Is Your Balayage Too Dark? 5 effective ways to lighten it without screwing it up

Smoothing changes the color of dyed hair

Did your balayage end up too dark?


If your balayage is too dark, don’t freak out, because there is definitely a solution.


  • The first thing that you should know is that the color takes 48-72 hours to set.

That means that the color that your balayage is right now will lighten as days go by.

So, on the one hand, there’s that.


  • Also, as an effect of the products you wash your hair with, your balayage will lighten as times passes.

Shampoo contains sulfates, which, since it’s a pretty strong ingredient, deteriorates the pigments in your dye with every wash.


 So, if you just got your balayage today or yesterday, don’t worry because your hair will lighten within a few days. 


Now, if you got your balayage more than just a few days ago – more than ten days ago, for example, and you don’t like it because it’s dark, then that’s when we’re talking about something else.

Lightening a dark balayage is possible, but it’s not easy to do, especially if you have to change the base color.


You can take it or leave it, but my advice would be to go back to the salon where you got the balayage done originally so they can touch up the balayage.

If you weren’t happy with the salon, look for another one that you think is trustworthy. Look up reviews of salons on Google, Instagram, or Facebook.

 But don’t even think about trying to lighten your balayage at home if you don’t have experience in hair coloring because the results will be unpredictable at best. 


Once that’s clear, we can continue.

I’m going to explain what the process of lightening a very dark balayage is.


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How to lighten a dark balayage

materials required

The first thing to understand is that your balayage consists of two different parts.

  • The base
  • And the balayage (or bleach)


Like I was telling you before, if you have to lighten the base color, your only option is to go to a professional salon.

Now, if you only need lighten the bleached part, you can consider doing that part on your own at home, but only if you have experience dyeing your hair, of course.


So, first, I want to tell you about how to lighten your balayage’s base, and then we’ll talk about the bleach.


How to lighten your balayage’s base color

The only way to lighten your balayage’s base color is with dye.

You should mix the color that you’re trying to achieve for your balayage with a 20-volume peroxide, which will lighten your hair color by two shades.


  • If your balayage’s base color is brown (5), then you can ask your stylist to apply a dye that is dark blonde (7). That way, you won’t have to bleach your hair again, but the lightening effect will still be evident.
  • If your balayage’s base color is a darker color, like dark brown (3), you can ask your stylist to apply a dye that is brown (5), and you’ll see how it lightens.


Now you know more or less what the theory is, but how do we end up with this in practice?

Remember that we have to work only on the balayage’s base without touching the ends.


You’ll need to mix the peroxide with the dye, which will all come included in the color kit.

And then, you apply it to your roots up to where the balayage begins.

 The hardest part is that you have to match the irregularity of the top of the balayage in each section and avoid staining your balayage with the dye. 


I’ll repeat it – if you don’t want to ruin your balayage, your only choice is to do it with an experienced stylist. Why?

Because it’s hard to apply the dye only on the base without touching the ends.


How to lighten the balayage’s dye

If the fading effect of your balayage looks very dark, there are three ways to lighten it.

There are two easy ways, and a third one, which I don’t recommend because of its complexity.


Let’s start with the easy ways to lighten your balayage.


  • The first option, like we said at the beginning, would be to let you balayage lighten as you wash it over time. This will happen whether you like it or not, because of the effect that your cleaning products and water’s salinity have on your hair.

Remember that many shampoos contain sulfates. Sulfate is a detergent that is very effective in eliminating dirt from your hair, but it also takes everything else with it, including color pigments, in the case of dyed hair.


  • The second easy way to lighten your balayage is to do a keratin or botox treatment. Either of those treatments will lighten your hair two shades.

You can do a keratin or botox treatment in a professional salon, or you can buy a kit to do it at home.


  • Now, if neither of these two simple methods are right for you, then your only option is to bleach your hair again. Which means, redo your balayage.

Because bleaching your hair again is the same thing as getting another balayage.

 If you decide to go for this option, I’d recommend letting a few months go by between one balayage and the next, especially if your hair was weakened after the first one. The only thing you’ll get out of doing two balayage so close together is severely damaging your hair.  


I’d recommend, if possible, that you start with one of the two easy options. That way, you might be able to lighten your hair without having to put it through so much.



So, now, you know.

There are a few different ways to lighten a dark balayage.


The way you choose will depend on the result you’re looking for and other factors.

Like I’ve said, some of these options require you to go to a salon, like if you want to lighten the balayage’s base.

And some other options are much easier, and you can do them at home, like a keratin treatment.


Now I’d like to know more about you and your hair.

Have you gotten a balayage? Is it too dark for your taste?

Which method are you considering to lighten it?

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