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  • Writer's pictureGabriel

From Dark to light--how to transition to a lighter haircolor.

There comes a day when you look in the mirror and decide that the haircolor that you have loved for so long is simply too dark, and you want to go lighter. Going lighter is not as simple as asking your colorist for a lighter shade.  There are several factors to take into account when transitioning to a lighter color. The current shade used, how that color has been applied over time (roots only, or through the lengths of the hair every time), the length of your hair, and just how much lighter you would like to go are just a few of the variables to consider. You can't simply take a lighter shade, apply it over a dark shade and expect lighter results. As a general rule, the longer you have been using the darker shade, and the more the color has been repeatedly pulled through the hair, the more challenging it will be to decolorize the hair. Permanent hair color is generally harder to decolorize than semi permanent color. With so many factors at play, a visit to a professional is a must when lightening dark haircolor.

Decolorizing dark hair is usually not achieved in one visit.  The exception might be if a semi permanent color has been used once, and gone too dark. You may be able to remove much of it in one visit; this is the exception rather than the rule. Some colorist will attempt to decolorize the clients hair in one visit.  This often results in lighter hair that is in less than ideal condition, and often brassy and unacceptable to the client.   If a hair colorist promises that they can take you from color treated black hair to blonde in one visit, run to the door. When a client desires a lighter hair color, I usually do this over the course of several visits.  When lightening such clients I start with as thorough a consultation as possible, wanting to know as much about the history of the hair as possible. Knowing brand, shade, other chemical processes (including that keratin you did a year ago) . I may start our journey by applying some highlights around the face and hairline and “glazing” them to a lighter shade.  Doing this gives a “feel” of an overall lighter color. I will simultaneously lighten the base color slightly.   During the course of several visits the population of highlights is increased, and the base color is lightened.  This process is continued until the desired shade is achieved.  Once the lighter shade is achieved the need for highlights may not be necessary.   Although this is a slower process, achieved over several salon visits, it preserves the integrity of the hair, resulting in a beautiful, softer hair color. Always go into such situations with a trusted colorist and realistic about what can be achieved in a single salon visit. With time, you will be lighter, brighter and the integrity of your hair intact.

Model with dark hair that wants to begin lightening color
Going from Dark to light

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