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Hair color... Going from black to light brown, best way?

Carmen Rivera

So I have been dying my hair black for a few years now and finally decided to go lighter. I went to my hair stylist and she suggested we do highlights to slowly and gradually lighten my hair. We did some highlights today and they are very subtle. It seems like if we continue this way it might that a while to get really light. I definitely do not want to bleach my hair, so are highlights my best option? Thanks!
Jan 07, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

26 Replies



Id say that is your SAFEST bet in my opinion! No matter what, with black hair, ANY way will tale quite a bit of time to get your desired shade. As you go lighter, remember to use some sort of toner on your hair as well to reduce any sort of brassy or orangy tones that are bound to happen when going lighter from black hair, this will also help in lightning your hair quicker too. Good luck!
Jan 08, 2012 @ 09:08 am

big work...

You're in for a lot of work. Black is one of the biggest hair dye molecules to remove from the hair shaft. If you're really unsure or nervous I would strongly suggest going to a salon. However, if you're confident to try at home. I would recommend using a colour remover (like oops or loreal has) You might need to do it twice. But when you remove or lighten dark colours you reveal red and orange tones So don't freak out because you want it quite orange so its light enough to deposit the colour you want. Then after the removal process you will have to dye your hair the colour you want it. :)
Jan 08, 2012 @ 10:48 am

Color Oops


Here is some reviews of it.It did wonders to get a dark color out of my hair!Good Luck
Jan 08, 2012 @ 11:50 am


I am in the market to go back to my original colour too!! I've been dying my hair black for years now and am ready to see what my real hair colour is again. I thought my only option was to go to a salon, but thanks to you girls I'm going to try Color Oops! :-)
Jan 09, 2012 @ 12:21 pm


Not to say it wont work, but I used Color Oops when I went from dark brown/red to blonde..and it was worse than taking bleach to my hair. My hair went completely orange and I cried forever! It could be the amount of red that was in my hair, but just be very careful!!!
Jan 09, 2012 @ 12:40 pm


When ever you remove or lighten anything darker than a dirty blond. You'll always get orange and red tones. That's why afterwards you need to use toner aka colour it afterwards to counteract those tones get the achieved colour. It's just the chemical molecules of hair colour and the natural pigments in everyone's hair. It's definitely a pain though!
Jan 09, 2012 @ 01:12 pm


You ladies just saved me from coming to work with orange hair tomorrow!! I am heading down soon to hopefully pickup some Colour Oops (i have thick long hair, so 2 boxes, right?) and I thought that'll be enough to take off the black and leave my natural colour. Good to know that my hair will turn out red / orange... so I know to pickup a hair colour closest to my natural one to colour it with so I don't look like a total freak :-)
Jan 09, 2012 @ 01:33 pm


my hairdresser told me highlights are easier on your hair than full hair color. so, this might be good for you.

for white/gray coverage: full color of red ---- white hair coverage for my black is hair is red or burgundy. Once i dumped 2 boxes of haircolor to my black with white hair, the black turns brown-ish and the white hair was like red streaks.

at one point(younger days) , i bleach my hair and poured red. It was so red, I look like a freak. LOL
Jan 09, 2012 @ 02:07 pm

love this :)

I love hearing about hair adventures!! Makes it sound fun, instead of the nightmare I know it to be lol :-) I've run a TON of experiments on my own hair, and I'm sure to run even more...

About Colour Oops, I read a lot of mixed reviews

This one reviewer detailed everything really well which I think is def' worth a read:

Color Oops WILL remove too much or unwanted hair color. If your hair was
colored before the latest "oops", it will also remove that color,
leaving you most likely with yellow-y, orange-y, and somewhat uneven
hair that in most cases will require additional coloring to be
transformed into something pretty;-) At this point you have two choices:

Immediately (possibly wearing a hat?) go to a professional salon,
explain what happened, and let THEM do the job with demi-permanent color
of your choice. I recommend to ask the stylist to treat your hair with a
protein filler before coloring it, or better yet, do it at home right
after “color oops”. This is a foolproof way of getting preferred hair
color and saves you quite some money, since this isn't a "correction"
anymore, but a single process dye job.

2) At home - If you are
coloring your hair yourself, you HAVE to have a “Neutral Protein Filler”
(sally's, amazon). Use it as a leave-in conditioner BEFORE a hair dye
job. The filler will restore the structure of your hair, so subsequently
applied color will grab on evenly. The treatment also helps covering
grey, avoid the "hot root" effect, and overly processed ends. I apply
this treatment even before professional dye treatments. I am really,
really pleased with the results! Less damage, better color, no
oversaturation. For those going brunette: Use a NEUTRAL shade (to avoid
too much red) of a medium/dark blond or light brown demi-permanent hair
color or hair gloss. Put protein treatment in your hair, wait 20 min.,
don't rinse!!! TIP for those fearing too much red - buy the "UNRED"
drops (Ricky's, Sally's, Amazon). Add a few drops (following the
instructions) to the color mix, this will take care of the unwanted red.
After putting the color mix on your roots, massage it through the rest
of your hair, let it sit for 5-10 min. max! This should be enough time
for the color to grab. Rinse, wash, rinse, deeply condition, style.
Voilà, your new color!

Other tip based on experience:
If your hair
turned very light and you want to go to a deeper brown shade, you want
to use a double process. First you color with a light strawberry
blonde/light golden blonde, after that you color with a neutral shade of
medium/dark blonde/light brunette. This will give your hair a nice
dimension and add gloss. You probably will still end up on a "warmer"

UPDATE: 9/1/2011 -- What a life and money saver! I am truly
amazed by this product... Earlier today, I toned down my brassy looking
summer highlights in my light brown hair with Garnier Nutrisse Light
Natural Brown.. After barely 10 min my hair was oversaturated, dark
brown with a purply tint to it.. Ouch!! Oops! Big OOPS! Well, I ran to
the drugstore, got "ColorOops", did the routine, followed up with a
protein filler for 30 min, did not rinse, colored my hair this time with
Carnier Nutrisse Medium Natural Blonde for like 2-3 minutes... OMG,
best color ever... Turned out very natural, sunkissed darkish blond with
my highlights still showing, NO BRASS!!!.. very rosie
huntington-whiteley-like.. Hair is despite the torture of the last 2
hours very soft and very shiny.. Ca$h factor: 15$ for 2x hair color
12$ for ColorOops = 27$ (still less than any coloring job at the salon)
Life experience= priceless;-) Thanks ColorOOPs, you saved my hair, yet
Jan 09, 2012 @ 02:40 pm

Black to Brown

The hair colour I have at the moment is my natural colour, but I dyed my hair black for years until about two years a go.

I am wary of at home bleaching and colour stripping- I think it's one of those things best left to professionals. Personally, I tried to go back to brown and it did not work- it turned orange so I had to redye my hair black- not good.

Personally, I eventually just let my hair grow out to it's natural brown colour, it took a while and multiple haircuts to get it the way it is now. I was pretty patient with it but it is a lengthy process!
Jan 09, 2012 @ 02:53 pm

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