A hairy dilemma – your assistance please, dear readers!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 8 - 2012

I’m not a “hair” person.  Hairy, yes.  Hair. No.

However, I have been a good girl for the last 6 months and have stopped over-processing my poor locks to within an inch of their life.  To battle the greys, I make sure to dye only the roots and am starting to see a slight colour lift as the regrowth gets longer.  My poor, sorry ends are still very dark and I’m not sure that anything can be done to save them apart from a pair of scissors.

my hair always looks this glossy – honest.

Condition-wise, well it’s not too bad.  A little dry – but nothing serious.

Where am I going with all this? Well…

I want to go lighter but I have no idea how.  Not massively lighter, just enough so that I look less pasty/ill as the days hopefully begin to warm up.  Please share what you know about lifting your colour DIY style.  I’m not in any rush, I know that things like this need to be done sloooowly and with care.

Have you gone lighter?  How many shades and was it a success?

21 Responses to “A hairy dilemma – your assistance please, dear readers!”

  1. Jamilla says:

    Our hair is the same colour, so here goes! I normally go no more than 2-3 shades lighter – 2 in summer and 3 in winter (your colour will lift in the summer). I get get 1/2 head dark blonde highlights every 12 weeks – hides the greys well and the grow out is not bad. I have my hair cut every 6 weeks and a root touch up done at the salon. When I’m travelling, I use Nice N Easy Root Touch-up in a medium cool brown shade, or Dark Brown No. 4 when I’m in the sun (like now). Good luck – and BTW, be sure to use Moroccanoil or Kerastase Oleo Relax on wet hair before drying and styling!

  2. Grace London says:

    You could try something like Colour B4 hair colour remover. Warning: it stinks, but it dissolves the artificial hair colour molecules and leaves you with what’s underneath, which will probably be a little bit gingery due to the ammonia/peroxide in hair colourants (even if it deposits a darker colour over the top, it bleaches your natural colour a bit first).

    I’d have a gentle cool light brown semi permanent to hand in case you don’t like the stripped colour.

    A good deep conditioner and a good leave-in is essential, like Jamilla says.

  3. Lauren Alice says:

    If you’re looking to remove some of the colour build up from the ends of your hair then good old Head and Shoulders works a treat. My sister is a hairdresser and around April time she gets me washing my hair with this before she takes my hair a little lighter for Summer. It really works and is also a handy tip if ever you have any hair dye disasters! Lx

  4. Nuša says:

    Maybe you should just try adding some highlights (but very tiny, not wide) – A little bit lighter than a color you’re going for. When they mix with your dark hair, you’ll get an amazing effect. :)

  5. Louise says:

    Long time reader but first time commenter, I feel your pain on this one!
    After using dark brown and black semi-permanents for years I got colour build-up on the ends too (my hair is naturally mid-brown and I always dyed the whole thing instead of just the roots – my bad) and although it’s taken me months, it’s possible to fix. If you’re going to try the B4 Colour Remover I’d definitely recommend a strand test, when I tried it I was left with an alarming combination of orange mids and black tips -awful! I ended up going to the hairdresser, who recommended a slow lightening process (I have very curly hair so anything too harsh would have wrecked the condition), she put highlights through it and scrunched a lightener through the ends each time and it’s now light brown/blonde all over. I’m not sure if it would be possible to DIY it but I hope this is of some help anyway! :-)

  6. sharnek says:

    My only suggestion is to go to a salon. I know you’ve asked for DIY tips, but I really think a salon is the best place. I a home-dye-phobic and a little cack handed, so would only trust my locks to someone in the know. Of cause, which salon to trust is a whole other post…..

  7. I use the L’Oreal Pro Richesse range and within that range, they have dyes that allow you to go one good shade ligher without bleaching, which I find quite interesting.

  8. Simona says:

    I’m super low maintenance with my hair, hence i don’t dabble with the dyes; however my sister uses a Japanese brand; liese and swears by it http://web.kao.com/sg/liese/lineup/haircolor/products.html
    Very easy to use and leaves the hair full of colour and vibrancy with no drying.

  9. nihrida says:

    I used to dye my hair black and when I got tired of it, I dyed my hair a couple of shades lighter in a local salon. I don’t know any other way to lighten your hair (so the difference is visible) that doesn’t involve peroxide. Bleaching my hair was a horrible choice. I don’t wanna go too much into it, but I’ve ended up with almost melted hair… I never wanna do that again, but I guess it was mostly the hairdressers fault. If you’re gonna do it, choose your salon wisely. And pamper your hair with nutritious masks afterwards.

  10. NeenaJ says:

    My suggestion would be to highlight as well, but in a way that’s less obvious if you make a mistake like making them too chunky. Highlight first using a lifting creme – only around your face and just a few really thin wisps of your fringe. Then wash and condition the heck out of your hair. A few days later when it’s dirty again, dye your whole head a shade lighter brown than normal and only leave on for 10 minutes. The lifted pieces will remain lighter, but not in an obvious way.

    Here in the States, we have Sally Beauty Supply. The veterans who work there really know their stuff and if you’ve got a similar place in the UK, I’d pop in and ask them advise before you buy anything or attempt something DIY.

    Of course, it’s probably worth it to just go to the salon 😉

    • NeenaJ says:

      Don’t forget to do a test strand! If the lifted pieces come out orange, you want to know before you do your whole head!

  11. Rosie says:

    I have the same issue! My hair is just too dark and I can’t seem to get it anywhere close to my natural colour. Although it’s expensive I think I’m going to have to go to a salon because I simply don’t trust myself to do it at home!


  12. FragrantWitch says:

    I am going to weigh in on the side of highlights as well. Our colouring is very similar and (after recently debating with ny hairdresser what to do with encroaching greys and the need to look less tired) decided on highlights throughout- a very few, very thin streaks of light blonde around me face and two shades of complementary reds through the rest. It looks great and no one ( bar my BFF) noticed the colour, rather they said I looked good and asked what I was using on my skin! Result!
    My ( sadly extensive) home hair colouring experience has taught me that I have a lot of red tones in my hair (most dark hair does- bar the truly blue-back of some Asian tones. This has resulted in many orange hair ‘mares. Good luck!

  13. I have enjoyed reading the comments. I’d love to do the same myself but I’m nervous of highlighting at home! I should probably go back to the hairdressers and go with their suggestion of being a guinea pig for the students (though, I think they probably used the word model rather than guinea pig). I shall follow your progress with interest!

  14. Sarah (CityGirlsFashionBox) says:

    I love the shade you are now! but variety is the spice of life they say xxx

  15. Fiona says:

    I’ve found using olive oil on my hair every 2 or 3 days lifts my hair colour. I leave it on for an hour then rinse with a sulphate-free shampoo. It takes a few weeks to see a difference. And unlike the chemical methods, if it doesn’t work you at least have nice glossy hair.

  16. Janie says:

    I would say be cautious!

    I have hair a little lighter than you, and had blonde highlights back in 2005.
    When my hair started breaking, I dyed back over with brown and could never get the right shade. My hair has natural red tones in it, but everytime the hairdresser or me on some occassions dyed over the regrowth it would look really ginger in the light.
    I had some horrific photos at a friend’s wedding where my hair looked very red.
    We tried dark blondes and greens to try and counteract the red, but it took 4 years of growing out to finally rid the pesky ginger.

    I am dreading going grey because I have no idea how I’ll manage to dye over it without the dreaded ginger coming back!

    Good luck :-)


  17. Lilmiznutcase says:

    My hairdresser did some of my highlights with some kind of lightener instead of dye. Unfortunately I can’t remember what it was called but it’s obviously kinder on the hair than peroxide. just lifts the hair colour a couple of shades and looks very natural.

  18. I have dark brown hair, and first ventured into light brown highlights – from then on it was addicting. Next I got blonde and caramel highlights…then more blonde highlights…a few months later, went totally blonde. I was blonde for a year, and loved the look of it, but the upkeep is SO expensive. Going every few weeks for a root touch up of $100 is just no fun. I am now brown again, and if I could do it again, I’d just do a few blonde and light brown highlights because the upkeep is much easier.

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