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The Low-down on Color Correction & how Color Affects Your Hair

While people have been coloring their hair since the beginning of time (no joke- studies have shown evidence that humans have used dye on their hair since the paleolithic period) it is more common now than it has ever been.

A few highlights to add dimension, a few shades darker to make your eyes pop, maybe even a few strands of pink for those rockstar vibes; hair color allows us to enhance our look and express ourselves. And while there are few things like the “just stepped out of the salon” feeling, sometimes our aspirations don’t match our reality.

Sometimes, the color that we’re envisioning does not work with our hair pigment, or perhaps it just looked better altogether in our minds. Either way, correcting color is a process that can take multiple visits to get right. At Tease Hair Boutique, we obviously try to get ahead of any color correction needs by having a deep understanding of how colors interact with certain hair pigments and textures. However, if you’re coming from a salon or, dare we say, a box dye mishap (gasp) we’re more than happy to provide a consultation and a plan to get you to the color of your dreams.

In this article, we’ll get into the details about how color affects your hair and the Tease Hair Boutique approach to color correction.

What does color do to hair?

When you color hair, you’re either removing pigmentation by lightening your hair or adding pigmentation to your natural strands for a darker color. Lightening and darkening hair can have different effects on your hair depending on your specific hair type.


When you lighten your hair, an alkaline agent within the dye opens up the cuticle, exposing the strands’ natural melanin (or color) and dissolving this color using an oxidative agent, therefore lightening the strand. How light your hair becomes is dependent on how long you leave the dye on, and how long the melanin is left to dissolve. While we love a sun kissed look, lightening your hair can compromise the strands and cause damage, which is why we always do so with care.

Depending on your natural color or prior hair treatments, lightening your hair can result in warmer or brassier undertones that may require additional toning.


When it comes to dying hair a darker shade, the process is similar to lightening in terms of lifting up the cuticle and changing the hair’s natural composition, but instead of dissolving melanin you’re adding molecules to the hair’s cortex. The process of darkening hair can actually help to restore hair’s health depending on your treatment history, adding shine and new life to locks. It can also make hair look thicker.

The specific coloring of hair is based on a specific mixture of colors crafted by your Tease Hair Boutique stylist to accomplish your desired color, and a set amount of time. Damaged hair will typically absorb dye quicker due to its already compromised cuticle, so timings need to be very specific to ensure the results are perfect.

Our Approach to Color Correction

Depending on your specific problem, there are multiple approaches to correcting color faux pas.

Bleached and brassy:

When it comes to removing brassy undertones natural to your hair or pulled from former treatments that had warmer hues, your best bet is a toner. Toners help to neutralize the coppers undertones and add a more natural, ashy look to blonde hair. However, overly processed or bleached hair can result in a lot of damage and breakage if not done correctly, and in some instances the hair would not be able to handle toning without breakage.

In this case, your best approach is to go slightly darker which will add needed molecules to the hair cuticle and help bring your hair back to life with added shine.

Removing colors:

If you’ve added blue streaks or need help fixing the box-dye brown that came out black, our Tease Hair Boutique stylists will create a customized plan to help you get to your hair color goals. Typically, our first approach is to lift the color from your hair using a Malibu Treatment, which works to remove pigments and minerals from oxidized hair colors. This may require a couple of visits to assess colors and ensure hair is not overly processed in one go. Then, if the Malibu treatment is not strong enough to remove the color, your stylist can either glaze or highlight hair to help you achieve your hair goals.

Matching root to tip:

If you’ve been coloring your hair for years and have skipped a few salon visits, you’ll have a few inches of regrowth at the root that will need to be balanced and matched to ends. This is not as simple as coating hair in the same color and hoping for the best as your ends have been processed multiple times while your regrowth is untouched. To balance root to tip, your stylist may need to remove some of the color in your ends with a Malibu treatment while highlighting and coloring your roots to help achieve that matching look. When it comes to coloring natural grays, your stylist will likely use double pigment hair coloring as gray hair is more resistant to color, which means your ends may need a Malibu treatment to help match your roots if you’ve consistently dyed your hair.

Things to Consider

Your Hair is Unique

While we love when clients bring in inspiration for their hair goals, we sometimes need to talk about the reality of these goals for your specific hair type. In some cases, your color goals may not be realistic for your specific hair type and texture. If you have very fine hair, going platinum blonde may not be an option as the strands will become overly compromised and often result in breakage and severe damage. Your Tease Hair Boutique stylist will be able to give you an accurate understanding of your hair makeup and what will work for you.

Your Hair has History

There’s nothing like the blank canvas of untouched hair, however this is often an anomaly in the salon as most of our client’s have been coloring their hair for years. This means that the hair at your roots will react differently to color compared to your ends as discussed above, and if you’ve processed your hair a lot there could be irreversible damage to hair.

In most darkening cases, we’re likely able to help you accomplish your hair goals by adding color. However, goals like going from a box red to platinum blonde will require additional conversations, appointments, and sometimes compromise to help you find a look that suits you while preserving the integrity of your hair.

Your Hair Care Routine

Another important consideration when making any major hair changes is maintenance and upkeep as well as service costs. If you’re making drastic changes to your natural color like going from dark brown to blonde or gray to red, you’ll need to visit the salon anywhere from 4-8 weeks for root upkeep, which can be time consuming and costly. Your Tease Hair Boutique stylist can advise on the right treatment plan for your hair goals and lifestyle.

Bottom Line

While we wish we could snap our fingers and give you your hair color goals, it’s not always that simple and often requires multiple visits and an understanding around how different treatments affect your hair makeup. Our approach to color correction will always focus on preserving the integrity of your hair while helping you achieve your hair color goals. As always, before making any drastic decisions make sure to consult your Tease Hair Boutique stylist to learn the pro’s and con’s to what you’re looking to accomplish and the best treatment plan to get you there.

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