Update 4/21/15: In this post I recommend several products by Paul Mitchell, my favorite brand as a professional hairstylist. Until recently, you could only purchase these products from a salon or hairstylist, but you can now purchase them online at Loxa Beauty via this, or any of the other partner links in this post! Loxa Beauty is the only website approved to sell authentic PM products.
Are you itching to switch up your hair color? Whether you want to work toward blonde, a pastel version of the rainbow color you’re rocking now, or you want to try something completely different, it’s a good idea to try and gently fade your current color before turning to harsh chemicals like bleach or hair color removers.
Here are 5 tips to help you lighten your current hair color. These tips work best for semi-permanent colors (colors that you don’t mix a developer with, like Manic Panic, RAW and Splat), but will also work for demi-permanent and permanent colors – the results will just be more subtle and take more time. If you’re looking to achieve a pastel color, you’ll also want to read my article about how to make pastel hair color (it saves money!). And then check out my 5 tips to make hair color last, so that your new hue can stick around for a while when you’re done!
1. For non-pourous hair (hair that wasn’t lightened before it was colored), you can remove most of it by shampooing your hair with a mixture of Baking Soda and Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two (available online here). Usually with semi-permanent colors, the hair is pre-lightened before applying the color so that it will be extra bright, so this probably won’t get rid of all of it for most of you.
2. Wash your hair with hot water. It doesn’t have to be scalding, just as warm as you are comfortable with. The hot water will open up the cuticle of your hair, allowing color pigment to come out. Make sure you finish your wash with cooler water to close the cuticle back down and make your hair feel shiny and healthy.
3. Use a “clarifying” or “chelating” shampoo, like Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three (available here). This is what swimmers use to get the chlorine out of their hair. It deep cleans the hair to help remove minerals and chemicals, including hair color.
4. Wash more often. I don’t recommend shampooing your hair more than once, twice at the most in one day or you are going to start damaging it. However, if you are used to washing your hair every other day, or every third day (which I hope you are!), you can definitely knock a day off your in-between time while you are working on fading your color. Make sure that you are loving your hair with some professional quality conditioner, or deep conditioning treatments like Paul Mitchell Super Strong Treatment (get it here) during this process too!
5. Depending on your starting color and the brand that you are using, your color should be pretty well faded after doing this for a few days. If you are wanting to go platinum blonde, or to some color that is drastically different, then you’re probably still going to need to bleach it a little bit with a low volume developer. I don’t recommend lightening your own hair at home, I’ve had to fix too many bad bleaching jobs to feel comfortable telling you that you can just go for it. It’s best to leave this part to a professional!
I hope this helps you to mix it up a little bit! If you try out these tips, let me know how it works out for you and post pictures of your new hair color! If you’d like to purchase any of the products mentioned in this post, you can get them and many other professional products at Loxa Beauty! Loxa is the only website approved by Paul Mitchell to sell their products.
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By Kelsi Eldredge