Your Hair Colouring Questions Answered by Anita Cox McMillan

A few weeks ago I asked you what your hair colouring questions were.

Schwarzkopf Professional’s Colour Ambassador, Anita Cox McMillan (below) answered these questions for us!


Anita was the very first British Colourist of the Year and is an experienced professional. Ready for your answers, ladies?

1). Does using anti-dandruff shampoos really fade the colour in dyed hair? Permanent dyed hair?

It can do. If you need to use the anti dandruff shampoo then apply it as directly onto the scalp as possible and without lathering all over the hair just massage into scalp then do a second shampoo with a colour save shampoo used in the normal way. This will help.

2). Ok, about hair, I have sleek dark reddish brown hair, I used to have a lot but I’ve lost some, apparently because Hypothyroidism. Last time I bleach my hair it didn’t went completely white and got really damaged. I’m thinking about dye it in a extreme colour again, like blue maybe, but I don’t want to damage my hair now that it’s falling more than ever. Which is the best way to bleach weakened hair?

Well my advice is don’t. If a medical condition has been diagnosed then just stick to what works. You will need to get the elasticity tested as this will help find out the true damage before you could bleach it.

3). I have a hair dye question – I dye my hair at home, and it seems like unless I’m dying my hair black, I always end up with lighter roots. I have a lot of red in my hair naturally, so I usually end up with bright brassy hair on the top of my head, and then the intended brown everywhere else. What can I do differently to prevent this from happening?

It sounds like you have a build-up of colour on the ends of your hair which is caused by over colouring the ends too many times. Your roots are too brassy because you are using a colour that is too warm. Choose the same depth of colour, but change the tone to a more ashen or natural tone and this will soften some of the warmth. The only way to sort out the ends is to get the ends lightened a bit so that when you colour the roots your desired colour, the ends don’t look too dark.

4). Every time I dye my hair a new colour, the top part of my head (about 2 inches of hair from my roots) doesn’t change! Anything below gets dyed but the top part not so much! It looks super weird cause I have light hair previously and after I dyed it dark, my roots are lighter than the bottom part of my hair.

When you are colouring the roots of your hair make sure it is super clean as this will make sure there is nothing to act as a barrier to it. Apply the colour to dry hair at the roots first and leave to process for at least a third of the full processing time before you take it through to the ends. Remember a colour won’t lighten coloured hair, so you won’t be able to change from dark to blonde easily.

5). What is the correct way to get rid of black hair dye?

The black tint needs to be lifted out with a professional product and then the new colour can be applied. This can be a very easy process but it does depend on how long the hair has had black on it and how many times it has been applied, as sometimes it takes a couple of goes to remove the colour and then some pigment may still remain but you will always get most of it out. Another desired colour will always need to go over it to even out the tone.

6). Are Semi-Permanents truly semi? If not how can we gauge what damage we will do to out hair?

A true semi is true. A lot of demi colours are called semi’s but aren’t. The way to tell is if you have to mix anything together before applying it, then it is not a true semi permanent.

7). How can you find a truly good colourist?

There are lots out there but good quality salons will pride themselves on good colourists. Ask about their qualifications in colour and if they have done any out of salon/product company courses?

8). Do you ever recommend total colour changes (ie. black to blonde, blonde to black?)

Of course change is great. But always protect the condition and quality of the hair.

Many thanks to Anita Cox McMillan for taking the time to answer these questions!

Did you ladies enjoy the first Q&A session on Cosmetic Candy? Would you like to see more features like this?

Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. Heather says

    I know this is completely unrelated to this post, but I got my blog sale package in the mail today–how exciting it was to open everything! Thank you again :)

  2. mayrei says

    My question was number 3. Thanks for answering it, but unfortunately I DO use an ash brown (violet based) and I still get brassy roots. I am beyond hope! lol.