Dear Color Crew is a monthly blog post where we answer hair-related questions–no matter how hairy they may be–from readers like you. Got a question? Email our team of professional colorists at ColorCrew@Madison-Reed.com.
Dear Color Crew,
I have highlights but I would like to go back to my natural color. How do I do this without the color coming out differently on the highlighted hair versus the rest of my hair? Can I even do this at home?
Great question! Highlights are great but sometimes we need a change from the same look. It takes a couple of steps, but going back to your natural color can be done at home. Keep in mind that going back to your natural color might be a shock at first, so take your time going darker.
First off–when you get your hair highlighted, you’re removing natural pigment from the hair by using a bleach or high lift permanent color. This can be damaging to your hair, making it more porous. To go back to your natural color, you need to put back in what has been taken out. It should be a two-step process...
How To Get Your Natural Hair Color Back After Highlights
- Luckily, it's easier than you think. First, apply a gloss, then a permanent color. This will ensure that your highlighted color won’t look too dark or drab.
How to Choose a Gloss To Apply To Highlighted Hair
- If you’re going back to black or dark brown, choose a gloss that has red tones. Color Reviving Gloss in Barolo is a vibrant copper red, and perfect to use before you apply permanent hair color.
- If you’re going back to medium brown to dark blonde, choose a gloss with copper gold tones. Color Reviving Gloss in Cannella has the copper gold that does the job.
- For those that have used bleach for a super blonde look and want to go back to a medium to a light blonde, choose a gloss with gold tones, such as Color Reviving Gloss in Prosecco.
How to Apply Gloss to Highlighted Hair
Color Reviving Gloss is applied on dry hair. Focus on the hair that has been lightened the most and leave on for 20 minutes. Shampoo and dry hair.
How to Choose Permanent Color
If your natural hair color is a black to a light brown, we suggest choosing a color from our Knockout Shades. They are neutral shades that have a lot of pigment and perfect for going darker (and covering grays!). Remember to choose a color that has gold tones, and steer clear of colors that have ash tones.
How to Apply Permanent Color to Highlighted Hair
Apply your color to the roots first and then immediately apply to the lengths and ends. Message well to ensure even coverage. Process for 35 minutes.
Do I Really Need a Gloss Before I Go Back to My Natural Color?
Not necessarily. Highlights that are slightly lighter than your natural color do not need a gloss. In this case, we suggest using one of our shades from our line of Knockouts. These shades range from black to a light brown.
How Do I Apply Knockout Shades Over Highlights?
Apply the Knockout Shades to the roots of the hair, then immediately apply to the lengths and ends, massaging well to ensure an even coverage. Process for 35 minutes. The result will be deep color, with complete coverage of the lightened hair. Because the hair is lightened, the color may fade depending on porosity and the shampoo used.
For best results use Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner to maintain color, and Color Reviving Gloss to refresh color and add shine between applications.