Q: I've been colouring my hair dark for years, but I'd like to try going blonde. I'm tried of dyeing it over and over again, only to have it fade and go brassy—no matter who does it or what shampoo I use.
My natural colour is ash blonde and I am very, very fair. Is it possible to match my natural colour? I don't want the blonde to wash me out. — Emily
A: Emily, first of all, you have beautiful, flawless skin.
And you're right. Any light blonde colour will wash your skin out because you are already very pale.
When you dye your hair dark, it goes brassy because you have a lot of highlights underneath and your under-pigment is orange. That's why, if you stay on the lighter side, your colour will be maintained better.
But you should also reconsider what brassy is. What you think is brassy with your current hair colour is actually very pretty for you. I think it's the darkness that's maybe a little bit overwhelming for your skin. But you do suit these warm tones.
Going back to your natural ash blonde is a good idea. A sand would be a great base colour.
Then your highlights should go above the sand to a golden honey. Sand with gold will look amazing with your skin.
Now, to achieve this there will be a transition period. Start by doing quite a bit of highlights, staying in the gold tones. And stop colouring your base. There will be an awkward stage until the next time you get more highlights. You want to get them two to three times over the next few months.
Within three applications, the highlights will start to take over, and you will have less of that browny-reddy colour—it will start to look like lowlights. Eventually, the dark colour will fade out and the highlights will take over.
By the third time, about six months from now, you can introduce the warm sand colour and you'll be in the clear. So, just be patient!
Tony Chaar is one of Canada's top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Tony Chaar Salon at 140 Avenue Road in Toronto. Call 416-920-9965 to book an appointment.