We have often reiterated through our blogs and Instagram posts that bleaching or pre-lightening your hair is just a one-time process, post which you can keep depositing different shades, a fresh new one after your old color has faded. Our semi-permanent dyes fade off in about 10-15 washes, leaving a light tint on your pre-lightened hair. Depositing the same shade on top again will give you renewed vibrancy and shine, but you may choose to try out another shade, too, in case you are looking for a change! But how does one precisely layer a new color on top of another faded hue? The goal here is to get a fresh, unique shade of your choice and not end up with an unwanted hue. Here is where the color wheel comes in. Yes, this simple tool you learned about in primary school can be your best friend when it comes to layering different hues on your hair.

In case your art lessons have become a bit rusty by now, let us refresh your memory on what a color wheel is exactly. This wheel consists of different sectors of colors and demonstrates the relationship between colors. For example, a simple color wheel would have 12 shade sectors, where similar shades such as orange and red are placed side by side, and complementary or contrasting shades such as red and green are positioned directly opposite each other.

Colors that are close on the color wheel create beautiful tones when mixed or layered on top. For example, depositing a yellow dye on faded aqua will result into a vibrant parrot green shade. Meanwhile, shades placed opposite each other, such as orange and blue, are contrasting shades that cancel each other. For instance, you have a yellow-orange base and deposit a violet shade on top of it; the two hues will cancel each other to result in a neutral brown shade. This can feel disappointing unless you are looking to achieve a brown/black shade. This is a mistake many beginners make and can be avoided with the simple knowledge of the color wheel.

Color Wheel can come in handy when you bleach before coloring and end up with unwanted brassy tones. Yellow-orange undertones can result in unwanted hues while deposited cool colors like blue or violet. You can tone this brassiness with purple shampoos available in the market, or mix a little bit of violet dye into your conditioner and apply it on your hair and wash off after 20 mins. Brassy bases do not hinder the application of warmer colors; they, in turn, make them brighter.

When it comes to mixing two shades to make a custom new shade, always keep the color wheel in mind, so you don’t end up with an unwanted brown/black shade. If you’re still confused, feel free to slide in our DMs, and with due time and experience, you too can be a total color alchemist!