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Ready For A Lighter Hair Color? 5 Tips To Get You There

Been thinking about a lighter hair color? Maybe you’ve been thinking about a minor change, or maybe you want to go from black to platinum blonde. Either way, there’s a lot to consider when going lighter with your hair color. Below are some tips to steer you in the right direction.

Decide Just How Light You Want It

“Going lighter” with hair is a pretty inclusive phrase. It could mean taking your hue of brown up a shade. Or you could decide to go from dark hair to blonde.

When deciding just how light you want your hair to be, it helps to keep in mind just what that means. Hair color generally exists on a ten-step scale, with black being a one and lightest blonde being a ten. If you want to lighten your hair, you’ll have to use math. The working formula goes like this: Color You Should Use = (Desired Level – Present Virgin Color Level) + Desired Level.

So let’s say you have black hair and you want to go to a lightest brown. Black is at a level one and lightest brown is a five. So five minus one equals four, so that’s four levels. Four plus the desired level of five equals nine. That means you’ll need a level nine, which is a very light blonde dye, to get black hair down to lightest brown. It’s important to understand that if you’re going with box dyes, your underlying hair color will always contribute.

But what if you do that equation and you end up with an off-the-chart number like 11? Then it’s bleaching time. You’ll need to lift your natural color out of the hair shaft in several stages. Then you’ll need a dye to get the desired level of blonde you want. Knowing how much work each shade will require can help you determine just what shade you’re willing to work for.

To Go Natural Or Not?

Let’s say you don’t want to go as extreme as taking black hair all the way to a light blonde. Maybe you just want a sun-kissed look to your hair with a mild lightening effect. You can get a box dye that’s a shade or two lighter than your current hair color, or you can use several natural ways to lighten hair.

Remember Styles

On the other hand, you don’t have to completely lighten your hair. Remember to look at highlighting effects and even ombre styles. These styles will be less damaging on your hair overall and may be easier to apply. Wispy highlights will give a more subtle effect, and an ombre look can make a stylish impact.

Protect Your Hair

Lightening hair can be one of the harshest treatments you’ll do to your hair, especially if you’re planning on jumping the whole color chart. It’s no secret how drying bleach is, and even box dyes pack a decent punch to the hair. Make sure you’re using a regular deep conditioning treatment. There are even plenty of deep conditioners on the market specifically for bleached blonde hair.

Know When To See A Professional

Let’s be honest. Going blonde is really easy to screw up at home. Especially when bleach is involved. If you leave the bleach on too long, it can actually melt the hair. Work it into the scalp too much, and you’re actually burning your scalp. Only bleach your hair at home if you know you can follow instructions precisely and don’t mind a multistep process over a few days for very dark hair. Otherwise, save up and head to the salon. You’ll especially want to head to the salon if your hair has been dyed, dried and processed in the past.

Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. You can find out more about her at https://www.clippings.me/michellelovrine.