(Closed) Calling all hairdressers! Going back to my natural lighter hair.

posted 4 years ago in Beauty
Post # 2
1477 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Your friend is right on the money. Unfortunately, “going back to my natural colour” sounds much easier than it is, particularly if you’ve been going darker. The only way to remove dark colour from the hair is with a lightener (bleach). You cannot simply apply a lighter colour and have it lift the pre-existing darker colour. I always explain it to people like markers. Say you take a dark brown marker and colour in a box. You can’t just grab a lighter brown marker and colour over it, right? Hair colour works the same way.

The difference between doing a gradual lightening versus all in one or two appointments (which might not even be possible) is that it will preserve the integrity of your hair. Which, if you’re trying to grow it out for your wedding, is very important. The only way to lift the colour out at once would be to do a double-process “bleach & tone,” during which we would first apply a high-peroxide bleach to all the coloured parts of the hair, process it until it was light enough (sometimes it never gets there and then you have to bleach it AGAIN), wash it out, dry it, and then apply the proper colour over top. This can be extremely damaging and can result in lots of breakage.

I highly recommend going lighter gradually. It’s a much healthier option for your hair.

Post # 3
6110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’ve had to go through this process a few times now and the only way to go from dark to light without horribly damaging your hair from color stripping is to highlight it slowly. I don’t think you need to do it every 6 weeks though. But that really just depends on how long you can handle your roots growing out. The longer you wait in between highlighting sessions, the less damage you’ll do to your hair. Since you have a year before your wedding you’ll have plenty of time to get it back to the color you want without having to damage your hair.

Post # 4
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

To help fade hair, I’ve used an olive oil or coconut mask (which helps condition, too!), an apple cider vinegar rinse. Something that’s a little harsher but may help is baking soda mixed with shampoo a few times a week. There are harsher alternatives out there (dish soap, etc) but I would try the oil mask first. Put some oil in your hair for 1-2 hours, then shampoo it out (the baking soda is good for getting it out). 

Also, spend some time in the sun!

Once my hair had grown out a few inches (the roots were blonde, the rest that “ehh in between brown and blonde” from residual dye), I had it ombre’d. That way the ends were lightened up so I didn’t have that in between color, but it’s not SO drastic because my roots are blonde to begin with.


edited to add: you may want to get a violet toning shampoo as well, to combat any brassy tones that may appear from fading brown to blonde and to brighten the blonde shades.

Post # 5
2511 posts
Sugar bee

I had the exact same problem last year! And it seems we have the same hair, naturally mousy brown, color just fades out instead of growing out…

Like a PP said, you can’t color over it with a lighter color. I tried that…big mistake haha! Going lighter is actually removing color and revealing what’s underneath which usually needs toner (mine, and probably yours, is brassy underneath).

I just did what I could to get mine to fade, coconut oil, not using color-safe shampoo…etc and I’m back to natural 🙂 It didn’t take too long

Post # 7
81 posts
Worker bee

I get full foil highlights done on my hair. It’s naturally a dark blonde and it keeps getting darker so I add blonde (bleach and toner) and it makes a huge difference in the way it looks plus the regrowth doesn’t look as bad as just having roots, I only get mine every 4-6 months. If you’re worried about your roots I’d get one set of highlights and let it fade from there. Doing it in 1 or 2 appointments probably wouldn’t work well. I had a friend that went from dark brown back to blonde in one appointment and it turned ORANGE and she paid the hairdress $300US for that. Luckily you have plenty of time to let it fade!

Post # 10
489 posts
Helper bee

Definitely do a hot oil treatment. It really helps to fade the dye. I’ve done it with both coconut oil and olive oil and I find the latter to be the most effective. You can do it wet or dry, really. I suppose damp would be best. Just heat up some oil in the microwave and slather it all over your hair. Then put all of your hair in a shower cap and leave it for a few hours. Then rinse it out and instead of washing it out with shampoo, it’s actually much more effective to wash it out with conditioner. It’s weird, but it works. If you use olive oil, it’ll take about 2 days before your hair isn’t totally greasy, though. Another thing you can do is to use hot water when you shower. This’ll help the colour to rinse out. And if all else fails, buy Colour Oops. It strips your hair and is recommended by a lot of people. No need to go to a salon…


After just one hot oil treatment, I noticed a huge difference. I think after a few times though, your hair has faded all it’s going to, so if you’ve done it say 3 times and your hair hasn’t faded to your liking, you should try a colour stripper.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by  ArcadiaRose.
Post # 12
559 posts
Busy bee

Revlon flex shampoo used to fade my color a little because of the alcohol in it. 

You could get the color stripped out (you can do it yourself) and keep conditioning it and then just before the wedding get an all-over blond done. If doing the color yourself, use LesBlondissimes or a blond haircolor that has ‘extra lightening’ power. Use a comb to push the color through your hair, rather than massaging it into the scalp (that cannot be good!)

You could use the money you saved at the salon on their hair moisture treatments and glosses and a great cut.


Post # 13
2511 posts
Sugar bee

PenguininaJumper:  I melt it and put it in wet hair for 45 mins to an hour (longer won’t hurt anything). Sometimes I use a shower cap just to keep it all in. Then I rinse, and shampoo twice or else your hair will be super oily lol.

I noticed a difference after doing it like twice I’d say. And over time it’s helped it to grow faster and healthier.

Post # 15
186 posts
Blushing bee

You might also want to try using a clarifying shampoo! It really opens up the ‘pores’ (I don’t know if that’s actually what they’re called) in your hair and pulls everything out, so it’s something you don’t use if you want to retain your hair colour. So in attempting to fade it, I think it would work great! Plus, if you’re doing the oil treatments, it’ll help keep your hair from being too greasy, cause it can be drying if you don’t have a lot of oils in your hair.

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