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My Colour Result is Darker Than I Expected. Why?

Aah, the surprise darker colour result.

Why does this happen?

Let’s delve into the dark side.

Hair colour results are affected by several factors:

Hair Porosity

Your hair’s porosity refers to how much moisture it can retain. Some hair textures are naturally more porous, such as very fine or curly hair. Hair which is naturally more porous will over-absorb colour, leading to darker colour outcomes.

The finer your hair is, the more susceptible it can be to damage and over-processed colour results.

You will achieve better, more accurate and ‘true’ colour outcomes if you understand your hair texture and incorporate texture into your colour selection – If you do have porous, very fine or quite curly hair, it can be a good idea to select a colour which is half to one level lighter than your colour goal, to allow for the fact that you tend to see darker colour outcomes.

  • How do you get a colour which is half a level lighter? Blend two colours in a Duo colour blend, eg, a level 6 and a level 7 colour to achieve a colour result which is in between those colour levels.

Porosity Test:

Grab one strand of hair, hold it from the end and run two fingers up it towards your scalp. Feel anything? If you felt any ridges or bumpiness, then you have porous hair.

Porosity Due To Over-Processing:

Hair which has been bleached, repeatedly coloured or exposed to excessive heat can become more porous. These processes create gaps or tears in the cuticle of the hair, which then lets moisture move in and out of the hair, increasing the porosity of the hair.

The lengths and ends of your hair will be more porous than the hair at your roots, as they have been exposed to more environmental factors which contribute to porosity for a longer amount of time. Highly porous hair locks on to moisture in the hair colour and more rapidly absorbs and processes colour, which can result in darker colour outcomes.

Colour Build-up

Colour build-up is seen when permanent colour products have been applied in layers, causing the colour to build-up and resulting in darker and duller colour outcomes. If you notice that your colour results are getting progressively darker and duller, you may benefit from lifting out the older colour in your hair through a bleach wash. 

A bleach wash will lift out older, layered or darker colour pigments in your hair.

Layered or built-up colour can significantly affect colour outcomes. If your colour has a tendancy to get darker over time, then it can be a good idea to do a bleach wash annually to ensure that your base colour level does not have too much depth.

Colour Selection

If you have had issues with darker colour results than expected previously, we suggest that your select a colour which is half to one whole colour level lighter than your colour goal. It is always easier to add depth to your colour by choosing a darker shade when you recolour, and it is always trickier to remove colour.

Your hair is not a clean slate on which you can impose your colour wishes like a blank canvas. It has a history, a texture all of its own. When in doubt, opt for the lighter colour selection to avoid darker colour outcomes. It is easier to add colour when you next recolour than to remove colour.

Talk to our colourists about any colour challenges you have. Tell us about your hair condition and history and we can recommend colours, processes or products which will work best for your hair.

Definitely will be using this colour again. I got some very helpful advice from the colourist/support to help me with my difficult greys, and it worked very well. Really happy with the colour and service!

A. Embleton

Shade was true to its advertised colour. The quality compared to supermarket brands is amazing. The colour actually stays in longer than average brands . The best part of the shade is it’s I ingredients that are free from harmful chemicals

S. Calder

I got so much help from the colourist – she explained how to fix my current colour problems, how to stop getting the same outcomes in future and told me exactly how to colour for the colour results I wanted. I am feeling really confident and I really like the new colour selection which is really working for me, and no more colour banding or build-up for me either (now that I actually know what that is)! Thanks!

Elena L.

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