We designed oVertone to be a quick, safe, easy-to-use route to the hair color of your dreams… but things don’t always go according to plan. If your strands (or skin, or sink) came out looking less than ideal, use this guide to get back on track!
Correct the unexpected
It’s never any fun when your hair color doesn’t come out looking like the picture-perfect shade you imagined, but we’ve got tips to help you correct your color and get your hair goals back on track.
Color came out too dark or bright?
This one’s an easy fix! Give your hair a quick wash with The Fader Shampoo (or a shampoo with sulfates) and rinse with hot water to bring the intensity of your hair color down a notch. Next time you need to refresh your color, dilute your pigmented oVertone with The Remedy or any other plain white conditioner before applying. If you used anything other than a Pastel shade, choose a hair color intensity that is one shade lighter or less intense when you need to restock! If you used a For Brown Hair shade, grab Extreme; if you used an Extreme shade, grab a Vibrant, and if you used a Vibrant shade, grab a Pastel.
Color came out too light or didn’t show?
It’s possible your hair may need more pigment — try a Vibrant if your Pastel shade didn’t give you the color payoff you wanted, or try an Extreme shade if Vibrant wasn’t bold enough for you.
If you’ve chosen the right intensity for your starting shade, the solution may be in your application technique instead. You’ll get the best color payoff by applying a Coloring Conditioner to dry hair and waiting 10-15 minutes before rinsing. Wet hair is already so saturated with water that not much pigment can get in, and rinsing early won’t give the color as much time to deposit.
Learn more about how to choose the right shade for your hair here.
Color came out patchy?
If you used a sample, upgrade to a full-size conditioner next time around — a single sample doesn’t contain enough product to cover a full head of hair. If you did start off with a full-size Coloring Conditioner and your hair still looks uneven, you may need more product than you think. On your next application, be sure to apply the conditioner evenly and saturate your strands thoroughly. Your best bet will be to section your hair into at least 4 parts (more if your hair is super-thick) and apply conditioner to each section from root to tip, grabbing more color as you go. Need more info on sectioning and saturating your hair? Take a look at our posts here and here.
Some general advice:
When in doubt, go for more pigment over less — it’s always easier to fade or dilute an Extreme or For Brown Hair shade than to add pigment to a Pastel or Vibrant. Results are super dependent on starting hair color, and while we try to show example strands of each shade on a variety of hair colors, we don’t have every single one — your results may not match what you see on the site perfectly. For very slight tweaks to your color, you can go a little cooler or warmer with a Toning Conditioner, or if you’re using a Custom Color Kit with multiple conditioners, you can always play with ratios to achieve a perfect-for-you mix! Finally, always, always, always strand-test new colors before applying all over.
Just your type
Starting hair color is usually the biggest factor in how your color results will come out, but did you know your hair type can play a part too? Naturally gray hair, and unprocessed/virgin hair, can sometimes throw off color results. If you’ve never colored your hair before, or are a silver haired fox, here are some tips for you:
Naturally gray hair
The strand structure of grays varies from person to person, so color results can be totally unpredictable — some people’s strands take color perfectly, some will only hang onto certain pigments, and some (sadly!) won’t pick up color at all. If your grays aren’t coloring as they should, try using The Fader (or another clarifying shampoo) before application — this will rough up your hair’s cuticle a bit and allow it to absorb more pigments. And if you’re ever eyeing a new color, try a sample of it first to do some strand-testing and see how it acts on your individual hair. Learn more about natural grays and oVertone here.
If your hair hasn’t been chemically treated with anything, chances are it’s super healthy — we love that for you, but it may mean your strands have a pretty tightly-closed cuticle and have trouble picking up or hanging onto color. Definitely try washing with The Fader Shampoo before application to open the cuticle without a chemical process, and remember that the more pigment you pack on, the more likely it is to stay put — Extreme and For Brown Hair shades will be your best friend! To get the color to stick even better, put your hair under a shower cap once you’ve applied your Coloring Conditioner, and hit it with a blow dryer for a few minutes. The heat can also help open the cuticle and really get the pigment to soak in. Find out more and see an example here!
The skinny on stains
Our pigmented conditioners start depositing pigment wherever they land — ideally, that’ll be on your hair, but we know accidents happen! Here’s how to keep the color on your head and off your skin and bathroom surfaces.
Cover, cover, cover! Wear gloves to avoid stained hands (we include a pair in every package for your first color application), lay a dark-colored towel like this one over your countertop to catch conditioner drips. If you want to take extra care to keep color off your scalp and face, apply a barrier cream around your hairline, and use a bowl and tint brush to apply your color — the tint brush will let you apply color precisely to your roots without rubbing it into your scalp. Once you’ve applied your color, use a shower cap or clips to keep your hair and the conditioner on it from touching your neck, shoulders, or back. From there, be sure to give the color time to deposit onto your hair — leave Coloring Conditioner in for 10-15 minutes, and Daily Conditioner in for 3-5. Rinsing too early means conditioner with pigment still in it can land on your shower floor and start depositing color there.
Here, speed is the key. The second you see a spot of color where it shouldn’t be, wipe it up ASAP! The longer oVertone sits on your skin or a surface, the more pigment will be able to deposit, but if it doesn’t sit for long, cleanup should be easy. The Fader works great for removing color stains from skin, but if you don’t have any handy, any gentle exfoliating scrub should help! Wash stained garments and bathroom surfaces as soon as you can — be sure to check which stain removers are safe to use. Need more info about staining? Check out this post.
Who ya gonna call?
When in doubt, Client Services can help! Everyone’s individual head of hair is different, and sometimes problems and solutions can be just as unique. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, shoot the CS team a message — they’ll talk to you one-on-one to help you find a fix!