Going back to black after hopping from one light hair color to another is an easy choice to make. You're basically putting a hard stop to your hair's suffering from all that bleach, allowing it to grow out healthy again. It definitely helps that dyeing our locks black is easy—there's no need to spend extended hours at a salon. Everything should go smoothly thereafter, except when you finally decide you want to go back to light hair again.
Yup, lightening your hair after dyeing your hair black could mean bad news for your hair. In fact, it's so risky that one Preview girl (hi, Yanna!) had a colorist turn down her request for a dye job after finding out her jet black locks were not natural. To find out more about it, we asked master colorist and L'Oréal Professional Philippines master brand ambassador Rose Velasco of JuRo Salon Exclusif for her professional opinion. Read her take on black dye below!
"Lightening previously blackened hair color to a lighter shade is already a corrective hair color service. The hairdresser has to have the technical know-how, proper training, and enough experience, otherwise it will be hard for him/her to do," explains Rose. Bleaching newly-dyed black hair is complicated, so much so that the colorist says it's crucial for hairdressers to do a strand test before pushing through with the process.
How important is it, exactly? For one, a strand test is the reason why Yanna couldn't dye her black hair a vibrant blue as she originally wanted. She recalls failing the hair test, which involved dipping a strand of hair into a special solution. According to her, it's how her colorists found out that her locks were previously dyed as well. "I dyed it black early April, then went to the salon in August," she shares. That's four whole months, and her hair still wasn't ready to be lightened.
"A hair strand test determines if the client's hair condition can handle the bleaching process and lighten to the targeted color," JuRo Salon's colorist says. "Other [factors] to consider are the client's hair and scalp conditions, hair texture, previous hair color products used, skin tone, time, budget, and maintenance. A proper hair consultation is a must prior to the color service."
All these considered, we then asked Rose: Is it bad to dye our hair black in general?
"Coloring your hair black every time is easy. It is when you decide to color your hair lighter after you have been coloring it black, that is when it is harder," she responds. "You need [help from] a hair color expert so that you do not damage your hair and scalp, [or] get patchy, uneven color, and that you achieve your target hair color."
She then clarifies that not all black dyes are created equal, hence it's not always detrimental to our hair. "If you have no allergies on hair coloring, any hair color product that has peroxide or developer mixture, whether with or without ammonia, is better to use," she continues.
What the colorist does recommend to stay away from, though, are metallic dyes or henna dyes—"[These] contain metallic salts, [which] coat the hairshaft and build up at the surface of the hair, leaving the hair brittle in the long term and conflict with future hair chemical services. If you try to bleach, use other hair color, perm, or straighten the hair, the results are unpredictable and can cause uneven color results and even damage hair."
If you don't need your black hair corrected ASAP anyway, don't attempt to resolve the problem yourself. Consult a trained professional or ask for a second opinion from another hair expert to find the best solution. The JuRo expert explains, "It will be easier to lighten the hair with proper and professional methods, like bleaching, hair color reducer, hair color eraser, or hair color remover."
At the end of the day, Rose agrees that virgin hair remains the least problematic canvas for hair bleach. The lack of artificial colors or color build-up makes the process easier, so the possibility of things going wrong is slim— provided that you get a proper consulation prior, of course! Hence, if you've been thinking about going lighter, do know that waiting for your locks to grow back naturally will be worth it!
Rose Velasco is the master colorist and technical director of Juro Salon Exclusif, which she co-manages with master haircutter Jude Hipolito. For appointments, visit them at Kensington Place #2D, 1st Avenue corner 29th Street Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or contact them at +632-822-5673.