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I was just wondering the same thing! Is it possible to dye hair from dark to light? last time I coloured I put on a 'lightest reddish brown' I think it was and my hair came out pretty dark, and have since read that you cant add colour to go lighter. Briefly considered buying an ash blonde at the supermarket last night, but thought I'd seek out advice first. Not hijacking your thread dwpanxt! will sit and watch with you
I'm not a hair professional but I use a permenant dye (Boots own brand) Usually a mid-brown,sometimes a shade lighter for summer/ redder for autumn. I'm pretty sure if you want to go much lighter you would have to strip out the old colour and that has to be done by your hairdresser. The colour can go patchy as well.
Have had some horrendous home-dye disasters in past. Once I dyed my short hair very dark brown,akmost black. Looked a bit Shakin Stevens .Had a good idea to overdye with a blond dye. Resultrangey yellow roots and dark dye unchanged. Had to overdye brown to cover. So thats 3 lots of permenant dye in 36 hours.Wonder it didn't snap off.
You need the v knowledgable tatty devine. Search some of her hair dye threads and also look at Scott Cornwall - he's got a good website. Don't carry on buying stuff till you know exactly what you are doing. Put that Nordic blonde box down!
Right, you cannot lighten hair with home box dye (or even a hairdresser can't either to be fair) by simply tinting over it with a lighter colour. You have 3 options to "go lighter" or possibly only 2.
The first option is to go to a hairdresser and have a full head of highlights, and then tint over them in a lighter colour. The risk of this is that you get "root glow" particularly if your roots are quite grey or the colour you use is significantly redder, etc. Or if your natural colour is quite dark this can happen as the peroxide of say a light brown might bring it up but not far enough and the light brown pigment might not cover the ginger. So that's risky and does involve a hairdresser.
You could of course go to a hairdresser and get them to bleach you up to a lightish ginger (which is probably all they can achieve in one session with a dyed dark brown base, which can appear nearly black, and might have "build up" from home colouring too) and then tint over that in say a light ash brown. This would achieve a mediumish brown result and you could then match your roots to this as they grow through. This would be the most expensive but least hassle for you option.
The third option is to do "ColourB4" colour stripper by Scott Cornwall (it doesn't so much strip it like bleach does but reverses the colour process by shrinking the molecules and allowing them to be washed out - its a hydrasulphate. It stinks a bit, is fiddly and has the downside of you can't colour over it with "permenant" or "semi" for a week - only a "temporary" which can look a bit dubious with a bit of grey and ginger sort of showing through...you'd do that in the school holidays or when you have nothing much on for a week or so! I will search for and link some previous threads on the subject. I would add that depending on how much colour you have built up, ColourB4 can have slightly mixed results on rinsing out darks - my friend did it, she had been using dark brown which looked almost black with build up and it did work but reoxidised a fair bit at the ends so she almost wished she hadn't bothered. It drys your hair out a bit but doesn't damage the inner structure. Bleach does, but still isn't necessarily so bad you should avoid it - if you had a bob I'd say go for it, if you have lovely long locks I'd go the highlights route and do it very gradually. I'll go and find some links now, back in a mo.
Also read this thread - whilst you may not be as naturally grey as her (I don't know if that's an issue for you) it sort of explains the process of going up to a much lighter colour at the hairdresser by being sort of bleached in stages. This might be a good more reliable option for you than the colourB4 simply because your hair is so dark. If you only want to go to a light or mid brown then it would be easy enough for them to get you there and for you to carry on doing your roots thereafter.
thanks from me too ( have only just got back to the thread!) I did strand test the nordic blonde but that too only lightened my hair by a couple of shades. Not enough to tempt me into doing the whole lot. Will read up on the threads you've linked, thanks