Application Advice | Strand Test



Not sure what your beautiful Herbatint hair colour may yield? Not a problem. A simple strand test can allow you to:

1) Gauge grey hair coverage. Any hair colour can be used if you have only 20% grey hair. However if you have more than 20% grey or particularly white or grey resistant hair you may like to see the coverage you can expect from any chosen colour. If not enough you may require mixing with the appropriate N natural colour to achieve full coverage.
2) See if you want to go significantly darker – this is easily achieved but you may like to see if going a darker shade of brown is really right for you.
3) Try out going lighter – Herbatint contains only 3% Hydrogen Peroxide so can only lift by at most 2 shades above your natural shade. Lifting however always aggravates the red pigments in the hair so can often give a very warm result. This may not be to your liking. Highlighting is best left to the professionals but if you want to go a little lighter the strand test allows you to see just how much.


  1. Following a patch test to confirm no sensitivities to the product, pop on your gloves from the packet
  2. Using the measuring cup from the tinting kit pour out 5ml of chosen colour and 5ml of developer into a bowl
  3. Mix to a gel-like consistency
  4. Section off a 1cm wide strand of hair (incorporating grey if you have any)
  5. Apply the colour mix to the length of the hair using the brush from the kit provided
  6. Leave to develop for 40 minutes
  7. Rinse in warm water then dry

Ok with the colour result? Great; proceed to colour the rest of your hair.

If colour from strand test is too dark throughout the hair:

  • If your hair is in good condition, simply select a lighter shade and re-test on a new strand of your hair.
  • If your hair is not in good condition, wash with the Herbatint Normalising Shampoo and Royal Cream Regenerating Conditioner to help restore good hair condition.

If colour from strand test is too light throughout the hair:

  • Choose a darker shade and re-test on a new strand of your hair.

If colour from strand test is too warm, red or yellow:

This may be because you have chosen a red tone/shade or that you are trying to lift your hair colour.

Ash colours are green based tones to counteract such a problem.

Simply mix your Natural shade with the corresponding Ash shade.

For example, mix 7N with 7C in equal proportions to counteract red tones.

If colour hasn’t covered the grey:

If you are up to 20% grey, any shade from the Herbatint range can cover grey. If you are more than 20% grey, you may need to mix your desired fashion colour/tone with the same number in the Natural range (N) to achieve the colour result you want. For example:

4N Chestnut applied to more than 20% grey will achieve total grey cover and a Chestnut shade overall.

4N Chestnut mixed with 4R Copper Chestnut applied to more than 20% grey will achieve total grey cover and a Copper Chestnut tone overall.

If grey hair is stubborn and resistant:

To encourage colour uptake, after applying the hair colour, wrap the hair in cling film or a shower cap and leave on for the full colour development time. Or, use your hair dryer on a gentle heat setting and for the first 5-10 minutes of development time run over the areas particularly around the hair line where stubborn grey hairs may be found. Either of these methods will allow heat to encourage the hair cuticle to open to encourage colour uptake of the pigments in the hair to cover the grey.

What if I have a lot of grey cover?

The amount of grey and whether it is dry and resistant can affect colour uptake and coverage as explained above.

What if I have bleached hair?

Herbatint can return hair to its natural tone but remember to mix a Gold shade with a Natural shade if your target shade is 6N or above. Mix a Gold or Copperish shade with a Natural shade if your target shade is 5N or below.  Bleached hair can make the hair extra porous.  You may like to apply Herbatint as a semi permanent to help achieve greater colour uptake and longevity if this is the case.

What if I am concerned about the general condition of my hair?

If your hair is excessively dry or damaged from styling, bleaching or previous colour treatments, this can affect the colour uptake. Treating your hair with the Herbatint Aloe Vera Conditioner for a few washes can help restore the condition of your hair before colouring. Applying Herbatint as a semi permanent hair colourant can also help combat damaged hair conditions and achieve colour uptake. More details on how in our How to mix Herbatint as a semi permanent.

What if I have previously used Henna?

Henna coats the hair shaft very well and can prevent hair dyes such as Herbatint getting through. You can use Herbatint on top of existing Henna. Strand testing can help gauge coverage initially.

What if I have permed hair?

Do not colour your hair just after a perm. We recommend you wait two weeks, shorten the processing time by 10 minutes and choose a shade lighter than your target shade.

What if I am on medication, undergoing treatment, pregnant or breastfeeding?

Medication or treatment for conditions will manifest in the hair and will affect colour uptake (chemotherapy, HRT, thyroid treatments for example).