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How to Tone Down Hair Color That Is Too Light (Quick Fix)

How to Tone Down Hair Color That Is Too Light (Quick Fix)

Coloring your hair at home can be a hit or miss—some can achieve the color they want and face some hair disasters. Getting a too light hair color is one of the things that you’ll face, and toning it down might not be an easy task.

From traditional ways of toning down your hair color to natural methods on fixing your hair problems, our guide will save you from salon bills.

How Long to Wait Between Coloring Your Hair (If You Don’t Like the Color)?

Before coloring your hair again to fix the color fail, think of your hair condition first. Keep in mind that bleach and dyes are chemicals that are very damaging to your hair, so better wait at least a month or two before repeating the process.

Most of the time, you have to replenish the lost moisture from your hair with hair serums and hair masks after the color treatment. 

This is especially true if you have fine, thin hair that is more susceptible to breakage. Even if your hair is strong, split ends and dry strands can be an issue.

Remember, bleach and dye strip off some layers of your hair, and overdoing it will do more harm than good. Instead of coloring your hair as soon as you get the color fail, go for some methods that will gradually fix the issue.

How to Fix Hair Color That Is Too Light

Use a clarifying shampoo to tone down your hair color.

Most of the time, newly colored hair should skip frequent shampooing as it strips off the pigment from your hair. But if you colored your hair too light, washing your hair on a daily basis can help to fade your hair color faster.Try this Clarifying Shampoo (link to amazon)

Instead of using gentle shampoos, use a clarifying shampoo, or even detergent with stronger ingredients that can gradually remove the dye pigment from your strands.

This method can be too drying to your hair, so use conditioner and hair creams afterward to replenish lost moisture.

Think of styling your hair with curlers and flat irons.

If you love your hair color, skipping those heat styling tools can help to preserve the color. However, using heat can balance your too light hair color.

Too light hair can be a perfect excuse to use curlers and flat iron—it can make you look dolled-up while gradually balancing your hair color.

Just style your hair as usual, but always use leave-in conditioners and hair oils to avoid damaging your hair. You may think of deep conditioning your hair at least thrice a week to recover from the damage.

Go for highlights rather than one-dimensional hair color.

If your hair color ended up looking too light, better take advantage of them with highlights rather than making it look flat and one-dimensional.

While styling your hair with curls could help to reflect light nicely, you can go for a balayage or strobing technique that will revamp your look.

When it comes to freehand technique, your colorist simply balances the lighter tones on your hair, and the too light hair color can act as your highlights.

Opt for a darker shade, but avoid going too dark.

Darker shades can help to neutralize your too light hair color, but be careful about going overboard. If you want to do it on your own, experts recommend testing it and letting the desired color sit on your hair before rinsing it.

More than that, you might want to use the same brand of at-home coloring kit, so you’ll avoid other hair disasters. Remember, formulas and tones can vary so you have to be careful when color processing your hair again.

Tone Down Hair Color That Is Too Light

Get a color fix at a salon.

If you’re a newbie on the hair coloring department, better seek help from professionals rather than trying to fix it at home. Most color-correcting products are designed for salon use, and professionals could weigh better on how much product to use.

Do you know that you have to consider the product you used, which made your hair color too light before proceeding on the color correcting process? Some color fails will require the use of ammonia or bleach, while some will require less damaging products.

Natural Ways to Darken Hair That Is Dyed Too Light

Use lemon and baking soda as hair bleach.

Most of the time, baking soda and lemon are the perfect combinations for a teeth whitener, but they are perfect for balancing your hair color too.

You can simply make a thick paste by mixing lemon juice and baking soda. Simply start by washing your hair with shampoo then apply the paste on your head for at least 20 minutes.

Rinse your hair with warm water and let it dry. You can do the trick two to three times a week until you notice the change in your hair color.

Tone down hair color with olive oil or coconut oil.

These natural oils do wonders for your hair, and it can make your strands not only stronger but also more vibrant and natural-looking.

The key is to warm the oil before applying it to your hair as heat can help to fade your hair color. You can simply heat the olive oil or coconut oil in a pan or in a microwave, and let it cool a bit before applying to your hair.

Since these oils are gentle on your hair, you can leave it for an hour or even use it as a hair mask overnight.

Use vinegar or vitamin C to tone down too light hair color.

Vinegar and vitamin C are a natural acid that can help remove some pigments from your hair. If you want to use vinegar, simply mix it with shampoo to lessen the sour scent and apply it to your hair.

Shampoo and rinse your hair as usual until you notice a change in your hair color. If you want to use vitamin C, you have to create a paste with it.

Mix vitamin C with water, and apply the mixture to your hair. Leave it for an hour and wash your hair as usual.

How to Color-Correct Too Light Hair Color

When highlights look too light and stripy…

Highlights add dimension to your look, but if you’ve got too light color than your base color, it will end up looking stripy. For your quick fix, grab tinted dry shampoos that can blend them out.

Highlights are trickier to deal with, so it would be better to consult the professionals. The color correction can be done by toning down the highlights and blending them with the base color.

Most of the time, experts recommend going for a balayage technique to give you a more natural finish and eliminate the stripy look.

When your roots are a different shade than the rest of your hair…

Most of the time, you can use color blending concealers or root coverup sprays for your hair to disguise uneven shades, but you can also opt for tinted shampoos for a quick fix.

Most professionals will likely fix the color fail by coloring your hair at the roots first before blending them down on the ends. The key is to find a good colorist that can match your roots to the base color of your hair.

When blonde hair looks too light and yellow…

Blonde shades might look dreamy and whimsical, but it can look yellow on you if you’ve got the wrong shade. For a quick fix, tone it down with purple toning hair products.

Technically, purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel, and opting for it will neutralize the yellow tones on your hair. If you want, opt for cool-toned shades the next time you color your hair.

When your hair color turned brassy and orange…

To cancel the orange tones in your hair, opt for purple or blue toning treatments. If you can’t deal with the brassiness, tell your colorist to lift out the orange tones before dropping it back to your preferred hair color.

Most women with naturally dark hair can opt for ashy blonde shades, but better take advantage of your too light color fail—then tone it darker with ashy shades.

Struggling on a hair color fail might not be easy, but heeding our guide will save your hair and revamp your look. 

Related Questions:

Can you fix the highlights with hair dye?

Of course, you can, but it is not as easy as you think. Doing the traditional and natural methods of fixing your hair color might not be the best fix when it comes to highlights.

Highlights are way too light than your base color, and you should consult your colorist to achieve the perfect shade. Do you know that blonde hair can turn pink when dyed red? Instead of going red, blondes can opt for brown shades for a color fix.

What to do if dip-dye went wrong?

A stripy look running across your hair doesn’t look flattering, and it calls for color correction. Just tell your colorist that you’re going for a natural-looking ombre, so she can blend out too light shades on your hair.

On the other hand, a hair color that ends up looking patchy needs more attention. While stylish fishtail braids and French braids can disguise them, you better have your color fix at the salon.

Barbara Myers

Monday 6th of September 2021

I am re coloring my hair because it turned too light. Should I use coconut oil first, rinse out and then color. Please reply

Irina Tracy

Tuesday 7th of September 2021

Hello. Coconut oil will help adjust the tone of your haircolor but if you are going to dye it again you don't really have to use this method. If you do use coconut oil, you can save it for after you dye your hair. You want the dye to get deep into the hair strands and a layer of coconut oil could stay in the way of that. Using coconut oil is great if you don't plan to dye your hair again. But if you want to dye your hair, I would suggest to dye it like you normally would and add coconut oil mask afterwards. Thank you for reaching out!

Barbara Myers

Thursday 26th of August 2021

My hair turned out too light.I used ultra light platinum. Followed Instructions, also called before coloring. Please help to correct this hair. I aged over night.

Irina Tracy

Tuesday 7th of September 2021

hi, Barbara! You could try dying your hair again in a darker shade of the same color. If you do that I strongly recommend using the same brand of hair dye so you don't have different chemicals mixed in. Go for a dye that is two tones darker than the tone you have now as on platinum hair it will turn out lighter anyway. Good luck!