Whether you’ve been a long-time devotee of coloring or you feel like your first major dye job was a major mistake, you may find yourself wanting to recover the hair color with which you were born. Going back to your natural color can make your hair upkeep cheaper and easier, but doing it can be a little tricky. Unless you’re ready to embrace the buzz cut, you can expect to deal with a fairly awkward growing-out period.
With Your Stylist
Ask your stylist to blend lowlights or highlights into your hair that match your roots. If your natural hair is lighter than your current color, you’ll need highlights, or lighter color strands of hair. If your natural color is darker than your current shade, you’ll need lowlights, or darker strands of hair, to match your roots, explains Negin Zand, colorist at the Sally Hershberger at John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles, on the “Allure” magazine website.
Increase your highlights or lowlights every 4 to 6 weeks until your hair is all the same color as your roots. Expect it to take 2 to 3 sessions for most hair and longer for very thick or long hair.
Re-evaluate your cut with your hair stylist as your hair color changes, recommends Zane. Layers of color can give hair movement and body, so you may need to add layers to your cut or shine-boosting products to your hair care regimen for your natural color to look its best.
On Your Own
Choose two semi-permanent hair color kits: one in a warm shade that’s slightly lighter than your natural color and one that exactly matches your roots. Coloring your hair strips the natural mix of reds, blues and yellows in your hair, so you’ll need to restore them if you don’t want your natural color to look flat, explains Brian Bojarski, co-owner of Industry, a salon in Syracuse, New York, on “Cosmopolitan” magazine website.
Apply the warm semi-permanent hair color kit to your hair according to the package instructions. Leave the color in for the recommended amount of time and rinse completely. Let your hair dry naturally.
Apply the semi-permanent hair color that matches your roots after your hair has dried, following the package directions. Rinse it out completely when the recommended time has passed.
Repeat the process if your hair color starts to fade at the bottom as your roots are growing in.