Everybody goes through phases. One day you’re rocking the natural look and you feel like a drastic colour change. Maybe a crisp blonde or an eye-catching red? But what happens when the tables are turned and you’re looking to cut the colour? We’ve got some tips from our salon experts that might just make you think twice.
For a while there it felt like not a day went past when our the salon wasn’t a sea of full head lightenings, i.e. an all-over ‘bleach’ style colour (our bleach-alternative lightener is 100% ammonia-free). Recently, it feels like things have changed a little. Although we still do plenty of icy whites and cool blondes on a daily basis, we are also inundated with clients who are keen to take things back to natural and want to know the best route. Why the sudden change of heart? Perhaps it’s maintenance, preserving hair condition or maybe bleach blonde isn’t just as en vogue any more.
Opting for a natural look is not as straightforward as you might first think and it doesn’t entail just ditching the dye. What do you do in that in-between stage where you’re looking for an alternative? Well, as you’d expect, your best bet is to seek some professional guidance to help ensure a smooth transition to a healthy head of natural hair.
Here to guide us through this masterclass, we’ve enlisted the help of not one, but two Glasshouse senior stylists; Mia Waldern and Ashleigh Hornell. Whether you’re transforming an all-over colour or a full head of highlights, easing up on the dye is the perfect opportunity for you to salvage your hair’s health.
Let’s go step by step. If you’re growing out a block blonde, we recommend switching to foils as the best way to transition naturally. Whilst plenty of our Glasshouse clientele still opt for an icy blonde, illuminating honey tones and golden brunettes are both a flattering way to break the mould. For warm-toned inspiration that eliminates a high maintenance do, senior stylist Ashleigh recommends the following:
“Natural hair is more multi-tonal. To achieve a sun-kissed look, we would opt for a balayage or highlights to add more dimension. I’d suggest starting by doing a lot of highlights to break up that harsh root line” Ashleigh explains, “Going forward, every time you visit the salon we would start doing less and less foils as a means to incorporate more of your natural colour. The first session of foils will still look quite rooty; however by the second or third round over a series of months, the colour will start to blend nicely. It’s a long process, but it’s better than tinting over the top, as the end result is never as first expected.”
If highlights aren’t for you, and you’d prefer a colour that doesn’t focus so close to the roots, Ashleigh has an alternative: “Balayage gives you the option to incorporate natural regrowth into coloured blonde, keeping any new colour off the roots” she says, “It brings in just enough blonde to break up the regrowth line. Alternatively, you can shadow down the roots darker with a toner to make it blend into the natural, however this fades out wash after wash and is only a short-term solution.”
If your goal is to eventually grow out all colour, it’s worth remembering any new highlights or balayage colour may be bringing in more blonde in the short-term. As this can be a very slow process, adding some “blending techniques” can be worthwhile as a solution to bridge the gap. For this, we sought the expertise of our other senior stylist, Mia.
“No matter how impatient you are, don’t dye your root colour down to a dark blonde” she explains, “This can create a yellow stripe or band on the hair as it begins to grow out. When transitioning from blonde to dark, you can risk achieving an overly flat or khaki tone. In the salon, we will always pre-pigment the hair by applying warm tones such as golds, coppers and reds before going in with our target shades. This will prevent the colour looking too flat and dull.”
Reversing your hair colour back to natural can be a long journey, but it needn’t be a traumatic one. There are still ways to enjoy your in-between colour and care for your hair condition at the same time. By understanding the options you have on offer and developing an in-salon plan, going back to natural can be fun, achievable and no-stress.
Cover image: Pinterest
Words: India Van Spall