Late fall is the perfect time to give your locks a hair color hiatus. Weaning off the bottle will help improve the health of your tresses and can save you serious time and money. It's especially important to give your strands a break if you’ve been compromising their integrity with too many lightening sessions this summer. But after months or even years of regularly scheduled color appointments, how do you seamlessly go back to your roots? It is not just a case of stripping away the hair color; you need a game plan, and we have just the one for going back to your natural hair color stress-free.
Make an appointment with your colorist and bring photos. But don't just rely on those of yourself with your natural hair color. Bring variations of different shades so you can both discuss what works best. If you've been enjoying the lighter side for some time, it might come as too much of a shock to go back to dark all at once. Take your time going darker. You may be tired of your summer platinum, but that doesn't mean you’d hate a caramel blonde. Once you're totally dark again, you can't go back to platinum without tons of serious breakage.
Work with the color you have to help you get where you want. If you add some lowlights or shadowing to the top, it sets up the perfect grow-out ombré situation. Darker roots with lighter ends are an easy way to have the best of both worlds—and you can go a long time without any color touch-ups. Discuss a personal grow-out schedule that works best for you.
Make sure your colorist knows your hair color history. The color processes in your hair from even years ago can affect what your colorist prescribes for you right now. In order to properly mix a formula that won't cause additional breakage or a bad interaction, your color history must be disclosed.
Expect some fading. Although most colorists will be able to take you back to brown in one session, you might experience some fading after a few washes. Returning to your natural hair color is a process, and each layer of color you put on tends to help your overall color stay longer, so don't be surprised if you see some lightness peek through at the beginning; sometimes it's nice to have those natural-looking highlights.
After you've completed your initial color treatment, schedule a follow-up gloss about two weeks later to help seal in the shade. In this appointment, your stylist will essentially reapply all the colors that were lifted. For example, if you're down to blonde, you need to add back gold, orange, red and then brown tones — it's like balancing an equation. To get back to your natural hair color requires patience; it might take a few appointments to achieve the desired result.
And don’t forget to stock up on products from the Schwarzkopf essence ULTIME Diamond Color line. Using a shampoo and conditioner made specifically for color-treated hair will keep your strands looking glossy and vibrant on your journey back to au naturel. The process can seem daunting, but once you and your stylist work up the right plan of attack, your locks will be looking lovely from start to finish.