How to Make Hair Dye Lighter

by Lisa Dryden ; Updated September 28, 2017

Many women today use hair color not only to cover their gray hair, but also to make them feel good about themselves and raise their self-confidence. The majority of the time, the specific shade listed on the box ends up being the same color on the hair. In some cases, however, the color ends up dramatically darker than it is supposed to be. This can cause panic and frustration, but there are steps that can be taken to lighten the hair to the desired shade.

Take a small drop of dishwashing detergent, such as Dawn, and place it in the hair. Work up a lather for 3 minutes and use plenty of water to rinse all the detergent out of the hair. This process will help remove excess hair dye.

If the detergent has not removed enough hair dye from the hair, use a hair dye remover kit and follow the instructions on the box. This process will temporarily turn the hair an orange color, but this is to prepare it to receive the new hair color.

Wait at least an hour until the hair is completely dry before using any new hair color. Once dry, follow the instructions on the box and place the new hair color on the treated hair.

After rinsing the new color from the hair, use a deep conditioner throughout the hair, from root to tip. This will help to offset any damage sustained during the hair-coloring process.

Once the desired color is achieved, style the hair as normal. Use weekly deep conditioning treatments to help to maintain the new, lighter hair color.


  • Use a shampoo and conditioner made especially for color-treated hair in order to maintain the hair color for a longer period of time.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

About the Author

Lisa Dryden is currently a title QA and freelance writer working happily with Demand Studios. Her articles on family, parenting and relationships are published on She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education in educational psychology from Northern Arizona University.