar-14 22:17:25

Oops sorry laregina, meant to also say that it is just my natural colour, all dye has grown out so that's a relief to know that I won't have to use bleach smile

46direct Thu 20-Mar-14 22:24:54

Can I enter with my own questions?
I have grey and brown hair
Want to effectively cover the grey.
I have mid brown (ash?)
What shade should I try?
I have home coloured 2 weeks ago then went abroad and it went a bit ginger. Not too bad. Previously salon colour in December - it showed greys really quickly! Shocked. What brand and colour can anyone suggest?

laregina Mon 24-Mar-14 10:42:35

Hi 46 unfortunately once you start covering grey the regrowth will show through quite quickly, particularly on dark hair because of the contrast - you have to be prepared to live with that or do root-touch ups every few weeks...

If your hair is mid brown you want to go with a 6 or 7 - don't go any darker, and preferably go as light as you dare because then the grey regrowth will be less noticeable. Nice & Easy are pretty good for covering grey and you can get that brand anywhere. Maybe something like a 6N (N stands for natural) or 6G or GN (the G is for gold) if you want to brighten it up a bit. I would steer away from mahogany/red shades because it sounds like your hair fades to show it's red tones quite quickly so you don't want to accentuate any redness in your hair smile

46direct Tue 25-Mar-14 19:38:32

It wasn't the roots that showed but the actual long hair shafts.
Like it faded off them quickly. Thanks for other info. Will look

cerealqueen Tue 25-Mar-14 22:19:00

Laregina those are the most helpful insights on hair colouring I have read on here!! I had no idea about the second number on hair colour indicating tone or the G is for gold on Nice n'Easy!

laregina Wed 26-Mar-14 10:46:29

Ah thank you cerealqueen smile

laregina Wed 26-Mar-14 11:09:46

PS Also meant to say this explains the colour code system really well smile

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