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Toning Down Dyed Hair

Category Coloring
If the dyed color of your hair is stronger than you expected, you may want to adjust it. This guide is about toning down dyed hair.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
July 18, 2016

I dyed my hair in the beginning of this month, and I wanna know how long will it take to fade all the way out, or to start fading? Is there any way I can make it start fading myself?

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July 21, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Wash your hair everyday with a clarifying shampoo, or any shampoo that is not for colored hair.

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February 6, 20151 found this helpful

I recently dyed my hair on my own at home and I want it to be somewhat more lighter then it is now. Does anyone know if I went to a salon if they would be able to make it lighter although I just dyed it a few days ago?

By Anna from MO

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February 7, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

You may not know that you can request a consultation with a hair stylist. If you do not know a stylist, a good salon is the best place to start. The stylist will evaluate your hair's current condition and recommend alternatives for you to consider. The stylist may require payment for the service but it would be worth having a trained and qualified specialist's recommendations.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 13, 2010

I dyed my hair and it turned out too red. How can I tone it down without doing too much damage to my hair?

By Marion from Sioux Lookout, Ontario

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Prell or dandruff shampoo will assist color fading faster. Take some Prell shampoo and apply it throughout out your hair, leave it on for 45 minutes, then rinse it out with warm water. Use a conditioner after you're done rinsing the shampoo out.

Here's another tip: Hot oil treatments will also help to strip chemically.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2015

I dyed my hair permanent black and it's too dark. I want to dye it to dark brown. What can I do?

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November 7, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

You cannot apply brown hair color to hair previously colored black and get a brown shade. There are warm tones underneath the black tint. You can lift just enough of the black tint to make these warm tones more apparent.

This can be done at home in as little as half an hour and without a lot of expense. All that is required is a professional hair color remover diluted to half the regular strength and left on the hair for half the usual time. There are two musts. You must familiarize yourself with proper usage of the color remover and you absolutely must do a strand test first! Only a strand test will tell you the exact amount of time required to achieve the desired results.

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November 9, 20110 found this helpful

I know they say to only ever go one or two shades lighter/darker, but I was stupid and wanted dark brown hair. However the store bought hair dye turned out to be practically black! I haven't dyed it for a good 6 months and my roots aren't really showing and the colour is still dark.

So I used Colour B4 which is a hair dye remover. When I first did it, I loved it. It was a nice dark auburn and at least 2 shades lighter than it was. But now a week later it's gone dark again. I have read all about vitamin C tablets mixed with anti-dandruff shampoo to lighten it, so unless there are any better home remedies I will try that.

The box of hair dye remover was 12 pounds a box and I don't want to do it again just to waste 12 pounds. Please help. I do not want to bleach it because I love my luscious wavy thick hair which I am surprised I still have because of all the dying I have done before.

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By EmaN

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November 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would go to a professional hair stylist for that one!

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By 0 found this helpful
March 22, 2010

How do I tone down red hair dye? I have gone for a different dye, as my usual one wasn't stocked. Now it is too bright and looks gingery.

By Lisa from England

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March 25, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I always used a medium to dark Auburn, but accidentally purchased light auburn which came out bright Red (At least to me it was too bright). I called Clairol, explained exactly what I used and she suggested a fix for me. Call them or the number on the box of the hair dye you used. They were really helpful.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 2, 2017

I colored my hair this evening a "dark blond" by Clairol. I usually use Loreal champagne blond-(cool color). The Clairol dye has left a red tint. I need to get it out! Please help.

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June 2, 20170 found this helpful

Call the Clairol number on the box. They have experts who can help you.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 21, 2017

I have dark dyed hair and about 4 inches of very light regrowth. What can I use to bleach the dark ends? My hair hasn't been dyed in several months and it's only 2 strips underneath that need bleaching. My hair is not dry or damaged looking. Any suggestions?

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April 21, 20171 found this helpful

Instead of bleaching it, I would use color stripper for hair.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 13, 2017

I have been experimenting with the DIY boxed hair colors. I did the 5.29 red Schwarzkopf color and loved it! But I wanted a little more red to show so I went big and got the Splat raspberry red, which I should've known was going to come out crazy red. But I did it, it required me to bleach before coloring. Now my hair is like super bright, almost hot pink red! How do I tone it like way down to a nice dark red, without having to go to a salon? Please help!

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January 13, 20170 found this helpful

Call the phone number on the box. They have trained people to help you.

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June 30, 20110 found this helpful

I recently colored my gray hair with Just For Men and it came out a little too dark. What is the simplest way to now lighten it a little?

By Bob

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July 1, 20110 found this helpful

Try washing your hair with dishwashing detergent such as Dawn. This will make your hair dry, so condition it after. I have not tried this, as I do not color my hair, but I have a friend who does and says this works.

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July 1, 20110 found this helpful

Most home hair color dye jobs will lighten up after several good washings. If it's a little too dark just shampoo frequently. I've heard it recommended to use Prell or a dandruff shampoo for this.

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July 2, 20110 found this helpful

Sit outside in the sun and you will be beautiful light highlights on the top. People will think you paid big bucks $$$ to get your hair done!

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

It will wash out in time. Use a harsh shampoo like head and shoulders.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

I suspect that frequent shampooing will soften up the color. It does with the colors I use, and I suspect it will with the Just for Men formula as well. I agree with OliveOyl, a dandruff shampoo will likely fade the color faster.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

When I want to lift color I use Neutrogena shampoo. It takes off extra hair conditioner etc. so it works good to remove extra color. Just use it once or twice. It is more gentle on the hair so it won't affect the hair texture or make it dry or straw like. A little goes a long way and it will last a long time for you. Good luck. Linda

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July 11, 20110 found this helpful

Use a clarifying shampoo like Paul Mitchell 3 ( you can find it in small sample or travel size bottles at Ulta) It will take some of the color out. Or you can use 20 volume peroxide comb it through your hair and sit in the sun for about 15 to 20 minutes and shampoo it and some of the color out. You can also mix the peroxide with shampoo and let it sit on your hair for 5 or 10 minutes and then shampoo as usual. Make sure you use a good conditioner afterwards. Hope this helps you!

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By 0 found this helpful
May 8, 2017

I have recently dyed my hair using Manic Panic fuschia shock, it has come out really, really bright and I'm just wanting to tone it down. I was thinking of using a very diluted semi permanant brown over top. Would this work? Or would it be a disaster?

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By 0 found this helpful
May 1, 2017

I recently used an auburn hair dye on my bleach blond hair and it came out a bright orange colour. I want a more brown-orange colour, but I'm afraid that I will completely lose the orange if I use a brunette colour on top of it. What can I do to achieve the medium auburn colour I desire without going to the salon?

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By 0 found this helpful
February 27, 2017

So I dyed my hair from a box to what was suppose to be a medium brown color and it turned out dark brown with a reddish tint. I hated it, so I went and bought that Oops stuff that strips hair dye. It stripped it to an orange medium brown color so I went and got a light medium brown hair color to cover it. My hair came out jet black.

I tried many ways to lighten it at home like the Dawn dish soap and things like apple cider vinegar and it faded some, but not as much as I would've liked. I ended up going to the salon and getting what was suppose to be caramel balayge, but came out with like black hair with white streaks so she redid it and it came out closer to what I was wanting. Since then my highlights have faded some and are starting to go back to the super light whitish color that looks weird on top of my dark hair. I want my dark base to fade without making the balayge go super light too. Any suggestions on how to do so?

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January 17, 20151 found this helpful

What can I do to fix my orange/yellow hair?

By Marge from Brandon, FL

Answers

January 17, 20150 found this helpful

I have done this a few times and the first thing I did was wash my hair in powdered Tide... several times to lighten the color. Not really good on hair but it will help lighten the color somewhat.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 18, 2017

I just dyed my hair a light caramel brown and it turned out red. My son is getting married next week and it cannot be this color. How can I get it darker?

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By 0 found this helpful
August 17, 2016

Recently I wanted to dye my hair darker so I used a store bought box and the color turned out way too dark. Because of this I wanted to start over and go back to my normal color so I used a Color Oops and then used a box that was the color my normal hair was. It turned out being way too dark again.

I want to go to a salon to get my hair lightened a little bit, but I don't want to really damage my hair. I was told that my hair would lighten considerably since I'd darkened my hair from a much lighter color. I'm very impatient and want to go to a salon within the next week, but if there is another way to lighten my hair that would be great.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 13, 2010

I recently tried to dye my hair a dark auburn color and it just turned out dark with some red. I want to re dye my hair a lighter auburn. I found a home dye that is a hair lightener for dark hair. How long do I have to wait until I can use it?

By Ashley from CA

Answers

April 13, 20100 found this helpful

Things you'll need:
Original blue Dawn dish washing liquid

Step 1: Shampoo your hair with a small amount of Dawn. You will immediately see some of the hair dye being washed down the drain. Repeat if necessary and add a deep conditioner, as using dish washing liquid is a drying method of lightening hair.

Step 2: Mix a bit of Dawn into your regular shampoo. It will fade your hair more gradually than straight Dawn will, but it will be gentler on your hair.

Step 3: Try a clarifying shampoo mixed with some Dawn dish washing liquid. These shampoos are designed to remove styling product build-up from your hair and restore it to a healthy shine. When you mix Dawn into it, you will wash out some of the extra color and get a lightening effect.

Step 4: Saturate your hair with Dawn evenly when you use it to lighten hair that has been dyed too dark. Distribute the dish washing liquid throughout your hair to ensure that it lightens all of your hair evenly. Otherwise, you could get a patchy look to your color.

Step 5: Use Prell shampoo for a similar effect if you don't have any Dawn on hand or cannot find it at the store. Professional colorists even recommend Prell and Dawn to rinse extra color from your hair and lighten it to a more suitable shade.

Step 6: Add baking soda to the Dawn when lightening your hair. The gritty baking soda acts as a scouring agent and scrubs your hair. Be aware that this is very drying and could potentially damage your hair, so go easy.

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for the tips! :)

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Anonymous
April 14, 20100 found this helpful

Wait a day or two after all the shampoo stripping to allow the cuticle layer of the hair shaft to close back down (or even after coloring in the first place) before coloring again otherwise you could end up right back where you started from with too dark of a color. When the cuticle layer is open the inner hair shaft reacts like a sponge. Also, you might want to choose at least one shade lighter (two would be better) than what you're hoping for because it's going to be 'color on/over color'.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 13, 2016

Will Oops restore my old shade after I applied too much Glam highlights from L O'real?
Thank you for your help.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 8, 2016

My hair is naturally almost black with gray mixed in. I wanted a dark blond to tone down the gray. It turned out dark with a red hue to it. I used a dark blond color, I'm wondering if I highlight my hair using an ash blond will it tone down the red and lighten my hair.

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December 2, 20140 found this helpful

I dyed my hair a reddish brown and it turned out more red. How can I lighten it so it's not as red? My natural color is blonde.

By Summer

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December 4, 20140 found this helpful

My hair is auburn naturally so this is what I do for light auburn:
There are 5 Tbsp. in the color bottle, so I use the following ...
3 1/2 Tbsp of Nice N Easy #103
1 1/2 Tbsp of Nice N Easy #110 and its the color that I want. If I want a little lighter I add a bit more of the 103 & a little less of 110 in the activator. This is what the people at Clairol told me to do. Good Luck

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December 4, 20140 found this helpful

Wash your hair back to back several times & use dish soap. You will see the color wash down the drain. If thats still not enough try using a color refresher such as John Frieda in brown. It will help to tone down the red. Good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 29, 2010

I have light brown hair and want to naturally lighten it with lemon juice, but I have highlights already. Will the lemon juice make the highlights disappear?

By Alex from Liverpool, England

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

Don't do it! Healthy hair has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 lemon juice has a pH of 2.0 - 2.5. This mean that lemon juice is about 1000 times more acidic than your hair. If you choose to do this you need to water it down. Unless you're hair is naturally light (level 7 or lighter) it will only turn orange (not a good look for anyone). If you have artificial highlights (with bleach) the lemon juice could cause the hair to break. I'm not saying it will just that it could.

If you want to lighten your hair but yet still keep the "natural" look have a friend give you a soap cap. It's equal parts of shampoo, low volume developer, and a powder lightener. Work it from the ends to the scalp. It shouldn't be on the head any longer than 10 minutes. I hope this helps

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September 21, 20110 found this helpful

So, I'm a (16) yr old guy with short dirty blonde hair, I took 1/2 cup of room temperature water mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of pure bottled lemon juice and 2 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil and mixed it into a bowl and damped my hair and basically just lathered it into my hair. Let it sit for 30 minues to 1 hour, depending on how light you want your hair.

And just saying, it came out fantastic, to a great light caramel color, I didn't think it would work so I tried it. The reason I added olive oil was because I found that lemon juice really dried out my hair and made it unhealthy looking and feeling, and the olive oil really moisturizes your hair and helps sustain the color. Once you sit there for 30 minutes to an hour just rinse with water. I did this in the pm, so in the am I just took a shower using deep conditioner shampoo and my hair looks great and feels great! This is a highly recommended remedy for you!

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March 7, 20150 found this helpful

I went to a new hair dresser and I am so so upset. Usually I have highlights. Today she colored my hair first and then did the highlights and I look like I am wearing a yellow wig with an orange tint! How can I wash this out?

By Lisa

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March 7, 20151 found this helpful

You should immediately return to the hair stylist/salon with your complaint and request an immediate correction for the problem. They should be able to provide a reasonable solution for you. If they do not help you, you can report them to the Better Business Bureau in your area.

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful

7 days ago I colored my hair dark brown, it started washing out and getting a red tint to it. The hair dresser stripped it down too much and it turned orange. She said just let it grow out, so I did not pay her. I then went and got a hair color to try and cover the orange, label - Loreal 7 A. Now it's orange, red, and brassy. Can anyone help?

By phillipj from NC

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March 5, 20150 found this helpful

Something like that happened to me in 1994. That was when I decided to never do anything chemical to my hair again. I have shiny hair with a bit of natural wave (didn't know that before), and like my brown/silver color.

However, the orange... find a product that is basically a rinse, and temporary, and use that until the color sort of normalizes. Avoid any more peroxide based hair color (most) if you can. Keep trimming a bit at a time.

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February 23, 20150 found this helpful

My hair is grey. I have been having the hairdresser do light brown for years. Of recent my current hairdresser was using 6 or 7? My hair gradually was getting darker each time she did my color. I asked to lighten it back up and we ended up with black/greenish.

So the same day she tried to correct or get the green out. It has been several months, with a new attempt every 4 weeks or so to undo or gradually get back to light, not black, and it's not happening. We are both hopeful we can process some options and make a decision what to do next. My hair was thick, short, and very easy to manage. The thickness is gone. She is suggesting bleaching. I'm getting other opinions. I would like anyone's feedback. I'm thinking I might just grow it out and be grey for awhile till it gets some length and we can start over. I would appreciate your help. Thanks for any suggestion. I'm most concerned if the thickness can be restored.

By ETG from HI

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February 24, 20150 found this helpful

In my opinion, I would find a new hairdresser. When they stop doing what you want, and mess up with "greenish" hair they are no longer interested.

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October 3, 20140 found this helpful

My hair dresser dyed my hair way darker than I wanted. I don't want to go back. Can I lighten it at home? I can't stand the sight of myself in the mirror. I just wanted to go a touch warmer than what I'd been doing, a light brown more carmel. What I got was closer to black with no highs and lows.

By Michelle

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October 4, 20140 found this helpful

Your best bet would be to contact hairdresser for professional help. Perhaps he/she could have you come back in and put some highlights in it or redo the whole thing in a lighter, softer shade.

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June 29, 20140 found this helpful

I dyed my hair with Garnier deep reddish brown it is very dark and very red. I have reds in my hair because I have used them a few years now, mostly mahogany. I would like a more warm tone as I am getting older and my skin is paler. I do like the warm chestnut browns, but am aware that my reds would show through, but the colour I have used is very dark and red and makes me look pale.

By Pauli

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September 1, 20140 found this helpful

Using an "ash" color will help the red not to show through.

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November 20, 20130 found this helpful

I dyed my hair about a month ago and it came out almost black with reddish highlights. I would like to know what color could I use to get it to more of a light auburn color. Any help would be appreciated.

By Wendy W.

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November 22, 20130 found this helpful

What is your natural color? For dark colored hair, ash colors tend to pull the red out. If your natural color is dark and you don't want the red, opt for a medium brown. If your natural color is a light color, opt for a light brown. I would not recommend a blond color right now, since you pulled red because red and yellow make green. I doubt that you want that.

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October 21, 20130 found this helpful

I have recently had bonded extensions put in, but the lightest colour extensions were still more yellow the my real hair. My hairdresser suggested using purple shampoo on them to try and lighten them. Unfortunately this has just turned my extensions a very light shade of blue.

I have washed my hair about 6 times with ordinary shampoo and it hasn't budged. I then tried it with washing up liquid which has reduced it a little, but I don't want to use it again as I don't want to damage my £200 extensions. Does anyone have any idea on how I can rid of this ASAP or will I just have to hold out until it fades naturally with more washes?

By Samara

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October 9, 20140 found this helpful

Dish washing liquid! Wash your hair with dish washing liquid... really rub it in and then use a really good conditioner.

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June 22, 20130 found this helpful

I recently tried dyeing my hair ombre with the Loreal kit for dark brown hair (that's the color of my natural hair and the kit was pretty cheap). At first I didn't leave the bleach in long enough so I added some more and left it in for a longer time. Now my hair is this brassy orange color and I can't go to a salon because I don't have the $$ and toners, again no $$. So please, if anybody has some home remedies that they would like to share with me it would really mean a lot. Thank you so much! xoxo

By Selma.P

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November 18, 20140 found this helpful

I've used lemon juice and heat in the past, or lemon juice and going out in the sun. It does take ages though, and I got too impatient. Vitamin C dissolvable tablets is supposed to work if you crush them and mix them with a little water. do a youtube search on naturally lightening hair, it helped me (:
-Ember

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By 0 found this helpful
October 16, 2017

My natural hair color is a dark blonde/light brown color, kind of like an ash brown color. I have been dyeing it darker shades of brown for a couple of years now and I decided to start the process of lightening it. Now it is a lighter brown with blonde highlights, but it has been 5 months since I last had this color done. With this, I have just been letting my hair grow out since you can't tell how far the roots have grown.

Anyway, I recently (a day ago) used a semi permanent hair dye that is a bright fuchsia color on the ends of my hair, going 3-5 inches up my hair. The bottle says that it will wash out between 6-8 washes/6-8 days, but I want to take it back to a more natural looking color. I have already washed it 2-3 times and the color is still very bright, and hasn't faded much at all. Could I use a color remover on my hair, like Color Oops Remover, and then use a boxed dye over that to make my hair look a more natural color, not my exact natural, but a natural color over the semi permanent color? I'm thinking a light to medium brown color to put over this because a dark, dark brown or black does not look good on me, and I don't think a darker blonde would do well over the color remover. So, would the Color Oops Remover work, and would the light to medium brown color work on top of the remover?

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

I have naturally dark brown hair, but I dyed it black 5 months ago. I want to know if lemon juice will lighten it since it's summer now?

By ash28 from CA

Answers:

Lightening Dyed Hair With Lemon Juice

Lemon juice will not lighten chemically colored hair. (06/08/2009)

By SusLuvsVintage

Lightening Dyed Hair With Lemon Juice

Use straight peroxide, might have to do it several times, using a hair dryer to heat so it will activate it. After doing so use a good conditioner or your hair will be extremely dry. (06/08/2009)

By Robbie

Lightening Dyed Hair With Lemon Juice

I think lemon juice will dry out your hair. I don't think it will change the color. If you don't like the color, can you try another color? (06/09/2009)

By mulberry204

Lightening Dyed Hair With Lemon Juice

Lemon juice won't do much by way of lightening hair that's been dyed black, but it will lift a teeny tiny bit. Lemon juice is also a great natural hair conditioner because, like vinegar, it is acidic. There's nothing to lose by giving it a try.

You can try peroxide, but when it lifts it will have a brassy tone so if you do it be sure to experiment first with some hair clippings in a clear glass bowl to make sure you'll like the final effect. You can check every five minutes to see the lightening effects/progress.

Hope this helped. (06/09/2009)

By Deeli

Lightening Dyed Hair With Lemon Juice

I'm naturally light blonde, and decided to dye my hair red. I didn't like the colour so I put a dark brown/black colour dye over the top. I wanted to go back to blonde, but couldn't dye it as it would fall out from over dying it. So I used lemon juice and sat out in the sun for a bit, and the colour faded a lot. It turned it a ginger colour so lemon juice does work. (05/28/2010)

By abigurl

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

I just dyed my hair too light of a blonde shade. I want to tone it down naturally. Suggestions?

By Miss Roma from Eugene, OR

Answers:

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

Well, you could buy one of those shampoos that are used to highlight hair. If you use the kind for redheads it will give a glowy reddish blonde, or brunette. It will impart an ashier blonde. Trust me, these will work and will not look garish. They wash out. (07/26/2009)

By twinkies

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

So I should get a shampoo such as John Freda for red heads? Not brunette? (07/27/2009)

By Miss Roma

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

My sister did this and she used some cold coffee, and another time she used tea. I don't know the amounts but that kind of makes sense since it stains clothing. Her hair was dyed blonde too. (07/29/2009)

By themuffster

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

This sounds really weird, but it was told to me from a customer help line from a hair coloring company. Wash your hair with dishwasher detergent, and keep your eyes closed! Another tip - use dandruff shampoo; it also will tone down a color. (07/29/2009)

By carla

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

My daughter used to end up with "weird" colors when younger. We found the best way to correct the color until a good amount of time went by before using chemical colors again. She would use a Henna color product from the health food store. It is natural, nothing harsh to continue damaging your hair. Many places carry Henna color now since it can be used by pregnant women also. (08/01/2009)

By EM10

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

Make a shampoo cocktail with Ice Cream 7/0, 20 volume, shampoo and water (approx 1oz of each). Mix together and shampoo damp hair with this. Leave it in 5 or 10 minutes and wash out and condition. This will tone the hair down nicely without a lot of drying. (08/05/2009)

By lorraina

Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

Fanci-full Rinses by Roux are cheap and easy to use. You just squirt them on after shampooing, and comb through. They come in many shades, and are sold at Walmart and all beauty-supply shops. A nice blond shade is Bashful Blond. For brassiness, White Minx. (08/23/2009)

By cindyluhu

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