How To Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark At The Salon

How To Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark

  Hair dye lets you change the color of your hair subtly or dramatically to give you a completely new look. It is until the colorist dyes your hair a shade too dark. Take a deep breath and calm yourself before panicking since there is a solution. Let’s look at how to lighten hair dyed too dark at the salon.

Mistakes Happen…

To give yourself a fun pop of color, brighten up dull hair, try out a new trend, or adjust your look for a new season, dyeing your hair can be an easy and cost-effective option.

When your hairstylist dyes your hair the wrong shade, it can be extremely frustrating, especially if you have an event, date, or outing coming up.

Making mistakes when coloring your hair can be very stressful.

It is possible for even those who are extra cautious and don’t want to damage their hair to end up with a result they didn’t expect, such as the color of their hair coming out way too dark.

How To Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark

It might seem that the only solution is to use the bleach they refused to use in the first place.

Here are some other options to consider before you run and grab the hair bleach.

How Hair Dye Works

When you dye your hair darker than it already is, the hair dye is less damaging, and (depending on the developer used) less permanent.

By using no more than a 10 volume developer or forgoing developer altogether, you will only dye the outer layer of your hair, unlike bleach, which actually causes your hair to oxidize.

The oxidation reaction completely dissolves the color out of your hair follicle.

A hair dye will generally bond with existing color molecules in your hair, which is why it is recommended to use a filler when going from bleached hair to a dark brunette.

As long as you are going from your existing color to a darker one, the dye will cling to and cover your existing color, resulting in a much less intensive and damaging process for your lovely locks.

Permanent And Semi-Permanent Dye

Two types of hair dye are available: permanent and semi-permanent.

They both work differently on hair and can affect how lightening your hair can be done if your hair has been dyed too dark.

Permanent hair dye

Permanent dyes contain chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and ammonia that cause lightning.

In addition, it doesn’t wash out easily, but fades over time.

Permanent dye works by ensuring that the chemicals pass through the outer layer of the hair, called the cuticle, and into the cortex.

Permanent hair dye

Color and pigment are contained in the cortex of the hair.

As the dye reacts with the chemicals in the cortex, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide form dye molecules that change the hair’s color.

As a result, these molecules become attached to the hair cortex and are too large to be expelled quickly.

Semi-permanent hair dye

On the other hand, semi-permanent hair dye does not contain peroxide and does not lighten hair.

It washes out with a few washes because, unlike permanent dyes, there is no cuticle opening.

As a result, the dye’s molecules simply adhere to the hair shaft and are thus easier to remove.

Having understood how both dyes work, choosing the right method for lightening your already dyed hair will be easier. 

Causes Of A Dark Outcome

There are several factors that can cause your hair to become too dark after dyeing.

You should always remember that your hair has pores, and how open or closed they are can affect how well the dye is absorbed.

Leaving your hair dye on too long

When your hair dye is left on way too long, it can turn out way too dark.

In general, the longer you leave the color on, the more it will absorb and the darker the outcome will be.

Consult your colorist if you are at a salon or follow the directions carefully.

Let them know what the condition of your hair is, what you have done to it, and what you want the final results to be.

Provide as much detail as possible.

The porosity of your hair

Your hair has tiny cuticles that can open, causing it to become more porous.

As an example, when you bleach your hair, you open up your hair cuticles so that the bleach can enter and dissolve the hair color.

The resulting damage can lead to your hair cuticles opening further, which can lead to breakage.

A hair with more open cuticles is more porous and absorbs hair dye more efficiently.

This causes the dye to process faster, resulting in a darker color.

When you dye your hair, the middle and ends of your hair shafts are usually more porous than the new growth, which may result in lighter roots and darker ends.

Dyeing your entire head of hair when you just want a root touch-up

If you are dying your hair, the only time you must saturate your whole head with dye is when you are first changing your color.

The roots of your hair are less porous than the rest of your hair, so they will absorb less of the hair dye.

Whenever you need to touch up your roots, apply the dye only to the roots and the spots that need dye.

If you don’t, you may end up with an inconsistent color, and your hair may appear dull and lifeless.

If you are unsure, go with a lighter shade.

Dyeing it again, darker, is always an option, but making it lighter is more challenging.

Follow the instructions carefully and do not leave the dye in your hair for longer than is recommended.

Additionally, it is important not to mix dyes, especially different brands.

Prepping Your Hair For Color Fading

Whenever you try to remove color from your hair, you can take on more damage and dryness.

That is why it is important to prepare your hair in advance to handle the strain.

Use moisturizers and moisturizing treatments to help protect your hair and to compensate for any processes that can dry it out.

Take advantage of deep conditioning treatments during the week leading up to your color fading.

In order to help the deep conditioner work, I cover my hair with a shower cap and use a heating cap.

You can also use a deep hydrating hair mask.

When you use a hair lightener, bleach, or color remover, make sure that your hair is dry and unwashed.

You produce natural oils on your scalp to protect your hair.

They will minimize damage and dryness.

How To Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark At The Salon

The following are some of the things you can do to lighten your hair:

Wash your hair!

If you have just dyed your hair, and it came out too dark, your immediate reaction may be to hop into the shower.

It’s a good idea.

It takes about 72 hours for hair dye to fully lock in.

Therefore, the sooner you start washing it, the better it will fade.

In this case, you can use your regular shampoo or a clarifying shampoo.

You should wash your hair daily for seven to ten days, depending on how light you want your hair to be.

If you don’t condition your hair, it will become dry.

Baking soda, lemon juice, and shampoo

If you are not satisfied with the results of simply washing with a clarifying shampoo, you can create your own using baking soda and lemon instead.

You should not overuse this method since the acidity of lemon juice can damage your hair.

Mix baking soda and lemon juice with your shampoo.

Apply the mixture generously to wet hair.

Leave it on for about 45 minutes, then rinse and condition.

One time should lighten your hair two shades or so.

Vitamin C powder and water

The sooner you use this method after dyeing, the more effective it is.

As vitamin C is acidic in nature, it can be very helpful for removing unwanted hair color.

If you have vitamin C tablets at home, crush them into powder and mix them with shampoo until you get a paste.

Before applying the paste, wet your hair with hot water.

Apply the paste evenly to your hair and let it sit for 60 minutes.

Cover your hair with a shower cap.

Rinse your hair with water after an hour.

Using this method too often can cause your hair to become dry.

You should always apply conditioner to your hair after rinsing out the mixture.

Wait it out

The final step in getting rid of unwanted color in your hair is to wait for it to fade.

Note, however, that this may take about nine weeks.

As mentioned earlier, permanent dye chemicals attach to the cortex, and the molecules become too large to be easily washed off.

The artificial color replaces your natural hair color and only begins to fade when the dye molecules become smaller.

You can re-dye your hair without much difficulty once the unwanted hair dye has faded.

You can spice up your hair’s look during the waiting period with highlighters that will give it a natural glow.

With this method, you ensure that you maintain a healthy condition for your hair because too many invasive and harsh chemicals can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, uneven, or break.

What Can A Professional Do?

First of all, if you have dyed your hair at a salon and it came out too dark, then you need to be honest with your stylist.

If you’re not satisfied with the result, give them a chance to make it right.

They want you to love your hair, so if you don’t tell them you don’t like it, they won’t know.

Salons have a variety of products at their disposal, including shampoos, color removers, and bleach in severe cases.

These professionals are well-versed in these hair processes, and they know what they are doing.

Blend dye into a balayage

They might try fading the color and blending it into a balayage.

Adding this will give your hair more definition, and it will blend the fading so it looks more natural.

Color remover

They may also use a color remover to remove some of the color from your hair.

These can be damaging, so it is best left to a professional.


If you have tried to fade out the color and nothing seems to be working, the last resort would probably be for them to bleach the unwanted color out of your hair.

Even if it comes to this, you are better off letting a professional handle it.

Bleach can be very damaging, and since your hair is dyed, it can be a challenge to remove.

Toners, fillers, and gloss are also used along with bleach, depending on the color you want.

If you are planning on bleaching your hair at home, do your research first.

Make sure you research what brand will work best for your hair, and follow the instructions. 

If you plan on bleaching your hair, make sure your hair is unwashed and dry, and always perform a strand test.

It is best if you use a 30-volume developer if you are unsure of what developer to use.

Some things to know

Despite its strength, it does not cause as much harm as a 40 volume.

Never exceed 40 volume developers.

It’s not a good idea to apply bleach to your roots since the heat from your scalp can speed up the process.

Start at the back and bottom of your head and work quickly in small sections.

To section your hair, cut it into four equal sections, two on each side, and then work in sections that are about 14.5 inches long.

When you have applied the bleach, spray the inside of a shower cap with water and place it over your hair.

Bleach works best in humidity, and the moist shower cap will give off steam.

Do not leave the bleach on for more than 60 minutes.

If you plan to bleach your hair again, make sure your hair is in a condition to withstand it.

Let it rest, and apply some deep conditioning treatments and a bonding agent.

Products For Fading Your Color

There are thousands of hair products available on the market, so choosing the right one can be challenging.

You can always ask your hairstylist for recommendations if you’re in doubt.

Start by reading reviews on a few different products.

It is ultimately up to you to determine what types of products work best for your hair.

Clarifying shampoo

Clarifying shampoos remove product build-up and mineral deposits from the hair.

You can use its potency to fade some of the color out if you use it soon after dyeing your hair.

Neutrogena sells a highly rated clarifying shampoo on Amazon.

Other highly rated options include Kenra and OGX Charcoal.

Color remover

Color removers are specially formulated to help lift out both permanent and semi-permanent hair dye.

Even though some may claim to be ammonia and peroxide-free, they may contain other chemicals that can be just as damaging.

On Amazon, Color Oops Extra Conditioning Color Remover, Color X-Change, and Colour B4 are highly rated color removing products.

Managing The Upkeep Of Your Desired Hair Color

If you use color fading and removing techniques, it can leave your hair feeling dry or even damage it.

Once you’ve reached your desired shade, be sure to spoil your hair.

Hair masks and deep conditioners are great for rehydrating your hair.

OGX and Arvazallia both make highly-rated hair masks.

For deep conditioners, Sebastian Drench Treatment is worth checking out.

Also, you may want to consider a color-preserving shampoo such as Matrix Total Results or L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Protecting Shampoo.

How To Avoid Hair Dye Mistakes

Anyone can make the mistake of getting their hair dyed too dark.

In some cases, however, it can be avoided with enough attention.

To prevent such disasters in the future, consider the following:

Go to a well-known professional colorist

It takes skillful hands and trained eyes to dye your hair in the right shade.

Because they are dealing with chemicals, measurements and timing are very important, and they must be strictly adhered to.

The type of hair to which the chemicals would be applied is also important.

Professional hair colorists will ask you the right questions to give you the right results.

Make sure your hairstylist is a trained, professional hairstylist before allowing them to dye your hair.

Communicate with your hairstylist

Communicating effectively with your hairstylist is essential to avoiding hair coloring mistakes.

Discuss the kind of hair color you desire and ask questions about your hair.

Please let them know what products you have used previously on your hair and what brands they are.

It will be helpful if you are aware of the risks involved and how to maintain the color after coloring.

Each person is unique, so some colors will look better on you than others.

It is important to have an open discussion with your hairstylist so you can select the best color for you.

Please let your hairstylist know if you are unsure of anything or do not like anything.

Ultimately, it is YOUR hair.


Color mistakes and unintentional shades can happen to anyone.

Stay calm and don’t make any rash decisions.

Do your research and evaluate your hair condition and the situation.

Before we understand our options fully, we tend to jump into the worst-case scenario.

You are the best judge of your own hair.

You can correct hair dyed too dark at the salon with a professional’s assistance or do it yourself at home if you’re worried about how to lighten it.

If you do not trust your hairstylist, it is best to find another.

If you find a professional, ask questions and be open and honest about what is being done to your hair.

So they can help you to the best of their abilities.

Don’t let one unfortunate incident deter you.

It is not harmful to want to change the color of your hair.

I have already stated that mistakes can happen when dyeing hair.

Fortunately, there are several ways to correct such errors.Whatever method you choose, make sure to take all necessary precautions for your hair and that the final result matches your expectations.  

Leave a Comment