How To Fix Hair Dye That Comes Out Too Dark At Home

Dyeing your hair at home can be such a convenient way to cover your roots or even change your entire hair color. It's affordable and convenient, as you can get it done at any time of day or night for a fraction of the price you'll pay in a salon.

There are some rules to follow. You'll want to stick with one single box color and not mix colors which may be a disaster (via Good Housekeeping). Also, unless you have super short hair, buy more than one box — as it's much better to have an extra box on hand just in case. 

Don't skip the patch test or strand test to ensure you won't be allergic and the color will come out the way you want (via Marie Claire). Another great tip is to pour the color into a bowl and use a brush just like they do in the salon.

However, with all the ease and convenience, one caveat of dyeing hair at home is that it can appear darker than expected.

Prevent your hair from getting too dark in the first place

Start by choosing the color you like and then go slightly lighter. "Semipermanent formulas don't have a developer, meaning they get darker and darker the longer you leave them in your hair," says New York City colorist Dana Lonato. "It's safer to choose a color that's a bit lighter from the get-go" (via Allure).

Then stick to the time on the box when it comes to washing out the dye. It's very easy to forget you have dye in your hair and get distracted, but leaving hair color in too long can almost guarantee it will come out too dark.

"If you leave your color on for too long, there is potential for extra deposit of pigment to occur, " celebrity hairstylist Jeremy Tardo tells Real Simple. "You can't make your hair too light by leaving a tint color on too long (unless you're bleaching), but it can make your hair darker than intended."

How to get your hair color lighter

According to celebrity colorist Jennifer J, the first thing to do when realizing that your hair came out too dark is to "wash it immediately," (via Glamour). As you wash it out, you'll notice the color still coming out with the warm water as you rinse. This is known as bleeding the color (via Garnier). Yet even if you rinse until the water runs clear, your hair may still be too dark. 

Next, use a clarifying shampoo and mix it with one tablespoon of baking soda. Let the mixture soak into your hair for five minutes before you rinse.

Another approach is to put some olive oil in your hair and then use heat to contain it by covering your hair with a shower cap. For maximum benefit, add a hot towel over the shower cap. "The heat opens up the cuticle just enough to let a few dye molecules slip out," says Jennifer J.

When it's still too dark, turn to vitamins and color removers

Another last-ditch effort to lighten your dyed hair is to resort to Vitamin C. "Take a chewable vitamin C from your cabinet, or even the Emergen-C Vitamin C packs, and mix with water and a clarifying shampoo," says Los Angeles colorist Amy Huson (via Harper's Bazaar). "Leave the mixture on for 10 to 15 minutes."

However, if you've washed your hair more times than you can remember and tried a few at-home remedies but your hair is still too dark, it may be time to resort to buying a color remover (via PopSugar). Color removers are usually found right in the hair color aisle. After putting your hair through so much, it's important to nourish it with deep conditioners since the treatments can leave it dry and fragile.

Still, despite your best efforts, it may be wise to visit a professional colorist who can help you attain the color you want and also help prevent further damage.