How to Correct Hair with Multiple Colours

Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Tony Chaar, follow the instructions here.

Q: I currently sport an Ombré hairstyle that I got as a summer change/treat. I love it, but want to go back to my regular deep brown hair colour. However, I cannot afford salon prices right now. 

When I initially went to the salon, I had very dark, almost black, semi-permanent hair dye on my hair with about two inches of root growth. The stylist said she would have to match the colour of my roots to hide the growth, and then Ombré the bottom. But the roots developed lighter than normal, so I had three tones: light at the top, dark in the middle and then the Ombré!

To fix it, she applied a dark glaze over the roots to match the dark from the old hair dye, and it ended up looking pretty good. The Ombré at the bottom was not my favourite colour (a honey, orangey colour) but I was told that since my hair is so dark, I would have to return to get it processed again to a lighter blonde. Needless to say, I never returned for further bleaching—I was afraid of the horror stories of exposing your hair to bleach to then watch it fall off.

So now I'm back to the three tones again. I have 3/4-inch root growth, the portion the hairstylist glazed has lightened to a washed-out auburn, and the Ombré is now a brassy honey colour. Help me please! How can I make my hair look somewhat even and more natural, without having to deal with horrible root growth? Thanks so very much! — Yasmin

A: Yasmin, for you to be able to get to a rich, natural brown again, here is what I suggest.

You need to get shades 5.1 and 6.1 from Schwarzkopf.

Mix three quarters 5.1 with one quarter 6.1 and 10 volume peroxide. Make it runny, a bit more than yogurt. 

Then, apply the mixture on the mid-lengths to the ends of your hair—all the areas that are lighter than your natural hair. Leave on for 20 minutes. 

Then, add a couple of drips of water to turn the 10 volume peroxide into a 6 volume peroxide (i.e. dilute it). Put this on the roots for 15 minutes, and that should give you a matched colour all-over.

You need to work very well so that there will be no spots of different colour. 

Repeat this process in about eight weeks, and then it should be perfect.

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.