hair disaster

The internet has opened up an endless platform for people to offer advice, even though many of them should not really be the go-to person on the topic they are writing about. This leads to people acting on bad advice and ending up with a disaster!

We recently met a client who experimented with such advice, experienced a hair disaster as well as a near miss with her health.  Would you believe the recipe for stripping unwanted colour from hair called for carpet cleaner!!

 Here are a few examples of terrible and weird advice we found on the web recently.

Cutting Your Own Hair – some weird but not so wonderful techniques

“I have a question…I saw an article about putting youcutting own hairr head upside down and twisting your hair one way and cutting it and then combing it out and twisting it the other way and cutting off any leftover hair you missed on the first cut to get a long layer look. Anyone hear of this?”.

Um, sure try this if you want your hair to look like an endy mop! That is definitely not the way layers are created. This gives you a really chunky result and an uneven base line, i.e. it is not a technique ever used in the field of hairdressing.  It’s also like asking a surgeon to perform an operation using a bread knife instead of a scalpel.  Your scissors at home are no match for the $500-$1000 scissors that our hairdressers use.  Read more about this topic in our article Never Cut Your Own Hair and on our website at What Makes A Great Haircut.

At Home Colour Correction – when things go wrong bad yellow bleach

“I tried to dye my hair platinum blonde yesterday with the ‘Schwarzkopf live colour’ but its gone yellow!!! What can I do? Someone suggested a brown dye with a red tone to make sure the hair doesn’t go green and someone else suggested another blonde dye. Is there a set time that I should wait to dye it with using a bleaching agent on it?? Please help!!”.

How about consulting a professional when you don’t achieve the result you desire? First of all home hair colour is quite unpredictable, your hair will never turn out exactly how it looks on the packet, there are too many variables involved such as what colour level your hair is to start with, if your hair has any build up on it that will prevent the even absorption of colour, how porous your hair is naturally, whether or not you need to just do your roots, and need to eliminate the chance of getting a band of colour from roots to ends. These are all considerations your hairdresser will address in your consultation and through your colour service, and they have the years of training and experience to get you to the result you desire. And these variables are something you cannot really control by yourself with a packet hair colour.

do it yourself colourOnce things do go wrong from an at home colour, don’t compound the mess by doing what you think is the right thing, consult a professional, otherwise you may not be able to get to your desired tone for a longer time, or you may in fact have to grow out and live with the colour mishap!

Trying to go blonde, and a platinum blonde at that, from an at home packet colour is so risky! It is a complex colour to achieve, may not be right or maintainable for your hair type, and requires the right toning at the end of the bleaching process. All best left to a professional if you want the colour to look great!  You’d be surprised at how easy it is to spot a home colour job! Check out Lily Jackson Colour for professional advice.

Stripping Unwanted Colour

“Give your hair a couple of washes with washing up liquid, that should do the trick. Make sure you put loads of conditioner on it afterwards though. Whatever you do don’t try to dye it blonde now, I tried and ended up with an orange head”.

“ Use Carpet cleaner or get your hands on some perm solution to remove colour”.


toxic carpet cleanerThis advice is off the charts! These 3 suggestions are highly dangerous and can be toxic to the human body. Hair is not carpet! Some of the stronger carpet cleaners contain solvents, acids, mildewcides, disinfectants and aerosol propellants. Two common chemicals are hydroxyacetic acid and butoxyethanol. These substances are toxic when they come in contact with the skin or when they are inhaled. So you can imagine how dangerous they are when applied on the hair and scalp and inhaled so close to the face. Many carpet cleaners come with warning labels that advise them to only be used in a well-ventilated area, whilst wearing gloves and a ventilation mask.  Under no circumstances should they be used as a hair colour remover and any other use than for what the manufacturer intended.  No liability is taken by the manufacturer for misuse of its products. So whatever happens to your hair and scalp is your own problem.

allergic eyesWashing up liquid contains anionic and non-ionic detergents. These can cause irritation to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Some of the detergents and perfumes are known allergens and are not designed to come into contact with the skin for an extended period of time, so leaving it on your scalp is very likely to cause a reaction. Chemical vapours rise when hot water is added to rinse out the detergent in the shower and these vapours are also very toxic and can cause irritation to the eyes and the respiratory tract.

Perm solution may have been used years ago to remove colour and to activate a perm, but it is a highly volatile chemical solution that needs to be used by a professional. If you have ever smelt it before, you would know not to mess with it! If the solution inadvertently comes into contact with your scalp you can experience itching, redness, burning and peeling.

By doing something drastic like the ideas we found on the internet, you could potentially cause damage and irritation to your scalp, skin, eyes, and respiratory system. You could damage your hair follicles and experience hair loss at the same time as having a colour you don’t like and hair like straw!

There are much better alternatives to stripping colour than these ideas. Consult your hairdresser and they will work out the right solution for you.

Stimulate Hair Growthhair loss

“To grow hair use prenatal vitamins. Do NOT use Hair Formula 37. BEWARE of the side effects of HF 37. The step 2 can and does cause gout!!!!! It has too much protein for the body to handle. I used it and the doctor said it caused my gout. ): Gout is a painful form of arthritis”.

“I am 23, and I think I have the same problems people you have, but I was advised to use onion two time a week. What you need to do is to spread it on your head and you will see that in 1 month your hairs are strong as it was before. I am using it and it helps me alot”.

onions Taking vitamins is a great idea, but how about hair, skin & nail formulas particularly designed to stimulate healthy hair growth, rather than pre-natal vitamins as suggested.  I had a quick look at the Hair Formula 37, and it does look quite scary with a strict regime of about 5 bottles of different vitamins to take; a bit extreme! In relation to the onion, I am all for natural treatments and maybe this does work, but it sounds like such an odd thing to do! You wouldn’t want to be caught in the bathroom rubbing onions in your hair right?! There are however quite a few comments on the web about onions, red onions in particular. Apparently they have high sulphur levels that stimulate hair follicles, so maybe there is some truth in this random advice. Onions over Hair Formula 37 I say!

Detanglingtangled hair

“Q : A mom wrote to tell me that her 15 year old daughter had used Vaseline to create faux dreads on her gorgeous waist length hair. The good news was that the faux dreads turned out great. Unfortunately, the bad news was that the Vaseline could not be removed from the hair. Nothing worked. After many unsuccessful shampoo attempts the mom decided that the only option was the scissors. Is there a way to remove Vaseline from the hair without scissors? Yes, absolutely. Cornstarch or corn meal”.

dreadlocksTeenagers will do odd things when left to their own devices. Experimentation like this is a part of growing up. Chopping off is certainly a drastic way to detangle, but in these circumstances you can understand why.

Getting Vaseline out of the hair would be very tricky, most products that assist in the making of dreadlocks primarily contain beeswax, and some do contain petroleum, but solely using Vaseline (which contains mineral oils, paraffin and microcrystalline waxes) means that everything the hair came in contact with would stick to it, such as dust and pollution.

It makes your hair impossible to clean and as a result, your hair begins to smell and you may also experience scalp conditions as Vaseline is an occlusive emollient, which means it traps water in the skin, creating a barrier between the skin and the environment, preventing the skin from breathing. This is great for short term use to increase moisture in the skin, but with prolonged use, it actually reduced moisture in the skin and can cause dryness and irritation. I would say in these circumstances, getting the chop was the best option!

 So overall the internet is a great source of entertainment, but not a great place to gain the right advice when it comes to hair care and hair solutions. It can be hard to find the right hairdresser, but once you do find that right professional person and place, your hair would have never looked better!

2 replies
  1. Winnie
    Winnie says:

    Oh My! That is bizarre! I have never done at home colour, I would probably make the biggest mess.

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  1. Prue Burnstein says:

    Wow! I can’t beleive some of these! I have had home colour disaster before and since that awful experience I haven’t done my own hair, and leave it to the trusty professionals – luckily I have found some good ones :)

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