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COLOURING HAIR - all you need to know about colouring your hair

Colouring hair is one of my favourite aspects of hairdressing as it is very involved, and I love the results. There is a huge amount of science behind hair colouring and this is why you should leave it to us hairstylists!

Whether you are darkening, lifting or toning your hair, you really need to make sure it is the right colour and strength for your hair.


Firstly, if you are looking to darken or tone your hair and not needing to cover grey hairs, then it is totally unnecessary to use a permanent colour. Most people are unaware that a demi-permanent hair colour is not going to wash straight out of your hair as it still changes the molecules within the hair.

Demi-permanent colours are more acidic than permanent colours, meaning they are less damaging to the hair and they add shine. I even use demi-permanent colour over some grey roots, as if they are sparse, they will cover.

Demi-permanent colours are also great for breaking up blonde/highlighted hair and I always use them to create an ombre/balayage, as they give a soft blend and are easier to lift out when foiling over them again.

Unfortunately, white hairs have lost pigment and are more coarse in texture, so in a lot of cases need a permanent colour to cover them. If the colour is selected and applied correctly, this is not a problem.

So please, have more faith in demi-permanent hair colours, and if you already leave your colour in the hands of your hair stylist, you probably have this type of colour anyway!


Many of you are not familiar with what a toner is or how. It works, so let’s clear that up!

A toner is a demi-permanent colour which is placed over another colour (the previous colour can be natural or artificial). The idea is to change the tone of the current colour without making any changes to its depth. The most common use of a toner is to neutralise any unwanted warm tones created by lifting hair, but that’s not to say you cannot tone the hair warmer or to add a brighter, crazier colour.

Toners are usually applied to wet hair, and therefore the strength of the colour decreases, meaning it will wash out gradually in between services. The reason we as hairstylists like this to happen is because if the toner was still fully present on the hair by the next service, this may alter the outcome when applying the lifting agent.

Lightening hair

There is no way of lightening artificially coloured hair without the use of bleach. The short way of saying it is ‘tint doesn’t lift tint’.

It is, however, possible to lighten virgin hair using a tint, but this way of lifting is limited.

Bleach works by stripping the pigment in hair, and the process can be an absolute mind field. This is why I STRONGLY recommend that you do not attempt this on yourself at home. Bleaching needs to be carefully monitored and mustn’t be overlapped, which is very difficult if doing yourself. Highlights are in fact, my favourite look to create, as when they are done properly, they are just beautiful.

Preventing chemical damage

Any chemical process will cause damage and stress on your hair, but there are measures you can take to protect your hair whilst achieving a beautiful colour. This begins with your shampoo and conditioner and the products you use on your hair, but it can also be achieved by carefully selecting the colours to apply to your hair. I also offer a conditioning service which works with your colour to strengthen bonds within the hair and prevents colour from damaging our hair (I will talk about this in a few weeks time).

For more details on how to choose the right colour for you, how to protect your hair against colour damage or to book in a colour consultation, email me on

Find more images of my work via my website

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