Skip to Content

How to Lighten Dark Hair: DIY & Professional Solutions (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to lighten dyed hair that is too dark

If your dyed hair is too dark and you’re looking to lighten it, there are both DIY and professional solutions available.

DIY methods include using a baking soda paste, applying apple cider vinegar (ACV) hair wash, mixing vitamin C tablets with shampoo, or using clarifying shampoo to neutralize brassiness.

For professional solutions, consider color removal, hair lightener or toner, color remover, or bleaching, which all require professional application.

Other options include embracing your natural texture, waiting for natural fading, using color-safe shampoo and conditioner, or deep conditioning treatments.

After dyeing, deep conditioning treatments, hydrating masks, oils, color-preserving shampoo and conditioner, and avoiding heat styling devices can help maintain your new look.

Green or blue toner can counteract brassiness, while purple shampoo neutralizes it. If your hair is damaged, seek expert assistance.

Semi-permanent dye fades gradually, and washing your hair often can remove dye.

Key Takeaways

  • DIY methods to lighten dark hair include using a baking soda paste, apple cider vinegar hair wash, vitamin C tablets with shampoo, or clarifying shampoo.
  • Professional solutions for lightening dark hair include color removal, hair lightener or toner, color remover, or bleaching, which all require professional application.
  • After dyeing, deep conditioning treatments, hydrating masks, oils, color-preserving shampoo and conditioner, and avoiding heat styling devices can help maintain the new look.
  • If the hair is damaged, seek expert assistance. Semi-permanent dye fades gradually, and washing the hair often can remove dye.

How to Lighten Dyed Hair That is Too Dark?

To lighten dyed hair that is too dark, you can try the following methods:

  1. Wash your hair immediately: If you’ve just dyed your hair and it’s too dark, washing your hair with warm water as soon as possible can help remove some of the excess dye.

  2. Go for a balayage: A balayage is a hair coloring technique that involves hand-painting the hair to create a subtle, natural-looking lightness. It’s a great option if you don’t need to go anywhere urgently and want to lighten your dark hair.

  3. Use a vitamin C treatment: Vitamin C is a natural bleaching agent that can help lighten your hair. You can mix vitamin C powder with water or a cream base and apply it to your hair.

  4. Try a lightening shampoo: A lightening or clarifying shampoo can help lift the color in your hair and make it lighter.

  5. Use a hair dye remover: If you’re not happy with the color of your hair, a hair dye remover can help lighten the color and make it less noticeable. However, it won’t change your hair to its original color and may take several weeks or months to see a significant change.

  6. Consult a professional stylist: If you’re unsure about how to lighten your hair or if your hair is damaged, it’s best to consult a professional stylist who can evaluate your hair health and provide expert advice.

DIY Approaches

DIY Approaches

To lighten dark hair at home, there are several DIY approaches you can try. One method is to use a baking soda paste. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste, apply it to clean, dry hair, and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it off and following up with a shampoo and conditioner.

Another option is to use apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a hair wash. Mix ACV with dish soap or shampoo and apply it to your hair to strip its color.

Vitamin C tablets can also be used to lighten hair by mixing them with shampoo and applying the mixture to damp hair.

Clarifying shampoo can help lift color, while purple or blue shampoo can neutralize brassiness.

These methods can be effective, but they may not restore the original hair color and may require multiple applications.

Professional Solutions

Professional Solutions
Regarding lightening dark hair, professional approaches are often optimal for achieving desired outcomes. Here are three professional methods to contemplate:

  1. Color Removal: This technique utilizes bleach or hair lightener to eliminate existing dye from your hair. It’s a more aggressive approach and should be performed by a professional to prevent hair damage.
  2. Hair Lightener or Toner: These products are formulated to lighten or modify the hue of your hair. They can be utilized to attain a lighter shade or to neutralize undesirable tones.
  3. Color Remover: This specialized product is employed to eliminate permanent hair color. It’s a gentler approach compared to bleaching and can be used to lighten your hair with less damage.

Other Solutions

Other Solutions

If you’ve ventured into the world of hair dye and your locks have turned out too dark, fear not—there are alternative solutions to lighten dyed hair without rushing back to the salon. Embracing natural texture and waiting for natural fading can be a game of patience, but it’s a safe bet for your tresses.

In the meantime, swap out your regular products for color-safe shampoo and conditioner to protect your hue. Regular deep conditioning treatments can be your hair’s best friend, helping to maintain its health as the color gradually lightens.

Avoiding heat styling tools isn’t just a good practice; it’s a pledge to keep your hair from singing the blues—or in this case, the too darks!

Post-Dye Treatments

Post-Dye Treatments

After dyeing your hair, it’s vital to nurture it with post-dye treatments. These treatments aid in brightening, hydrating, and safeguarding your dyed hair. Deep conditioning treatments are indispensable for nourishing your hair and averting damage. Hydrating masks can assist in restoring moisture, while oils can offer an additional layer of protection.

Employ color-preserving shampoo and conditioner to uphold your color and refrain from using heat styling devices, which can harm your hair. Celebrate your natural texture and permit your hair to air dry. Patience is paramount; semi-permanent dye will fade gradually, and washing your hair often can facilitate the removal of dye.

If you have dyed your hair excessively dark or it exhibits a brassy hue, consider utilizing a green or blue toner or a purple shampoo to counteract the brassiness. If your hair is damaged or chemically altered, consider seeking expert assistance to rectify any dye mishaps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take for hair dye to fade after application?

Permanent hair dye typically starts to fade in 4-6 weeks. If you’re eyeing a lighter shade, patience is your best pal—let time and shampoo do their magic to gradually lighten the hue.

Can using a lighter color over a darker color damage hair?

Using a lighter color over a darker color can damage your hair, as it may cause the hair to break or become brittle. It’s recommended to wait at least one month before dyeing your hair again after a previous dye job to avoid damaging your hair further.

What is the best way to lighten hair dyed too dark at home?

To lighten hair dyed too dark at home, you can use a clarifying shampoo like Kenra Professional Clarifying Shampoo, which is full of color-stripping surfactants that can help lift the darker color. Apply it to your freshly dyed hair and deep condition afterward.

Another option is to use a color remover like L’Oréal ColorZap, which can help remove unwanted color. However, keep in mind that once the color is removed, you may need to use toners to color correct.

If your hair color is still not looking right, it’s best to see a professional for color correction.

How often should you wash your hair after dyeing it to lighten the color?

To lighten dyed hair that’s too dark, you should wait at least 72 hours after dyeing it before washing it for the first time. This allows the cuticle layer to fully close, trapping the color molecule and allowing for longer-lasting hair color.

Can a hairdresser correct hair dye that is too dark?

Just like turning back time isn’t an option, fret not, your hairdresser can work magic to correct hair that’s dyed too dark, tailoring a fix to bring back your desired shade.


Just as the sun eventually fades the deepest hues of the celestial expanse, you too can lighten dyed hair that’s emerged too somber. Whether you choose home remedies or solicit skilled intervention, the cardinal principle is perseverance and solicitude.

Embark on the odyssey of attaining your coveted shade with products that preserve color vitality and regular treatments that restore moisture. Bear in mind, preserving the integrity of your hair is as pivotal as achieving the optimal hue.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.