Dear Color Crew is a recurring 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,
Why is my color darker than it was the first time my color was applied? My hair is feeling dull and lifeless but I’m not changing anything! What’s happening to my hair color?
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: You color your hair and love it. So when it’s time to color your hair again, you use the same shade, but it seems darker. Yes, colorists hear this complaint often, and we know just how to fix this problem so your hair color is the exact shade and shine you want, every. single. time.
The main cause of hair color that gets progressively darker over repeated applications is in the application itself. That is, many people make the mistake of coloring their entire head each time they color. Not only do you not need to do this, you don’t want to do this, either. The mid-lengths and ends of your hair are typically more porous than your roots and new growth, particularly if they have been previously colored. This is why the mid-lengths and ends tend to soak up the color faster and deeper than the hair at the roots. Over time, this leads to hair color that is darker than you may want, and possibly dull.
The good news is that the solution is simple. You should only color your entire head if coloring for the first time, changing your hair color, or every few months. That’s right—only color your roots and new growth with permanent color. If using Madison Reed Radiant Cream Color, refer to the “touch up application” in the instructions provided in your color kit. This method starts with applying to the roots first, and letting that process. If the previously colored sections throughout the lengths and ends need to be refreshed, you can apply the color on those sections for the last 5 minutes of the total processing time. Want to see what I mean? We made a helpful video tutorial to show just what we mean.
If you need to touch up your roots but also want to refresh your color and add vibrancy and shine, we recommend what we like to call “the perfect pair”—that’s using permanent color and a gloss together. Simply touch up your roots with your permanent color and use a gloss on your mid-lengths and ends. This is actually what most colorists do in salons when you get your color done. Want to see how? It’s easy. Here’s yet another video tutorial to show you how it’s done.
If your hair color is already too dark, too dull, too too anything, you can always use a hair color primer. That’s right—primers aren’t just for makeup! Prime for Perfection® penetrates the hair cuticle to remove excess color build up, giving you a fresh slate for your color.
With these simple adjustments to application and adding a few salon-secret products to your coloring regimen, we are confident you will love your hair color the first time you color, and all the way to 1000th time you color!