Going lighter w/out bleach

Hey:
My hair is a dark brown and I want to go 3 or 4 shades lighter without bleach. What brand of hair color do you ladies suggest?
Unless you have a lot of hair color knowledge, when lightening that much you might want to have it done at a salon by a pro. Many over the counter box dyes (permanent color) don't have the proper level of peroxide to effectively lighten you. That box has no idea what your natural level is. Many people turn an ugly shade of orange when the pretty girl on the box has a beautiful caramel blonde. Also, if you already have color treated hair, color will not lighten your previously colored hair. So your results can be very uneven and disappointing
However, if you want to do it yourself, you could opt for a demi permanent color to change the tone of your hair. It doesn't travel as far into the cuticle and the level of peroxide is VERY low. So there's less damage and you get more predictable results..
You can't. The act of lightening your hair requires the lifting of pigment. There is no way to temporarily lighten your hair.

But just for reference, you *can* lighten colored hair, it just requires a bleaching process, rather than a box kit, to get the best results.
You can get 3 or 4 levels of lift with 40 volume peroxide. Note though, that if you're starting at a level 2, that will bring you up to a 5, and maybe a 6 if you have fine hair. This level of hair colour is actually not really all that light. A medium brown or some might say light brown at best. Is this worth the damage you are going to do to your hair? Plus, the underlying pigment that will be left in your hair is going to be a bold orange as mentioned. If you choose to use colour, you MUST pick an ash tone to get enough drabbing to counteract all that orange. The results will still be a warm brown. Getting an ash result on that kind of lift at that level is not possible with store bought colours.

If you are concerned about the condition because you like having long hair, I would say don't do it!!! Highlights might be a better option so you can at least maintain some kind of healthy hair. Hair colour can be less damaging than bleach, but it's still damaging.

Have you considered Henna? After years in the hair colour industry, and all the horror stories of henna, I did some research and found out true real henna is actually amazing and healthy. (there are hennas out there that are combined with mineral salts that ARE actually terrible and can turn your hair green/black)

Henna can offer a beautiful auburn sheen to your dark hair and make your hair stronger.

Last edited by SusieSuze; 08-02-2011 at 10:49 AM.
Hey ladies, so I went ahead and tried going blonde without bleach, by myself at home... And it did not turn out right Now I need to fix it! Can I just wait a couple weeks and do another dye over it? The color I used: Dark and Lovely #378 Honey Blonde. I'm considering just using a permanent black over it. Suggestions?

Last edited by Amy V.; 08-04-2011 at 07:43 PM. Reason: Sorry, image link failed
All hope is not lost here. Can you describe what your hair looks like now? And tell me, did you have color treated hair prior to this?
It's your hair, but I'd advise against using a black permanent dye. That will create all kinds of future drama if you decide you don't like it. I'd be happy to help you in any way I can.
I just wanted to add something.

Are you able to post pictures??
All hope is not lost here. Can you describe what your hair looks like now? And tell me, did you have color treated hair prior to this?
It's your hair, but I'd advise against using a black permanent dye. That will create all kinds of future drama if you decide you don't like it. I'd be happy to help you in any way I can.
Originally Posted by cg0617
Hey: no, my hair was not color treated prior to this color process. The results I got are reddish, with some lighter pieces in the front. I thought I'd do black 'cause I've done black before and liked it.
I just wanted to add something.

Are you able to post pictures??
Originally Posted by cg0617
Oh, I tried to attach a couple of pics but it didn't work. Sorry. Maybe I'll try again...
For some reason, this uploader is not letting me post pics so I'll post the link to my blog where you can see them.
Temple of Beauty: I Dyed My Hair Again ( Pics)
Ok, so here are your options.

NOW you have color treated hair. So going any lighter with a boxed dye is not an option. If you like black, go ahead- but only do a demi or semi permanent. Your hair cuticle is more porous now and it will suck up the color nicely. Permanent is going to damage your hair a bit more. You may not even notice it, but it will compromise the integrity of your hair.
IF you choose to go lighter, You have several options. First, you could go get highlights. Heavy or light, it's your call. If you want all over color, you'll need to throw bleach on. (Don't let bleach scare you too much. YES it's not healthy. But I've had a lot of blonding experience and I SWEAR using bleach with a 20 volume peroxide for 25-30 minutes is less damaging than leaving a highlift color with 40 volume on for 45 minutes. Bleaching becomes an evil entity when you bleach the same hair over and over. It breaks. But highlift will break you too if you overlap. I guess I've gotten more comfortable with bleach since most clients have color treated hair.)
Your desired level will determine how long you need to leave it on. If you're shooting for a caramel looking blonde, bleach until it looks orangey/golden, and then find a toner that is ash or blue based. Ash counteracts red, blue counteracts orange. Bleaching lighter than an orangey gold could result in green hair if you tone with ash.
I have not forgotten that your original request was to not use bleach. I'm just stating the possibilites that are out there if you are not ready to give up on being blonde. What ever you decide, good luck and I hope you end up happy with you new look I hope this wasn't crazy complicated..
Ok, so here are your options.

NOW you have color treated hair. So going any lighter with a boxed dye is not an option. If you like black, go ahead- but only do a demi or semi permanent. Your hair cuticle is more porous now and it will suck up the color nicely. Permanent is going to damage your hair a bit more. You may not even notice it, but it will compromise the integrity of your hair.
IF you choose to go lighter, You have several options. First, you could go get highlights. Heavy or light, it's your call. If you want all over color, you'll need to throw bleach on. (Don't let bleach scare you too much. YES it's not healthy. But I've had a lot of blonding experience and I SWEAR using bleach with a 20 volume peroxide for 25-30 minutes is less damaging than leaving a highlift color with 40 volume on for 45 minutes. Bleaching becomes an evil entity when you bleach the same hair over and over. It breaks. But highlift will break you too if you overlap. I guess I've gotten more comfortable with bleach since most clients have color treated hair.)
Your desired level will determine how long you need to leave it on. If you're shooting for a caramel looking blonde, bleach until it looks orangey/golden, and then find a toner that is ash or blue based. Ash counteracts red, blue counteracts orange. Bleaching lighter than an orangey gold could result in green hair if you tone with ash.
I have not forgotten that your original request was to not use bleach. I'm just stating the possibilites that are out there if you are not ready to give up on being blonde. What ever you decide, good luck and I hope you end up happy with you new look I hope this wasn't crazy complicated..
Originally Posted by cg0617
Thanks so much for explaining this for me! I think I'll go with a semi permanent black. BTW, are you a professional colorist?
Nope. I am NOT a professional colorist I work for a professional beauty supplier (not open to the public) and I have been forced to take MANY color classes and keep up on color/hair education. It's part of my job. BUT I don't work in a salon, although I do color many heads at home
Ok, so here are your options.

NOW you have color treated hair. So going any lighter with a boxed dye is not an option. If you like black, go ahead- but only do a demi or semi permanent. Your hair cuticle is more porous now and it will suck up the color nicely. Permanent is going to damage your hair a bit more. You may not even notice it, but it will compromise the integrity of your hair.
IF you choose to go lighter, You have several options. First, you could go get highlights. Heavy or light, it's your call. If you want all over color, you'll need to throw bleach on. (Don't let bleach scare you too much. YES it's not healthy. But I've had a lot of blonding experience and I SWEAR using bleach with a 20 volume peroxide for 25-30 minutes is less damaging than leaving a highlift color with 40 volume on for 45 minutes. Bleaching becomes an evil entity when you bleach the same hair over and over. It breaks. But highlift will break you too if you overlap. I guess I've gotten more comfortable with bleach since most clients have color treated hair.)
Your desired level will determine how long you need to leave it on. If you're shooting for a caramel looking blonde, bleach until it looks orangey/golden, and then find a toner that is ash or blue based. Ash counteracts red, blue counteracts orange. Bleaching lighter than an orangey gold could result in green hair if you tone with ash.
I have not forgotten that your original request was to not use bleach. I'm just stating the possibilites that are out there if you are not ready to give up on being blonde. What ever you decide, good luck and I hope you end up happy with you new look I hope this wasn't crazy complicated..
Originally Posted by cg0617
Just this past weekend I wanted to go a little bit darker from blonde (had been highlighted blonde) and since my hair was so porous, it sucked up the color big time. It was too dark for my liking so I used Color Oops to try to strip the color out. It lightened it, but didn't remove the color completely and I was left with a sorta dark, brownish-reddish color. I then highlighted it again, but it's still way dark. Could I possibly use the bleach/peroxide combinatio with a 20 lift to maybe try this and go lighter and then use a toner?
cowash: Tresemme Naturals
rinse out: Garnier Triple Nutrition
Leave in: Suave naturals, whichever scent I'm into at the moment
gel: Garnier Fructis or LA Looks

3a-3b - high porosity
Ok, so here are your options.

NOW you have color treated hair. So going any lighter with a boxed dye is not an option. If you like black, go ahead- but only do a demi or semi permanent. Your hair cuticle is more porous now and it will suck up the color nicely. Permanent is going to damage your hair a bit more. You may not even notice it, but it will compromise the integrity of your hair.
IF you choose to go lighter, You have several options. First, you could go get highlights. Heavy or light, it's your call. If you want all over color, you'll need to throw bleach on. (Don't let bleach scare you too much. YES it's not healthy. But I've had a lot of blonding experience and I SWEAR using bleach with a 20 volume peroxide for 25-30 minutes is less damaging than leaving a highlift color with 40 volume on for 45 minutes. Bleaching becomes an evil entity when you bleach the same hair over and over. It breaks. But highlift will break you too if you overlap. I guess I've gotten more comfortable with bleach since most clients have color treated hair.)
Your desired level will determine how long you need to leave it on. If you're shooting for a caramel looking blonde, bleach until it looks orangey/golden, and then find a toner that is ash or blue based. Ash counteracts red, blue counteracts orange. Bleaching lighter than an orangey gold could result in green hair if you tone with ash.
I have not forgotten that your original request was to not use bleach. I'm just stating the possibilites that are out there if you are not ready to give up on being blonde. What ever you decide, good luck and I hope you end up happy with you new look I hope this wasn't crazy complicated..
Originally Posted by cg0617
Just this past weekend I wanted to go a little bit darker from blonde (had been highlighted blonde) and since my hair was so porous, it sucked up the color big time. It was too dark for my liking so I used Color Oops to try to strip the color out. It lightened it, but didn't remove the color completely and I was left with a sorta dark, brownish-reddish color. I then highlighted it again, but it's still way dark. Could I possibly use the bleach/peroxide combinatio with a 20 lift to maybe try this and go lighter and then use a toner?
Originally Posted by JillH410
The only thing that lightens artificial pigments is indeed bleach, so doing as you suggest can work, however it sounds like your hair is already quite porous and damaged. Be prepared to lose length ( I'm very familiar with chemical haircuts!)
You can try a bleach cap, it worked for me I had dyed my hair dark brown and wanted a lighter brown, you can do the bleach cap which is less damaging than bleach alone and then do the caramely brown you want
Melie. 2c Coarse Porous(damaged) Learning to battle The FL humid weather, but I love it here!!!
Trying CG as of 7/8/11

I will try anything on my hair!


Youtube channel: MsMelySoto
box color... L'oreal has just for Dark hair.. which bring my hair up at least 3 shades.. than I do highlights.

also if your close to a Sally my friend a MEGA BLONDE adds in the no brass drops that works for her.

Last edited by drnena429; 09-08-2011 at 05:53 PM.

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