Having dark locks doesn’t mean you have to skip out on coloring your hair.
In fact, dark hair can easily be changed without the use of bleach and without going lighter.
You can easily find a color for just your roots between salon visits, or you can do a total hair transformation and change up the entire shade.
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Is It Safe To Dye Dark Hair At Home?
While I always recommend you go to a professional for professional services, you can safely and effectively color your hair yourself at home.
I get things in life come up and if you MUST do your own hair color at home, let me (a professional cosmetologist) help guide you in the correct direction.
Changing your hair color at home will 100% be dependent on the brand you use and the technique. So don’t just go to the nearest drug store and pick up a box color, instead use one of these recommended brands in this article!
Can You Dye Dark Hair Lighter At Home?
My professional opinion upfront to 95% of you would be no, and here’s why.
Most men and women have had their hair chemicals altered at some point in their life. This includes any chemical service like perms or chemical straightening, as well as hair color services.
If you are one of the few people who have never touched their hair with any chemical service of any kind, then you have what is referred to as virgin hair. In this case, you can lighten your hair without the process of bleach and can apply hair color over your natural hair to change it.
To be noted: if you have colored your hair, but it has been a few years, and you have colored over it to match your natural hair color, it is still there. This is because once you color your hair, you have forever altered the chemical makeup, and just because you can’t physically see the hair color, it is there until it grows out and you cut it off.
This means if you have long hair with the previous color on it and you go to dye it, your real natural virgin hair up top will color differently vs. the bottom hair with the previous color on it. This will result in two-tone hair color, and it won’t be pretty.
This is why darker-haired ladies should go to a professional if they want to go lighter because they will know how to work with your hair history.
What Are The Different Options For Dying Dark Hair At Home?
Having dark hair means you have a few different options for changing up your hair color.
I would suggest skipping the whole going lighter process and opting for a few of the options below.
1. Change the tone of your hair
Hair color looks different from person to person due to its tone. You can change your tone to cool, warm or neutral.
For the most subtle change, I suggest figuring out your hair level and choosing one with the tone you want.
If you like your hair’s tone and shade, you can still color over it to increase shine and add more depth.
Not sure which tone is best with your eye or skin color? Use this chart below as a nice little cheat sheet.
As you can see, if you have a neutral skin tone, you are one of the lucky ones who look good in both warm, neutral and cool tones.
Also, keep in mind, rules were made to be broken. For example, while traditionally, someone with fair pale skin should stick to cool or neutral tones if they have brown or hazel eyes, a warm tone would complement them quite well.
Another untraditional idea that I personally love is to match your hair tone with your wardrobe’s tone.
2. Dye Your Hair Darker
Dark hair makes up a little over half of the color chart, which means daying your hair darker is always an option.
Remember, if you are applying a dark color over a grown-out ombre or balayage, the lighter pieces will stay lighter, and the dark roots will color darker.
From my professional expertise, if you do anything level 3 or down, you can typically do an all-over darker tone and have it be uniform throughout. Going this dark will ensure a more even-looking color from top to bottom.
If you have naturally light hair and want to go darker, I suggest sticking with 2-3 shades from your natural hair color. For example: if you are a natural level 7, don’t go below a level 4.
Dye Dark Hair With Fun Colors – Green, Blue, Purple, Red
Cool colors like green, blue, purple, and even red are great for dark hair. However, stay away from lighter colors such as yellow, pink, or orange.
Adding in undertones of fun colors can compliment and be eye-catching to change up dark hair color.
I have naturally dark black hair, and playing with colorful tones in my hair was the first hair color change I ever did.
Out of all the styles I have had, I got the most compliments when adding fun undertone colors like blue or purple.
It’s super fun to try it in the summer because you can really notice a difference when the sunlight hits it.
You can play around with the brand to get a more noticeable or a more subtle color difference.
How To Get Highlights On Dark Hair Without Bleach
You can easily get more dimensions with hair color if you take a few pieces and lighten them.
To do this without bleach, you can use lemon, sun-in, or naturally from the sun.
This way, when you color your hair, the lighter pieces will color lighter and pop out, giving your hair contrast and dimension.
To do this, grab random sections of hair and lighten them with the above methods.
I suggest leaving the top crown layer dark so you won’t see the outgrowth as the highlighted pieces grow out.
I don’t suggest people try the highlighting method if they have very straight hair; this will work better for those with wavy or curly hair. Blending the highlights on straight hair can be tricky, especially for those trying to do it themselves.