Step 1: Color Remover

The question I am asked the most often is how to lighten dark hair to a light blonde color? Let me take you through the steps...

The first thing you should do to lighten dark hair, is get as much black (or dark color) out of your hair as you can. You may have to do this process a few times.  Color remover, like “Color Oops,” works by entering the hair shaft and removing the artificial color molecules.  It does not remove any of the natural pigment in your hair.  Because of this, this step will not work on hair that has not been previously colored.

Color remover will not return your hair to the same color it was before dying it.  

The end result of using color remover is going to be a brassy color.  You can tone this color and live with a more desirable tone of hair for a few weeks.  Since the color remover may cause some damage, spend time reconditioning your hair.

The question I am asked the most often is how to lighten dark hair to a light blonde color? Let me take you through the steps...

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4 Comments on How to Lighten Dark Hair to a Light Blonde Color

  1. daphne
    May 29, 2017 at 9:02 AM (3 months ago)

    Hi there,
    I don’t want to go blonde – but I do want to go lighter – just a nice darker brown (so that my grey doesn’t show up so quickly and with such contrast). I have naturally black hair – and I color it with natural black to hide the grey – I’d say I am about 25% grey. My hair grows super fast, is very thick and naturally wavy. It’s also porous, so it takes color pretty quickly. Bleaching is scary to me. What would color oops do to my hair? I’ve read about it but it too scares me! lol – I was researching quite a bit online and found the Feria Hi-lift color – but that looks like it is only for virgin hair. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Hollee Wood
      May 29, 2017 at 9:33 PM (3 months ago)

      Hi Daphne! The hi-lift color will not work on colored hair. It would probably make your roots a really blonde color and won’t do anything to the rest of your hair. Color oops may lighten some of the color out, but probably not since I’m guessing you’ve probably colored over the colored hair many times. It will probably be pretty hard to lift out, but since you are only wanting to go to a dark brown, it can probably be done. My advice would be to go to a hairstylist to get it to the color you want. Then, it might be easier for you to match your outgrowth to that color on your own. Just remember that if you keep coloring over the colored hair, it will continue to get darker and darker. Please let me know if you have any other questions! Hope it helps! 🙂

  2. Emily
    May 4, 2017 at 3:14 PM (4 months ago)

    Hi Hollee, Love your blog 🙂 I’m wondering, will a toner work on a drugstore box dye? I used to use Garnier nutrisse in chamomile and got tons of compliments but I always felt it was wayyyy too warm and brassy. Wondering if a toner would work on that?

    • Hollee Wood
      May 4, 2017 at 3:17 PM (4 months ago)

      Thank you so much for the kind words and question! It should work because toners just deposit pigment to counteract the color you don’t want. It isn’t going to lighten your hair at all, but will help cancel out some brassy tones. My best advice, if you want to do it yourself, would be to go to Sally Beauty Supply and talk to someone (make sure they are experienced with hair color) about the best tone to use. Hope it helps!! 🙂


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