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Colour Matching Home Dyed Mahogany Reds

Generally, more natural colours are matched well to hair extensions however, when it comes to the colour red, this can become more difficult. None more so than when your client has dyed their hair with an at home DIY kit. More natural colours, mainly black, dark brown and platinum blonde are available in a variety of shades and tones on our colour ring, which are all very similar to one another. But the varieties of shades and tones can be endless.

Problems With Home Colouring Kits

DIY hair colouring kits have always been a popular choice throughout the decades, as they are a fantastic way to change up your hairstyle, without the salon price tag. However, as many of you are aware they can cause a few problems. If someone is wanting to change their own natural colour to a different shade or tone (for example light brown to a darker shade of brown), then normally they shouldn’t experience any problems, other than perhaps the shade being darker than they had wanted! It’s when they want a complete colour change that the outcome can be unpredictable! In recent years a popular hair colour choice has been mahogany, with the help of celebrities and the media rocking this as the “in colour”, home colouring kits have seen a huge increase in sales for this gorgeous colour. With the promise of a glorious new all over hair colour as seen on the packaging, many have grabbed the packet and can’t wait to reveal their gorgeous new locks. Sadly, the end result isn’t always what was in mind! It will often end up patchy, uneven, with brighter roots than the tips of the hair. Now when it comes to colour matching hair extensions to this, it can prove a bit of a nightmare. There are however a few solutions to help you with this type of client, helping you to give them the long locks they want. But first let’s look at what the main issues you’ll come across when a client walks through your doors, when they’ve used a DIY colouring kit.

Uneven colour

When a mahogany red haired client walks through the door of your salon you’ll probably be right in assuming that the colour is more likely to have come from a home dye kit than actually being their own hair colour. How will you know? Well, usually the result will often be a very dark mahogany that is vivid at the roots but typically resembles a dark brown colour at the tips. In natural light the hair will appear fairly red on the surface, but up close will be very dark which can be deceiving. More often enough the client will probably explain to you their thoughts and feeling towards their hair colour, and how they want you to either recolour it and/or to match hair extensions to their mahogany red hair.

Restricted Colour Choice

Now this is where the problem for you as a hair stylist begins - the restricted choice of colours available to mahogany clients. Something blonde and brunette clients generally don’t have to experience. There are a range of colours for brunette and blondes to choose from on a standard colour ring, but mahogany red heads normally only have one or two that could work for them, and that’s only if the colours on the ring aren’t too vivid. Such as 530 and 99j - these are classic examples of mahogany hair colours that are available but often too bright. As you can see in the below photo, your client may have taken inspiration for mahogany coloured hair from celebrities, social media and magazines, in the hope they could also achieve this look at home. But what is likely to have happened is that the client’s original colour wasn’t able to facilitate the drastic change. The colour they are left with from their home colouring kit, will most probably be close to 99j on the colour chart, which as you know is the darkest mahogany shade. Even this could be too bright, because the client will most likely have more brown showing through. So what can be done to help your client have the long, luscious mahogany red locks they want, without having to revert back to brown?

Solution #1: See A Hair Colourist

Your client wants hair extensions to match their mahogany red hair, so the first route you could both take is to explain to your client that they would benefit from seeing a professional colourist and take with then a sample of the colour they are looking to achieve. For example, you could provide your client with a sample of 99j so the hair colourist can match it exactly with a colour correction. A potential problem that can occur from this scenario is the constant dying that is required for the upkeep of the mahogany colour to tie in with the colour of the extensions. The client may wish to do this at home, but this will only bring you both back to square one with the problem of trying to match the colours of the dye with the extensions. It is definitely worth mentioning to your client about this, so they can take in the full scenario and you can chat together on what would be the best route to take. A) To dye the natural hair via a professional colourist and have the matching colour extensions applied, or... B) To dye the natural hair, and wait to apply the extensions once the client has reverted back to their natural colour.

Solution #2 Colour match hair extensions at home

Perhaps your client doesn’t wish to colour correct their dyed hair to achieve the mahogany shade required, what else can you do? You could always suggest that you can apply the hair extensions that would colour match their original hair colour before they dyed it, and for the client to then dye their extensions the exact same colour they dyed their hair? To do this you’ll have to find out what colour the hair was before and closely match it to a colour on your colour ring. It is likely the colour will be #1b, #2 or #4. Once the extensions have been fitted the client would then apply the same box colour they used on their own hair, to colour match the extensions. Now, this isn’t often suggested, because it isn’t best practice to do this with hair extensions as it can reduce the quality of the extensions. Although from time to time this can be an accurate and effective way to match the extensions to your clients dyed hair colour. Before offering this route there are a few issues that need to be considered. Firstly and most importantly, your client needs to be fully onboard and understand 100% what is going to happen, especially as they will be having extensions fitted that do not match their dyed hair, initially. The client also needs to be aware that the overall, final result won’t be achieved straight away, and that THEY will need to dye their extensions once they’ve been fitted. We would still advise to add the above onto their consultation form so it is there in writing, for both parties. The client will also need to be made aware, and happy to commit with the upkeep from this. The hair care routine will need to be addressed every six to eight weeks as both natural and added hair will fade over time, and one can fade faster than the other.

Detailed consultation

For a client with this issue, a thorough and detailed consultation will be a key part of the colour matching and fitting process. As your client is wanting a mahogany red and not a blonde or brunette colour, they’ll need to completely understand the whole process and what is involved from them - time and money wise. It’s a high maintenance style that involves the most complex of colours, and if your client has any concerns no matter how small, then perhaps they should discuss about reverting back to a lower maintenance colour such as brown. Your client may even agree that this would be the right decision when wanting to have hair extensions fitted and to embrace the mahogany coloured trend when they don’t have extensions fitted. But if your client is 100% willing to go ahead with having this gorgeous red colour, and to embrace the up keep both financially and timewise, then it will be a beautiful colour that will turn many heads. For more information on colour matching hair extensions we have a range of articles for you to browse, packed full of useful tips, to help in these sorts of tricky situations.