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how to lighten hair dyed too dark
Discovering your hair is darker than intended can be a frustrating moment after dyeing. Whether it’s a DIY mishap or a salon surprise, there are effective methods to lighten hair that’s been dyed too dark. In this guide, we explore natural remedies, professional treatments, and essential post-dye care to help you achieve the perfect shade. Say goodbye to dark dye woes and hello to hair that shines!

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark with a DIY Approach

Looking to lighten your hair at home? These DIY methods are effective and gentle on your hair.

Use a Paste of Baking Soda and Lemon Juice:

This method involves creating a paste using equal parts baking soda and lemon juice. Baking soda acts as an abrasive that can help break down the bonds of the dye molecules on the hair shaft, while lemon juice’s acidic nature helps to bleach the hair naturally. Together, they create a gentle yet effective lightening effect, making it easier to wash out the excess dark dye.

Wash Your Hair with Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is known for its ability to restore the hair’s natural pH balance. When used as a rinse, it helps to gently strip away excess dye and product buildup, which can contribute to lightening the hair color over time. This method is particularly beneficial for those looking to subtly lighten their hair without resorting to harsh chemical treatments.

Take Some Vitamin C Tablets:

Crushed vitamin C tablets mixed with your regular shampoo can act as a mild bleaching agent for the hair. Vitamin C is acidic and works by oxidizing the dye molecules, making them easier to wash out during the shampooing process. This method is less abrasive than traditional bleaching and can be effective for gradual lightening.

Wash Hair with Clarifying Shampoo:

Clarifying shampoos are formulated to deep-clean the hair, removing stubborn buildup such as excess dye molecules. By stripping away these layers of buildup, clarifying shampoos can help to lighten the hair color without causing significant damage. They are designed to be used periodically to maintain hair health while gradually fading dark dye.

Use Purple or Blue Shampoo for Brassy Tones:

Purple or blue-toned shampoos are specifically formulated to neutralize unwanted warm tones in dyed hair, such as brassiness. These shampoos contain color-correcting pigments that counteract the orange and yellow tones that can develop in dark-dyed hair over time. By regularly using these shampoos, you can maintain a cooler, more neutral shade and prevent your hair from looking overly warm.

Do a Bleach Bath:

A bleach bath is a diluted mixture of bleach and shampoo that is applied to damp hair to lighten the color gradually. This method is less harsh than traditional bleaching and is suitable for those looking to lighten dark dye without causing excessive damage to their hair. It works by gently lifting the color from the hair strands, making it easier to achieve a lighter shade over time.

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark as a Professional

For those seeking professional-grade solutions, these methods offer effective and safe ways to lighten hair that’s been dyed too dark.

Bleed the Color Out:

Professional stylists often use techniques to “bleed” the excess color from hair. This involves using clarifying or dandruff shampoos that help strip away the unwanted dye. This method is less damaging compared to bleaching and is often the first step a professional will take to correct overly dark hair dye. The process involves washing the hair multiple times until the color fades to a desired level.

Use Hair Lightener or Toner:

Hair lighteners and toners are powerful tools in the hands of professionals. Lighteners can lift the dark color several shades lighter, while toners can adjust the hue to eliminate brassiness or unwanted tones. This method is highly effective but requires precise application to avoid damaging the hair. The professional will apply these products and monitor the process to achieve the perfect shade.

Use Color Remover:

Color removers are designed to target artificial dye molecules and shrink them, allowing them to be washed out of the hair. This method is effective for both permanent and semi-permanent dyes. Professionals use color removers to correct hair color without altering the natural pigments in the hair. It’s a safer alternative to bleaching and can provide a clean slate for re-dyeing the hair to a lighter shade.

See a Professional to Fix Your Dark Hair Color:

Sometimes, the best solution is to seek help from a professional stylist. They can assess the situation and determine the best course of action to safely lighten your hair. Professionals have access to high-quality products and tools that are not available over-the-counter, ensuring a safer and more effective lightening process. Plus, they can offer advice on aftercare to maintain the health and color of your hair.

Other Solutions

If you prefer less invasive methods or are willing to wait, these other solutions might be right for you.

Consider Waiting:

One of the simplest solutions is to let time take its course. Hair dye, especially darker shades, tends to fade naturally over time with regular washing and exposure to the sun. This method is the least damaging as it doesn’t involve any harsh chemicals or treatments. Patience is key, and while you wait, you can maintain your hair’s health with nourishing shampoos and conditioners, such as the GK Hair Lock Me Color Masque, which helps maintain color vibrancy and hair health during the fading process.

Post-Dye Treatments

After successfully lightening your hair, it’s crucial to take good care of it to maintain its health and appearance.

Moisturize and Nourish: Lightening your hair can leave it dry and damaged, so it’s important to replenish its moisture. Use deep conditioning treatments, hydrating masks, and oils to restore moisture and prevent further damage. Products like GK Hair Juvexin Cream Color are perfect as they not only add vibrant hues but also nourish the hair, making it healthier and shinier.

Use Color-Safe Products: To preserve your new hair color and prevent it from fading quickly, switch to color-safe shampoos and conditioners. These products are formulated to be gentle on colored hair and help maintain the vibrancy of your color.

Avoid Heat Styling: Heat styling tools can further damage lightened hair and cause the color to fade faster. Try to limit the use of hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. Instead, embrace your hair’s natural texture or use heatless styling methods to achieve your desired look.


How can I make my dark hair dye fade faster?

To make dark hair dye fade faster, you can use clarifying shampoo or a dandruff shampoo, which helps strip away the color. Washing your hair frequently with hot water can also help speed up the fading process. Additionally, exposing your hair to sunlight can naturally lighten the dye.

How to lighten dyed hair that is too dark?

Lightening hair that is dyed too dark can be done using various methods. DIY options include using a baking soda and lemon juice paste, washing with apple cider vinegar, or using vitamin C tablets mixed with shampoo. Professional methods include using hair lighteners, color removers, or visiting a stylist for a corrective treatment.

How to dye already dyed hair lighter?

To dye already dyed hair lighter, you may need to use a color remover or a bleach bath to lift the current color before applying the lighter shade. It’s best to consult with a professional stylist to avoid damaging your hair and to achieve the desired result safely.

What is the easiest way to lighten hair?

The easiest way to lighten hair is to use a clarifying shampoo or a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice. These methods are gentle and can gradually lighten the hair over a few washes. For more immediate results, a professional toner or hair lightener can be used.

How do I stop my hair dye from becoming too dark?

To prevent hair dye from becoming too dark, start by applying the dye to the mid-lengths and ends before working it up to the roots. Always conduct a strand test before applying the dye to your entire head to gauge how the color develops. Using a semi-permanent dye can also give you more control over the final shade.

Does hair dye lighten after a few days?

Yes, hair dye can lighten after a few days due to oxidation and exposure to washing and sunlight. The initial intensity of the color may fade slightly, giving a more natural look over time.

What To Do If Hair Dye Is Too Dark?

If your hair dye is too dark, you can use a clarifying shampoo or a color remover to lighten it. Home remedies like baking soda and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can also help. For significant color correction, visiting a professional stylist is recommended.

How do I make my dark brown hair dye an ash brown color?

To make dark brown hair dye an ash brown color, you can use a green or blue-based toner to neutralize the warm tones. This will help achieve the cool, ashy hue. It’s best to consult with a professional to ensure the right toner and application technique.

How long does it take for dark permanent hair dye to fade?

Dark permanent hair dye typically starts to fade after 4-6 weeks, depending on your hair care routine and how often you wash your hair. Using color-safe products and limiting heat styling can help preserve the color for longer.

What Should I Do After the Color Fades?

After the color fades, assess the health of your hair and your color goals. You may want to re-dye it, try a new color, or return to your natural shade. Maintain a color-safe hair care routine and use deep conditioning treatments to keep your hair healthy.

How to Avoid This Situation in the Future?

To avoid this situation in the future, always perform a strand test before coloring your entire head. This will help you see how the color develops on your hair. If you’re new to hair coloring, consider visiting a professional stylist for your first few times to ensure the best results.


Navigating the process of lightening hair dyed too dark can seem daunting, but with the right techniques and products, it’s entirely achievable. Whether you opt for DIY methods or seek professional help, remember to care for your hair post-treatment to maintain its health and vibrancy. Using products like the GK Hair Lock Me Color Masque and GK Hair Juvexin Cream Color can help you achieve and maintain the perfect shade while keeping your hair nourished and strong. Patience, proper care, and the right products are your best allies in turning an ‘oops’ into a ‘wow’.

how to lighten hair dyed too dark

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark