What Are The Hardest Hair Colours We Do?

We quite often get asked what the hardest colours are that we have to do.

There are two ways of looking at this. What is the hardest colour for our stylists to achieve OR what are the hardest colours for our clients to maintain.

They are quite often the same ones.

Like any profession, there are always the tricky things that look easy but in reality are a real pain in the ass! While we love doing these colours, they are the hardest for us as stylist to achieve and require a lot of patience or maintenance on your part. But once they are achieved (which can take months!) they are so satisfying once you’ve got there!

So I’m going to go through our top ‘pain in the ass’ colours.


First and definitely the hardest by far is GREY & SILVER!!!!


This colour is definitely the trickiest on any level. This includes platinum or white, and any silvers or grey, even dark slate grey.

For a start, its HARD to achieve as you have to get almost white blonde for any silver. The main reason for this is because if you have ANY warmth in the hair (warmth meaning gold or yellow or even just the tiniest amount of natural looking blonde, which is essentially yellow) it is such a contrast against the silver and stands out like crazy.

Think of it as putting gold and silver jewellery on at the same time. The gold looks extra yellow. But in this case, not in a good way.

The next thing is, that silver has to be done on very light blonde hair in order to show up. If you put it over a regular, natural blonde, it will cover over the lightest pieces but it wont cover over the more natural or golden pieces, even if you use a dark grey. It either turns out looking a dirty golden grey, or just doesn’t show up at all. This is because ash (which is used to create grey) has the least intensity of any of the colours. Its the weakest colour so wont cover anything other than the lightest blonde.


The fact it has to go over the very lightest blonde raises the issue of getting you blonde enough!

Most people these days have already coloured their hair. Its pretty rare that we have someone walk in with natural, virgin hair that wants to go grey. This means we have to firstly get out all the colour that is in the hair (which is all different levels of difficult). This can take one appointment, or in the case of darker colours or reds, it can take several.

It’s IMPOSSIBLE TO GIVE YOU A TIMELINE before we have started to lighten you hair for the first time. We can’t say to you “this hair is going to take 2 appointments to get light enough” because everyone is different genetically. One person that has brown hair could take two appointments while the next person with exactly the same colour could take four. (For more info on how to get silver, read our blog on GOING GREY)

This grey below, as you can see, still has a good amount of warmth in it. While we tried to make it as ashy grey as possible, her hair is very dark and she is only part way through the process.


It is also super high maintenance for the client.

Because it is the least intense colour of all the colours, it is the quickest to wash out. Once washed out it will go back to the light blonde, which most people don’t mind. But it wont be silver or grey any more.

So to sum it up! Be prepared to have to spend time and money getting grey. Its the hardest colour to achieve on the hair and then washes out really fast, so the hardest to keep in the hair which is why it makes NUMBER 1 on our list.



Taking out our second spot is PURPLE!


Where do we begin with purple. WELL, to start with there are various shades of purple and various ways of getting that shade.

There are deep purples, bright purples, pastel purples, pink purples, blue purples, dusty purples….the list goes on. It also applies for BLUE.

But to give you the short version, this is another colour that needs to be reasonably light to get the purple to show up. Because it contains blue (which in hairdressing terms is ash and the same colour that is used to make grey, just in a lot smaller amount), it too is quite a touchy colour.

As most people know, the way to make purple is adding blue and red (or blue and pink). As with grey or ash, if the hair isn’t light enough, blue wont show up properly, which leaves just the red or pink. This is why, many of you will have found this by trying it at home or at other salon, you will come out more of a red or red plum. Which is why Blue is just as difficult.

There is a way to counter this, and its by using a direct dye or a colour with more intense pigments in it. HOWEVER, there is a huge down side to this….and that is that when it fades you will end up with green hair! (Read our blog on Why Is My Hair Green)

This is a direct dye purple: You can see its very rich and vibrant.


So basically if you are wanting a bright purple, or we can’t get your hair light enough to use our regular salon colours to mix you a cocktail of purple, we will have to use a direct dye. This is a hair colour which doesn’t develop and goes on the same colour it comes out of the tube. In other words, if using our cocktail of purple it goes on as a white cream and develops slowly that will fade out back to blonde. If it goes on a bright purple onto the hair that is a direct dye and that will fade green.

This is a purple using regular hair colour: You can see its a lot softer result.


We always discuss this with the client first and give you the choice as for a lot of clients, the need for bright purple outweighs the down side of going green afterwards.

Now, the second reason purple is difficult is that it also fades quickly, and in some cases it will fade super fast after the first appointment due to us having to lighten the hair. We’ve had some clients where it fades out after just 2 washes (in which case we will always top it up for them free of charge if they just let us know). You can expect this to last between 3-5 weeks.

Think of it as painting a wall. Once you’ve managed to get the wall stripped back, and you only put one coat of purple paint on it, its going to chip of faster and be more translucent. After the second application, its going to be more purple and also last longer.

Its all about building up the layers. The more you do the purple (which doesn’t mean you have to lighten it every time, once its light, you just need to reapply the purple each appointment) the more its going to layer up and last longer in the hair.

The next tricky part is if you want to change your hair colour.

Its fine if you have the regular purples, but if you have the brighter or dark purples it will take A LONG TIME to get it out. The green or mint in that it fades to is nearly impossible to completely bleach out. It takes numerous appointments of very gentle bleaching and you will have to stick to colours that will cover it, which include darker colours, reds, pinks. So its fine if you want to go darker but if you are wanting to go blonde or copper then it will be a while before we can get you there. (Copper mixes with the mint blue in the hair and goes a nasty shade of browny greeny mud colour if its lightened out enough).

So to sum up purple: Its quite difficult to get the shade you want, it can fade green and it washes out faster than most colours.



Pastels are the next most difficult colour. Many of the reasons have been mentioned above in the last two colours, but basically its because you need to be very light for pastel hair and because it has a low pigment concentration, it fades out really fast, just like silver.


Think about painting again. To get pastel purple or pink for instance, you only add a very small amount of the pigment to white paint. Its the same with pastel hair colours. You only add a small amount of the pigment to a blonde or clear base. For this reason, each wash some of the colour will come out and because there isn’t much in there in the first place, its going to be gone fairly quickly.

The upside of this colour is that it fades back to a nice blonde that you can wear afterwards.



Green! We LOVE green but the difficulty with this colour isn’t getting it in the hair its getting it OUT!

It is exactly the same for the green or mint colour that purple & blue fade to, mentioned above. It will fade green, which is great so that mean it lasts for ages so is one of the lowest maintenance colour….however it will stay there FOREVER! It takes so long to gently bleach it out over multiple appointments that you REALLY need to think about it before going green.

Here’s a selection of our fave greens that we posted for St Patricks Day (of course!)



This one we’ve put at number 5 simply because there are sooooo many variations of ROSE GOLD! And also that a lot of natural redheads think they can go Rose Gold without lightening their hair.

Its also one of the most difficult colours to explain to clients, especially clients who are already natural redheads, that you do need to lighten the hair. You don’t need to lighten it much, depending on what colour you are, but especially on natural red-heads, it DOES need to be lightened.

For some reason (I read somewhere along the line that the structural makeup of their hair is actually different to every other hair type but not 100% on this!) natural red-heads have notoriously difficult hair to colour. As most red-heads know, if you try to go darker, the colour doesn’t stick to the hair like it would on a blonde or brunette. If you try to go lighter, you are battling constantly with that natural red reflect.

So to go rose gold, you will need to lighten and put a rose gold tone over the top.

The other thing which I’ve already mentioned is that there are so many variations, and usually when someone says they want to go Rose Gold, they actually mean pastel pink. So always bring a picture as a reference guide. We can’t usually replicate hair colours exactly due to the person in the picture not actually being you! But we can use it as a guide.

Rose Gold is technically a copper colour with a bit of pinky red in it. Literally the colour of rose gold jewellery (which isn’t pastel pink right?!). Its mostly a golden, almost orange with a slight pinky hue. Which can cause problems as a lot of people don’t like the copper or the gold and JUST want the pastel pink.

We don’t have a problem with how you describe a colour, we just want to make sure we get the right colour on you. So reference pictures are always best.

Here are some of the colours that we have been asked for that were described to us as Rose Gold.














We hope this helps you make a decision as to which colour you want to go…..as always, if you have any questions, message us on Facebook or call in, we’re always happy to help. No question is a stupid question because we understand that most people aren’t hairdressers and aren’t going to know too much about hair colours. We are always happy to go through the options with you.


Disclaimer: All images on this blog are by the stylists at Goldirocks and the hair hasn’t been edited at all. We never edit or enhance our images as we believe that you have to see the real results in order to see what we can do.

For optimum results and longevity of your colours, you need to be using ‘salon only’ hair products, especially shampoo. This does not include anything sold at drugstores, health shops, supermarkets or online. We guarantee all our colours on the basis that you use our shampoo, because then we know exactly what is going on your hair and that it isn’t an outside product that is influencing the colour fading.


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