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Re-Dyeing Hair

Category Coloring
Many times after dyeing your hair you decide you don't like it and want to try a different color. This page has advice about re-dyeing your hair, including how long you should wait before dyeing it again.
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June 22, 20170 found this helpful

Re-Dyeing Hair

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After having the color removed from your hair, you may have to wait a little while before getting it dyed again. This is a guide about re-dyeing hair after removing color.

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December 15, 20160 found this helpful

A girl with blue and silver dyed hair.

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This is a guide about, "How long should I wait to re-dye my hair?". Re-dyeng your hair too soon can sometimes damage your hair.

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March 9, 2016

Take a look down any aisle devoted to hair care products. More than likely, you will find a section displaying hair coloring products. You may see a myriad of different brands, colors, and degrees of permanence. What you won't see, is the word 'dye'. Technically, permanent hair color is a dye, but decades ago, the beauty industry decided the word was... well, crude. Since that time, the word 'color' has served as its replacement. The word 'color' applies to all degrees of permanence including permanent color/tint, semi permanent color, and toner (toners are applied to pre bleached hair). The word is also used in reference to temporary rinses, although to a lesser degree.

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Some people have become pretty good at coloring their hair at home. But, if you're one of those people who dumps a bottle of 'dye' on their hair, doesn't like the resulting color, and can't wait to dump another bottle of dye on their hair....well, what can I say? You get what you deserve. Fortunately, most oranges and greens can be corrected, but should only be attempted by a licensed professional.

There is so much to know about coloring hair. I could write a book. Indeed, books have been written on the subject. I have a copy of the Clairol hair coloring handbook published in the early sixties, long before L'Oreal and others were clamoring to get into a market that was held almost exclusively by Roux and Clairol.

There are as many different products as there are ways to color your hair. There are temporary/weekly rinses. These may be commercially produced but include homemade rinses, often vegetable in origin. At one time, strong brewed tea was a popular temporary color for grey or light colored hair. It has been written that at one time there was a shortage of flour in England, due to the fact all the upper class were powdering their dingy wool periwigs with lots and lots of flour.

Semi permanent colors became popular in the sixties. Loving Care was the top seller. Designed to 'cover grey' and to be applied every month to six weeks, these semi permanent colors were often referred to as 'progressive dyes', as was henna . However, there was no commercial reference to all the white haired, little old ladies who were now sporting black, black hair with 'cow dung green' ends.

I'll jump ahead and briefly touch on toners and then get back to the main subject. Toners are delicate blond colors. Before applying a toner, and depending on the color choice, the hair must be pre bleached to either the gold, yellow, or pale yellow stage. Example: if you now have black hair and want to be platinum blond, your hair must go through seven stages of pre- bleach lightening, bringing the hair to a pale yellow, before applying a platinum toner.

And now, the product most reached for by the home grown, would be, beautician (not cosmetologist, as they have earned that title and are licensed by a state board cosmetic art examiner).

Permanent colors were formulated originally to permanently cover grey hair. They had no lifting (lightening) action. They produced a dull, single color. It was discovered that by adding lightening action, grey could be covered while at the same time, the pigmented (not yet turned grey) hair could be lightened a few shades. This produced a more natural look, as it left the hair with several intermediate shades, rather than one flat color.

I think this lifting action is the one factor most misunderstood by the do it yourself colorist. If your hair is dark and you color it a lighter shade, the color product will lighten the hair and deposit the lighter color at the same time. This is good for those who want to go only two or three shades lighter than their natural color because these products are very limited in their lightening action.

If you are a medium brown, you cannot color your hair to a light honey blond with these 'one step' color products. A great deal of the natural pigment (any pigment darker than the honey blond you want to be) must first be removed and then the honey blond applied. As stated, these one step colors are limited in their bleaching action. They would probably lighten the medium brown hair only to the red stage. Applying a light honey blond color to red hair will not result in a honey blond shade. This, I think, is where and why so many people write to ThriftyFun seeking advice about what to do for their orange hair.

I think the second most asked question concerning at home 'dye jobs' is 'How soon can I re dye my hair? Usually, 24 hours is enough lapsed time. There are exceptions. These exceptions are made based on the condition of your scalp. There should be no tenderness or sensitivity to any degree prior to re- coloring the hair. If you are re-dyeing your hair to a darker color, the longer you wait, the better. This is because dark colors can go too dark on very recently colored hair. Also, the more time you give your scalp to 'rest', the less staining you will have to the scalp and hairline.

A good rule of thumb would be 'Do not expect these one step color products to color your hair more than two or three shades lighter than your natural color without resulting in unwanted reds or oranges. So, if you are 'dark' and want to go 'light', the only way you can do this without getting reds or oranges, is to first bleach the hair lighter than these reds and oranges. Then apply the desired blond shade. If you are dark and want to be blond, but are not willing to go through the required pre bleaching, then your best choice would be to settle for a slightly lighter shade with added red, ash, gold, honey, or whatever, highlights OR, leave your hair the color it now is.

Three last, but very important notes: If you re-dye your hair to a darker color, choose a shade two or three shades lighter than the desired color. Previously treated hair will be more porous and will 'grab' more color, resulting in a color much darker than that shown on the bottle or box.

If your ends are quite porous, apply the re-color to those ends for only the last 10 minutes of the processing time.

And maybe most important of all: Do a test strand first! This will show you what the entire hair will look like and may save yourself a few tears.

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December 12, 20160 found this helpful

I used garnier LB3 and my hair is definitely lighter but super orange and brassy especially at the roots! I got a silver/purple/toner shampoo so I'm hoping that will help. When I re-dye should I use the same color, or a different blonde color by the same brand?

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December 18, 20114 found this helpful

Recently I dyed my hair to red, but I don't seem to like it very much. How long do I have to wait to re-dye my hair? Will the result be good?

By Jaime

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December 19, 20113 found this helpful
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There is a product called Oops that will remove the color you dyed it.

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November 14, 20112 found this helpful

Can I re-dye my hair the same day? It's alburn red, and too red for me. I can't go out of my house, I will stop traffic it's so red. Can I dye it back to brown the same day or at least the next day?

By Tami P.

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November 16, 20111 found this helpful
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I would just try washing it a couple of times with regular shampoo. I find that even my "for colored hair" shampoo softens up the color after a couple of washings.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 13, 2017

I dyed my hair a honey blond and it didn't turn out as light as I wanted it. How long do I need to wait to re-dye it lighter?

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June 13, 20170 found this helpful

Wait four to six weeks in order not to fry your hair.

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By 2 found this helpful
January 13, 2016

I've recently bleached and toned and dyed my way too silver (January 1st). Now that I've obtained the color, I'm wondering how long I should wait before going to a salon and having them dye it a normal color again. Will I have to lift my hair again to get back to my natural color or can they dye over the gray? I don't want to make an appointment too early, but the gray/silver just doesn't suit me like I had hoped. Thank you so much for your help in advance! The picture above is my hair color currently!

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January 13, 20160 found this helpful
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I don't know what you used to dye your hair but I just saw a post about Feria boxed hair color and how it is very damaging to your hair when you try to remove it. I would definitely consult with a hairdresser that is experienced in touch-up or recoloring. Good luck. The gray was a neat look, I hope you enjoyed it.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 5, 2017

I just recently dyed my hair burgundy, but my hair is black. It doesn't really show. Would I be able to bleach it and then dye it?

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June 6, 20170 found this helpful

If you put permanent burgundy on it, no-- you'll need a colour stripper first. If its semi then you can, yes.

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December 23, 2016

I dyed my natural dark brown hair to red. About 6 months later I color removed my hair and dyed it dark brown. It's been about 2 months and I want to go back to red again. The dye that I used to dye my hair is for people with dark hair. Should I color remove my hair first and then dye my hair back to red? Or should I dye it and not use color remover?

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December 24, 20160 found this helpful
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Save hairs from your brush. When you have enough, separate into two bundles. Dye one with the remover and the other without. See which one comes out better.

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April 27, 2017

I colored my hair last week a permanent dark chocolate. I don't like this color. I wanna go back to blonde. Can I use light blonde? I am afraid of the result.

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April 27, 20170 found this helpful

A light color won't cover a dark one. It will need to be stripped, then conditioned before recoloring.

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April 5, 2017

I recently decided that I wanted to go a bit lighter with my hair colour. I have been dyeing it darkest brown for years and it's starting to look a little harsh. So to start this little journey I began by removing the colour from my hair using Colourless Max Effect, this has left me with a two tone hair colour, light brown/ginger-ish on the roots for about two inches and a lot darker from there onwards. I have shoulder length hair. I contacted Colourless to see if this was normal and they advised me to do it again, which I will be doing soon. My question is what do I need to do to my hair before I put on my preferred hair colour? Do I need to use any toners or do I need to bleach it or use a different colour before, as I'd like to get the best result. Thanks for your help.

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April 6, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you Judy :)

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August 15, 2015

Last night I had attempted to dye my darkish brown hair blonde with a semi-permanent hair dye. I didn't like the results no blonde was made to my hair. How long will it be till I can re-dye my hair?

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August 18, 20150 found this helpful
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Semi-permanent hair color washes out in 6-12 shampoos. Wash it every day and you ought to be able to color it in a week or so. BTW, you can't lighten your hair with a semi-permanent hair color because it has no peroxide (that's what lifts the color out of your hair). Hope it works out better for you next time!

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May 8, 2017

I dyed my hair ultra light ash blonde about 2 weeks ago. I really want to go back to a medium brown. Will it turn green?

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May 8, 20170 found this helpful

Call the 800 number on the box of the color you just used and get expert advice for free from them.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 18, 2015

I went to the salon today with blonde hair I asked for a dark blonde color. I walked out and noticed my hair looks grey! Can I box dye it the dark blonde I want?

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November 19, 20150 found this helpful
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You should return to the salon! You did not receive the color you wanted and the hair stylist apparently did something wrong? The salon is responsible to provide the service you paid for so return, explain the problem and the salon should correct the problem for your hair.

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February 7, 2017

I've recently dyed my hair fully green and I want to add blue as well to give it that mermaid look. I've let the green set in for a week. And I want to know will I get that right greenish blue shade or will it turn into a nasty colour? I don't really mind if I don't get any blue showing, but I wouldn't want to get a nasty shade. Please help. I'm really confused as to whether to go ahead or not.

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February 9, 20170 found this helpful

I did exactly what you describe and my hair was exactly the colour yours was, I went back and forth between green, aqua blue, red, and I have to say, I liked how it looked. If the blue is vibrant and strong enough, it should take well. At worst, the hair will be darker than you would have wanted it to be. But the others' ideas of sampling on test hair is very good.

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February 14, 2017

I usually dye my hair with Natural Instincts every 6 weeks. My natural hair color is medium brown and I have some gray. I like to change my color everytime going between the "browns" to ''auburn". Last time I changed brands and used Revlon Colorsilk, blonde. I didn't like the result: opaque dark orange blonde. My hair is a little dryer now, but not horrible. I went to the saloon and cut my ends. Can I redye with Natural Instincts dark brown now or I have to wait 2 more weeks?

Thank you.

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February 14, 20170 found this helpful

4 to 6 weeks is the time allowed for redye ing so you should be fine.

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March 8, 2016

I bleached and dyed my hair five days ago. When would it be good for me to dye it again?

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March 9, 20160 found this helpful
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I don't find that bleach, when properly applied to strong, healthy hair to be damaging. I don't think Jean Harlow or Marilyn Monroe did either. Do know that bleaching leaves the hair more porous and with less tensile strength. It should be treated more gently. Conditioners may be required to keep the hair looking its best and special shampoos may be needed to prevent stripping of the delicate toners usually applied to pre bleached hair.

I do hope when you say you 'dyed' your bleached hair, that you used a toner made especially for pre bleached hair. If you did, in fact, apply a regular, permanent color to your pre bleached hair, you are asking for trouble by coloring it, again. The darker the color you applied, the more trouble you can expect. You should know that recoloring bleached and 'dyed' hair does not remove the 'dye' you first used. What you would be doing amounts to adding color on top of color... and the results are likely to be a strange and too dark color.

If you properly bleached and toned your hair, it could be safely recolored to approximate the color you had before bleaching. The use of special fillers may be required as a prerequisite. Do you even know what a 'filler' is? The procedure would require the expertise of a professional colorist, lest you end up with very damaged hair. The fact that you ask if it would be good for you to 'dye' your hair again is clear evidence you do not have the knowledge required for what you are attempting.

I've nothing against people coloring their own hair, but in this case, unless you are willing to seek out and pay for professional services, you are likely to be much more dissatisfied with a third color, than you were with your original color or the color you had after bleaching and 'dyeing' your hair.

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September 9, 2015

Can someone give me advice? I dyed my hair a week ago using Nice and Easy natural medium blonde. It turned out fine, there are some shades of orange that are not bright but enough to make me want to do it again. I went and got a shade lighter, Natural Baby Blonde, would it be okay to redo it? I recently had a baby so this is first time I have dyed it for 9 months. Can anyone help?

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November 7, 20150 found this helpful
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You can reapply Nice and Easy in as little as one week. Using a product to soften the orange color will only make the orange more noticeable, and going to a lighter shade of color will have less effect at covering that orange (In fact, its increased lifting action may produce more orange). A reapplication of your first color choice might be better at covering the orange. It would have been helpful to know your original hair color and texture.

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January 5, 2017

I dyed my hair blue about a week and a half ago. I had to bleach it because it was a really dark brown, but since it bleached unevenly the blue is greyish in some parts and really vibrant blue on other parts and on my roots it's a little blonde. Do I redye it all blue again or do I need to bleach it all over again?

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January 5, 20170 found this helpful

Sorry, but you'll need to bleach again. Blue doesn't get vibrant until your hair is pale yellow (almost white). Think of the colour almost like cellophane. Anywhere where it's still orange, and it will go a strange greyish or greenish colour.

On the other hand I don't think you put enough on - since it sounds like you did miss some of your roots, which being the newest hair bleaches the best and uptakes dye the best. It is easy to miss roots. You need HEAPS of dye the first time when dyeing with bright colours over virgin bleach, and you have to be very methodical.

I don't know how much money you've got, you could try putting a bit more blue on if you don't have much $, but if I was you, I would carefully rebleach the parts of your hair that aren't pale yellow (and now blue) yet. Use a brush, work in layers, get someone to help you or use mirrors/camera. Work as fast as you can - work in cold surrounds if you have to go slowly as this will slow down the bleaching reaction, then you can put a plastic bag over the whole thing and (very) gently heat it. Avoid your roots if they're pale blonde, else redo them. You may have to do a few passes. Conservative application of bleach is a little more expensive (as in don't put too much on for too long) but saves over-frying bits of your hair. Believe me, I've been there. If I was going to bleach my hair to get blue, I'd probably in bleach in three to four passes, the last couple to nix out some yellow/orange streaks, but if my hair was long (it was usually chin length) I'd take five or six passes, and put some protein treatments on, shampoo, conditioner, "rest" the hair for a few days. Since you bleached a week and a half ago I think you could bleach now. I use 30 - 40 vol peroxide strength. 40vol is for strong thick hair. Don't bother with supermarket boxes promising blonde.

Also, whether your hair will take bleaching to pale yellow, especially on the ends, depends on how old the ends of the hair is, how you've looked after it, your health and age, and your type and thickness of hair. Some people's hair just cannot hack bleaching to pale yellow. My hair is thick so it can bleach pale pretty well provided it's not too long, but with age it's harder. You're probably young though.

Blue is the most difficult for a DIY beginner. Red (and purple to a lesser degree) will stick on unevenly bleached hair MUCH better. Use those colours in a pinch if you're in a bind, colour over the blue. Good luck.

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April 11, 20152 found this helpful

I just recently went from a medium blonde to platinum blonde. I thought I would like it, but it's too bold for me. I would like to have an ombre or balayage done to make it more natural. Is it too early to do that, since I had my hair bleached 4 days ago?

By Haileigh

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July 7, 20151 found this helpful

Yes! Go to Sally's Beauty Supplies and they will advise you on best products to use.

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August 27, 2015

I colored my hair with a 28 shampoo color and the color turned out lighter then I expected. How long do I have to wait to recolor it darker?

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August 28, 20150 found this helpful
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I think it depends on how strong and healthy your hair is now, Denise. A g'friend of mine did pretty much the same thing and dyed her hair a bit darker pretty much right away (a day or two after the initial colour). Her hair was pretty fine to begin with (natural redhead) and the second dye job just wrecked her hair: it got so brittle she couldn't even brush it without it breaking off close to her scalp. Maybe visit a salon and pay a few dollars for professional advice / consultation?

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January 2, 2017

I dyed my hair December 11. Now that it's January 2 is it OK to go ahead and dye it again?

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January 2, 20170 found this helpful

Depends. Is it in good shape? Not dried out or frizzy? If in good condition, you should be ok. If not, condition, trim and wait awhile.

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July 27, 2015

I dyed my hair a deep burgundy mixed with a mahogany red and it came out almost black looking. It is just such a dark purple. I want my light brown hair back and I bought this platinum blonde almost white looking dye. I am not bleaching my hair it's a blonde dye. I want to know if that will get ride of this dark purple color?

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July 28, 20150 found this helpful
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No, not at all. Use a color remover instead, or to prevent too much damage have a professional do it.

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April 22, 20150 found this helpful

I dyed my hair with semi-permanent dye last week and I don't like the color that I got. It's too light. Is it okay for me to dye it black after just a week?

By Gina.C

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April 23, 20150 found this helpful
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It should be OK for you to recolor your hair again, since you are going to a darker color and providing you use another shade of semi-permanent color and not a permanent 'dye'.

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