How To Lighten Hair Color

Woman having hair color

The art of hair color can be tricky when you are not used to doing the job yourself. However, with today's hair salon prices and busy lifestyles, it's a good idea to learn how to do the job at home. For a home application to lighten your hair, it must first be determined what the desired shade will be and how dark the hair is that you are working with.

  • If your hair is medium brown or darker and you wish to obtain golden blond hair or lighter, you will need an application of bleach. This product comes in a powdered form and is designed to mix with a bleach liquid developer in any strength you see fit. The 20 volume developer is sufficient for most, however, it you prefer a platinum blond or ultra light silver, you may choose a 30 or 40 volume developer. The advantage of using the stronger developer is that the solution works twice as quickly, but in some cases, may be too caustic for certain sensitive scalps.
  • Once the bleaching process is complete, wash and condition your hair as usual. The developer will lift the dark pigment up and out of the hair; however, it will leave a slightly orange cast to your new blond locks. Do not be upset over the clownish appearance, as it is quite normal and your hair is ready for the next step to obtain the shade you wish to have.
  • Once your hair is dry, you are ready to apply your desired toner. If your color change process can be prolonged a few days, this will give your scalp a chance to fully recover, thus making the toner procedure much easier. For those with the luxury of time on their hands, bleach your hair and wait a few days before adding the toner. In addition, the bleaching stages of color change can be cruel to your hair, particularly on the ends. So, if you are able to let your hair dry naturally without a dryer after the initial bleaching, you will have better results when the process is complete.
  • When choosing a toner, be sure you have a few drabber applications on hand. This is a dark purple or black solution that you will add to the toner to pull unwanted red and orange from your newly bleached out hair. However, caution must be used when adding the drabber, especially when your toner is an ash blond, which naturally covers the orange. One drabber should be sufficient for shoulder length hair, and a few extra when covering longer hair.
  • Combine your toner, one or two packets of drabber, and add the required developer to your mixture. Start with the roots and work the solution is an even formation over all the strands to the ends. For faster color action, you may loosely pile your hair on top of your head and place a shower cap on until the process is ready. When applying your toner, bleach or any chemicals to your hair, be sure you have a window opened for ventilation, as the solutions can be noxious. In addition, be sure that you keep the hair dye away from pets when you are waiting for the processing to finish. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to fumes and may suffer adverse reactions.

The best advice for the first-time hair lightning is to take your color steps one stage at a time. If you complete the process with a toner and find it to be too dark, you can always do another application in a few weeks and brighten it up. However, when working with ash tones, be sure to check with a beauty store consultant for the best match for your hair. Some ash tones are violet based and easy to work with, however, the ash tones with a green base can spell serious trouble for the novice. It's better to take your blond color change slowly and add or subtract color a little bit at a time.


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