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Today, I want to discuss a commonly misconceived idea about lifting hair color.  I frequently hear people ask questions like why their hair is still brown after putting a blonde color over it, or why their hair color gets darker each time they color it.  Well, I can explain in precisely four words: color won’t lift color.  Like, ever.

The golden rule of lifting hair color is that color won't lift color. Let me explain exactly how hair color works with this clever analogy...

This is how it works…

I’m going to use an analogy that will make more sense to most people.  Think about what it’s like to color on paper with markers.  This is a good way for you to understand the golden rule of lifting hair color since most people are familiar with how markers work….

Okay, next, I’d like to introduce you to Clarice.  She has naturally blonde hair, and it has never been colored.  She also has no lower body or arms.

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

Clarice decided one day that she wanted to color her hair dark brown (I covered the blonde hair with a brown marker).

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

She really liked her new look, as you can tell by her huge smile.  And assuming she could walk, I’m sure she would have received a ton of compliments.  However, she decided a week later that brown hair was not her thing, and wanted her blonde hair back.  She had one of her friends pick up some golden blonde hair color to match her natural color from Walmart.  Her friend, then, applied the color to Clarice’s hair and let it sit for 45 minutes, exactly like the directions told her to do (for the analogy, I colored over the brown hair with a yellow marker).

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

So after washing out the color, her hair looks like this:

Read all about the golden rule of hair color, and find out why color won't lift color.

What went wrong?

The Golden Rule of Lifting Hair Color:

You can’t use a dark color and then put a lighter color on top of it, and expect it to result in the lighter color.  Basically, all you are doing is packing more color molecules in the hair shaft with other dark color molecules.  The result is darker hair.

Okay, let me further explain it.

Anatomy of Hair

Hair Anatomy

Your hair is made of three parts: the medulla and the cortex (which are the inner parts of the hair shaft), and the cuticle (the scale-like protective covering).  Melanin (color pigment) molecules are located in the cortex.

The ammonia in hair color lifts up the scales of the cuticle, allowing the color pigments to get up in the cortex.  In permanent color, the molecules are meant to last forever.  In other words, they’re packed in like sardines.

Why Color Won’t Lift Color:

So back to the example I used with Clarice.  When she first colored her hair brown, the hair dye packed a ton of brown color molecules into her hair shaft.  She probably lost a few molecules when she washed her hair, but they were still pretty intact.  When her friend applied the blonde color to her hair, a few blonde color molecules packed into the spaces where the few brown molecules washed out.  Her hair was still brown because the color molecules stayed in her hair.  Color is not meant to lift color out of hair; it’s just meant to deposit pigment.

But I’m sure you are wondering to yourself right now, “yeah, but how do people go from dark hair to blonde hair?”   The answer is that they either had virgin hair to begin with or it was previously lightened or stripped.

Virgin Hair

Virgin hair is code for hair that has never been colored.  It could be that the person has never used color in their life, or that all of the previous color has grown out.  In either case, the hair that you see has no artificial color molecules in it.  Outgrowth is virgin hair.  If you apply color to your hair with outgrowth, it can leave you with hot roots.

Color can lift virgin hair, but it’s usually not so dramatic. The reason is that most color lines will only lift the hair a few levels lighter than the natural color.   High-lift blondes are used to go more than a few levels lighter, but still as aren’t effective as bleach.  But high-lift blondes won’t even work on previously colored hair, or they could be unpredictable.  They could even turn your hair green in that case.

How To Go From Dark To Light:

Have no fear.  You can still lift the dark color out of your hair.  Just be aware that it might take multiple processes.  I always recommend having a professional take your hair lighter, as I’ve seen people mess their hair up too many times.  Be realistic about your expectations and remember that patience is a virtue.

Bleach

The next option is to bleach your hair.  I know that the thought of bleach freaks most people out.  However, bleaching your hair shouldn’t do too much damage if done correctly.  If Clarice had bleached her hair to the level of blonde she wanted, and then applied the color she wanted to her hair, it would have been much better.

Using the marker analogy, pretend that I used nail polish remover (which, according to the interwebs, removes marker from paper) first, and then colored the blonde over that spot, it probably would have been more blonde.

Color Stripper

The final option is to strip the color out of her hair.  Stripping the color removes the packed molecules, revealing her natural color (to an extent).  Depending on how dark it is, how many times it has been colored, etc., it could take multiple processes to remove all of the color.

Read more about it here:

How to Lighten Dark Hair to a Light Blonde Color
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...


Your Turn:  Did you enjoy this post?  I’ll love you forever if you share it with your friends on your favorite social media website!

What do you think about the golden rule of lifting hair color?  Does it make sense why color won’t lift color?  Do you still have questions? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below…

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The golden rule of lifting hair color is that color won't lift color. Let me explain exactly how hair color works with this clever analogy...

With an extensive knowledge of hair color science and over 12 years as a licensed cosmetologist working in the hair industry, Hollee feels the need to share her passion for beauty with the world.  She specializes in hair color science, hairstyles, hair hacks, hair knowledge, and how things work in the hair industry.  She enjoys sharing her expertise and helping people achieve their personal hair goals.

346 Comments

  1. Hi Hollee,

    I have naturally black hair and I want to lighten my hair so when I dye it colour will show up but I don’t want to use bleach on my hair. WH AT should I do??? Ps I have virgin hair

    • Virgin hair can be lifted with color instead of bleach. What type of color are you wanting? You can probably use a high-lift version of blonde or red (I wouldn’t expect to be platinum blonde without bleaching… but high-lift can definitely lighten it). If you are doing it yourself, there are some L’Oréal colors from Sally Beauty Supply that are specifically made for naturally dark hair. Hope that helps!

  2. Appreciate any help. I visited a salon for help to go lighter buttery blonde. My level 6 roots had been retouched with Wella Koleston 8/0 and I had slight freehand highlights. Walked out with not much change. Same level 8 base with slight foiled highlights light blonde. Now that my roots are growing out, I’m reluctant to retouch with 8/0. Would it work for me to use Koleston 9/0 to lighten roots? What could I possibly do to refresh the ends?

    Thank you for your time!

    • Hi! I have light brown hair naturally and got a full head of highlights about four months ago. I wanted to brighten my blonde but also had about two inches of brown roots. I used a highlift color on my whole head. My blonde looks great but roots are strawberry/ orange. I then used a wella toner. I didn’t see a ton of difference.

      Can I fix this with out bleach? Can I dye or tone with something ashy? I’m leaving for vacation of a lifetime and don’t wanna have bad hair. Thank you so much!!!!

      • It’s really hard to say without seeing your hair, but do the roots blend in with the highlights, or are you just applying the high-lift in foils, where the highlights are? If you are doing foils, I would maybe think bleach would be the best bet (if you use 20v and don’t leave it on for too long, it shouldn’t do too much damage). However, this process is really tricky since bleach expands and can bleed out of the foils if you don’t know what you are doing (which will lead to stripes in your hair)…. Which leads me to say that I would probably recommend having somebody else do your hair for you. If you don’t mind that the roots blending into the highlights, and aren’t using foils, I think you might be able to get away with re-applying a high-lift blonde, although that would not be my first option. I really hope this helps and everything turns out okay!

  3. Hi I just recently got my highlights done at an upscale hair salon I paid $300 for beautiful blonde highlights some strands got a little brassy so I used a Wella t14 instead of the normal t18 that I use and it got on my highlights now some of the blonde is an ugly brassy/brown color I want to cry I’ve washed it with all kinds of stuff and the toner is still there. What can I do or do I just have to wait til it washes out on its own I it even does that?

    • You could possibly do a “soap cap” but I don’t know what your hair looks like so I can’t know how well it would work. If your hair is bleached with some toner in it, it should lift right out. However, if you get it on the hair that isn’t highlighted, it will lighten that too and make your hair look worse. If you do attempt to do it yourself, I would be extremely careful that you only put it on the areas that are highlighted. A soap cap is where you mix bleach with shampoo (you can do a bit of low level developer as well). If you don’t want to go that far, I would just use a good clarifying shampoo on your hair and let it sit for a bit until it comes out. It might take a bit, but it will be the best way to do it. If you were unhappy with your highlights (especially if you paid $300), I would go back to the salon and talk to the hairstylist. They would usually rather fix it and make sure you’re happy than loose you as a customer. Good luck! I really hope it gets fixed soon!

  4. Hi! I just bleached my outgrowth and honestly it’s been awhile probably 3 inches and now my out growth is a orange/yellow but more orange. What would you do to fix it? I tried toning with Well T-18 and 20 developer, and nothing, I used purple shampoo and nothing, I don’t know if a hi lift blonde will be effective or bleach is the best route? I have an event this weekend and cannot go with this hair.

    • Hi T! Of course, I always recommend having a professional take care of it, but if you want to try to do it yourself, here is my advice: It sounds like you probably didn’t leave it on long enough for it to fully process. It could be that you had so much outgrowth that it didn’t all get warmed up by the body heat from your scalp. I would probably just put some low developer bleach on it (only the outgrowth) and watch it very carefully. Before washing it out, you can just wash off one section so you can see what it looks like before taking it all off. You might have to tone it again to make it all match, but you have to get the outgrowth to the same level as the rest first. Be super careful and good luck!

  5. I have premature white hair. i can’t find the perfect color. I have to color my hair myself since it needs done every month. I like gold highlights because it goes well with my skin tone as long as not too red. my hair pulls that when i color with golds. My problem is level 5 or 6 is way too dark. If i use 7 or 8 the roots don’t take the color very well and less then a week later it fades . I use a cap when i color. i have tried combining 2 colors. I really need help finding the perfect color and i need to purchase it myself. I prefer not to use box colors and buy Schwarzkopf online.

  6. Hi! I’m a medium golden brunette but have highlighted to honey caramel last 2 years. It’s been progressively warmer/blonde so I recently got it changed back to brunette. But I’m very unhappy with the results. She put a permany dark root color on, and then covered the rest and it came out glowing orange/brown. I almost cried, she put another toner on and now it’s inky dark uniformly, with deep brown roots and red brown elsewhere. How do I get this lightened to a nice neutral medium brown? Want to avoid more damage. I already tried clarifying shampoo. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the question, Mary! To be completely honest, it is going to be hard to get it light again without damage. You can try to use a color stripper to see if you can get some of the color out, and then I would probably put more highlights in and gradually lighten it. If you keep using clarifying shampoo, it will gradually fade, but probably not to the shade you want it to be. Stripping would probably be the easiest way to get some of the color out. Good luck!

  7. Absolutely loved this article.
    I have originally very dark hair. Around level 4 to 5. I wanted a subtle medium brown balayage and used wella illumina 5/7, the color didn’t show so 10 days later the hairstylist used wella magma 39 series.
    The color turned out to be nothing close to what I wanted. It is beige brown with copper reflect.
    My hair started breaking since magma has bleach in it. So now it’s been 3 months, my hair is still damaged and the color is still the same.
    I’m planning to color it again to achieve the my desired medium brown. Was hoping you could help.
    Is it true that if I want my hair color between 6-7, I should apply 7-8 as it’s already dyed?
    PS. Thanks in advance.

    • Thanks for the question! It is hard to tell exactly what is needed to do since I don’t know how damaged your hair is or what it looks like. I would think the best route would be to have it bleached again to a lighter level (even though bleach does cause damage) and then have the target color applied. I would recommend purchasing some Olaplex #3 because it will help repair the damage done from the bleach. It’s a bit pricey but it really does help your hair. It’s not a conditioner, but more of a “bond builder” so I’d also reccommend some heavy deep conditioners in between Olaplex treatments. I use Joico Kpak almost each time I wash my hair and it really does help. Once your hair is less damaged, I would have it professionally done and only have them use low-level developer with the bleach to cause minimal damage. Good luck! Hope this helps!

      • Thank you for replying.
        I’ve a heard a lot of good stuff about olaplex but I was planning to get it done after re-colouring my hair.
        Also, which brand do you think is better? Wella Koleston or L’Oreal Majirel?

        • I don’t know much about the L’Oréal majirel but I use the Wells Koleston to tone my hair sometimes and I really like it a lot!

  8. Lovely website!
    I have naturally brown hair ( perhaps 4)and I dye it for a little grey hair in color no 6Nn (?tend to have orange undertone). I want to have dark blond, it is possible to get that at home?
    Thank you

    • Hi lili! Thanks for the kind words and question! I would probably recommend having it done professionally… at least to start with. You could do something like add highlights to slowly lighten it without damage. If not, you could lighten it to the desired level and then color it with the desired tone. I’d probably try putting some ash in the color if it pulls orange undertones. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  9. Hi Hollee

    3 days ago I died my hair from medium/light brown to a rich plum shade. I mixed 50% purple with 50% base 6 brown. It’s lovely however I don’t feel like me and I would like your advice on getting back to brown. I don’t mind having a hint of plum but I would prefer the overall colour to be brown again. What should I do?

    • Probably the easiest thing to do would be to strip the color or bleach it (just enough to get some of the purple out). You can get color stripper at Sally Beauty Supply. I’d go in and talk to them about it. Then I’d go in over it with the brown color of your choice. Hope it helps! Good luck!

      • Hi Hollee,
        I have a major hair catastrophe going on My natural hair color dark blonde/ light brown and I had highlights put in my hair 2 weeks ago and the girl did a crappy job it was not even and she over bleached the root areas and my hair was white/ yellow/ and orange in areas so she told me to go to beauty supply store and buy a no.7 medium blonde hair color and
        no. 20 developer and dye my whole head the medium blonde because it will dye my hair to look closest to my natural color and I did and now I am freaking out my hair is FREAKING ORANGE.
        🙁 ugh fm!!!….l
        Please HELP

        • That sounds like a hot mess. I would probably suggest getting it fixed professionally, because it will be a rough process to fix it, but be prepared to pay more for color correction. The first stylist should have made sure you were happy before you left the salon, and should not have told you how to fix her work, yourself. I would recommend talking to her or the owner/salon manager about having it fixed or getting some type of refund. You would have to tone down the brassy tones in your hair and possibly redo the highlights, but be careful to not bleach over the same areas, or you can get breakage. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. I really hope this advice helps and that you can get it fixed soon!

        • Holler
          I really do not want to go back to a salon I have had nothing but bad experiences at salons in the past with bad haircuts to bad highlights now I don’t trust them.
          Is there any over the counter hair color strippers that I can purchase and get the orange out .

          • I don’t think a color stripper would take the orange out. I guess if you do it yourself, the best thing to do is dye over it. depending on how orange it is, you can use an ash color to counteract it, but it will also make it darker (even if you use a blonde). You can also try bleaching it first but I’d advise against that since you already have bleach on your hair. If you do go to a salon, make sure you get someone that knows what they are doing…even if you have to pay more.

          • I used no. 7 and developer too from Sally’s even asded packet to try jeep from brassy. It still turned out brassy. Could i but store brand in ash blonde to fix?

          • You can probably do an ash toner but just keep in mind that it will probably darken your hair, not lighten it. It will just cut some of the brassiness by depositing my Color! Good luck!

  10. Hi! I have been using dark semi permanent hair colour every month for the past year I want it to be a light brown, I have tried to fade it using baking soda with vic c tablets and clarifying shampoo but nothing helps, I have in the past years ago bleached the colour but it goes orange, how do I avoid this? Is there something I can tone it down if it goes orange after bleaching before I recolour with the shade of brown I like? Should I just do normal bleach or I heard a beach bath(bleach developer shampoo) helps? Which should I do and what’s the mixing ratio? I have had a very bad bleach job in the past where a salon bleached and stripped my hair for 7hours which fried my past shoulder length hair to ear length so that scared me and I don’t want to go to a salon again to get bleached. Also I have very fine straight hair (naturally dark blonde)

    Sorry for the long message I really need advice

    • Thanks for the question. I guess it depends on how light you want it to be, but it shouldn’t be too hard to lighten it to a level that you can color over with light brown dye. If your hair is really orange, you can use a light ash brown color which with tone down some of the brassiness. You could also try to strip it first with a color stripper. I had a similar situation a few years ago, except my end goal was to be blonde. I just had to slowly add highlights and be patient, since sometimes it is a slow process. Good luck!

  11. I need help! My hair is a medium brown, and I have always dyed it darker. Almost black, I think a 3 for brown. I have always gone to a salon. We have well water at my home which turns any color practically orange. I do not want any type of red in my hair, or orange for that matter. Is there a way to fix this? Any products? A specific developer or color that is true and stays it’s true color longer? If I tried dying my hair, what could I use to block the redish tent that comes through?

    • I’m guessing that the well water has minerals that are reacting to the color molecules. I know that there are products out there that will remove hard water buildup but I think those might strip your color even more. You can try maybe using a shampoo that deposits brown molecules when you use it, or using an ash brown to counteract the colors. You might have to color your hair more often. Good luck!

      • hello i dont know how to comment. but i dyed my hair honey blonde from being jet black. i dye it jet black but wanted to do honey blonde. i used two packets of the honey blonde on my hair yday but only the roots dyed. i have one more pack of the dye as i bought 3 boxes what shall i do please help

        • Good question zoey! That’s what this blog post is really about. When you dye your hair jet black, you have to use bleach or color stripper to lighten out the color before dying it again. The downside is that it will probably not get as light as you want it at first and may be brassy. You’ll probably have to tone it so it’s not so brassy at first. The best thing to do would be to have a professional (that is experienced in this) do this process over multiple steps. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it goes when you have dyed black hair. Good luck! Hope this helps!

  12. Hi there!

    I have asian black/brown hair with a previous ombre that has turned a bit brassy in the sunlight. I wanted to lighten it and I bought a 6A Wella permanent colour (Dark Ash Blonde). If my hair is brassy after I lighten it, do I have to tone to something before I add the 6A? If I dye on top of the brassy colour will it still be brassy?

    My other question is, if I need to tone, do you recommend any brands ?

    thanks!

    thanks!

    • Thanks for the question! The 6A should tone the brasiness (A means ash, which means it has a blue base, which will counteract orange). The only downside with a 6a is that it might turn out a smidge dark… but if you lighten it before applying the 6A, it should work beautifully! Good luck!

  13. I have a little bit of gray in my chestnut brown hair and would love to color it with some kind of no-lift color so the gray is light brown and acts like a highlight. I have used some semi-permanent colors but even they lighten/change my hair overall. Can you recommend one I can buy without a professional license?

    • Definitely! I would recommend going to Sally beauty supply to buy professional-type products that you can buy without a license. There are brands made for Grey coverage… I know clairol makes one that people like. You want to use 20v developer for grey coverage. I would talk to the employees at Sally (make sure they know know about hair color). Good luck!

  14. Hi, …
    I have done few highlights, which had horrible result by making the highlights wayyy blonde than required. Can i correct them by just applying a hair color of any other brand to give a brown color?

    • You can definitely cover the highlights with a darker color but they might still be a little lighter than the I highlighted hair. Just make sure it’s what you want to do, because if you cover them up and want them back, it will be much harder to lighten them out and will do a lot more damage. Good luck!

  15. So I had started dying my hair in somewhere October 2015 and decided to at least dye it twice a year. My hair is naturally black-ish brown and I dye it with either golden blonde shade to make it lighter. Never used bleach because i dye it by myself. Now do you think you could give me some few tips I could use when I want it to shade it more lighter like somewhere platinum?

    • There may or may not be some high-lift platinum blonde colors that will get your hair light enough.. but I think your best bet is bleach. I would honestly recommend having a professional do it, if you don’t know much about bleach. I don’t want you to damage it or make it orange (which are two things that happen all the time). Please let me know if you have any other questions about it! Good luck!

  16. Hello
    What i need to do in my hair because i put black hair color in my hair and now i like to put again another color but it doesn’t work i think its because of the black hair color

    • You will have to lighten out the black color and/or strip the color. It’s such a pain to lighten out black color and it will have to be done in many processes if you want it to look good. I’d definitely recommend having someone do it for you and be patient. Good luck!

  17. I could use some advice/tips! I have been dying my hair for years but I can NEVER achieve a true medium ash brown. My hair is notorious for pulling red/Brassy tones. Even using ash browns. I want to do it with profession grade products and have an idea as to which developer, ect to get BUT how do I get the color without pulling. I have gone to salons and they only dye my hair and it comes out great! Someone made a comment that you can get these packets that you add to the dye and it won’t leave you with red/brassy color. What would you suggest for me to get to achieve a medium ash brown or medium brown without pulling! It has been driving me crazy for the last 10 years!

    • Thanks for the question! It’s hard to tell completely without seeing the pictures or knowing what you use but you can try going to Sally beauty supply and buying an ash brown (I’d probably think 20v but talk to someone that works there about it… and make sure they know about hair color…if they don’t, find someone that does). Sally is a great place to buy more professional products that are easy to use. Wells makes some pretty legit ash colors that I would recommend. Always follow the instructions on the box and if you have questions, the color companies usually have a help line you can call. I’d try that first and if it’s still not ashy, I think they sell color boosters you can add to the color when mixing it, which is probably what you mean about the packets. Ash is a blue base, so you’d want a blue booster. Once again, I’d ask someone that works there and knows about color. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  18. Hey,

    So my issue is I dyed my dark brown hair with Auburn and it came out deep red. I read online that it has to do with the volume level of your dye. So I went and bought a different dye and I chose a very orangey Auburn so that I could get it lighter but now it is just a dark Auburn..
    Do you think if I bleached it for a short amount of time it’ll give me the colour I want? Like a nice auburn?
    Do you think I should give my hair a rest for a bit before trying this? What is my best option? I don’t want my hair to fall out!but I hate the colour right now..
    Thanks!!!

    • Thanks for the question! It’s quite possible that a short amount of time with bleach would give you the desired color but also not probable. Auburn usually has more brown in it, so maybe you should wait for it to lighten out a little and then maybe even soap cap it (mix bleach with shampoo and put on for like 10-20 minutes to lighten out the color) or color strip it first… then maybe try dying it again with some brown mixed in to tone down the red. I don’t know the condition of your hair but I would still advise giving it a break first. Good luck! I hope it gets better soon!

  19. Hi Hollee Wood! I HAVE A HAIR SITUATION! I got a undesirable orange hair as a result of my stylist trying to lighten my dark level 2 (virgin) healthy hair “high lilft” product to achieve a level 7 ashy blonde. She wanted to avoid using bleach to keep it healthy, but my hair only got to a VERY WARM VERY BRASSY level 7. She also put bleach on the ends for 10 minutes because we are going for an ombre effect. She put a level 7 ash blonde toner on it, but the result was a darker still very brassy level 5/4 color.
    Now she is suggesting to bleach my hair three days after we did all this. I feel I don’t understand how much damage we could be doing to my hair. As far as I understand the high lift is supposed to add color to the hair and the toner does too.
    I have 2 questions:
    1-How safe/ok is to bleach my hair a few days after we did the high lift and 10 minute bleaching on the ends and then the darker toner on top or should we wait longer? She wanted to do it the day after but I refused because I feel I need to understand a little more before moving forward. My hair looks ok, not burnt or dry.
    2-I want to be gentle with my hair and go as smart as possible. Can we expect the bleach to get my hair from brassy 5/4 to get to a level in one session or it would be expected to do more sessions? Im afraid because she applied the toner and high lift that my hair is no longer virgin and will be too difficult to not damage it or make it lighter.

    Thank you so much for your feedback!

    • This response might be too late but I still wanted to let you know that I had a similar experience with my hair earlier this year. I didn’t color my hair for 1.5 years and it was mostly my natural color, which is a medium-to-dark brown. I used a high lift blonde but it didn’t lift it as high as I wanted, which left it really brassy. I did end up having to bleach it (but I waited a couple of weeks) and it did do damage, but it wasn’t too bad in the end. I suggest using Olaplex as a deep conditioning treatment. It’s expensive but works really well to repair your hair. I hope it turned out well!

  20. Gina FLORES Reply

    Hi I usually dye my hair extra light Ash blonde and 2 days ago I dyed my roots Ash blonde I didn’t realize until it came out darker my natural hair color is medium to dark. if I dyed the roots an extra light Ash blonde over the Ash blonde will it lighten it at all?

    • It could lighten them a little, but typically, it wouldn’t. You can always try and see if it does and if not, lighten your roots to match. I just worry that lightening your roots will be hard to match it to the rest. I don’t want you to end up with hot roots. Good luck!

  21. Post comment
    A FANDOM user
    HAIRHELP!!!! I had just dyed my lower part of hair into light brown,while I wanted a darker shade of brown. My natural color is black/brown. Is it possible for me to dye that into darker/brown shade over the already dyed one?since they have used permanent dye I’m really worried about it. please help.

    • Yes, you can go darker with no problems. You wouldn’t be able to go lighter without lightening your hair first. Hair color does minimal damage so I wouldn’t worry about coloring it again. Good luck!

  22. Shannon Arnott Reply

    I have a question about dying my hair red. My hairs was previously ombré with ends being blonde. I cut off a lot of my hair and but still have some blonde ends. When I dyed my hair red (which is my usual hair color) I noticed that wherever the blonde was the red came out so vibrant and WAY brighter than the rest of my hair. How do I fix this? I would like the same tone of red throughout all of my hair.

    • You need to “fill” blonde hair with the colors it’s missing before coloring it red. It’s kinda like matching the blonde to the rest of your hair so that the slate is fresh. I think it would be hard at this point to get it to match. You might just have to keep cutting it out or try dying it again. You could always go to a color specialist to match it to the rest of your hair. Good luck!

  23. hey !? i had on ombree hair {blonde half of my hair and my natural hair on the top half} am trying to go like a honey blond or maybe an ash blonde am not trying to bleach my hair. i was told to use wella light ash blonde on the top half and tone it with t18 it has made it light but not the color i want can u help please

    • Well t18 is a toner, and it shouldn’t need to be used unless you bleach your hair or if it was an undesired color. Was your hair a good color before toning it? You probably will need to lighten it before coloring it again. You can do a soap cap, which uses bleach but will be very mild on your hair (if it’s pretty light, it won’t take much to get the color out of your hair). You could also use a color stripper instead of bleach. Once you get the color lifted out, you’ll just need to re-dye it to the shade you want. Also, honey and ash are totally different. Honey is more of a golden blonde, whereas ash is more of a greyish blonde (it has a blue base). Good luck! Hope it all goes well.

  24. What you’ve said makes a lot of sense, I mean it’s obvious to me as I’ve been dying my hair at home for years. The only question I have is about what shade of bleached hair would achieve a platinum blonde result? Whether it’s by toning or dying, I’d like to know if the bleached hair should be fully yellow or if it can have some very light orange tones in it?

    • For platinum blonde hair, you’ll want to get it as light as possible for optimal results. If you can get it all to a pale yellow, and tone it with a platinum toner, that should look really good. However, the lighter you get it, the more damage you do to it so be aware of that. I recommend Olaplex as a deep conditioner to repair in between processes. If there are orange tones, it won’t be horrible, but it might not look like you want it to look. Good luck!

  25. Hello! Your article was super helpful!

    I would like to dye my hair ombre-blonde (I already have a bit of ombre and light brown/blonde hair) and I wanted a very natural look. I was thinking of either using 10 or 20 cream developer. How do I get warm gold ombre if I’m bleaching my hair? Won’t it turn out very white?

    Thank you in advance!!

    • Thanks for the question! If your hair doesn’t have color on it, you could use color instead of bleach. Just find a shade that you like and look up tutorials about how to do ombré. If you want to use bleach, you can rinse the bleach out before it gets white (just make sure it’s more of a pale yellow and not orange). At that point, you’ll want to use a golden toner to tone it down. Good luck!

  26. Can I change my color after 2 weeks? I colored my hair Medium Light Blonde last November 1, and I want to change my into Medium Light Brown. Thanks!

    • Yes, that shouldn’t be a problem. Going darker is easy… going lighter is the hard part. Color does pretty minimal damage, and two weeks is plenty of time in between. Just do some deep conditioning in between! Good luck!

  27. I dyed my hair auburn/burgundy back in April. I didn’t like the way it turned out so I stripped the color using head & shoulders. 2 days later I dyed it Medium ash brown. It turned out good. But now I want to use the light ash brown hair color. And I have about 3 maybe 4 inches of new hair growth. What I am wondering is if I can achieve this light ash brown without it looking too light at the top and dark on the bottom? My natural hair color is medium brown. Thanks!

    • Are your roots a very different level of color than the rest of your hair? You might have to formulate it differently for your roots or not let the roots process as long. Color correction can be tricky, so if you are in doubt, it’s a good idea to have a professional help this time. Good luck!

  28. I have a question that is really baffling me too! I have realised that I have been making my hair darker each time as I have been using wella colour touch 7/73 with 1.9% 6 vol. From reading your posts and other online info this is essentially just depsoting colour, making it darker each time. This made me more like a level 3/4.
    How do you maintain an all over light to medium brown colour refresh if it’s just going to get darker each time? I also don’t want the warmth that keeps coming through which I assume because 7/73 is quite gold toned.
    I don’t think I’m grasping how colour and lifting works! Maybe I should be using a higher vol but wella’s website suggests using only 1.9% with CT. I also use this because I like the way it fades out over time.
    I have also been told to always choose a light shade than what you are trying to achieve as it will alway come out darker. I.e you don’t use a 5 if you are trying to achieve level 5 as this will be very dark? Is this true

    • You can always just apply the color to your outgrowth and let that process for 45 mins (or whatever the directions say) and only comb it through to the rest of your hair for the last 5-10 minutes to refresh the color without depositing too much new color. Hope this helps!

  29. Thanks so much for your information and fast reply on my last question. Regarding the caramel toner to put on the highlights could you recommend one please?

  30. Hi, so I have Virgin dark brown hair, and I want to go lighter, maybe a carmel, or ash color, what do you recommend and will I achieve any results?

  31. Hi Hollee!
    I have been colouring my hair a level 5/6 full head for the last two years.
    I now want to get to a nice light brown (not sure how to describe) but like Olivia Culpo’s hair colour!
    I have been to the hairdressers for a full head of highlights however there is still quite a lot of dark and now the highlights are visible. She toned with colour touch plus 88/07 and 77/07 mixed I believe. However some highlights are still quite blonde and I don’t like the stripy tones.
    What can I do now? I don’t want to end up making my hair darker again and reverse the process of trying to get lighter! please help 🙂

    • Thank you for the question! So, in the pictures I see of Olivia Culpo, her hair seems to be like a level 4-5, although she does look like she has dark caramel type highlights in her newest Instagram pictures. I would maybe see if your hairstylist can add a caramel color to the highlights to tone them down. Then, in the future when you get highlights, make sure you express that you want really finely-woven highlights, not stripes or chunks. The best thing you can do is to bring a picture of what you want so that she can see exactly what you want. If she still can’t get it right, it might be time to try a new stylist. Hope this helps! Good luck!

      • Hi there! I’ve got a ? I bet you don’t get every day. What is the volume or strength of the root touch up kits meant to cover gray? You know like Loreal Root Touch Up and Revlon Root Erase. It would be marvelous to mix my own since I loved the Revlon one but they seem to have discontinued it and I bet it could be done with less damage because I have a sneaking suspicion they use 40 volume. For some reason I think they are sacrificing hair health for time as it takes only 10 minutes, so wouldn’t it be way healthier to use a deposit only color on 90% gray roots, like a semi or demi? I ask this because I believe a LOT of women (me too) who fell for the root touch up spiel for in between salon visits or regular dying, are murdering our hair with these, way worse than the regular once every six week dye jobs.

        • I guess it probably depends on the individual color line (I can’t speak for all of them) but typically, you’d want to use 20v for optimal grey coverage. It does seem odd that it would process in 10 minutes but I don’t know enough about that to know how it works. You can definitely use color made for grey coverage and mix it yourself and add to your roots. Also, Demi and semi will do minimal damage but will fade out. A 20v color should not do much damage anyways. Hope this helps! Good luck!

          • There are only three companies making these root touch up kits for gray; Clairol, Revlon, and Loreal. They all work in 10 minutes, competely cover the gray, only give you enough to do your part and around your face, and are probably used by the majority of women over 40 or 50. This includes the Baby Boomer generation and we are the largest demographic in this country. I am trying to get you to take me seriously on this for 2 reasons. I read somewhere that the way to think of different volumes was as time. Use 40% where you want dye on hair for just 10 minutes so you finish whole head at the same time. Now to point. Using 40% every month and regular 20% every 5 to 6 weeks has got to be very damaging to your hair. I think women should be made aware of this for 2 reasons. Have you noticed how many shampoos, etc there are on the shelves for Alopecia? My mother, grandmother never had this and these products were never cluttering shelves. I had a mini stroke and CAT scan showed my brain looks older than my years. I have no idea of course if hair dye did this but everything else in our lives is harmful. And using 20% is no different from regular dye job as you still must leave it on for 45 minutes for stubborn gray and all gray is bloody stubborn, lol.

          • Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find the truth. It’s not the peroxide level but the PPD and other chemicals used in dark tints that you need to worry about – and I mean worry about enough to stop using them. Google and find out for yourself. All the best.

  32. Raoua Mahfoudh Reply

    Hii! I loved your article it’s very informative. I was wondering if you can help me with something. While i was dying my hair on Sunday I somehow mixed up my hairdyes and used a light blonde (level 9) and now im left with orange roots and greenish ends ( from previous blue) 😭 im planning to dye it black tomorrow or maybe a bluesh black color. Will that work for my hair? Or will it come out uneven. Thank you in advance.

    • The black should work perfectly if you use a 10v developer. It’s so dark that it should cover all the colors pretty good (unless you have super white blonde areas- then it might turn out more grey). However, please keep in mind that black hair color is extremely hard to remove once it’s in there. Make sure you want black hair and want it to be black for a long time before you commit. Good luck!

  33. I dyed my hair yesterday at the salon and it’s not the exact color I want. Right now it’s a darker burgundy/red with a more violet in it I believe she said but I want it a lot lighter red than it is because I feel like it doesn’t look so red and only mostly in certain lights and I don’t want it to be like that. And I don’t want it to look orangy and more bright red. Is there anything at home I that I can do to fix it today? like go buy a box of bright red dye and dye it? The top half of my head was my natural color (light brown). I hadn’t dyed that part in almost two years and the bottom half of my hair was bleached blonde (ombré look) that I had done in like April. The bottom half of the color she did i don’t like at all and the color she put in on top she didn’t lighten it at all or bleach it and just put the burgundy/red in. I didn’t really want to wait a month for it to get fixed yet I also didn’t wanna try and fix myself because I know red is tricky to deal with but if I am able to fix it then I would like to. I also don’t want to go back to salon because I dont have time and I don’t want to offend the lady. Any tips/ideas on what to do?

    • Honestly, I think your best bet would be to talk to the lady that did it about fixing it. If she is good stylist, she’ll understand that it wasn’t what you wanted and be happy to fix it. I would rather my clients be happy and have me fix it, than to stop coming to me or say bad things. If you were to try to put red color on your hair, it might make it a little more red, but will probably make it darker at the same time. It sounds like you would have to bleach it out and then dye it red to do it yourself, but it will probably be tricky since the ends were already bleached (they are more susceptible to damage and incorrectly holding the color). I do hope you just talk to your stylist and have it turn out how you want. Good luck!

  34. My hair color is dark brown and i want to lighten my hair like golden brown colour without bleaching. Some one suggest me Garnier Ultra Color B3 – Golden Brown but this is not available in Pakistan. So can i use 30v developer in any other garnier colour which is available in Pakistan to lighten my hairs. 30v developer is used for high lifting thats why i ask u because i want the exact golden brown color. Please help me 🙁

    • Hi! Thank you for the question! I’m not really familiar with Garnier color, but I did just look up the color your are talking about. I guess, depending on how dark your hair is, 30v might be appropriate, but I think it might need more of a 20v based on the picture of B3 I found. You can’t just use it with any Garnier color.. it has to be the correct level of color for it to turn out that way. However, box colors like Garnier usually come wit the appropriate developer, so check if it has it or not first. I would definitely use the developer made for that particular line, if you can. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  35. Hi, I loved your article very interesting, but I would like to know, with virgin hair at a level 6 can I use a highlift color to get to a level 10 ? If it’s possible how long should I leave the highlift on the hair ? I read somewhere you could leave it up to 90 minutes.

    Thank you so much !!

    • That should work beautifully. I would just follow the instructions for that particular color line because they are Ll different. Some hair colors stop working after a set time, so I’m not sure if it would be beneficial to leave it on. You can always call the hotline for the color line you use and ask them what the max time would be!

  36. Alice Sullivan Reply

    Hi, I have dark brown hair and I’m trying to go for either a ginger color or I was thinking of going blonde. And by blonde I’m taking a white blonde like for example Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter if your familiar with the Harry Potter series. My question is how would I go about bleaching my hair?

    • Have you dyed your hair before? If not, it should be easy to get it to the platinum color (although it might take a few processes if your hair is super dark). If there is dye in your hair, it might take more processes. You’ll probably want to use 30 or 40v to get maximum lift but be careful, because this can cause a lot of damage if you aren’t careful. Also, be sure to use bleach that is safe to use on the scalp. I always recommend having a professional do it.

  37. Advice please:

    I have very dark brown hair. I had balayage ends with a copper caramel color. Then I had a hair stylist turn all my hair to auburn brown (slightly red). The ends obviously began to fade and at home I toned the faded ends with a VOL 2 developer and Schwarzkopf pro BLONDME Strawberry Toner. It turned out nicely with the mildly reddish brown tones I already had going on and didn’t create too much brassyness. However…I want to go all over lighter, ashy blonde. How can I achieve this?

    • Ashy blonde might be harder to achieve since there are a lot of red tones in your hair now. You might have to do multiple processes to get it to a level that would take an ash toner. You’ll definitely have to bleach it and maybe even use color stripper before that. Once it is light enough, you can use an ash toner. As usual, I recommend having it done professionally since color correction can be tricky. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  38. Question, my hair is burgundy and I want to go honey blonde. What’s the best approach to take?

    • I’m guessing that you dyed your hair burgundy. If that’s the case, I would bleach your hair to a golden level and then tone it or put honey blonde color over it. Good luck!

  39. AHHHH! I decided to bleach my hair after a friend of mine did so. I used blue lightning bleach and 40 developer. At the time, my hair was fading burgundy-red and another friend said I could bleach over it and it would come out blonde, no problem! But this is not the case. After bleaching it again the next day with different bleach, (my hair was not very damaged, even after the first bleach) I still have red splotches on the sides of my head. Since this happened (about four months ago) I have used red and violet semi permanent dyes and it turned the ends red and the middle green. My hair is also orange-ish from the bleaching. I am at a loss as to how to fix these problems. I have tried Head and Shoulders, dish soap, vitamin c, and Epsom salt soaks to no avail. If I could get some help for my hair in distress, I would be oh so thankful

    • The head and shoulders, dish soap, etc won’t work because the splotchiness is due to uneven application of the bleach.
      Bleach is actually tricky because you should process different parts of your hair differently (the roots heat up and process faster than the mid shaft and the ends also process fast). And parts of your hair that were colored will also process differently. I would honestly have a professional fix it, because the more you bleach it, the more damage you’ll do. If you don’t want to do that, j would use a darker color (it could even be like a dark blonde or medium brown) to color it all one color. Good luck!

  40. Hi Hollee! I need help. I recently dyed my dark blonde hair a level 6 dark Intense red blonde. It came out pretty, but I want to tone the red down with a shade of brown. Nothing too dark, but enough to give it that burgundy shade if possible without messing up my hair or turning it black/purple. I used a 20 developer with the 6IR. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Sorry it took so long to respond! I would just recommend using a level 6 or 7 neutral brown with 20v developer. Since your hair already has the red in it, it will still have warm undertones but it will add brown in too. If you use a lighter shade with 20v, it shouldn’t get too dark. If it does get a little dark, it will fade out. In fact, you could try a semi permanent color to see how it looks first, before committing. Then it will fade out more quickly too. Just remember to use a lighter shade. Good luck!

  41. Please help! my color experiment was an epic fail👎🏾it did not lift at all!! I purchased true integrity 6c at cosmoprof and consulted with them first because even though I’m a licensed stylist, color is not my expertise! They suggested a 40 vol developer, I mixed equal parts and it literally made the hair a darker brown….needless to say I’m not happy because it was a waste of time and money and my daughter is upset because she’s supposed to get it installed today and it did not work! I’m so glad this is just weave hair but I want to know if there’s any way I can fix it?

    • I’m guessing that maybe the hair already had brown color on it to make it look good. In that case, the color won’t lift it. You’d have to lighten it first or strip the color. I would probably use lightener (bleach) to lighten it, and then use the 6c to deposit color (probably use a 10v, depending on how light you lifted it). That’s a bummer that cosmoprof didn’t consider that first. Hope you get them to work soon for your daughter! If you have any other questions, please let me know! I’m happy to help! 🙂

    • NEED HAIR HELP!!! I can’t find where to submit Question. Sorry. Hope this is ok.

      I am trying to use a more natural/mostly organic dye. I won’t list name in case I am not supposed to but it is a top brand at Whole Foods. I have dark blond/light brown hair. I am going to dye the roots to match my already golden blond color with a different brand. I have had low lights of a light copper mixed in. I want to know is it ok to use a permanent for the low light or am I using a demi? My low lights always faded but I was told that any shade of red fades with using demi or permanent. I am going to also deep condition beforehand too.

      Thanks so much!! I need to pass on your website.

      • You can definitely use a permanent color for lowlights. The only difference is that it will last longer than demi (Demi will eventually fade). It is also true that all red color will fade somewhat. Good luck!

  42. Helppppppppp my hair is naturally blonde.I had very light highkights throughout..needless to say I was very blonde..well I bought 8nn ion hair color which is a lightest pale blonde .So i put new growth first and of course it get a little further down but anywasy my hair is dark reddish brown how can that be ? putting blond on blonde how in the heck did it turn dark brown with red im in tears been growing hair for 6 yrs from very short back to long and i am blonde naturally I dont look good at all!!!!!!!!!! in dark hair please help me out

    • Well 8nn should probably be a lighter blonde but still more of a dirty blonde color. I have no idea why it turned red and dark. Maybe it was a problem with that bottle. I’d calling the company that made it and asking them. As far as correcting it, the best advice I have is to talk to a professional. Color correction is tricky and hard to do. You’ll have to strip the color and lighten it. If you have more questions, please let me know!

  43. Hi hollee, I want to dye my hair a medium brown. My hair is currently black (box dye) I have had trouble in the past bleaching my hair and the hair not lifting to the brown box dye. Why is this? And how can I get that medium brown color I want?

    • Sorry it took so long to reply! I’ve been swamped! Anyways, black hair dye is extremely hard to lift out and will take a long time and a lot of processes. You’ll probably need to strip the color multiple times and then try to lighten it to a level that works. Then, go over it with the medium brown. Hope this helps!

  44. Hi Hollee,
    Great post, and awesome name BTW!
    I have a question and hope you can help. I have naturally dark brown hair but have gotten highlights for many years. Right now, I have about 3 inches of roots and then blonde highlights. My hair is a mixtue of dark brown and blonde highlights. I want to go to a deep red burgundy color. Should I dye my hair Brown before I go with the burgundy? I am unsure how it will turn out if I apply it as my hair is now? I want to get the Wella color from Amazon. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the kind words and for the question! I definitely would not dye your hair brown first, because then it will be hard to get the burgundy to take. It will probably be hard to have the blonde and brown parts match *exactly* once you color it with burgundy (there will probably still be lighter areas), but it should match pretty well. You can use a 10v developer on the blonde hair, since you are just depositing color and then use a 20-30v on the brown hair since you’ll want to lift it. You can also “fill” the blonde hair first… if you go to sally’s you can buy a “color filler” or google a formula for it. You start getting into some crazy hair science with fillers, so the best advice I would give is to have someone do your hair, at least the first time. Then you can keep up on it if you want. Hope this helps! Good luck!

      • Hey Hollee, for the above do you have a recommended filler that you would use for the blonde hair? Would you use a burgundy filler?

        • Yeah… If you are doing a warm color like burgundy, you can use a warm filler. I like using hair color (here are some formulations with Redken… you can mimic it with any color line: paul mitchell repigmentation chart). Or you can buy a warm filler at Sally that I’ve heard is good! 🙂

  45. Hi! About a month ago I “dip dyed” my box dyed red hair with Manic Panic voodoo blue. I then decided to color it dark brown, and it turned a very foresty green color. So since then, I’ve faded it pretty well with strong shampoos. I bought a mahogany/auburn color which has a red base (instead of the cool base I chose last time). I have read that red based colors do typically get rid of greens. Do you think it’ll work this time to at least neutralize the green? I’m not expecting greatness here lol and is there anything else I should do? Thank you!

    • Hmmm. That is a tough question, just because I’ve never seen that in action before. Theoretically, I would think a brown color with maybe a hint of warmth to it would be your best bet, but it might hard to match it to the rest of your hair. I definitely wouldn’t use a cool color though. Hope it helps!

  46. Hi Hollee! Let’s see if I can keep this short!

    I’m a natural blonde, now dark blonde & grey. I have colored my hair to level 8 with a box color, with which I have been very happy, and from which I get great results. I’m at the point where I’d rather do something more in harmony with my grey. I recently toned it my hair with the famous Wella T18 and loved the result. 30 minutes with 20 v lifts my natural color to light lemon yellow. The toner cooled down the warmth of the previous color & the newest blonde, harmonizing the tone overall so I don’t have the cool-grey-to-warm-blonde clash. But I want all the old level 8 gone so I can go white (or pretty dang close).

    Here’s my plan: color remover, wait several weeks, go back in with the same brand of color, but using their lightest, high-lift color. Tone again with T18.

    Think that will work? Or must I bleach before recoloring?

    • Hi Barb! Thanks for the question! Theoretically, the highlift color wouldn’t lift the previously colored hair, but I think it might lift it a little. It should definitely work better after using the color remover though. In my opinion, I think it would work just fine. You can always try it and if it doesn’t work, you can bleach it later. Hope it all goes well!!

    • Hi Hollee 🙂
      My apologies for tagging onto another post, but couldn’t figure out where to post my question. First, thank you for this awesome blog/post, and the wonderful advice you give to so many 🙂
      I’m a guy whose hair turned gray many years ago. hence I have been using a box color, light ash blonde for many years with pretty decent results. Sometimes, my hair comes out a little yellowish which I really don’t care for. I went to Sally’s and they advised me to mix Wella T18 liquid hair toner with 20 volumizer, after coloring my hair. Leave on for 30 minutes and wash out. Just for the heck of it, I called Wella, and they said that I shouldn’t do this under any circumstances, saying that it should only be used with bleached hair. So now I’m confused. If you advise against T18, do you have a recommendaation to cool down the color I sometimes get from my box color?
      If this has been asked and answered before, please forgive my oversight. I read through your entire thread, but didn’t see this exact question
      Thanks so very much for your time.
      Rob

      • Hi rob! Thanks for the question! I would think that it wouldn’t hurt to use the T18, but technically it is used with bleached hair. It’s a toner, which means that it deposits pigment to counteract the unwanted tones. Technically, the light ash color you use shouldn’t leave any yellow though, so I can’t suggest using an ashier color. I wonder if you try a different brand or maybe a shade of “platinum blonde” (which counteracts yellow) if it would give you desired results. You could also always bleach it first and try the toner. But I would try calling Wella again and talking to someone else. It seems kinda harsh that they’d say to not use it under any circumstances. While, it is formulated to work with bleached hair, I couldn’t see it hurting (and I would think it would help your problem). I hope this all helps! Good luck!!

        • Hi Hollee,
          Thank you so much for your thorough, and prompt reply. yea, I’ve tried different colors/brands, etc, sometimes I have the issue but not always. I’ll dilute the toner more than suggested strength, and give it a shot.
          Thanks again so very much 🙂
          Rob
          P.S. I kind of had the same idea about calling Wella back, lady I spoke with sounded like she was wound a little tight lol 😉

          • Hey Rob – you could also try toning your color simply by using purple shampoo. If you don’t get a lot of yellow, that may be the easiest way to go. Sally’s has a generic version of Clairol’s Shimmer Lights, which is made to keep yellow out of grey/silver/platinum hair.

  47. Hi,
    I’ve been maintaining my blonde hair at home for a while. My hair is naturally dark brown, about a level 4 or 5. When my roots grow out I use a level 6 base color and add in some highlights but this time around I want to use a level 7 base color instead although I don’t want my regrow to be much lighter than my base color. My question is would I be able to use the level 7 color on my darker base or will it simply not lift? Could I possibly use a lower level developer on the regrowth and higher level on the base color or will this just warp the color I already have? Thanks again for your advice, the analogy really gave me a better understanding of the coloring process

    • Theoretically, if you put a level 7 over a level 6, it will not lift it. However, I think it will blend nicely, and there won’t be much of a difference between a 6 and a 7. It may even slightly lighten the 6. I would personally just use the same color with the same developer, although you could use a lighter developer on the rest of your hair if you wanted (like maybe a 30 on the previously colored hair, and a 20 on the roots). It really depends on what your natural color is and the target color. I hope it all goes well!!! 🙂

  48. Hi,
    So I colored my hair about two months ago. My natural color is black. The hair dresser first bleached them and then colored them caramel. I feel like the color has turned out more prominent than I needed it to be. I was looking for a more chocolatey brown than mixes well with my dark hair.
    Can I darken the existing color now? Will it ruin the texture of my hair?
    Please revert back.
    Thank you so much. Your posts are very logically put together. Keep them coming 🙂

    • Hi Rajvi! Thanks for the question and for the kind words! Darkening your hair color does very minimal damage, so it will not ruin your hair texture. Also, it is possible and easy to do. Are you having it done or doing it yourself? I would be careful not to go too dark, if you do it yourself because it may turn out darker than you wanted, so be mindful of that. Hope this helps! Good luck!!

  49. Hi I got my hair done yesterday and I want to dye. My ends where/are purple and I had a lot of new growth and gray hair. The girl bleach my hair, roots turned yellow the other part not as yellow then applied the purple all over (splat hair dye). Now my hair is purple roots and ends middle part brownish with a hint of purple.. .called the girl gave me two options just bleach the brown parts, or dye my hair brown from the roots to the part that is already brown. Would the brown take or do I have to bleach my hair either way please help me thank u

    • The brown should take over rest of the hair unless it is super damaged. Don’t bleach it if you want it to go brown. If you are trying to go purple, you might want to bleach it again, but be careful so you don’t do too much damage.

  50. Hi Holly, I had my hairdresser cousin put violet streaks in my hair last summer. This is the first unnatural hair dye I have ever received except for some henna red streaks about ten years ago. He lightened three streaks of my naturally very dark brown hair to practically white, then added (I believe) Punky Colour violet. It was wonderful and kept its colour for about 7 weeks. He re-dyed it when I started noticing the ends going silver. Success, and another re-dye after another 2 months. However, I asked if we could try another colour brand that might hold its colour longer. We tried Ion in March. I didn’t like the shade very much, but it also didn’t seem to hold its colour as long as punky. We lifted my streaks again since the roots had grown out several inches and went back to Punky early this July. However, it started to fade A LOT after each shampoo. Re applied more Punky after a week and also added the dye to my conditioner, however it is still fading fast. It even fades unevenly, almost in stripes in some places. Why is this happening? Could it be because we used Ion in between? Would it help to go swimming in a chlorinated pool (I’ve avoided such pools since dyeing my hair) so that all the colour goes away and try again?? I have loved the violet in my hair but now my hair is a mess of purple, violet, silver/grey, and naturally almost black hair. It’s very frustrating and perplexing. My cousin doesn’t know why it’s happening either (colour isn’t his specialty). Could you please give me any advice?

    • Hey Jhoanna! Thanks for the question! Colors like that are usually semi-permanent colors and not meant to last for very long. They will also fade inconsistently because they don’t chemically change your hair at all. I would not keep lightening your hair (except maybe your outgrowth), because the more you lighten it, the more porous your hair will get. When your hair is porous, it will not hold on to the color molecules and it will fade quickly. You will probably have to wait for the damaged parts of your hair to grow out before they will hold color again. You should definitely do everything you can to recondition it and try to cut some of the damaged parts out. Also, there are some brands that make purple-ish colors that are meant to be permanent or demi-permanent (which will last a little longer). Matrix makes a pretty decent purplish color that is permanent. However, these will probably be a little different than the color you have in there now. I would definitely avoid the pool because the chlorine will definitely make your color fade faster. Also, try washing your hair with cold water in the shower and not washing your hair every day. You can take a normal shower without getting your hair wet (use a cap) and before you get out, make the water cold and only get your hair wet with the water. That will help hold the color in too. Hope all this helps! Good luck!

  51. Hi I am a brunette but decided to get some blonde highlights. I eventually wanted to go back to being dark and I used a dye from sallys which made my hair jet black. I would like it to look more natural. What should I do?

    • The best thing to probably do is just to let it fade out. If you start messing with it, it’s gonna make things worse. You’d have to bleach it out to a lighter level and color it again. You can try doing something like “color oops” that will lighten it a little without bleach. Hope it helps 🙂

    • no get some stripping shampoo like i did it works but you will need conditioner with it and you will be fine

  52. Kelle Fecher Reply

    Question: I am trying to resume coloring my hair by myself- I did it for years and it looked great. I switched to the salon about 10 years and am honestly just tired to spending the money (plus I love playing with my hair!). My virgin hair is approx level 6 with light grays poking through- roots are approx 1.5 inches right now. My colored hair is about level 7 blonde highlights, base still underneath and visible. Some of the highlights may be level 8. I just want to do an all-over level 7, terrified of bleach of course. My hair is in great shape- always doing treatments, etc. I have access to Cosmo Prof products. What do you suggest?

  53. Hi! I accidentally commented earlier with the wrong email address! I went to my hair stylist about a week ago and asked for pastel pink hair, (I’m naturally a caramel blonde) and I think she thought I was scared to have pink hair. She used a hair lightener (I don’t know what it was but she told me it wasn’t bleach) and put the color on top. When it came out some sections were slightly pink but overall it looks like I have almost a strawberry blonde (the blonde is a shade or two lighter). I want to use a box color or a mixture of Manic Panic colors to get pink hair but I think I’m going to have to go lighter before I can color it. What do you recommend? This is not the first time I’ve asked her for a crazy color and had nothing come out… I love my hair stylist to death but I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on this and I just want to do it myself this time so I won’t be frustrated with her.

    • Thanks for the question Abbey! That is a tough one to answer. If you really like your hairstylist and you are happy with her, then maybe try talking to her more about the color you want. Have you tried showing her pictures of what you want? Pastel pink might mean something different to her than it does to you. Or maybe she is afraid to go too pink like you suggested. I would just try talking to her about it… she should be willing to fix it for you since you spent a lot of money to not get what you wanted.

      If you did want to try it yourself, the good thing with Manic Panic is that it will eventually fade out if you don’t like it. If your hair was previously lightened, I don’t think you would need to lighten it more before applying the Manic Panic, but it’s hard to know exactly how light your hair is without a picture. Just know that the lighter it is, the more vibrant the color will be. It shouldn’t matter too much if you are going for a pastel color though…. Good luck with whatever you decide 🙂 I hope you get the color you want!!

  54. My hair stylist used a hair lifter on my already blonde hair so she could make it pink, but I think she thought I was scared to have pink hair so when it came out I just had lighter blonde hair with some pinker sections; it almost looks strawberry blonde… Would using a hair lifter on my hair be okay even thought it isn’t virgin hair anymore? I just want to use some Manic Panic colors or something to make my hair actually pink so it wouldn’t matter to me if the pink streaks in my hair stayed. My hair has never been bleached or anything..

  55. If I use a lighten my level 7 virgin hair by two levels with a level 9 blonde color (not bleach) and it doesn’t get as light as I would like, could I use another blonde dye (or maybe the same one) to lighten it more?

    Thanks!

    • I don’t know how well that would work. Theoretically, it wouldn’t work to lighten the color that was already deposited in your hair. But if you follow the instructions, there’s no reason it shouldn’t lighten it to your target level if you are doing it on virgin hair.

      • Hey Hollee! Thank you for the quick response! 🙂 After reading it, I realized that it wasn’t so much that it didn’t lighten two levels, it’s that the color has more gold than I prefer and I was thinking that if I put the same color back on, it might take it a shade lighter. But now I’m thinking to add Ardell red-gold corrector the next time I do my roots. I also think I got a bit of a ‘hot root’ issue and left it on my roots longer than necessary…

  56. Charlene Alldredge Reply

    What do you think of the UL products such as the Hi-Lift or Ultra Lift by Loreal and other companies. Will these work to gain the lighter shades. I wish to just go a little lighter. Not a ton.

    • They would work beautifully on virgin hair. But if you have color in your hair already, you’ll have to lighten it first.

  57. my hair is medium gold color , unfortunately has 3 different lines dark the root , medium gold brown . medium gold and light gold . I want to dye it one color so all is uniforme then 2 days later have highlight to make it more lighter I wonder which color to dye my hair. like mix
    gold medium brown 3/4 and 1/3 light gold all mix to get uniform color then gig light

    • I would honestly have a professional get it to a uniform color first. It will be pretty hard to get them all the same unless you just go darker. When it’s uniform, it will be easier to match your roots to the rest of the color.

  58. Olivia Lee Reply

    I’ve been dying my hair red for roughy 10 years, and it’s a dark red, but still very red (box dye) I’m really wanting to go to my natural color with natural looking highlights like this:
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179299628897306999/

    Is this possible, and how would I go about it. My hair is in pretty good condition still. I really don’t want to go to a salon because of multiple experiences and costs.

    thank you

    • I hate saying it but I would recommend going to a salon for this. It will definitely take multiple processes to get it that way and it probably will cost money for the different processes. However, it will be a lot more like the picture. It’s hard to say because I don’t know what your hair looks like…but, I’d imagine you’d have to bleach the red out (which might be hard.. any red left in there will leave red undertones in the brown) Then, you will probably have to color it to the brown color and bleach out the highlights, or color them with a blonde color while you are doing the brown. You’ll probably have to tone the whole thing or use an ash brown to tone out the red undertones. I just have seen a lot of people mess up their hair trying to do stuff like this, so I’d be very careful or have someone else do it. Remember that it’s better to pay the money at a salon than to have orange hair. Good luck and I hope it goes well!

  59. I want to dye my dark brown hair golden brown to get the full burgundy color I want same day with box dyes will my hair be fine the burgundy dye I have has No Ammonia I just don’t want my hair to fry or fall out BTW I’m mixed so my hair texture is a combination of both?

    • It depends on a few things…. have you ever colored your hair? If so, you’ll have to lighten it first. Also, what type of color are you wanting to use? Do you mix it with developer? If not, then it is not color that is meant to lift. Hope this all helps!

  60. Interested to know – for a quick change of look. I have medium brown hair with a subtle balayage blonde on the ends.
    Would it work if i used a semi to e.g. colour the blonde bits purple? Like one of these? https://briteorganix.com/collections/semi-permanent-range. Would my hair basically look the same but purple instead of brown/blonde?
    Would this eventually wash out and my hair return to the permanent colour underneath?Or am I dicing with danger?
    Thanks

    • I do think that it would look the same if you try to put it only on the blonde area. If you put it on the rest of your hair, it will make the rest of the hair purple too, but will probably still be a little lighter on the ends. Also, this will probably mostly wash out of the brown parts of your hair, but the blonde might hang on to it a little because it is more porous. Let me know how it turns out!

  61. HALPPPP. I have naturally dark brown hair I had been highlighting it a lot because I wanted to go blonde and then I all the sudden wanted a Auburn violet color. So I went to Sally’s got color for it and my hair turned out great it was this nice red purplish color after a few weeks the purple faded the red still remained and I still really liked it I then got Color Oops because I decided I wanted to go blonde the Color Oops made my hair almost a yellow orange color and then got a light ash brown with red gold color drops to keep those tones out to put on top of that. The light ash brown completely did the opposite of what I thought it was going to do. It added red orange back into my hair. I waited a day (I’m super impacient) and used a ton of deep conditioning mask and then i went and bought the shimmering lights purple shampoo by clarol because i saw good reviews about toning the orange/brassiness out of your hair. I also bought loreal champagne blonde in hopes it would help my hair lighten up more. Now it’s strawberry orangish ash color. I almost said screw it I’m going dark but I’ve come this far I don’t want to just give up….I’ve heard about leaving the shimmering lights purple shampoo on for 30 mins and rinsing it off might help…what should I do??????

    • Hi Autumn! Thanks for the question! That is really hard to give advice for because I’m not sure what it looks like, or looked like in each of those processes. It sounds like maybe your hair grabbed on to the purple-red color and it doesn’t want to come out now. Ash colors should tone out orange colors, and purple like the shimmering lights shampoo should tone out yellow colors. Toning will not make your hair lighter… all it will do is tone down some of the brassiness. The only way to get it lighter would be to probably bleach it, but I would be very careful with that, because I’ve seen people melt their own hair off before. When you were doing highlights, were you having them done professionally? You might want to have a hairstylist tone your hair to a more desirable color and then work on adding more highlights again. Hairstylists make a lot of money on fixing people’s hair when they do it themselves, so keep that in mind. I think you should have someone else look at it and help you, rather than trying to keep processing it. The other option I would say to do is just leave it alone for a while, even though it doesn’t sound like you like it much. I just don’t want you to damage your hair to the point of no return. Hope it helps.. 🙂

  62. Great analogy. I had a bad color day today and was looking for articles so I understand what is wrong in my case. Does your analogy work the same in the case of hair toners? I have natural jet black hair and I got highlights by lightening `nd bleaching my hair. The first result was perfect and I really liked it. However, I went to the same stylist after 3 months for hair toning to get the orange tone out of my hair. She suggested that she can do that by adding ashy gray tones to my hair in order to counter it and I (with less color knowledge) agreed. So my perfect golden, sun-kissed, light, warm highlights turned to cool dark brown highlights. I wasn;t happy with the result. I waited for seven weeks to get my lighter tones back with washes but I couldn;t wait for long and went again today. I asked for a honey blonde tone this time and to my despise I ended up having almost the same cool dark tone that I disliked. I asked my stylist that I want my first result back. I am not sure how I get I lighten it. I don’t wanna go to the stylist and spend more money and get it removed altogether. Can I only wait in this case to have my beautiful first hair color back? Or it is not possible? Thanks

    • Toners are maybe a little different, since they are usually applied to porous hair and don’t last too long. They should usually wash out… but that doesn’t mean they will wash out. It all really depends on how porous the light hair is, and what type of toner was used. If you re-lightened your highlights, it should get them to a better level and get the ashiness out of your hair, where you can re-tone them, using a golden color (or whatever you are going for). I would definitely, probably have someone else do it for you, because if you try to lighten them yourself, you can do a lot of damage, or lighten other parts of your hair that you don’t want to lighten. I would suggest talking to your stylist about not getting the result you asked for, and see if they could fix them for you. The toner probably will wash out eventually, but I can’t guarantee that it will happen… especially if it didn’t happen last time. An option would always be to try washing your highlights with dish soap or something that will strip out the color (this could really dry your hair out though, so be aware of that). I have heard of people using that or vitamin C to remove color.. but I have no first-hand experience with doing that. Maybe just search online for natural ways to remove color. That might be a good blog post 🙂 Hope it helps! Good luck!

      • Being a stylist with 25 years I would have to say that your stylist is not listen to you when you say honey golden by using ash ! My guess is they are not lifting you high enough and are thinking they are pulling to much brass !

  63. Hi! I don’t know if you still replay to people on here but about a month and a half ago I colored by hair witj box dye to Bright Auburn Brown, the color came out nice over my medium brown hair..looked like a regular auburn brown shade. I ended up not liking the red tint so after a month I dyed it with my favorite box dye, Garnier Olia Medium Brown. It toned down the hair alot but red highlights show through in the sunlight. So tomorrow I plan to dye it a Light Ash Brown with Revlon dye. I already did a test strand and it looks okay. It toned it down to what looks like a normal brown. My question is, after i have this ash color on my hair, can i then do a Medium Golden Brown dye in 2 months or so? Will the golden part be a problem over the ash/slight red color. I am thinking about doing the golden brown because I want some gold sheen back on my hair when I’m in the sunlight. I am not looking to make my hair lighter or darker, I want to keep it the same and so far it has been same darkness. Hope you see this! Please answer. Thank you!

  64. I used Sally’s kaleidescope blue bleach and the salon care 40 developer to bleach my hair again. The lady at Sally’s told me everything to get to do it. I followed directions and mixed it correctly then after 20 mins to rinsed it off and my hair is blue at the ends up to almost the top. I used a t14 and t18 toner and its silver and blue but mostly blue. How can I get the blue out of my hair before tomorrow for Christmas?

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry that this is late… hopefully you figured it all out in time for Christmas! Anyways, thanks for the question! So the blue bleach (especially kaleidoscope) has a blue toner built into it, meaning it will deposit blue into your hair. The ends of hair are usually super porous, which is why they grabbed the blue. Then, both Wella T18 and T14 are ash toners, meaning they have blue pigments also. So basically, you deposited a lot of blue into your hair, which is why you got that result. The best thing to do in that scenario, is to do a “soap cap,” which is when you mix bleach, low developer and some shampoo to dilute it (you can even use just bleach and shampoo, without developer). This is a gentle way to lift some of the blue out of your hair without lifting all of it out. When you do this technique, you need to watch it very carefully and rinse it out when the blue is gone. It could take a few minutes or maybe longer. It depends on how much blue is in your hair. The best thing to do is have a professional take a look, but if you do this (or did it) on your own, let me know how it goes. Hope this helps!!

      • Hi Hollee,

        Thank you for this amazing post, and I apologize for replying on someone else’s message! I couldn’t find a link to ask a new question. So, I have naturally dark hair (Asian) and I started getting only single process few years back initially just to cover greys and then in the hope of going a little lighter. I am glad I found your post because it seems like I was going about it all wrong and I am wondering why my stylist never explained it like this! Anyway, 4 months back I got a single process so my base color looks like somewhere between level 1 and 2. Then I got a balayage a month after that, to try lightening on part of my hair. I wanted the balayage shade to be somewhat lighter, brownish caramel like a 6, but it ended up with brassy undertones. It did not look bad actually but I figured I will need to be more careful the next time. Now, I am trying a new colorist and want your advice Hollee on what you think she should be doing to my hair. My objective now is to cover my greys, have a base that is a bit lighter, not orange..and full highlights that are ash brown caramel like (my skin tone is warm). I wonder if this can be achieved if she uses a permanent color and a 30 volume developer for my base? Will that lift my base color considering I do not have “virgin hair”? Should she apply it to all my hair, even the strands with balayage on them? Will the result be uneven orangish hair? OR should she add highlights to the whole head first and go lighter on the balayage strands and then touch up the base to cover greys only? OR Is going for a double process the better option now? What would you suggest? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much!

  65. I need help as soon as possible . I colored my sisters hair for the first time , she never had no color on her hair . Virgin hair . Her hair level is a about a 3. And she wanted to go to a medium brown look , so I would say a level 5-6 . She picked out a color and it was a 7M mocha dark blonde . The brand is from matrix . So I used the 7M with a 20 volume on her hair . I started from scalp to ends all over her hair . I started seeing that the top of her hair was way lighter than the bottom but I didn’t want to leave the hair color on the scalp to long so I decided to wash it of already . So when I washed it of , it definitely had that mocha brown but it slightly had like a orange tone to it . And the top was much brighter than the bottom. Bottom is still pretty dark . So I want to color her hair again to get to that medium brown she wants . But I want to even the whole hair out . I want to use a 5N with a 10volume on top and the hair that is dark use 5N 20 volume . Will that be a good idea or what do you think. Please reply asap .

    • Hi Daisy! Thanks for the question. So first off, 20 volume developer is only meant to lift 2 levels. Since you were going to a 7 from a 3, that would be 4 levels of lift, which would require 40v. Usually, you would probably want to use a high-lift blonde color for that or lighten it first. Next, the scalp area processes quicker due to the body heat being emitted. Technically, you should start the color about 1/2″ away from the scalp and end it before you get to the porous ends (the ends process differently too because they are porous and will absorb more color). After processing that part for 15-20 minutes, you would add the color to the scalp and ends, make sure it is saturated, and process for 25 more minutes to get an even color all around. If I had to guess, I would think the orange tone comes from it being washed out too quickly, before it fully processed.

      Now for the hard part of your question… it’s hard to say exactly, because I can’t see what her hair looks like. I think going with a darker color (the 5N) is a good choice, but just remember that it won’t be easy to take it lighter if she decides she wants blonde hair later. Theoretically, your formula of the 10v on the top and 20v on the bottom should work, if you were only needing to lift 2 levels, but now that it was previously colored, I don’t think it will lift much. You could just use a 10 volume all over and it should blend it a lot more and make it look a lot better, but the lighter areas will probably still be a tad lighter. The unfortunate news for you is that professional hair colorists make a lot of money with color correction (evening out the uneven tones), because it takes a lot of work, skills and practice to perfect. My best advice would be to either have a professional look at it and see what they say to do, or you can even try doing what you wanted to do, but if you guys are still unhappy with it, you may just have to take the whole thing darker. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  66. Thank you! You are a darling-saved me from hit and trial at home? I went back to the hairdresser and they fixed it better?

  67. Hi Hollee!

    I’m hoping you can help me … I had a beautiful copper blonde color done at the salon about two months ago… however… I have grays and a lot of new growth… so I got smart and got a demi copper blonde by pravana (same brand and color my colorist used) and no lift developer bc I just wanted to cover the grays and the new growth. I only applied to the roots but it made it dark like dark brown dark. I’m sitting here stumped like how does copper blond turn out dark brown? Is it because I should have used a 20 or 30 developer to help it lighten it? Thanks for this blog! I don’t like DIY but my colorist is booked through the new year and I didn’t want to be looking like mrs clause lol for the holidays!!

    • Hi Veronica! Thanks for the question! Demi-permanent colors usually use developer but they are not meant to lift. The only way to get lift with a color would be to use permanent color with a higher volume of developer. I believe pravana is usually semi-permanent which means you shouldn’t use developer (but it’s possible that I don’t know all of their lines of color). So anyways, semi-perm and Demi-perm will take your hair darker than it is. If you have a fully grey hair, it shouldn’t have gone too dark since it was light to begin with. Did your colorist tell you what formula she used and how she mixed it? I would try talking to her about it. The only downside is that now that it is darker, you’ll have to wait for it to fade out first or lighten it. Hope this helps!

  68. My natural colour is mousy blonde I have dyed/bleached my hair for years. Last year I dyed it pink and after Xmas to get the pink out my hairdresser dyed it dark brown, I thought it was to dark but after a few compliments I accepted it but now I want to go back blonde not bleach blonde but a nice medium blonde.i bought a hair dye lightest ash blonde and dyed it and it has made no difference to my hair.
    I have read what you put and it makes sense but my question is how do I go about getting it back blonde and how long I need to wait until I can put another dye on it as was only done today. I can’t afford a hairdresser so am trying to use box dyes

    • You have to lighten it first (with bleach) or strip the color before you can use blonde hair color. It’s by what most people want to hear but unfortunately, it’s the truth. Also, because bleach can be so damaging, I would recommend having a professional do it in stages. Hope this helps!

  69. Really hope u can help! I had ash blinde highlights put in over dyed brown hair-she used a toner too-a mix of 8 and 10 she said. Problem is she put in too many highlights and it looked more like an allover blonde color. She did add some dark color foils (she used a 4) when i expressed unhappiness and after an extra hour, it looked better so I came home. However I still feel the highlights are too much. Can I use a box dye to match the 4 she used in salon for my natural color in between and add a few more foils myself? I” just afraid as I don’t want to use the wrong color or get orange hair? Plz advise what should I do. TIA

    • Hi! Thanks for the question! Going dark over the blonde hair shouldn’t be a problem. It’s easy to go darker. The only thing you might run into, is if your hair is too light or too porous (it’s hard for me to tell what it looks like without a picture), then the darker color might not fully stick. If that is the case, it would just look really faded, unless you “fill” the hair before coloring it. To be honest, filling is a whole different topic that I should write a separate article about.

      You also should be super careful doing your own foils, because if you don’t know what you are doing, then the brown can bleed out of the foil and leave you with “leopard spots” in your hair, and trust me, you don’t want that. Also, I have foiled my own hair before and it is hard to get the areas that you can’t see or to bend your arms in certain positions. If you feel confident about it and think you can keep the color from bleeding, then that might be a good option. If you do decide on doing it yourself, I would not use a box dye, but go to Sally Beauty Supply and buy some actual color and developer. You can also talk to the workers there about what you want to achieve and see if they can help you based on what your hair actually looks like.

      My full opinion is always to let someone else do it that you trust, so if something is wrong, they would have to fix it. If you mess up with anything, it can cost a lot more money to pay for color correction vs. what a hair color costs. I think most places start color correction at something like 150$ + 75$/hour and that’s probably on the low end. It can get very expensive. Hope this all helps!

  70. I guess first this is 4+ years later and still active! Definitely a “hot” topic.
    I’m hung up by the word “lift” – as in a stronger developer will lift your hair color more shades. So then why not after you color it? Why doesn’t it lift the previous dye out?
    Second, what about color correctors? Roll your eyes, but Sally’s is all I have access to and so have this Ion Color Corrector which explicitly says it only removes oxidized color by shrinking the color molecules so they just wash out. That seems so much nicer than bleaching!
    New hair stylist bleached some highlights (walked out $290 poorer) and the hair is noticeably coarse and tangles. So my fear of bleach has been confirmed (fine, thin 5-9 Ash brunette of Scandinavian descent; i.e. pasty white).
    Color corrector says you can apply color right away..

    • Sorry this took so long to respond to! Anyways, Ion Color Corrector is a good option. It is a way to get the color molecules out of your hair. Don’t get me wrong, bleach can do an extraordinary amount of damage when used incorrectly, and usually it will do some damage when lifting color out of the hair, because the process takes a toll on your hair. The color corrector might do a little bit of damage too. It’s just hard to get darker color out of your hair and it takes a process. There is really no way around it.

      Back to the color part of it… “lift” just means how many shades lighter the color will make your hair. If you put color on previously colored hair, it will not lift it any lighter than it already is, with predictable results. For example, if you colored your hair dark brown and then tried to use blonde color over it, it probably wouldn’t do much. It would probably lighten your outgrowth (virgin hair that has not been colored at all) to the desired level, but leaving the rest of the hair that has been colored the same. In the article, I used the analogy of coloring with a brown marker and then coloring over it with a yellow marker. That is pretty much how color works. The yellow marker will not make the brown marker lighter. (Don’t get me wrong- it will lift hair that has not been colored ever aka virgin hair, but not previously colored hair). So yes, the only options to go lighter would be to bleach or use a color corrector first. Hope this helped clarify some of your questions 🙂 If not, I’m happy to explain more!!

  71. Hello! This is an awesome post, thank you! I’m so glad it’s still alive with activity and it’s great help you have given so many people over this time. So of course here goes my scenario which is unique I think because I’m trying to go darker and my hair won’t take color. My daughter is a cosmetology student who finished the program but isn’t entirely comfortable with the education the gave her on coloring. I am willing to let her experiment on my hair but she is stumped on why my hair is difficult. I’m a unicorn, lol, no actually a natural red head, she says a level 5-6. My goal was to darken/lowlight with medium shades of brown leaving some of my red and have blonde highlights. (No,pt even sure if that’s the right terminology. Lol) Pretty much, I am a medium red orangish red auburn, yuck. Not bright orange, but I want it to be darker with less orange, without ending up with a fake red look, so I thought heavy brown chunky color with blonde highlights would be my goal look. She did slices with 20 volume lightner and 2 different darker browns that I randomly purchased. She said the color level was too high and probably wouldn’t work. She was right, but the lightner didn’t even work. Nada, ciabatta, no change. It was like the color just washed right out of my hair and the lightner did nothing on those areas. we did a water float test and she said my hair floated so is not pourus but doesn’t understand why the lightner didn’t even work. Because she has overtime hours she can’t take her boards yet, so we are playing with my hair in the meantime buying products from Sally’s. So we are headed back to try again. I’m scared of putting something over what we just did, but since nothing changed should I be? Prior to this I had similar experience while she wasn’t in school but even the learning leader was stumped (that’s a whole different post to vent about.) I guess I’m wrong about just picking some pretty shades of brown and rolling with it, but she isn’t sure what we should try next. Any suggestions? Sorry if too much or not enough info, but our research turns up with not much info other than natural redheads don’t always take pigment well. Crossing fingers you get this and have time to respond before we spin the wheel at Sally’s again for me to be her guinea pig… lol. Thank you in advance for your thoughts or any suggestions. Oh, and ps…I have some greys sprouting up here and there if that means anything, and they have got to go!

    • Hi! I’m glad you like HolleewoodHair and I’m happy to help!! That is really interesting about red hair not taking color as well.. that sounds like something I would like to research and write a post about, so thanks for that info! I’ve never really heard that before so I can’t say much about that. The only thing I can really think might have happened was that maybe the color/lightener or developer were bad or old. It is kinda weird that nothing worked at all, but I would rule that out first. Did she use the same developer for the color and the lightener? If so, maybe the developer was just bad. You might also just have crazy resistant hair. Grey hair can be pretty resistant to color, and there is a process you can do called “presoftening” it before doing the color. This is where you just add developer to the hair with nothing else for 5-10 minutes, rinse, dry and then color the hair. This opens up the cuticle, which will allow for better color results. You could also try using “grey magic” which will help the color adhere to the grey hair… but if all of your hair is not grey, it probably wouldn’t do much. I would make sure that for the darker colors, you should use a 10v developer, to just deposit the color, and maybe try using a higher developer for the lightener (like 30v… just watch it). Since it sounds like the color/lightener both didn’t do much, I would imagine that little-to-no damage was done to your hair from that process. You will have to check it carefully and make sure though because I can’t see your hair, so I don’t know. If it looks the same as it did before, I’d think it should be fine to reprocess. Hope this helped and good luck! Let me know how it goes!!! 🙂

  72. I don’t know what the odds of you answering this comment are seeing as this article is pretty old, but I’m hoping that you will! I have always dyed my naturally light brown hair with box kits to make it super dark brown and it has always turned out perfectly. About 1 month and a half ago I made a horrible decision to use a box dye to lighten my hair to a colour verging on being platinum (It came out orange and yellow, awful experience). I got it fixed at the salon and now it is a beautiful very light blonde with tons of highlights and lowlights. However my roots have started to show and my bank account is hurting and I just really want to go dark brown again using a box dye. I am aware that I can’t just dye it dark brown again without it turning green and that I need to use a filler. I’m just not sure what filler to use and how this hair dye will affect my blonde hair but very obvious brown roots. I wish I could afford a salon but I just can’t right now.

    • Testing. I have been having problems responding to messages so I want to make sure this goes through first…

    • Okay, it worked. I’d say that the easiest way to get a filler would be to go to Sally Beauty Supply and talk to some of the workers (make sure they actually know about hair color). They sell fillers for your hair but you need to find out which one would work best. The best option would be to just have it done professionally (at least the first time you go dark) so they can deal with the filler. Then you could just touch it up on your own after that. Just know that since you’ve lightened it now, if you go dark again, it will be really hard and damaging to re-lighten it.. until it has completely grown out. Make sure you absolutely want to be dark again before you take the plunge. Hope this all helps!!!

  73. Hi Lauren,
    I sympathise with you – I went to the hairdresser to get ombre done on my medium brown hair. I wanted an ashy blonde as I have pale skin so warm tones make me look sick…she was like no probs…$200 later i leave the salon with my ends tinted copper. I cried when I got home. I ended up having to re-bleach it myself with a 20v and then tone it with an ash blonde colour and 10v (tubes you get from priceline – i used 9C)
    The toner isn’t working because it’s designed to tone out yellow in blonde hair – if you’re hair is more copper/brassy/orangey it isn’t going to help. Purple is opposite yellow on the colour wheel and therefore they cancel each other out.
    Good luck
    Phoebe

  74. Hi Holly! I feel sad. I went to the hairdresser today. I have brown hair that is over-dyed with brown so it is fairly dark. So I wanted the ombre look, caramal or blonde at the bottom. I thought she understood what I wanted, but clearly not. I ended up with thick full head of foils. She said the colour was ”pretty” and off I went with my burnt copper brassy orange full head of foils mixed with my dark brown.
    I ran to BigW and got a Shcwartscoff purple toner. It did NOTHING.
    What can I do to rid of the brassy streaks? I saw some boxes of blonde that looked promising. I feel so sad 🙁 hope u can advise Holly!

  75. This was really helpful, but to be sure, I haven’t dyed my hair in 11 years and have had numerous hair cuts, I have semi dark brown hair and I want to go a light ash brown, so would I be able to achieve any type of result since I haven’t dyed my hair in that 11 year time frame??

  76. Great job explaining! I had a question to go along with this. I have a friend who recently started dying her hair black and it looks really harsh on her. When I asked her why black, she said that when coloring her hair, to cover grey, the roots started looking orange and the rest of her hair would be an auburn. So to cover the grey she went black. I think she should be able to cover her roots without them being orange. Can you think of why her roots would be turning orange? Also, would she need to strip her hair color to start over with a lighter brown if I can convince her to try a softer shade? Even going blonde would look better with her skin tone than black!

  77. Fantastic article. This really is a great way to show people how this works. I have a question for you. There are Hi Lift dyes out there like Loreal Hi Lift reds. I use to dye my whole head red and would love this dye for root touch up. However do you know of any dyes that do the same effect to get a violet/purple hair? I love dyeing my hair various shades of violets and purples now. However when root touch up time comes it sucks. I have done anything from bleaching my roots and dying over them to just going a completely different color altogether. I read online that you could mix iso icolor 10aa (lightest ash blonde) with 4vv (african violet) and a blue intensifier to get a permanent purple color. I am considering stipping out what I have in my hair now to get a light base and try that color combo. However when it starts to grow out with the 10aa in the mix lift my dark roots at touch up time? Any advice would be much appreciated.

  78. Thank u sooo much for ur time! Ur analogy with Clairis was the most simplest, understanding method & example anyone could have used! Hats off to u for ur genius idea ?!!! Love and againg thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ?? ??.

  79. Hi I need help!
    My hair was bleach blonde and I put a dark blonde all over and the mid-lengths and ends were lovely but the roots were ginger. I then decided to use 6/24 pearl light brown to neutralize the ginger but also make it slighter darker so applied it all over! However my hair has now turned all over pearl/pinky deep blonde, its aweful!! What all over colour can I use to get rid of the pearl and make it an ash deep blonde?

  80. Hey – I have naturally medium brown hair. At the weekend I got ombre in my hair. Unfortunately the ends are now a brassy copper/orange. I cannot bare it and am thinking about dying it back brown – will this work? Thanks!

  81. Also, I do have a bottle of matrix 20 volume cream developer. I used a few years ago when i went to a dark brown. (which ill never do again) but would that work in place of the other developer? it says socolor, wonder.brown, color sync, v-light,Logics colorcremes, and Logics light reactions

    • I don’t think that waiting will make much of a difference. It might make a small difference since the hair will lose some color molecules. However, I think that if it is already pretty light blonde, it might be okay, especially if it is a high-lift color. Typically color won’t lift previously colored hair unless you bleach it first, but if it is already pretty light, it may not have a lot of color molecules in it already. I would probably use the developer that came in the kit. 20 volume developer is not meant to lift hair that much.

  82. Yes that does make sense with the markers… =) thank you for answering so quickly. would it help to wait longer? if that would be better i could do that. my hair seems to want to hold on to the natural golden honey

  83. It is a box kit, Loreal excellence creme. i used a 9 1/2 before this box is a 10. I was wanting to go a little lighter. my hair is naturally a dirty blonde.

  84. Hi, I am having a toss up here and hoping that this will work. 2 weeks ago I syed my hair the lightest ash blonde. My hair is natural golden blonde and it had lightened my hair a bit, I am wanting to go to the lightest blonde. I had bought it is the loreal same brand as before and I never dye my hair so it is very healthy still. Would this work? applying the lightest blonde after 2 weeks of waiting from dying my hair with the lightest ash blonde?

    • It might have a hard time since color molecules were deposited in it the first time you colored it. However, if it is already pretty light, it might do okay. Are you using a box kit? Or are you going to buy the developer separately (like when you buy color from sally’s)? 2 weeks won’t really make much of a difference on how your hair reacts to the color. The worst that will happen is that it will deposit color molecules and make your hair darker than it already is. It would be like if you colored paper orange with a marker and then colored over that orange with a yellow marker. Does that make sense? Hope this helps. If you need anything else, let me know! I’m happy to help as much as I can!!!

  85. Hi I dyed my hair yesterday and expected ultralight blonde. My hair is naturally medium brown so when I colored it my hair came out bronze. I had never colored it previously and I need to know that if my hair was still bronze and I tried dying it ultralight blonde again today would it come out as ultralight blonde or would it be a different color?

    • Hey Tori! I would imagine that since your hair is now already colored, it probably won’t lift to ultralight blonde without using bleach (also called lightener or decolorizer.) It sounds like the volume of developer was not high enough to give you the lift you needed. Do you know what volume it was? Was it purchased separately from the color? Or was it in a box kit? If you need any more help, please let me know! I’m always happy to help as much as I can! 🙂

  86. Ok I have a problem. My daughter has brown hair so I bleached it in strips on the top n then put the Splat color red in it! Well now im wanting her to go back brown n I tried last night bleaching the red out and it didn’t do anything! If I get a plain medium brown box color will that cover it?

    • It will probably cover it, if you get a brown color that is close to her natural color. However, it will probably still have red undertones that show through. Also, although it may be hard to bleach the red completely out, it should have lifted it somewhat. Are you sure that you used bleach? I would check to make sure. I don’t know a lot about Splat though. It might have some weird properties that I don’t know about. Anyways, I hope this helps. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

  87. BlondeHighlights Reply

    hello, I was wondering if you can help. I got blonde highlights put in using foils over 4 weeks ago but I don’t like how dramatic the contrast is between my natural hair and the highlights. I have naturally dark brown hair level 3 and want to dye my entire head a i.color range in 5G – Light Golden brown. Will this colour even out or balance the contrast between my natural dark brown hair colour and blonde highlights. Also, I don’t want my highlights turning orange. Am I better off going for a natural shade like a level 4N medium brown or 5N light brown. Can you please help?

    • Hi! Thanks for the question! It’s always hard to tell without knowing what your hair looks like, but I would imagine that your highlights might still be a little bit lighter. If they are pretty light, they will definitely take on the golden tones of the 5g so if you are worried about that, I would go with the 4-5N. It all kinda depends on what developer you use.. To lift your natural hair (assuming there is absolutely no hair color on it), you’d have to use a 30 or 40 volume developer, but to deposit color on the highlights, you’d need a 10v. I think that it will definitely lower the contrast between everything, and make it closer to an all-over color but not completely match up. Hope this helped! If you have any other questions, please let me know 🙂

  88. BlondeHighlights Reply

    hello, I was wondering if you can help. I got blonde highlights put in using foils over 4 weeks ago but I don’t like how dramatic the contrast is between my natural hair and the highlights. I have naturally dark brown hair level 3 and want to dye my entire head a i.color range in 5G – Light Golden brown. Will this colour even out or balance the contrast between my natural dark brown hair colour and blonde highlights. Also, I don’t want my highlights turning orange. Am I better off going for a natural shade like a level 4N medium brown or 5N light brown. Can you please help?

    • Hi! Thanks for the question! It’s always hard to tell without knowing what your hair looks like, but I would imagine that your highlights might still be a little bit lighter. If they are pretty light, they will definitely take on the golden tones of the 5g so if you are worried about that, I would go with the 4-5N. It all kinda depends on what developer you use.. To lift your natural hair (assuming there is absolutely no hair color on it), you’d have to use a 30 or 40 volume developer, but to deposit color on the highlights, you’d need a 10v. I think that it will definitely lower the contrast between everything, and make it closer to an all-over color but not completely match up. Hope this helped! If you have any other questions, please let me know 🙂

  89. BlondeHighlights Reply

    hello, I was wondering if you can help. I got blonde highlights put in using foils over 4 weeks ago but I don’t like how dramatic the contrast is between my natural hair and the highlights. I have naturally dark brown hair level 3 and want to dye my entire head a 5G in Light Golden brown. Will this colour even out or balance the contrast between my natural dark brown hair colour and blonde highlights. Also, I don’t want my highlights turning orange. Can you please help?

  90. BlondeHighlights Reply

    hello, I was wondering if you can help. I got blonde highlights put in using foils over 4 weeks ago but I don’t like how dramatic the contrast is between my natural hair and the highlights. I have naturally dark brown hair level 3 and want to dye my entire head a 5G in Light Golden brown. Will this colour even out or balance the contrast between my natural dark brown hair colour and blonde highlights. Also, I don’t want my highlights turning orange. Can you please help?

  91. So, I went platinum over the summer and decided since i was so light to go ahead and do the wonderful lavender color that was ever so popular. Well, it was a little patchy and didn’t take as dark in certain spots so I decided to cancel that color out and put a auburn color over it to cover it up. I didn’t want to fiddle with bleaching my roots, toning and then recoloring so it was my easiest option. Well, it’s been about 5 months since I went auburn and my hair is now a very light red/copper color and I have maybe 2 inches of regrowth at the top. I am wanting to transition back to blonde but won’t be able to see my trusted hair stylist until march so I wanted to ask if doing a dark ash blonde or light ash brown on the top of the red would efficiently cancel out this red tone. I’m so SICK of the red it’s not even funny. It washes me out and does nothing but further exaggerate any redness on my face. I have done light browns before and then gotten highlights done professionally and my hair usually fades back to a blonde close to my natural color fairly quickly. My dillema at this point is if I need to choose a dark ash blonde or a light ash brown. I know that an ash will cancel out the red but I want to make sure it would be dark enough to.

    • If you use any shade that is lighter than the color you already have, it won’t predictably lighten the color you have. The undertones of your new color will mix with your old color to create a new tone (combination of the two) but it won’t effectively “cancel the red out.” I would say that a light ash brown (same level or darker to your current hair color) would be your best bet, but it’s also gonna make it harder to go blond when you get back to your hair stylist, meaning a longer process will probably be in order. Just because of my experience, I’d say just wait and have a professional do it, because if it doesn’t turn out right, then it will be a lot more work to fix and you may be more unhappy with it then you are now. Does that all make sense? Glad I could help! Please let me know if you have other questions ☺️☺️

  92. So, I went platinum over the summer and decided since i was so light to go ahead and do the wonderful lavender color that was ever so popular. Well, it was a little patchy and didn’t take as dark in certain spots so I decided to cancel that color out and put a auburn color over it to cover it up. I didn’t want to fiddle with bleaching my roots, toning and then recoloring so it was my easiest option. Well, it’s been about 5 months since I went auburn and my hair is now a very light red/copper color and I have maybe 2 inches of regrowth at the top. I am wanting to transition back to blonde but won’t be able to see my trusted hair stylist until march so I wanted to ask if doing a dark ash blonde or light ash brown on the top of the red would efficiently cancel out this red tone. I’m so SICK of the red it’s not even funny. It washes me out and does nothing but further exaggerate any redness on my face. I have done light browns before and then gotten highlights done professionally and my hair usually fades back to a blonde close to my natural color fairly quickly. My dillema at this point is if I need to choose a dark ash blonde or a light ash brown. I know that an ash will cancel out the red but I want to make sure it would be dark enough to.

    • If you use any shade that is lighter than the color you already have, it won’t predictably lighten the color you have. The undertones of your new color will mix with your old color to create a new tone (combination of the two) but it won’t effectively “cancel the red out.” I would say that a light ash brown (same level or darker to your current hair color) would be your best bet, but it’s also gonna make it harder to go blond when you get back to your hair stylist, meaning a longer process will probably be in order. Just because of my experience, I’d say just wait and have a professional do it, because if it doesn’t turn out right, then it will be a lot more work to fix and you may be more unhappy with it then you are now. Does that all make sense? Glad I could help! Please let me know if you have other questions ☺️☺️

  93. My hair is naturally dark brown, but a few years ago i went to the salon and had blonde highlights put in.I got tired of it so i used box dye to go back to a dark brown. Every four weeks or so i usually touch up my roots with medium brown color. A few weeks ago i decided to give blonde another try and bought a light golden blonde box dye, but my hair didn’t take very well. My roots turned an orange color but the rest turned a light brown/reddish color. After a few washes the roots have toned down alot and now are the same color as the rest of my hair. If i use a light ash blonde hair dye will that help me get a nice dark blonde color? Or what color should i use?? Please HELP!!!!

    • You will literally have to strip the color or lighten it with bleach. Hair that has been colored dark reacts to color 100% differently than hair that is naturally dark.. Which is why your roots turned a different color than the rest of your hair. The other thing to consider is that box dye may or may not have other ingredients like henna that are not going to lift out easily, even with bleach… This is why hairstylists recommend staying away from box dye, even though they make the big bucks from color correction. My advice if you want to go lighter is to have someone do it for you… If you really want to upkeep it yourself, then that’s up to you but lightening the color can be tricky. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please let me know!

  94. My hair is naturally dark brown, but a few years ago i went to the salon and had blonde highlights put in.I got tired of it so i used box dye to go back to a dark brown. Every four weeks or so i usually touch up my roots with medium brown color. A few weeks ago i decided to give blonde another try and bought a light golden blonde box dye, but my hair didn’t take very well. My roots turned an orange color but the rest turned a light brown/reddish color. After a few washes the roots have toned down alot and now are the same color as the rest of my hair. If i use a light ash blonde hair dye will that help me get a nice dark blonde color? Or what color should i use?? Please HELP!!!!

    • You will literally have to strip the color or lighten it with bleach. Hair that has been colored dark reacts to color 100% differently than hair that is naturally dark.. Which is why your roots turned a different color than the rest of your hair. The other thing to consider is that box dye may or may not have other ingredients like henna that are not going to lift out easily, even with bleach… This is why hairstylists recommend staying away from box dye, even though they make the big bucks from color correction. My advice if you want to go lighter is to have someone do it for you… If you really want to upkeep it yourself, then that’s up to you but lightening the color can be tricky. Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please let me know!

  95. Hello, I have a question, if you, please, can help me to understand it right, I read that some professional hair color lines can lift previously colored hair, in killerstands on line store and blog it was said, that wella illumina has that feature also, but I could not find any supporting info in any of wella’s technical manuals .if you had any experience with illumina line, I would love to have your opinion , thank you for great article

    • Hmmm that is interesting! I have never heard that before but it is definitely worth looking into it! Thanks for the info! Sorry I couldn’t be more help ?

  96. Hello, I have a question, if you, please, can help me to understand it right, I read that some professional hair color lines can lift previously colored hair, in killerstands on line store and blog it was said, that wella illumina has that feature also, but I could not find any supporting info in any of wella’s technical manuals .if you had any experience with illumina line, I would love to have your opinion , thank you for great article

    • Hmmm that is interesting! I have never heard that before but it is definitely worth looking into it! Thanks for the info! Sorry I couldn’t be more help ?

  97. HairDyeNovice Reply

    I recently put burgundy highlights in my virgin hair. It’s been about 3 weeks and and its slowly becoming burnt orange, and I’m guessing it will soon fade into the blonde it was was bleached to at the salon. I don’t know how familiar you are with natural dyes but I was considering using Henna to re-dye it so I don’t end up with very blond highlights in my very dark hair. Should this natural hair dye work on chemically bleached hair?

    • You can use the henna to color over it, just take caution if you ever decide to change your hair in the future. Once you go henna you cannot go back to using normal dyes without having the henna removed, most likely by waiting a very long time or having a stylist use a safe product for removal like Malibu CPR. So it’s safe to do it but be sure to tell future stylists if you’ve used henna.

    • You can use the henna to color over the lighter parts, but use caution when going back for any more services. It is NOT safe to put any other haircolor or hair chemicals over henna. If you want to change your hair up again any time soon, don’t use henna. If you use it, be sure to inform any future stylists that you’ve used henna, to avoid damaging your hair! A trained stylist can safely remove it with a product such as Malibu CPR, but only if you inform them the henna was there!! It lasts a very long time.

  98. HairDyeNovice Reply

    I recently put burgundy highlights in my virgin hair. It’s been about 3 weeks and and its slowly becoming burnt orange, and I’m guessing it will soon fade into the blonde it was was bleached to at the salon. I don’t know how familiar you are with natural dyes but I was considering using Henna to re-dye it so I don’t end up with very blond highlights in my very dark hair. Should this natural hair dye work on chemically bleached hair?

    • You can use the henna to color over it, just take caution if you ever decide to change your hair in the future. Once you go henna you cannot go back to using normal dyes without having the henna removed, most likely by waiting a very long time or having a stylist use a safe product for removal like Malibu CPR. So it’s safe to do it but be sure to tell future stylists if you’ve used henna.

    • You can use the henna to color over the lighter parts, but use caution when going back for any more services. It is NOT safe to put any other haircolor or hair chemicals over henna. If you want to change your hair up again any time soon, don’t use henna. If you use it, be sure to inform any future stylists that you’ve used henna, to avoid damaging your hair! A trained stylist can safely remove it with a product such as Malibu CPR, but only if you inform them the henna was there!! It lasts a very long time.

  99. You are the first person who makes sense. Thanks for that. x x x

  100. You are the first person who makes sense. Thanks for that. x x x

  101. My hair is already bleached on the ends. If I add a temporary color to that (pink,red,blue etc.) will it still be the blonde bleached color when the new color fades out? (I know nothing about hair sorry)

    • It will probably be most the same as it is now, but it may hang on to a little bit of the temporary color. Hope i helped!

  102. My hair is already bleached on the ends. If I add a temporary color to that (pink,red,blue etc.) will it still be the blonde bleached color when the new color fades out? (I know nothing about hair sorry)

    • It will probably be most the same as it is now, but it may hang on to a little bit of the temporary color. Hope i helped!

  103. Angie gutierrez Reply

    Thank you , I totally get it now, my “ah ha” moment. I’m a cosmetology student and I’m having a hard time understanding color. This helped to such. Thanks!!

  104. Angie gutierrez Reply

    Thank you , I totally get it now, my “ah ha” moment. I’m a cosmetology student and I’m having a hard time understanding color. This helped to such. Thanks!!

  105. HUGE sensitivity to hair color. Over the winter, I did a black to deep purple ombré at a salon that patch tested but it gave me a reaction anyways. (Originally a 5RV over dark brown) So it’s at home color for me. Sally’s Ion PPD Free works great with no reaction. So I dyed back to my red but wound up with hot roots (due to 30 vol I assume) and the rest of my head was the brown with like a red shimmer. I’m terrified to lighten in any capacity but I’d love a rich medium red with violet undertones? A friend suggested 30 – 40 vol on the rest of my hair with heat for 20 min, then 20 vol on roots for 20 mins rinsing together…

  106. HUGE sensitivity to hair color. Over the winter, I did a black to deep purple ombré at a salon that patch tested but it gave me a reaction anyways. (Originally a 5RV over dark brown) So it’s at home color for me. Sally’s Ion PPD Free works great with no reaction. So I dyed back to my red but wound up with hot roots (due to 30 vol I assume) and the rest of my head was the brown with like a red shimmer. I’m terrified to lighten in any capacity but I’d love a rich medium red with violet undertones? A friend suggested 30 – 40 vol on the rest of my hair with heat for 20 min, then 20 vol on roots for 20 mins rinsing together…

  107. My natural color is an ashy light/medium blonde. I used a box color, ultra light ash blonde, to lighten it (just the roots). It lightened to a florescent yellow, very bright/light yellow. I then used shimmer lights to tone and it toned everything but what I just lightened. The rest of my hair is not damaged but it’s a bit drier so it takes any type of toning agent well. I bought T18 and applied to the yellow roots but it did nothing. I know from past experience that my color is light enough for this to work, yet this time it didn’t. It has been about 2 weeks now and the yellow roots have turned to a color more closely resembling my natural color but still too yellow for my liking. Why didn’t toning work for me? I’m scared to bleach or lighten again because my hair is already really light and I don’t want damage. What did I do wrong? What should I do to get the yellow more ashy?

    • That’s weird… Especially if toning usually works for you! Maybe it was a faulty bottle. I would probably say to try toning again. It won’t do much damage at all. Hope it helps!

  108. My natural color is an ashy light/medium blonde. I used a box color, ultra light ash blonde, to lighten it (just the roots). It lightened to a florescent yellow, very bright/light yellow. I then used shimmer lights to tone and it toned everything but what I just lightened. The rest of my hair is not damaged but it’s a bit drier so it takes any type of toning agent well. I bought T18 and applied to the yellow roots but it did nothing. I know from past experience that my color is light enough for this to work, yet this time it didn’t. It has been about 2 weeks now and the yellow roots have turned to a color more closely resembling my natural color but still too yellow for my liking. Why didn’t toning work for me? I’m scared to bleach or lighten again because my hair is already really light and I don’t want damage. What did I do wrong? What should I do to get the yellow more ashy?

    • That’s weird… Especially if toning usually works for you! Maybe it was a faulty bottle. I would probably say to try toning again. It won’t do much damage at all. Hope it helps!

  109. I had the bright idea to get my dark brown hair “Ombréd” like Lily aldridge, so I bought a box dye, the result was orange and not a nice blond like the girl on the box. So I went to a salon to have it ombréd, I showed pictures , the hairdresser’s technique was weird, she put a lot of bleach and left it on for 30 mins and after rinsing it was orange but they call it “caramel”…I rushed to get me a toner, that didn’t do a thing so I covered it my natural color and went to another hairdresser, she also bleached it but it was too high and I looked like I hadn’t done my roots in ages and of course it was also orange. I died it back to my natural color. I went to another salon, showed the pics again and even told her that my hair could not stand being under heat whith bleach, she said her products were top quality and that my hair would be fine….so whe died my hair my natural brown and took strands out and bleached them but it turned out white and the texture was like an elastic….it looks soooo awful that I have decided to forget about the whole thing and I’m dying my hair back to it’s normal color and by the way this cost me a wopping $281 in total. I believe that hairdressers are only out to make $$$ and they all believe they are artists, I wonder how K Kardashian got her black hair blond in a day and managed to keep it like that for a week ? Seems like spending thousands will do the trick!

    • Hairdresser are not all out to get $$$$. The good ones really care and truly are artists. Kim K spends a lot of money for a highly educated stylist who uses top notch products. You have clearly unfortunately experienced some not so top notch stylists, in form of technique as well as customer service. A color specialist would have gone in after the first time it didn’t do right and correct it. Sometimes it takes two processes, but they should make you aware of that. Also olaplex is an amazing product and I know Kim’s stylist used it. It is becoming more popular and most color specialists swear by it. I’m sorry you had a horrible experience, but please know we aren’t all like that!!!

  110. I had the bright idea to get my dark brown hair “Ombréd” like Lily aldridge, so I bought a box dye, the result was orange and not a nice blond like the girl on the box. So I went to a salon to have it ombréd, I showed pictures , the hairdresser’s technique was weird, she put a lot of bleach and left it on for 30 mins and after rinsing it was orange but they call it “caramel”…I rushed to get me a toner, that didn’t do a thing so I covered it my natural color and went to another hairdresser, she also bleached it but it was too high and I looked like I hadn’t done my roots in ages and of course it was also orange. I died it back to my natural color. I went to another salon, showed the pics again and even told her that my hair could not stand being under heat whith bleach, she said her products were top quality and that my hair would be fine….so whe died my hair my natural brown and took strands out and bleached them but it turned out white and the texture was like an elastic….it looks soooo awful that I have decided to forget about the whole thing and I’m dying my hair back to it’s normal color and by the way this cost me a wopping $281 in total. I believe that hairdressers are only out to make $$$ and they all believe they are artists, I wonder how K Kardashian got her black hair blond in a day and managed to keep it like that for a week ? Seems like spending thousands will do the trick!

    • Hairdresser are not all out to get $$$$. The good ones really care and truly are artists. Kim K spends a lot of money for a highly educated stylist who uses top notch products. You have clearly unfortunately experienced some not so top notch stylists, in form of technique as well as customer service. A color specialist would have gone in after the first time it didn’t do right and correct it. Sometimes it takes two processes, but they should make you aware of that. Also olaplex is an amazing product and I know Kim’s stylist used it. It is becoming more popular and most color specialists swear by it. I’m sorry you had a horrible experience, but please know we aren’t all like that!!!

  111. I have a problem! So my original hair color is light black.. And I wanted a pinkish red and black ombré so I went to the salon and got my tips pinkish red.. They had to bleach my tips first ofcourse. Anyway my hair looked amazing I loved it everyone loved it but now 5 months later the redish pink is completely gone and my hair is back to bleached. It looks really weird cause since the last shampoo it’s yellowish golden. So my hair is black with yellowish golden tips. Idk what to do? I’m getting a hair cut next month but for now I was planning to dye the tips something’s around brown? How would that look?

    • He problem is that most red/pink colors fade really fast. I would definitely cover them up with a brown or even another pinky color like pink. Cutting them off would be the only way to fully get rid of them so that’s good you are going next month but covering them up for now is a good idea! Hope it helps!

  112. I have a problem! So my original hair color is light black.. And I wanted a pinkish red and black ombré so I went to the salon and got my tips pinkish red.. They had to bleach my tips first ofcourse. Anyway my hair looked amazing I loved it everyone loved it but now 5 months later the redish pink is completely gone and my hair is back to bleached. It looks really weird cause since the last shampoo it’s yellowish golden. So my hair is black with yellowish golden tips. Idk what to do? I’m getting a hair cut next month but for now I was planning to dye the tips something’s around brown? How would that look?

    • He problem is that most red/pink colors fade really fast. I would definitely cover them up with a brown or even another pinky color like pink. Cutting them off would be the only way to fully get rid of them so that’s good you are going next month but covering them up for now is a good idea! Hope it helps!

  113. My hair needs help! I went to a salon to get blonde highlights and auburn lowlights which the red was red/purple. I did not like so I went back and told her to make the lowlights like a carmel blonde. I had a picture both times to show her!! Needless to say my hair is red, orange, brass, and light pink. I now am wondering if I can just color over all of this with dark blonde dye. My natural color! Heeelllpp!! Please!!!

    • Aww that is a bummer! If the dark blonde is lighter than the colors in your hair, it probably won’t do much to them. Also, since each strand has a different starting color, there will probably be some differences still. It might help make it appear more uniform though. Good luck!

  114. My hair needs help! I went to a salon to get blonde highlights and auburn lowlights which the red was red/purple. I did not like so I went back and told her to make the lowlights like a carmel blonde. I had a picture both times to show her!! Needless to say my hair is red, orange, brass, and light pink. I now am wondering if I can just color over all of this with dark blonde dye. My natural color! Heeelllpp!! Please!!!

    • Aww that is a bummer! If the dark blonde is lighter than the colors in your hair, it probably won’t do much to them. Also, since each strand has a different starting color, there will probably be some differences still. It might help make it appear more uniform though. Good luck!

  115. Kata capeci Reply

    Wish id seen this previous to my screw up- now my Hair is FRIED liike straw. In my fear of bleach, i have:

    Color removed black hair dye
    Colored it to blonde
    Toned it with wella White lady
    (Of course it was orange)
    Then removed that hot mess with more remover,
    Dyed it again with a Higher lift blonde shade
    Toned it
    Now idk What color it is. All this in a 3 week period
    I had to stop the madness!! Went from shoulder legnth to now short pixie due to my thinking i could do it.
    My project now…. Protein moisture coconut oil over and again.. Whew….

  116. Kata capeci Reply

    Wish id seen this previous to my screw up- now my Hair is FRIED liike straw. In my fear of bleach, i have:

    Color removed black hair dye
    Colored it to blonde
    Toned it with wella White lady
    (Of course it was orange)
    Then removed that hot mess with more remover,
    Dyed it again with a Higher lift blonde shade
    Toned it
    Now idk What color it is. All this in a 3 week period
    I had to stop the madness!! Went from shoulder legnth to now short pixie due to my thinking i could do it.
    My project now…. Protein moisture coconut oil over and again.. Whew….

  117. Brianna Dean Reply

    Thanks so much! I was looking online for hours for a clarification such as yours!! I did have one question though! Well actually maybe a couple! Laugh Out Loud! For one, as far as bleaching I have really thin, medium length, brown hair. What would be the best bleach to use without ruining my hair seeing as its already thin to begin with and I wouldn’t want to make it any thinner!! And question two would be where do I buy this so called ‘bleach’. I’ve looked at many stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc… But I don’t think that these are the right places to be looking plus I wouldn’t expect any of these stores to carry high quality ‘bleach’ anyways! One more thing, how do I use the bleach and how long should I keep it in my hair! Does it always work the first time or am I going to have to do more than one application?
    After all these questions I have one more! Would it be wiser to just go and get my hair bleached in a salon than to do it myself as a first time user?? Hopefully if that’s the case, it won’t break my pockets doing so!!

    • I would definitely go to a beauty supply store like Sally’s to buy better quality bleach than stores like walmart. Your best bet is to talk to a salesperson about individual brands because they are different. Make sure they know what they are talking about though. Also, reading the directions is always a safe bet. How light your hair gets depends on factors such as what color is in your hair so far, how dark it is, how many times you’ve colored it etc. If you are completely uncertain what you are doing and haven’t bleached your hair before, I think it’s a good idea to spend the money and have it done professionally so you can tell how your hair reacts. If something goes wrong, you can seriously damage your hair and/or get some crazy colors out of it. If you had orange hair, you’d probably have to pay to get it fixed anyways and color correction is more expensive than it would have been in the first place. If you feel comfortable, then maybe try doing a test strand behind your ear or somewhere you can cover it if anything goes wrong. Good luck!

  118. Brianna Dean Reply

    Thanks so much! I was looking online for hours for a clarification such as yours!! I did have one question though! Well actually maybe a couple! Laugh Out Loud! For one, as far as bleaching I have really thin, medium length, brown hair. What would be the best bleach to use without ruining my hair seeing as its already thin to begin with and I wouldn’t want to make it any thinner!! And question two would be where do I buy this so called ‘bleach’. I’ve looked at many stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc… But I don’t think that these are the right places to be looking plus I wouldn’t expect any of these stores to carry high quality ‘bleach’ anyways! One more thing, how do I use the bleach and how long should I keep it in my hair! Does it always work the first time or am I going to have to do more than one application?
    After all these questions I have one more! Would it be wiser to just go and get my hair bleached in a salon than to do it myself as a first time user?? Hopefully if that’s the case, it won’t break my pockets doing so!!

    • I would definitely go to a beauty supply store like Sally’s to buy better quality bleach than stores like walmart. Your best bet is to talk to a salesperson about individual brands because they are different. Make sure they know what they are talking about though. Also, reading the directions is always a safe bet. How light your hair gets depends on factors such as what color is in your hair so far, how dark it is, how many times you’ve colored it etc. If you are completely uncertain what you are doing and haven’t bleached your hair before, I think it’s a good idea to spend the money and have it done professionally so you can tell how your hair reacts. If something goes wrong, you can seriously damage your hair and/or get some crazy colors out of it. If you had orange hair, you’d probably have to pay to get it fixed anyways and color correction is more expensive than it would have been in the first place. If you feel comfortable, then maybe try doing a test strand behind your ear or somewhere you can cover it if anything goes wrong. Good luck!

  119. My hair is fine, naturally dark blonde. On 2/11, I used L’oreal Preference Medium Blonde on virgin hair. The result was nice, but not as light as I wanted and more red/gold than expected.

    Today, I bought L.P. Natural Blonde. Will this product work, or can I only go darker or highlight from here?

    Thanks!

  120. My hair is fine, naturally dark blonde. On 2/11, I used L’oreal Preference Medium Blonde on virgin hair. The result was nice, but not as light as I wanted and more red/gold than expected.

    Today, I bought L.P. Natural Blonde. Will this product work, or can I only go darker or highlight from here?

    Thanks!

  121. How come then you can still DYE your hair Darker after it’s been DYED lighter, without bleach??
    And don’t all hairdyes contain bleach (peroxide), just not as much as in pure bleach, so when used enough times it Will lighten hair eventually!

    • You can always pack more pigment in to the hair follicle. How can you color over a yellow marker with a black marker, but not the other way around? It is very similar. All demi-permanent and permanent hair colors use peroxide to open the cuticle just long enough for the color molecules to get in.

      The level of peroxide (how much it has been diluted) effects how much lift and/or deposit is going to happen. When you mix the developer with bleach, it opens the cuticle enough to let the bleach into the hair, which will remove the color from the hair. Its kinda confusing, but hope it helps!

    • Sorry, I go to an Asian salon and they’re able to lift my colored close to dark brown hair to a light brown. Hah. I don’t go to American salons because they tell me they can’t lighten my colored hair unless I highlight or bleach. Whatever. My hair was just lifted two shades. Yeah can’t lift. Whatever. I go there and they end up darkening my faded hair after saying they can match my current light medium brown hair yet they end up darkening it and saying I should go outside and look at it through natural sunlight. Whatever.

      Also, in the past, I’ve also used box color and it would either darken depending on the shade or lighten noticeably close to the color on the box as my hair kept fading and getting lighter and the new color I put on would take right away.

  122. How come then you can still DYE your hair Darker after it’s been DYED lighter, without bleach??
    And don’t all hairdyes contain bleach (peroxide), just not as much as in pure bleach, so when used enough times it Will lighten hair eventually!

    • You can always pack more pigment in to the hair follicle. How can you color over a yellow marker with a black marker, but not the other way around? It is very similar. All demi-permanent and permanent hair colors use peroxide to open the cuticle just long enough for the color molecules to get in.

      The level of peroxide (how much it has been diluted) effects how much lift and/or deposit is going to happen. When you mix the developer with bleach, it opens the cuticle enough to let the bleach into the hair, which will remove the color from the hair. Its kinda confusing, but hope it helps!

    • Sorry, I go to an Asian salon and they’re able to lift my colored close to dark brown hair to a light brown. Hah. I don’t go to American salons because they tell me they can’t lighten my colored hair unless I highlight or bleach. Whatever. My hair was just lifted two shades. Yeah can’t lift. Whatever. I go there and they end up darkening my faded hair after saying they can match my current light medium brown hair yet they end up darkening it and saying I should go outside and look at it through natural sunlight. Whatever.

      Also, in the past, I’ve also used box color and it would either darken depending on the shade or lighten noticeably close to the color on the box as my hair kept fading and getting lighter and the new color I put on would take right away.

  123. I dyed my hair yesterday a bright auburn color and it was way more red than I expected and the roots looked orange. So I went bought a honey brown rinse today and now it looks burgundy. I was trying to achieve copper hair. What’s the best way to do that?

  124. I dyed my hair yesterday a bright auburn color and it was way more red than I expected and the roots looked orange. So I went bought a honey brown rinse today and now it looks burgundy. I was trying to achieve copper hair. What’s the best way to do that?

  125. EVELYN MENDOZA Reply

    I have had my hair colored black for years I would try to lighten it but I always did something wrong. But today I lightened my hair and it turned yellow, my hair color goal was to turn into a light golden brown haircolor but after I put that hair dye it didnt grab onto my hair.
    My question is why it didnt grab?

    • Your hair may be too porous to hold the color… You can try using a “filler” before you color it again. Hope it helps!

  126. EVELYN MENDOZA Reply

    I have had my hair colored black for years I would try to lighten it but I always did something wrong. But today I lightened my hair and it turned yellow, my hair color goal was to turn into a light golden brown haircolor but after I put that hair dye it didnt grab onto my hair.
    My question is why it didnt grab?

    • Your hair may be too porous to hold the color… You can try using a “filler” before you color it again. Hope it helps!

  127. I kind of have the opposite problem and I’m not sure what to do- I’ve been bleaching my hair about 2-3 times a month for about a year (I know, totally unhealthy) and it’s very short but I’m growing it out. I knew I couldn’t keep bleaching it if I want it to grow, so today I died it a somewhat dark brown to match my darker roots, and it went completely purple gray. I read lemon juice can restore it to blonde, but I really want it to stay a medium to medium dark Brown. should I buy red filler then do a Brown over it or can I just dye a golden Brown over the gray?

  128. I kind of have the opposite problem and I’m not sure what to do- I’ve been bleaching my hair about 2-3 times a month for about a year (I know, totally unhealthy) and it’s very short but I’m growing it out. I knew I couldn’t keep bleaching it if I want it to grow, so today I died it a somewhat dark brown to match my darker roots, and it went completely purple gray. I read lemon juice can restore it to blonde, but I really want it to stay a medium to medium dark Brown. should I buy red filler then do a Brown over it or can I just dye a golden Brown over the gray?

  129. Omg, you guys! Stop screwing around with your hair at home and go see a pro. You have probably all spent more on products trying to “fix” your multiple hair mishaps then you would have if you’d seen a professional in the first place. Color is tricky, and there are a ton of factors that can make it turn out a certain way and not another. And the LAST thing you should do to hair that you’ve accidentally fried is apply MORE harsh chemicals on it. Please, please, please- just go to the salon!

    • I have seen plenty of at home highlights and colors that turned out very nice, also I have seen some pretty bad hair salon colors and highlights turn out pretty bad. I myself have gone to high end salons and hated what they did and more so the over $200 I have spent on my hair and not satisfied with the color or the condition of my hair. That all being said, these day, there is so much info on the internet and if people read up, it is possible to get the same results as a hair salon at home.

  130. Omg, you guys! Stop screwing around with your hair at home and go see a pro. You have probably all spent more on products trying to “fix” your multiple hair mishaps then you would have if you’d seen a professional in the first place. Color is tricky, and there are a ton of factors that can make it turn out a certain way and not another. And the LAST thing you should do to hair that you’ve accidentally fried is apply MORE harsh chemicals on it. Please, please, please- just go to the salon!

    • I have seen plenty of at home highlights and colors that turned out very nice, also I have seen some pretty bad hair salon colors and highlights turn out pretty bad. I myself have gone to high end salons and hated what they did and more so the over $200 I have spent on my hair and not satisfied with the color or the condition of my hair. That all being said, these day, there is so much info on the internet and if people read up, it is possible to get the same results as a hair salon at home.

  131. I normally color my hair dark auburn or dark mahogany red, box dye 4R or 4RM. The last round of color is about 5 weeks old and faded a bit. What will happen if I color again at 6 weeks with a dark burgundy?

  132. I normally color my hair dark auburn or dark mahogany red, box dye 4R or 4RM. The last round of color is about 5 weeks old and faded a bit. What will happen if I color again at 6 weeks with a dark burgundy?

  133. I’m really hopig you answer this, so here I go. I had red hair for months, during the summer I cut it and let the color fade completely. The thing is, once I added copper to my red dye, so every time it faded, it would turn a copper/orange. I never bleached it, I would just use the same colors as I went: red and magenta (and it worked fairly well because I used a 40 developer [and yeah, my hair was pretty damaged]). So now I’ve had my hair red-free for plenty of months and I have this ugly honey color. It’s kind of copper, in some parts of my bangs it looks blonde and I want to get rid of that without having to touch my black roots at all. I experimented on my bangs by using a powder that’s supposed to lift the color and I used a developer of 20, but it didn’t do much (although it does look a lot lighter). It did lift the color near my roots too, and turned a more noticable orange. I’m just not sure of what to do. What do I do if I want this color out?

  134. I’m really hopig you answer this, so here I go. I had red hair for months, during the summer I cut it and let the color fade completely. The thing is, once I added copper to my red dye, so every time it faded, it would turn a copper/orange. I never bleached it, I would just use the same colors as I went: red and magenta (and it worked fairly well because I used a 40 developer [and yeah, my hair was pretty damaged]). So now I’ve had my hair red-free for plenty of months and I have this ugly honey color. It’s kind of copper, in some parts of my bangs it looks blonde and I want to get rid of that without having to touch my black roots at all. I experimented on my bangs by using a powder that’s supposed to lift the color and I used a developer of 20, but it didn’t do much (although it does look a lot lighter). It did lift the color near my roots too, and turned a more noticable orange. I’m just not sure of what to do. What do I do if I want this color out?

  135. I NEED HELP I NEED SOME ADVICE PLEASE ASAP!!! I have a appointment to see if I have breast cancer & I don’t want to go to the Dr.’s like this… I bleached my hair several times and I was wondering if dying my hair dark brown would help it, because it was REALLY FRIED!!! LIKE SPONGY IT WAS REALLY REALLY BAD!!… PLEASE HELP PLEASE!!!

  136. I NEED HELP I NEED SOME ADVICE PLEASE ASAP!!! I have a appointment to see if I have breast cancer & I don’t want to go to the Dr.’s like this… I bleached my hair several times and I was wondering if dying my hair dark brown would help it, because it was REALLY FRIED!!! LIKE SPONGY IT WAS REALLY REALLY BAD!!… PLEASE HELP PLEASE!!!

  137. Hi! I have virgin hair and it’s medium brown with gold highlights in it, i want to go to a lighter blonde, around the color of my highlights. If i want this to look nice, should i have it professionally done and not go to wal-mart? Also, will i have to bleach my hair since i want to go lighter? I’m C L U E L E S S!!!

  138. Hi! I have virgin hair and it’s medium brown with gold highlights in it, i want to go to a lighter blonde, around the color of my highlights. If i want this to look nice, should i have it professionally done and not go to wal-mart? Also, will i have to bleach my hair since i want to go lighter? I’m C L U E L E S S!!!

  139. Hi. My grandaught as dryer her hair which was a strawberry blonde like her dads to dark brown very dark now she wants her auntie ti high light it but my daughter does not want to go there she say it will not take as she as played about to many times with her hair drying it red brown what do you think or is her auntie being nasty

  140. Hi. My grandaught as dryer her hair which was a strawberry blonde like her dads to dark brown very dark now she wants her auntie ti high light it but my daughter does not want to go there she say it will not take as she as played about to many times with her hair drying it red brown what do you think or is her auntie being nasty

  141. CRHinWilmNC Reply

    Hi. I have dark ish Brown hair with about 25% gray. I always color my hair some medium to dark brown shade (4or5) sometimes a reddish brown shade but right now I have about 1 inch of roots. I want to do a level 4 dark auburn Brown but will it give me a weird line of demarcation?

  142. CRHinWilmNC Reply

    Hi. I have dark ish Brown hair with about 25% gray. I always color my hair some medium to dark brown shade (4or5) sometimes a reddish brown shade but right now I have about 1 inch of roots. I want to do a level 4 dark auburn Brown but will it give me a weird line of demarcation?

  143. Jennifer,
    Sounds like the last thing you should do is continue processing your hair until you’ve spent some time repairing it. I’d recommend repeated PPTs (pure protein treatments), along with keratin treatments to repair the integrity of the hair. I wouldn’t go anywhere near bleach again (in fact, I’m surprised no one recommended a simple bleach wash in favor of a full application. Likely you’re hair’s in such disrepair now it’s going to pull base color, regardless of what you put in it. When your hair gets healthy enough, don’t develop with anything over a 10. Warmer tones with golden bases are probably your best bet. You can use demi or semi-perm color in the brown range and get the same result without the extra damage of perm w high volume. Best of luck!

  144. Jennifer,
    Sounds like the last thing you should do is continue processing your hair until you’ve spent some time repairing it. I’d recommend repeated PPTs (pure protein treatments), along with keratin treatments to repair the integrity of the hair. I wouldn’t go anywhere near bleach again (in fact, I’m surprised no one recommended a simple bleach wash in favor of a full application. Likely you’re hair’s in such disrepair now it’s going to pull base color, regardless of what you put in it. When your hair gets healthy enough, don’t develop with anything over a 10. Warmer tones with golden bases are probably your best bet. You can use demi or semi-perm color in the brown range and get the same result without the extra damage of perm w high volume. Best of luck!

  145. Hi can someone please help me with some advice??
    I am natural blonde but I like it light so I have been bleaching my hair for years now. In the last month I dyed my full head dark brown because I wanted to do the ombré with blonde on the bottom. I did it and the colours were correct but I didn’t like it so I decided to go red. I went to Sally’s and the girl recommended a filler for the blonde and then a permanent dye all over. I did that and the bottom was pink, which I thought night happen, so I went back and another girl recommended crimson red ‘N Rage color which is a stain. It worked amazing! I absolutely loved the red. I did this a week ago and now I have no choice but to go blonde again. I went back to Sally’s and the same girl told me I could do color removal or bleach. I asked her several times if my hair would turn out pink and she said no it will bleach it blonde. So I went home bleached it and as I rinsed, my hair started falling out. My roots were yellow the middle was pink and the ends if my hair were a hot pink. I was very upset and went back. It was two different employees and I explained what had happened. They told me to do the color removal and that there might be a tiny tint of pink but then just to run it through a second time and then for a honey blonde they told me to get this dye in which the hair sample looked grayish. I told them I didn’t want my hair to be that color and they old me it wouldn’t be because something with the mixture of tones. So… I came home and I did the color removal, twice! My roots came out a yellowish and the rest of my hair was purple!! I went in today to speak with the manager and she didn’t understand why they said to do all of that. She recommended I bleach again with ammonia free bleach powder and then put a very light golden blonde dye over. I used the bleach and had to wash it out after 10 minutes because my hair is like a goo at the tips and breaking off everywhere. All of the purple spots turned like a medium pink. I have no idea what to do! What would happen if I put the light golden blonde dye over my whole head? I mean, is it going to make the pink a gross color? Or do you think it will blend the bleached and pink better? Because my hair looks like shit right now and I need to fix it ASAP. Please help!!! Thank you!

    • I hope things got better for you!!!! (o= This is just about how things went with my daughters & my hair!!! BUT THEY’RE NOT PROFESSIONALS!!! My hair is fried and I was wondering if dying my hair brown would make a better again???

      • If it is fried it is fried, try unrefined coconut oil, put it on your damp or dry hair and leave it on over night, wash it out after at least 8 hours, you will probably have to wash it 2 or 3 times in a row to get the greasy feeling gone. I do this to my hair every 10 days and have naturally thick coarse hair and I dye and highlight my hair often. After one month you will notice a huge improvement, very natural and very nice. Try not to dye your hair so often, or just do roots etc not all over dye job.

  146. Hi can someone please help me with some advice??
    I am natural blonde but I like it light so I have been bleaching my hair for years now. In the last month I dyed my full head dark brown because I wanted to do the ombré with blonde on the bottom. I did it and the colours were correct but I didn’t like it so I decided to go red. I went to Sally’s and the girl recommended a filler for the blonde and then a permanent dye all over. I did that and the bottom was pink, which I thought night happen, so I went back and another girl recommended crimson red ‘N Rage color which is a stain. It worked amazing! I absolutely loved the red. I did this a week ago and now I have no choice but to go blonde again. I went back to Sally’s and the same girl told me I could do color removal or bleach. I asked her several times if my hair would turn out pink and she said no it will bleach it blonde. So I went home bleached it and as I rinsed, my hair started falling out. My roots were yellow the middle was pink and the ends if my hair were a hot pink. I was very upset and went back. It was two different employees and I explained what had happened. They told me to do the color removal and that there might be a tiny tint of pink but then just to run it through a second time and then for a honey blonde they told me to get this dye in which the hair sample looked grayish. I told them I didn’t want my hair to be that color and they old me it wouldn’t be because something with the mixture of tones. So… I came home and I did the color removal, twice! My roots came out a yellowish and the rest of my hair was purple!! I went in today to speak with the manager and she didn’t understand why they said to do all of that. She recommended I bleach again with ammonia free bleach powder and then put a very light golden blonde dye over. I used the bleach and had to wash it out after 10 minutes because my hair is like a goo at the tips and breaking off everywhere. All of the purple spots turned like a medium pink. I have no idea what to do! What would happen if I put the light golden blonde dye over my whole head? I mean, is it going to make the pink a gross color? Or do you think it will blend the bleached and pink better? Because my hair looks like shit right now and I need to fix it ASAP. Please help!!! Thank you!

    • I hope things got better for you!!!! (o= This is just about how things went with my daughters & my hair!!! BUT THEY’RE NOT PROFESSIONALS!!! My hair is fried and I was wondering if dying my hair brown would make a better again???

      • If it is fried it is fried, try unrefined coconut oil, put it on your damp or dry hair and leave it on over night, wash it out after at least 8 hours, you will probably have to wash it 2 or 3 times in a row to get the greasy feeling gone. I do this to my hair every 10 days and have naturally thick coarse hair and I dye and highlight my hair often. After one month you will notice a huge improvement, very natural and very nice. Try not to dye your hair so often, or just do roots etc not all over dye job.

  147. Lindsey Cortes Reply

    okay so i have a question of anyone is still reading. i recently bleached my hair then several months later decided i wanted to go back to brown. i dyed it with products from sallys 20 devoloper and a brown color and i was so nice for a few days then i noticed the color started lifting. i let it go because i still was happy with the results. but just the other day (which was a couple months after the brown) i went to a salon and got a 6rvb color and i LOVE the color but feel like its already lifting back to the same shade as the other one. anyone know why or how i can fix it to keep to color.

  148. Lindsey Cortes Reply

    okay so i have a question of anyone is still reading. i recently bleached my hair then several months later decided i wanted to go back to brown. i dyed it with products from sallys 20 devoloper and a brown color and i was so nice for a few days then i noticed the color started lifting. i let it go because i still was happy with the results. but just the other day (which was a couple months after the brown) i went to a salon and got a 6rvb color and i LOVE the color but feel like its already lifting back to the same shade as the other one. anyone know why or how i can fix it to keep to color.

  149. Hello. I have been using a High Lift color for over 5 years now (Ion HL/N-12 and 40 developer) and it has lightened my hair to the point of it looking almost platinum. I need to stop it from lightening anymore or it’s gonna be pure white. (i do already have a few pure white strands) How do i so this? Use a regular color instead of the high lift? I am so scared of turning my hair green or purple. (once in a while the white areas of my hair will look lavender after coloring) Help!

  150. Hello. I have been using a High Lift color for over 5 years now (Ion HL/N-12 and 40 developer) and it has lightened my hair to the point of it looking almost platinum. I need to stop it from lightening anymore or it’s gonna be pure white. (i do already have a few pure white strands) How do i so this? Use a regular color instead of the high lift? I am so scared of turning my hair green or purple. (once in a while the white areas of my hair will look lavender after coloring) Help!

  151. Hi need some help when a stylish is colour matching and mixing the colour does she just put in the colour I pick or does she need to put in my base colour to what are the rules for picking which colours to put in bowl thanx

  152. Hi need some help when a stylish is colour matching and mixing the colour does she just put in the colour I pick or does she need to put in my base colour to what are the rules for picking which colours to put in bowl thanx

  153. ValentinaN Reply

    Can you please advise me with my problem?
    I had for about a year bleached, blonde hair, but started getting really tired of it and wanted to be dark copper. So I basically used a 4.4 medium brown/copper and my medium brown roots as well as some pieces of my hair turned purple and the rest a nice dark copper. I used a 6 volume developer and now I know this is why my new hair didn`t really grab the color, I should`ve used 20 volume developer. So I guess that if I would use now 20volume developer with a mixture of 4.3 and 4.4 to get that nice natural auburn color my purple hair won`t be lifted of its color, right?
    Should I use a color remover such as Color B4 and then apply the new color?
    Thank you for reading this!

  154. ValentinaN Reply

    Can you please advise me with my problem?
    I had for about a year bleached, blonde hair, but started getting really tired of it and wanted to be dark copper. So I basically used a 4.4 medium brown/copper and my medium brown roots as well as some pieces of my hair turned purple and the rest a nice dark copper. I used a 6 volume developer and now I know this is why my new hair didn`t really grab the color, I should`ve used 20 volume developer. So I guess that if I would use now 20volume developer with a mixture of 4.3 and 4.4 to get that nice natural auburn color my purple hair won`t be lifted of its color, right?
    Should I use a color remover such as Color B4 and then apply the new color?
    Thank you for reading this!

  155. Ok, I’m having a big problem getting the hair color I want. It’s a light red…Strawberry blonde. Like Rita Hayworth, or Catherine McCormack in Dangerous Beauty. I’ve had this color before and love it for my complexion. 2 yrs ago I colored basically virgin hair (my natural haircolor is medium brown) a medium auburn, but it turned out very dark eggplant color, which I HATED. So a few days later I went to Sally attempting to get a lifter, but they were out, so the girl working there said to bleach and use a light auburn color afterwards. I got home, bleached it, and about 15-20 min later it turned the exact color I wanted! It was a little more orange, but I didn’t mind. So I left it just bleached and used NO color, toner, anything over it .

    So I had that for a few months, and then used a box color in a dark burgundy, which was okay but not my favorite. About 2 months later I used another box color in dark brown, mainly cause I was tired of being a redhead. In the 2 yrs since then I’ve kept it brown, using a red brown box color that didn’t do much here and there. So, this past week I decided I wanted the light Rita Hayworth red again, so I got Garnier Olia box color in light auburn on my now faded, kind of light brown hair. It did nothing, actually making my hair DARKER. So yesterday, I went to Sally, told the woman working there ( who was VERY rude) what I wanted, and was expecting to get a lift or bleach, and she was like “No, you need 3 boxes of strawberry blonde color and 40 developer” I was wary of this and made it clear to her I wanted my hair A LOT lighter, and wouldn’t I need to bleach it, but she was adamant this would work. Like you said, color doesn’t lift color, so I don’t know why she told me to do this. But I did it anyway, today, and again…. IT BARELY DID ANYTHING!! It”s little redder, and it looks pretty enough but it is not what I want. I want the light Rita Hayworth red. Please google her hair color before sending me any advice, lol. I’m frustrated because I hate doing more damage to my hair for it to do nothing. What do you suggest I do to get the color I want?? Please don’t say go to a salon, because I’ve had more bad experiences there than at home, and I’ve been to pretty much everyone in my (very small) town.

    • Jeeze! That’s a bummer! It sounds like the girl at Sally really doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I would maybe do what worked before and bleach it! You’ll have to bleach it to get the darker color out! If it doesn’t turn the shade you want, you can tone it or color over it with the shade you want! Just do a lot of good conditioning treatments! My advice to you is that you sound happiest with the Rita Hayworth color (which is gorgeous btw) and so once you get back there, you should stick with it! I wish you luck!!! Hope it helps!

  156. Ok, I’m having a big problem getting the hair color I want. It’s a light red…Strawberry blonde. Like Rita Hayworth, or Catherine McCormack in Dangerous Beauty. I’ve had this color before and love it for my complexion. 2 yrs ago I colored basically virgin hair (my natural haircolor is medium brown) a medium auburn, but it turned out very dark eggplant color, which I HATED. So a few days later I went to Sally attempting to get a lifter, but they were out, so the girl working there said to bleach and use a light auburn color afterwards. I got home, bleached it, and about 15-20 min later it turned the exact color I wanted! It was a little more orange, but I didn’t mind. So I left it just bleached and used NO color, toner, anything over it .

    So I had that for a few months, and then used a box color in a dark burgundy, which was okay but not my favorite. About 2 months later I used another box color in dark brown, mainly cause I was tired of being a redhead. In the 2 yrs since then I’ve kept it brown, using a red brown box color that didn’t do much here and there. So, this past week I decided I wanted the light Rita Hayworth red again, so I got Garnier Olia box color in light auburn on my now faded, kind of light brown hair. It did nothing, actually making my hair DARKER. So yesterday, I went to Sally, told the woman working there ( who was VERY rude) what I wanted, and was expecting to get a lift or bleach, and she was like “No, you need 3 boxes of strawberry blonde color and 40 developer” I was wary of this and made it clear to her I wanted my hair A LOT lighter, and wouldn’t I need to bleach it, but she was adamant this would work. Like you said, color doesn’t lift color, so I don’t know why she told me to do this. But I did it anyway, today, and again…. IT BARELY DID ANYTHING!! It”s little redder, and it looks pretty enough but it is not what I want. I want the light Rita Hayworth red. Please google her hair color before sending me any advice, lol. I’m frustrated because I hate doing more damage to my hair for it to do nothing. What do you suggest I do to get the color I want?? Please don’t say go to a salon, because I’ve had more bad experiences there than at home, and I’ve been to pretty much everyone in my (very small) town.

    • Jeeze! That’s a bummer! It sounds like the girl at Sally really doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I would maybe do what worked before and bleach it! You’ll have to bleach it to get the darker color out! If it doesn’t turn the shade you want, you can tone it or color over it with the shade you want! Just do a lot of good conditioning treatments! My advice to you is that you sound happiest with the Rita Hayworth color (which is gorgeous btw) and so once you get back there, you should stick with it! I wish you luck!!! Hope it helps!

  157. I bleach my hair all the time.. I have a bit of yellow. If I use a high lift neutral blonde would this rid the yellow quite a bit?

  158. I bleach my hair all the time.. I have a bit of yellow. If I use a high lift neutral blonde would this rid the yellow quite a bit?

  159. Hi! My question pertains to how coloring my hair affects it’s health! Please help I am desperate! :((
    Back in September i had my hair colored for the first time on my virgin brown hair. What I basically had done was kind of an ombre… she left a few inches of my roots natural and then the rest down to my ends were colored a caramel/honey color. Then, in November I went back and had that color lightened a bit more. In February I went back to get the color taken up to my roots with highlights and then in May I went and got it lightened a little bit more with some brighter highlights. I noticed after my appointment in February that my hair had thinned out A LOT and that the left side of my head (i part my hair to the right) had a major section of breakage. Before I had ever colored my hair it was very thick and was growing out pretty long.
    Now I want to dye my hair back to brown so that I can stop lightening it and getting touch ups so that I can grow my hair out again. I’m just so sad about the condition of my hair and I did everything I could to try and keep this sort of thing from happening. So really my question is, by dying my hair back to brown, will my hair be less fragile and will I be able to grow it out??

  160. Hi! My question pertains to how coloring my hair affects it’s health! Please help I am desperate! :((
    Back in September i had my hair colored for the first time on my virgin brown hair. What I basically had done was kind of an ombre… she left a few inches of my roots natural and then the rest down to my ends were colored a caramel/honey color. Then, in November I went back and had that color lightened a bit more. In February I went back to get the color taken up to my roots with highlights and then in May I went and got it lightened a little bit more with some brighter highlights. I noticed after my appointment in February that my hair had thinned out A LOT and that the left side of my head (i part my hair to the right) had a major section of breakage. Before I had ever colored my hair it was very thick and was growing out pretty long.
    Now I want to dye my hair back to brown so that I can stop lightening it and getting touch ups so that I can grow my hair out again. I’m just so sad about the condition of my hair and I did everything I could to try and keep this sort of thing from happening. So really my question is, by dying my hair back to brown, will my hair be less fragile and will I be able to grow it out??

  161. Tried dying my non virgin hair brown but now realizing it can’t wok,can I now dye it to black because the dye changed the hair color to an ugly grayish looking color

    • Yes. You can always use color to go darker, but you won’t be able to lift it lighter again without bleaching it. Hope it helps!

  162. Tried dying my non virgin hair brown but now realizing it can’t wok,can I now dye it to black because the dye changed the hair color to an ugly grayish looking color

    • Yes. You can always use color to go darker, but you won’t be able to lift it lighter again without bleaching it. Hope it helps!

  163. Hi!
    I’m just after some advice hah!

    I have very short hair (pixie cut), and it’s been red for a little while now, but before that it was blonde. Yesterday I used JoBaz colour removal to remove the red in hopes of slowly returning back blonde. It worked wonderfully! No trace of red, just a slight golden tinge to my hair. I thought to counteract that, I’d just put a light ash blonde over the top and BOOM my old blonde back.

    But after washing out the ash dye. My hair was slightly pink? A kind-of-blonde-kind-of-pink type thing. I’m thinking damn:/ I wish I had have just toned it after the JoBaz.

    Regardless. It’s now ash blonde with a pink tinge. I am wondering, will putting a golden blonde or medium blonde over the pink rid me of it. Or should I just leave it alone and see if the pink fades out?

    Thank you for any help:)

    • I would probably leave it alone for a little bit and see if it fades…I’m not sure what would cause the pink undertones unless the color was defective or somehow had pink as a base color (ash is typically a blue base). I think golden would be a bad idea so maybe try going with a neutral if it doesn’t fade! Hope this helps!

      • you need to buy a blue shampoo…..apply it to your head….let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and it should take the pink out.

  164. Hi!
    I’m just after some advice hah!

    I have very short hair (pixie cut), and it’s been red for a little while now, but before that it was blonde. Yesterday I used JoBaz colour removal to remove the red in hopes of slowly returning back blonde. It worked wonderfully! No trace of red, just a slight golden tinge to my hair. I thought to counteract that, I’d just put a light ash blonde over the top and BOOM my old blonde back.

    But after washing out the ash dye. My hair was slightly pink? A kind-of-blonde-kind-of-pink type thing. I’m thinking damn:/ I wish I had have just toned it after the JoBaz.

    Regardless. It’s now ash blonde with a pink tinge. I am wondering, will putting a golden blonde or medium blonde over the pink rid me of it. Or should I just leave it alone and see if the pink fades out?

    Thank you for any help:)

    • I would probably leave it alone for a little bit and see if it fades…I’m not sure what would cause the pink undertones unless the color was defective or somehow had pink as a base color (ash is typically a blue base). I think golden would be a bad idea so maybe try going with a neutral if it doesn’t fade! Hope this helps!

      • you need to buy a blue shampoo…..apply it to your head….let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing and it should take the pink out.

  165. I have naturally blonde hair. My natural color is a level 7, and after sun exposure a level 8. Does anyone know if blonde dye can lighten natural blonde to about a level 10? And if the sun continues to lighten hair even after it is dyed blonde?
    I’ve bleached my natural hair to platinum blonde before, but I don’t want to use bleach again because it’s harder to grow out waist length(if even possible). Also, because I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem, which has caused my hair to thin out and be more fragile. So yeah, I don’t want to weaken my hair too much more by using bleach.
    Anyway, is it possible to lift natural color two shades with dye?

    • Yes. You can definitely lift natural color with dye. However, if your hair has any color on it, it will not work. The sun should continue to lighten your hair. Hope it helps !

  166. I have naturally blonde hair. My natural color is a level 7, and after sun exposure a level 8. Does anyone know if blonde dye can lighten natural blonde to about a level 10? And if the sun continues to lighten hair even after it is dyed blonde?
    I’ve bleached my natural hair to platinum blonde before, but I don’t want to use bleach again because it’s harder to grow out waist length(if even possible). Also, because I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem, which has caused my hair to thin out and be more fragile. So yeah, I don’t want to weaken my hair too much more by using bleach.
    Anyway, is it possible to lift natural color two shades with dye?

    • Yes. You can definitely lift natural color with dye. However, if your hair has any color on it, it will not work. The sun should continue to lighten your hair. Hope it helps !

  167. My natural hair color is blonde. I dyed it to brown 3 years ago. I wanted it back to blonde so i bleached it 3 years ago. I eventually dyed it brown again, &.its been brown for awhile. My only problem is that the middle to end of my hair has a greenish tint to it. I love my hair brown, I’ll never go blonde again, but how can i stop the greenish tint at the bottom?

  168. My natural hair color is blonde. I dyed it to brown 3 years ago. I wanted it back to blonde so i bleached it 3 years ago. I eventually dyed it brown again, &.its been brown for awhile. My only problem is that the middle to end of my hair has a greenish tint to it. I love my hair brown, I’ll never go blonde again, but how can i stop the greenish tint at the bottom?

  169. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME i have bleached my hair twice now because no toners would do anything after the 1st time i had lots of dark and light yellow after 2nd bleach white and light yellow, used ion toner in lightest cool blonde didnt do ANYTHING except make my root area silvery white i dont want that at all. sally a 4 th time she recommended wella t18 that sample strande turned greyish white purple silver it was ugly at 3 min 5 min 8 min and 15 min i do not want white or silver or grey hair i want it ask blonde similar to sienna miller. i went 5th time 2 sally she recommended clairolprofessional neutrals permanent creme color in lightest neutral blonde i just tested it on a strand and it did absolutely NOTHING my cousin is a beautician and said to try to mix a gold toner w a neutral and the woman at sally said my hair is too white for that. i had a feeling a neutral wouldnt do anything please help me i cannot go in public for 7 weeks now! my hauir is neon white and yellow and it looks awful. i did try a box color on a strand and it worked perfect gave me the color on the box but i heard not to use those they r too damagin but i am getting sick of this now can you please help me?

    • Bleach is really tricky, especially if your hair has color on it. The reason your roots turned white is because it was virgin hair, and the yellow areas are where the color was. There is not a whole lot you can do to get the yellow out, besides toning it or coloring over it. You would definitely want a platinum based toner, since purple and yellow cancel each other out… but when the purple toner gets on the really white pieces of your hair, it will turn them purple. It usually is not permanent and will only last a little while.

      Anyways, in your case I would probably do the box color. I shouldn’t ever say that because I’m a hair stylist and we usually don’t support that, but if it turned your hair the color that you want, then I think it will be fine. Examine your test strand and see how damaged you think it is compared to the rest of your hair. Color, itself, is not super damaging to your hair; bleach is what does the most damage. The real issue behind box colors is that sometimes they use weird stuff in it, like metallic dyes or henna, which could pose a problem later down the road, but I would say in most cases, you should be safe. I really hope this helps and your hair turns out okay! Good luck!

      • Thank you soo much. I cant believe workers at sally are SOOO dumb when it comes to this. I am lookign at my test strands from last night the girl at sally said it would work i asked her 3 times to make sure and it did NOT do a dang thing to my color. So yeah i think box color it is. the purple based toners i think will all turn my hair white or silver and i dont want that. im going to return the toner today and ask ONE last time if they have any clue otherwise im going back to box color.

        • Yeah that is a really pretty color! It definitely has some ash undertones, imo. I’m not sure really what your color looks like now, but if there is a lot of yellow, it will take a process. If there was a lot of darker color in your hair, it will take a long time to bleach it to the white color that you want, and by that point, it would be pretty damaged. I would just take it in small steps. Maybe when you get it light enough, have someone weave in some ashy blonde (not too ashy though, because it might turn blue or grey) but maybe like a natural mixed with some ash, like they told you. They only difference is, I would wait until the yellow is out of your hair before you do that.

      • i have read you shouldnt bleach til its completely white or color or toner wont do any good its already prettywhite i have pics but dont think i can put them on here

        • Yeah that’s the problem. The more damaged hair gets, the more porous like a sponge it gets. When hair is super super white and damaged, it will soak up the pigments of the toner, making your hair whatever the base color of the toner is. The other thing is that super damaged hair won’t hold on to color either, so even if you do tone it, and it turns out perfect, it won’t last too long. For that reason, I would take it in steps, so you can get it lighter and get the yellow out, without completely frying it. I’ve bleached my hair from black to white a few times, but I had to rock an orange/yellow fried stage, and one time I completely fried half of my hair off. I would definitely not go that route, since it was so damaging. When you touch up your roots every month or so, just run the bleach through the rest of your hair for the last 10-15 minutes to lighten it a little bit. In between colors, I would do a lot of deep conditioning. I used to just put deep conditioner in my hair whenever I was at home, or sometimes sleep with it in. I think if, once it’s at the desired level and healthy, if you had an ashy color (not toner) mixed with a neutral color to cut it down a little bit, weaved in, it would turn out like Sienna’s. You’d just have to make sure its really healthy and not so porous first.

  170. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME i have bleached my hair twice now because no toners would do anything after the 1st time i had lots of dark and light yellow after 2nd bleach white and light yellow, used ion toner in lightest cool blonde didnt do ANYTHING except make my root area silvery white i dont want that at all. sally a 4 th time she recommended wella t18 that sample strande turned greyish white purple silver it was ugly at 3 min 5 min 8 min and 15 min i do not want white or silver or grey hair i want it ask blonde similar to sienna miller. i went 5th time 2 sally she recommended clairolprofessional neutrals permanent creme color in lightest neutral blonde i just tested it on a strand and it did absolutely NOTHING my cousin is a beautician and said to try to mix a gold toner w a neutral and the woman at sally said my hair is too white for that. i had a feeling a neutral wouldnt do anything please help me i cannot go in public for 7 weeks now! my hauir is neon white and yellow and it looks awful. i did try a box color on a strand and it worked perfect gave me the color on the box but i heard not to use those they r too damagin but i am getting sick of this now can you please help me?

    • Bleach is really tricky, especially if your hair has color on it. The reason your roots turned white is because it was virgin hair, and the yellow areas are where the color was. There is not a whole lot you can do to get the yellow out, besides toning it or coloring over it. You would definitely want a platinum based toner, since purple and yellow cancel each other out… but when the purple toner gets on the really white pieces of your hair, it will turn them purple. It usually is not permanent and will only last a little while.

      Anyways, in your case I would probably do the box color. I shouldn’t ever say that because I’m a hair stylist and we usually don’t support that, but if it turned your hair the color that you want, then I think it will be fine. Examine your test strand and see how damaged you think it is compared to the rest of your hair. Color, itself, is not super damaging to your hair; bleach is what does the most damage. The real issue behind box colors is that sometimes they use weird stuff in it, like metallic dyes or henna, which could pose a problem later down the road, but I would say in most cases, you should be safe. I really hope this helps and your hair turns out okay! Good luck!

      • Thank you soo much. I cant believe workers at sally are SOOO dumb when it comes to this. I am lookign at my test strands from last night the girl at sally said it would work i asked her 3 times to make sure and it did NOT do a dang thing to my color. So yeah i think box color it is. the purple based toners i think will all turn my hair white or silver and i dont want that. im going to return the toner today and ask ONE last time if they have any clue otherwise im going back to box color.

        • Yeah that is a really pretty color! It definitely has some ash undertones, imo. I’m not sure really what your color looks like now, but if there is a lot of yellow, it will take a process. If there was a lot of darker color in your hair, it will take a long time to bleach it to the white color that you want, and by that point, it would be pretty damaged. I would just take it in small steps. Maybe when you get it light enough, have someone weave in some ashy blonde (not too ashy though, because it might turn blue or grey) but maybe like a natural mixed with some ash, like they told you. They only difference is, I would wait until the yellow is out of your hair before you do that.

      • i have read you shouldnt bleach til its completely white or color or toner wont do any good its already prettywhite i have pics but dont think i can put them on here

        • Yeah that’s the problem. The more damaged hair gets, the more porous like a sponge it gets. When hair is super super white and damaged, it will soak up the pigments of the toner, making your hair whatever the base color of the toner is. The other thing is that super damaged hair won’t hold on to color either, so even if you do tone it, and it turns out perfect, it won’t last too long. For that reason, I would take it in steps, so you can get it lighter and get the yellow out, without completely frying it. I’ve bleached my hair from black to white a few times, but I had to rock an orange/yellow fried stage, and one time I completely fried half of my hair off. I would definitely not go that route, since it was so damaging. When you touch up your roots every month or so, just run the bleach through the rest of your hair for the last 10-15 minutes to lighten it a little bit. In between colors, I would do a lot of deep conditioning. I used to just put deep conditioner in my hair whenever I was at home, or sometimes sleep with it in. I think if, once it’s at the desired level and healthy, if you had an ashy color (not toner) mixed with a neutral color to cut it down a little bit, weaved in, it would turn out like Sienna’s. You’d just have to make sure its really healthy and not so porous first.

          • hi..
            i read few of the comments and your replies. i know much about hair. the point where i find myself confused is if i do lightening on 4 level and desired color is level 10… i stop the process after achieving level 7… as we are asians so our undercoat is mostly red… my question is… should i apply voilet and blue on level 7 first and after that i should use the color? or should i mix voilet and blue in my color mixture? its realy tough to achieve level 8 on asian hair… if clients hair length is medium and i made a mixture of 2 fashion tubes what should be my measurements for voilet and blue?
            you are doing a great job…
            appreciate..
            and i truly do…

          • Thanks for the question! If you are trying to get to a level 10, I would probably use bleach and tone it afterwards. It will probably also take multiple processes to get to the desired level. Even for a level 8, you will probably need to bleach it, since it needs to lift more than 4 levels. After bleaching it, you could apply a toner with a blue/violet base, or tone it with blue/violet base toners. Hope it helps 🙂

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