Step 4: The Final Plunge

After enough rounds of highlights, it should be pretty easy to lighten the rest of your hair to the same level without causing excessive damage.

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...

Remember that this process should occur over many months.  You lighten a little bit at a time, and let the hair recover in between processes.  That is the best way to lighten your hair without damaging it beyond repair or having bright orange hair.

Your Turn: Did you learn anything new?  Have you ever taken your hair from dark to light?  I’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below…

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

  1. Myra
    September 19, 2017 at 2:35 PM (1 month ago)

    Hello!thankyou for this informative post could you please guide me how can i go light brown,i have naturally dark brown hair color and i got highlights once but now as the highlights have faded im left with blonde stripes which is not so classy is their anyway i can do it at home?i have sallys near me pleade recommend some products from there or Walmart!thanks

    • Hollee Wood
      September 20, 2017 at 9:21 AM (1 month ago)

      That should be pretty easy but it might still be a little lighter than the rest of your hair. The best way to match it would be to put the new color only over the highlights, while leaving the rest of your hair out of the color. Does that make sense? You would probably want to use foils to section out the highlights as much as possible. It would honestly be a lot easier to have someone else do it, but if you are willing to try, I would definitely go to Sally and buy your supplies there. Just talk to the people that work there about what you want to do and they should be able to help you. You’ll want to pick out the shade of brown you want to use, and use a 10v developer with it (you aren’t lightening your hair, only depositing color). If your highlights are super blonde (like white or platinum blonde), then you might have to use a filler first. They sell fillers at Sally so you can ask them about that too. Just follow the instructions on the filler and color that you chose. If you are confused, the color brands usually have a hotline you can call to get additional help. Good luck! Hope it all turns out well! 🙂

  2. Janie
    August 24, 2017 at 10:51 AM (2 months ago)

    I have virgin dark blonde hair color with highlights of gray. I want to go platinum and do it myself. My hair length is only to earlobes. What would you recommend as my steps to achieve the desired look? Thank you for your time and advice.

    • Hollee Wood
      August 26, 2017 at 1:03 AM (2 months ago)

      Hi Janie! Thanks for the question! Since your hair is virgin, and naturally a blonde color, I would look into using a high-lift blonde color. Platinum blonde usually has a purple base, so make sure you chose a high-lift blonde that says “platinum” in the name of the color. Another option would be to bleach it (you can use a low-volume developer to minimize damage) and tone it with a platinum toner. I don’t see you having a problem getting it to the desired level with either of those methods. Good luck! 🙂

  3. daphne
    May 29, 2017 at 9:02 AM (5 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 (5 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! 🙂

  4. Emily
    May 4, 2017 at 3:14 PM (6 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 (6 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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