Lightening hair dye at home

On June 4, 2014, in Fun Stuff, Musings, by lisa

So you’ve had your hair colored, only to have it turn out about three shades darker than you expected. You look in the mirror and feel like your mojo has been buried under mud. Your friends and family think it looks fine, but you? No. It’s not what you wanted, and you want to be rid of it, desperately.

Desperation drives one to questionable actions. Here’s my experience with lightening hair dye at home; follow in my footsteps at your own peril.

First off, I didn’t even know that you could lighten hair dye at home until I accidentally discovered it by doing a home hair treatment of coconut oil. After letting the coconut oil sit on my hair for a couple hours — covered in plastic wrap and then a T-shirt, to help absorb the drips — and washing it out, I realized my red hair dye had lightened a shade. Hmmm. Interesting.

I went online to see if I was imagining it, and found all sorts of information on using home products to lighten dye (I’ve put some helpful links at the bottom of this page). The next time I had a disaster at the hairdresser’s, this is what I did:

It looked darker in person, I swear it. It was just dark enough to wash out my skin and make me look ill.

It looked darker in person, I swear it. It was just dark enough to wash out my skin and make me look ill. I’d asked for strawberry blonde.

 

You can see the color a little better here.

You can see the color a little better here. It’s clearly not strawberry blonde.

So I got some vitamin C tablets and, instead of crushing them with a mallet or rolling pin like I read about online, I got clever and used the coffee grinder.

Bad idea. I broke the coffee grinder.

Oops. That black round thing used to be at the center of the blade, keeping it held down.

Oops. That black round thing used to be at the center of the blade, keeping it held down.

Ah well, it did grind up the tablets. So I mixed up the vitamin C powder with some coconut oil and a bit of shampoo.

CIMG7596

 

CIMG7597

Urg, little black specks of ground-up plastic in my hair potion. I’ll use it anyway.

I covered my hair with a plastic produce bag, and then one of my husband’s T-shirts. The shirt absorbed a lot of dripping oil…. which I later discovered doesn’t wash out of cotton as easily as it washes out of my hair. The shirt became a rag.

I think he actually liked that shirt, too. Sorry, Sweetie.

I think he actually liked that shirt, too. Sorry, Sweetie.

I got some mild lightening from this treatment, but I wanted more. Next I tried a recipe I found online for honey and water, with ground coriander in it; the combination makes a mild hydrogen peroxide solution. Not a success: no perceptible lightening, and the coriander swelled with water, which made it feel like I had cornmeal in my hair. It’s not easy to wash all those soft bits out of long hair, either. The shower smelled interesting for about a week afterwards.

Okay, back to the vitamin C. I’d learned my lesson on the tablets, and went looking for capsules I could empty into a bowl. Instead, I found powdered vitamin C in a tub. Score!

I mixed up a few tablespoons of vitamin C powder with a few shots of Suave shampoo, got my hair damp, then massaged the mess into my hair. Once again covered it with a plastic produce bag (it has to stay wet), then a T-shirt. Waited three hours. Washed it out. And this was the result:

The color I wanted! Yay! And I swear it looked better in person. I got compliments from people on it.

The color I wanted! Yay! And I swear it looked better in person. I got compliments from people on it.

 

Naturally, when I went back to the salon to have my roots touched up, I ended up once again with a head of hair much darker than I wanted. Sigh. Good thing I have the tub of vitamin C.

***

While you’re sitting with goo in your hair, waiting for the color to lighten, you might as well get your mind off your hair disaster with something spicy to read, like my newest series of historical erotica, from Simon & Schuster. Available for pre-sale from all e-book retailers. It’s high-quality, historical adventure smut! Seriously, they’re pretty good, with a rip-roaring plot to go along with the naughty bits.

Read Chapter One Here

iTunes   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Simon & Schuster


Some helpful links:

Using vitamin C:

WikiHow

HubPages

 

Using coconut oil to protect hair when dyeing or bleaching:

Ktani’s Hair Sense

A Beautiful Instant

 

Using honey to lighten hair:

Ktani, again

Long Hair Community

 

Ktani’s Hair Sense blog –“Innovative Approaches to Hair and Skin Care”– is an interesting resource, if you like getting into the research on various cosmetics, hair issues, etc. If you question advice you find on the internet, go dig around on this blog.

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