My Hair Dye is Too Dark, Can I lighten it with baking soda, or is it risky?

after bleaching

  • No. It isn’t a good idea to use baking soda to lighten hair dye that is too dark.
  • Baking soda wasn’t created to be used on hair. If you use it for hair purposes, you’ll only damage your hair with an orange, yellowish, or reddish color.
  • So, what you should do if your hair color is too dark is wait for at least three washes to know what the final color will be like. Then, make the best decision for your hair.


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I’m sorry to throw your expectations to the wind.

I know there are many videos and articles online that talk about how you can lighten a hair dye with baking soda.

However, if you’re about to use baking soda because your hair color is too dark, stop now!


Why don’t I recommend lightening your hair with baking soda? There are several reasons:

  • First, because baking soda is not for hair.
  • Second, because the results will be unpredictable.
  • Third, and most importantly, if you recently dyed your hair, you should allow several days for the color to settle in.


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Even though baking soda seems harmless, pure, and innocent,  you shouldn’t forget that it’s an oxidant that can damage your hair. 

Did you know that baking soda has a similar effect to bleach powder?


Of course, the difference lies in that  while bleach powder is designed to be used on hair. Instead, baking soda wasn’t created for that purpose. 


Regarding the results you can get from baking soda, I really wouldn’t know what to anticipate.

  • If your hair dye is blonde and looks too dark, you may end up with yellow and orange strands.
  • If your hair dye is a brunette, you may end up with red and orange strands.

So, it’s true.


 If you want to lighten your dyed hair with baking soda, the results you’ll find are unpredictable. On top of that, you’ll damage your hair. 


I know that baking soda is used for many purposes. For example, to fight heartburn, exfoliate the skin, and even whiten teeth.

However, using it to lighten a hair dye that got too dark is a bad idea.


baking powder to lighten hair

You need to mix baking soda with lemon juice to make it work.

When you do,  what you get is a misture that works like a 20-volume developer. 

Therefore, your hair is at risk of losing moisture and breakage. What’s more, you’ll spend months and months doing intensive moisturizing treatments to restore your hair health.


When I bleach my hair in the salon, I know in advance what color I’ll get according to the developer I use. For example:

  • If I want to lighten one or two shades, I use a 10-volume developer.
  • If I need to lighten two or three shades, my choice is the 20-volume developer.
  • And if I want to lighten four shades, after evaluating the hair, I apply a 30-volume developer.

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But, if you lighten your colored hair with baking soda, the result will be unpredictable because it’ll fade the color

lighten with homemade ingredients

What do I mean?

That your color will remain the same, only a little more orange or reddish. Why?


Because all colors have several different pigments.

Take brown 4 for example. It’s made up of red and green. The predominant pigment is red. The baking soda will fade the remaining green and leave your entire mane reddish.


Alternatively, during a bleaching process, all the pigments in your hair are bleached from the core. That’s why colorists always know what results to expect.

 If you’re still not convinced that baking soda isn’t recommended for lightening color-treated hair, consider this: baking soda can dry out your hair and break it in just 30 minutes. 

Then, apart from having your hair too dark, you’ll need to fight to save it from damage.


If I can’t use baking soda to lighten a hair dye that’s too dark, what can I do?

waiting to dye her hair again


Yes, you read that right, wait.


I know it sounds hard for you, but the first thing you need to do is wait for a few days.

 When you apply a hair dye, it takes seven to ten days for the hair to absorb the color. 


The hair dye pigments must settle inside your hair, and that process takes time.

Also, after absorbing the color, your hair expels the leftover pigments. Then, a miracle happens.


If your colored hair had a very dark color, you’ll notice it lighter.

I repeat:  if you applied a hair dye and the color was too dark, wait for at least seven days to see the final result. The color can vary up to one shade. 


And if you don’t want to wait for those seven days, you can speed up the process with a little trick: wash your hair more often.

Although it is not recommended, it’ll be less harmful than using baking soda. And if the color is still too dark, it’s best to go to a salon. All color removal processes can cause a lot of damage to the hair.



You need to use common sense when surfing the web. Not all YouTube tutorials are created by professionals.

If you don’t believe me, just check that the influencer of these videos usually explain that they aren’t hair professionals. Instead, they only talk about their own experience.

I also invite you to research people who ruined their hair by lightening their color using baking soda. If you don’t want to be a part of that list, use common sense.

Now tell me, do you still plan to lighten your hair color with baking soda?

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