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Hair Color Too Dark? Here are your options!

Coloring hair too dark is a common problem. Unfortunately there is no easy solution. Bookmark this page now, so you can keep this handy guide at your fingertips just in case this ever happens to you.

Option #1 Suds Up with a Clarifying Shampoo

Before you try anything else, shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This technique is by far the simplest and the least damaging, so it is always the place to start with a hair color too dark.

What to Expect

Clarifying shampoos effectively remove temporary hair color. They help fade semi-permanent, demi-permanent, and permanent hair color as well. Even though these products are not intended to remove permanent hair color, you can expect anywhere from a slight variation in color to a couple levels of lift.

Please note, a clarifying shampoo will not lighten naturally dark hair color.

How to Perform this Technique

• Shampoo your hair twice. The more you shampoo your hair with this type of product, the greater results you will achieve.

• Apply heat. Although it is not crucial, heat helps open the cuticle of the hair shaft allowing the hair color to release more easily.

Option #2 Lighten a Little with Lemon Juice or Sun-In

Lemon juice and Sun-In are products that are known to lighten hair. The process of this technique is quite complicated, but if performed properly, these products can often lighten hair color that turned out too dark.

What to Expect

These products are known for their ability to lighten natural and artificial hair color. The degree of lightness that is you can expect to see depends on the amount of heat that is applied. The more heat you apply while the product is in the hair, the greater results you will achieve.

Be aware. These products may not leave you with your desired tone. You can neutralize these tones by applying a hair color with a neutralizing base color. It’s easy when you use a color wheel. Just choose the color directly across from the unwanted color to neutralize it. For example, if Sun-In leaves you with unwanted orange tones, choose a hair color that has a blue base.


How to Perform this Technique

• Apply lemon juice or Sun-In generously to your hair.

• Next, apply heat using a heat source or the sun. Heat is important for this technique to work properly. Remember, the more heat that you apply while the product is on your hair, the greater results you will achieve.

Option #3 Lift the Color with a Lightener or Color Remover

Lighteners and hair color removers will provide the most sure fire way to lighten hair color that is too dark, but they also result in the most damage. Because these products are harsh on the hair, they should your last resort.

What to Expect

Lighteners and hair color removers can achieve dramatic results. For example, they are capable of lightening a hair color from black to blonde in a short amount of time.

This technique is likely to leave you with damage and an unexpected hair color tone. Also, please keep in mind that the term hair color remover is deceptive. A hair color remover will not return your hair to its original natural hair coloring. If your objective is to get back to your natural hair color you should follow the advice in my article Getting Back to Your Natural Hair Color.

How to Perform this Technique

• I would highly recommend consulting with a hair colorist. A professional is educated in this process. They can monitor the chemicals’ reactions and minimize the amount of damage to your hair.

• If you are a fashionista on a budget, consider visiting a beauty school. The services offered at most beauty schools are generally 50% to 75% cheaper than the going rate of local hair salons.

Always a quality conditioner after these treatments to keep your hair in optimal condition, and remember to always perform a strand test to prevent coloring your hair too dark in the future. For more discussion on lightening hair color too dark you might also want to visit my article Oops! I got my Hair Color too Dark, Now What?

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing