How To Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark: 10 Easy Ways To Do It

If you’ve ended up with hair that’s been dyed too dark for your liking, don’t worry; there are several easy ways to lighten it up. One option is to use a clarifying or dandruff shampoo, as these can help strip away some of the color. You could also try using a baking soda paste or lemon juice, which can help gradually fade the dye. For quicker results, pick up a color remover kit from the drugstore or salon. If you want to go gradually, spritz your hair with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution or use a hot oil treatment containing chamomile or honey. Sun exposure can also help lighten dyed hair over time. Just be sure to deep condition frequently, as lightening methods can be drying. With some patience, you’ll be able to get your hair back to the shade you want.

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark with a DIY Approach


If you’re looking to lighten up your hair after a dye job gone wrong, there are plenty of DIY methods you can try at home. 

From utilizing household ingredients to simple color-stripping techniques, these natural solutions can help gradually fade the unwanted dark tones.

Here are 7 DIY methods to lighten hair dyed too dark, with proper usage instructions:

Baking Soda Paste

  • Mix 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste. 
  • Apply it evenly to dry hair, focusing on the areas you want to lighten. 
  • Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cool water. 
  • Repeat weekly as needed.

Lemon Juice

  • Squeeze the juice from 2-3 fresh lemons and dilute it with an equal amount of water. 
  • After shampooing, pour the mixture over your hair and let it soak in for 1 hour before rinsing. 
  • Wear a shower cap to prevent dripping. Repeat 1-2 times per week.

Vitamin C Tablets 

  • Crush 5-10 vitamin C tablets (500-1000mg) into a powder and mix it with a small amount of shampoo until it forms a paste. 
  • Massage it into damp hair and let it sit for 60 minutes before rinsing. 
  • Use this treatment once a week.

Chamomile Tea Rinse 

  • Brew 2 chamomile tea bags in 1 cup of boiling water. 
  • Let it cool, then pour it through your hair after shampooing. Don’t rinse it out – simply let it air dry. 
  • Repeat 2-3 times per week.

Clarifying Shampoo

  • Use a clarifying or dandruff shampoo like Head & Shoulders or Neutrogena Anti-Residue whenever you wash your hair. 
  • Lather twice and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Honey and Conditioner Mix 

  • Combine 1/4 cup of honey with 1/2 cup of your regular conditioner. 
  • Apply it to damp hair from roots to ends and cover with a shower cap. 
  • Let it sit for 60 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly with cool water.

Sun Exposure 

  • Spend 30-60 minutes per day in direct sunlight with your hair loose and uncovered. 
  • Be sure to use a UV protectant spray or serum to prevent dryness and damage.

Use Purple or Blue Shampoo for Brassy Tones

  • Use a purple or blue toning shampoo 1-2 times per week to neutralize brassy, orange tones in lightened or highlighted hair. 
  • Wet hair thoroughly, massage the toning shampoo through, and let it sit for 3-5 minutes before rinsing.

Instructions: Be sure to use the toning shampoo on just the brassy areas – avoid over-toning by keeping it away from your roots and ends if they don’t need toning.

Do a Bleach Bath

  • For a bleach bath, mix 1 part bleach powder with 2 parts shampoo or conditioner. 
  • Apply the mixture to dry hair, focusing on the areas you want to lighten. 
  • Let it process for 10-20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
  • Wear gloves and do a strand test first. 
  • Bleach baths can cause significant lightening, so check frequently and rinse out once you’ve reached your desired shade.

Instruction: Leave the bleach bath on for no more than 30 minutes total to prevent excessive damage and dryness to your hair.

Read More:

How to Lighten Hair Dyed Too Dark as a Professional


As a professional stylist, there are several effective methods to lighten hair that has been dyed too dark. 

The approach depends on the client’s hair condition, the type of dye used, and the desired end result. While some techniques can be done at home, others require professional-grade products and expertise. 

Exercising caution is crucial to avoid further damage or undesirable outcomes.

A consultation and strand test are recommended before proceeding with any color correction.

And here are the key methods with explanations:

Bleed the Color Out

This gradual method involves using a clarifying shampoo or baking soda mix to slowly fade the dye over several washes. 

It’s gentle, but it can take weeks to see results. It is best for minor color corrections on healthy hair.

Use Hair Lightener or Toner

Lighteners and toners are professional products that can lift artificial color while toning unwanted brassiness. 

They require precise mixing, application, and processing times to avoid over-lightening or damage.

Use Color Remover

Color remover products work by shrinking and removing artificial dye molecules from the hair shaft. 

They can provide more dramatic lighting than bleeds or toners but with increased risk of damage.

See a Professional to Fix Your Dark Hair Color

In cases of severe color mishaps or fragile hair, it’s best to let an experienced colorist assess and correct the situation using customized techniques and professional-grade products.

Do a Bleach Bath

A bleach bath involves mixing a low-volume bleach solution with shampoo or conditioner. When applied to the hair, it helps to gently lift and remove unwanted pigment. 

It provides more lifting than toning but less than full highlights.

Use a Lightening Spray or Gloss


Lightening sprays and glosses are temporary, rinse-out products that can slightly lighten and tone the hair. 

They deposit polymer pigments that adhere until the next shampoo. Good for a quick, minor adjustment between color services.

Other technique: Try soap caps, an old-school technique where the hair is saturated in a sudsy cap of clarifying shampoo or soap solution.

As the solution dries, it helps to fade and draw out darker hair pigments. Gentle but very drying.

Other Solutions

While the urge to quickly fix hair that’s been dyed too dark can be strong, it’s often wise to consider waiting before taking any harsh corrective measures. 

Hair that has just been colored is in a fragile state, and immediately trying to remove or lighten the dye can lead to excessive damage and breakage. 

Giving your hair a few weeks to recover allows the cuticle to reseal and the artificial color to slightly fade on its own.

During this time, using moisturizing hair masks and avoiding further chemical treatments can help strengthen your strands. 

With some patience, you may find the depth of color more tolerable, negating the need for drastic lightening. 

If it remains too dark after 4-6 weeks, you can revisit your options with a professional colorist.

Post-Dye Treatments

  • Deep Conditioning Mask 
  • Bond Repair Treatment  
  • Protein Reconstructor 
  • Leave-In Conditioner 
  • Hair Oil or Serum

After lightening or correcting hair that was dyed too dark, proper aftercare is essential. The chemical processes can leave strands dry, brittle, and vulnerable to further damage.

Restorative post-dye treatments help replenish moisture, rebuild strength, and protect your newly-lightened locks. 

Consistent use of the right products is key to preserving your hair’s health and vibrancy.


How can I lighten my dark dyed hair fast?

Use a color remover or bleach bath, but be cautious to avoid damage.

How can I make my hair dye fade faster?

Try washing with a clarifying shampoo, baking soda, or vitamin C mixture.

How can I lighten my dyed hair with home remedies?

Rinse with diluted lemon juice, chamomile tea, or honey mixed with conditioner.

Why is my hair so dark after dyeing?

The dye was likely too concentrated or left on too long, depositing excessive color.


Ending up with hair that’s been dyed too dark can be frustrating, but there are plenty of easy solutions to help lighten and correct the color. From using household ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, or vitamin C, to trying clarifying shampoos and sun exposure, there are gentle, gradual methods to slowly fade the unwanted darkness. 

For faster results, consider doing a bleach bath, using a color remover product, or seeing a professional colorist for a customized lightening treatment. 

Whichever route you choose, be sure to follow up with deep conditioning and bond repair treatments to offset any potential damage. With some patience and the right approach, you can revive your hair’s desired shade and restore its radiance and health. 

The key is taking it slowly, monitoring your progress closely, and giving your strands some extra TLC throughout the lightening process.

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