Embracing your natural hair colour again? How colour can help grow out your roots

Expert Advice - Colour

Embracing your natural hair colour again? How colour can help grow out your roots

22 Sep 2016

Image credit: Charmer / Shutterstock.com

Getting back to your natural tone isn’t always the easiest transition after years of colouring your hair. Of course, returning to your natural shade is not as simple as simply leaving colour to grow out, it is a process. Throughout your transition, it’s important to make sure you don’t damage your locks through over processing, keeping a close eye on your hair’s condition. Whatever tone you're looking to restore, there is no reason to look lack lustre during the process. Clever colouring techniques are key to making your hair colour journey as smooth as possible, helping to blend and mask the changes. With that in mind, here is The Chapel’s guide to using colour to return to your roots.

Blonde hair before the pastel transformation
Image credit: Blonde hair before the pastel transformation

Backing away from blonde

Sick of constant root touch ups to keep your blonde looking fresh? Once you've grown out your roots a little longer than you usual, we'd recommend a conversation with a professional hairstylist - most salons will nearly always be complimentary and glad to be of assistance. We would usually recommend adding some low-lights to break up your blend or maybe add a 'root-stretch'; adding more of your natural colour to create an ombre-like look.

An example of beautiful, cherry red hair by Gary Russell
Image credit: An example of beautiful, cherry red hair by Gary Russell

Recovering from red

Red hair colourants are thought to be one of the most challenging tones to get rid of. However, whether you are naturally blonde or brunette, it is achievable. For those wanting to get back to a lighter shade ask your stylist to add highlights and panels of colour with varying shades of blonde. This can help hide regrowth whilst the red fades and grows out, evening out the overall tone and avoiding a ‘patchy’ look. If you are planning to revert back to brunette, choose cool toned brown dyes. This will balance the warmth in the red colourants, helping the hair ease back to a darker tone without brassiness. Ash tones are perfect for those at the final stages of their transition, as these contain green pigments which will work to counter red colourants.

An example of pastel hair by Rebecca Adams and makeup by David Hynes
Image credit: An example of pastel hair by Rebecca Adams and makeup by David Hynes

Painting over pastels

Perhaps the novelty of your experimental candy or pastel shade has worn off? Attempting to dye over the existing the pastel or candy colour can lead to a patchy and green tinged finish, so it’s best to remove as much of the colour as possible. This, however, should be kept in the hands of a professional. You must beware of over-processing your hair, as stripping and recolouring can cause excessive damage if not performed correctly. Visit your trusted stylist and discuss the shade you are trying to work your way back to. From there, they will be able to best advise how to ‘strip’ the hair of the bright colour, and the best tone to use for an even finish.

An example of Ombre from Charmer / Shutterstock.com -
Image credit: An example of Ombre from Charmer / Shutterstock.com -

Overcoming ombre

Completely over ombre? Don’t reach for those scissors just yet. By cleverly using highlights and lowlights you can your blend the base colour with the lighter ends, darkening the tone closer to your natural root colour. This allows a subtle grow out of ombre colour to a more natural even shade. Babylights are great for a low maintenance finish, as they are delicate and subtle with no defining lines of regrowth appearing. Babylights are finely placed through the hair to give a multi dimensional effect, perfect for hiding significant changes as your ombred tips slowly grow out. The great news is babylights can be adapted to suit any hair palette, so it’s worth asking your stylist to find out how you could use them to help get back to your natural shade.

Clever curls

Growing out colour is often easier for those with very curly hair, as twists and waves hide the lines of colour. Adding colour to the tips of your curly ringlets can distract from root regrowth, and help blend into a natural looking ombre, fading from natural base colour through the colour being grown out through to the lighter ends. Soft curls benefit from a freehand colour technique, such as balayage where colour is swept through the hair. Pieces of hair are uniquely painted to create a flattering bespoke layering of colour, which can be tailored to blend with your regrowth.

Work with your hair

The porosity of hair may affect how quickly your colour fades and the condition of hair when coloured. An easy way to check your hair condition is to run a finger from the ends of a strand of hair towards your scalp. If it feels rough and bumpy your hair may be overly porous affecting the process time when colouring. Make sure you keep hair in good condition by regularly using deep conditioning masks and always use heat protection spray when styling. Regular trims will help rid your hair of any damage, perfectly preparing it for any further treatment.

Patience is key when getting back to your natural hair colour. Whether you are growing out your dye using subtle highlights, or it takes three to four visits to your salon to help get you back to your natural tone, always keep the end result in mind. For expert advice on how to restore your natural colour, contact one of our expert stylists for a full consultation.