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Hair Disasters: Bad Hair Color

Updated on September 27, 2015

We've all seen what the wrong hair color can do to a person. Not only can it make the hair look unnatural, but it can also make a person's face look washed out, ruddy or even ashen.

Sometimes bad hair color results when a person looking to express her individuality goes overboard with a hue that simply isn't found in nature. At other times, people simply choose a color that doesn't work for their skin tone or that doesn't compliment their natural hair color. Other times, of course, the color just doesn't look the same on your head as it did on the box.

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Choosing the Right Hair Color

To avoid a bad hair color, you'll need to consider a few things before selecting a hair color. First of all, you need to decide how long you want your color to last. Hair coloring products are available in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary versions:

  • Permanent: Permanent hair coloring permanently colors your hair and will require root touch-ups.
  • Semi-Permanent: Semi-permanent hair color will generally last for a month or two. Most semi-permanent hair dyes last for about 28 shampoo washes before fading away.
  • Temporary: Temporary hair color lasts for only a few hair washes.

After you've decided how long you want your color to last, you'll want to take into account the following:

  • your eye color
  • your natural hair color
  • your skin tone.

Try to find a color that will complement all three elements.

In addition, you'll want to consider whether you are trying to cover gray, add highlights or lowlights or dramatically change your appearance.

How to Fix Bad Hair Color: At the Salon

If, despite your best efforts, you end up with a bad hair color, there are a few steps you can take to correct the problem.

If your botched hair color occurred at a salon, contact the salon immediately and report your problem. Most professional stylists agree that you have a 48- to 72-hour window to correct a color problem, so acting quickly is essential.

If you don't trust that the stylist who did your color can repair the problem, contact a color correction expert. Either ask the original salon to pay for the color correction, or ask for a refund.

It is important to not try to fix your color at home if your hair was dyed at a salon. Also, you should be prepared to make several trips to the salon before your hair will return to normal.

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How to Correct Bad Hair Color at Home

If you dyed your hair at home and experienced disastrous results, consider going to a color correction expert for help, especially if you used a permanent hair dye. Remember, however, that you have only 48 to 72 hours to have the problem fixed, so contact someone quickly and explain your problem.

If you can't afford or can't locate a color expert, contact the company that made the hair dye. Often, you will find a toll-free number for a consumer hotline printed on the box or on the instruction pamphlet.

If you used a semi-permanent dye or a temporary dye, shampoo your hair several times with a clarifying or dandruff shampoo. These will help strip the color out of your hair

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