Why did my hair dye turn out darker? I guarantee it’s not because of the hair dye

woman touches her head in surprise because the hair dye is darker

There are two reasons why hair dye can turn out darker:

  • Reason 1: you chose a different color or brand of hair dye than the one you usually apply. In this case, you can use a clarifying shampoo twice a week to fade the color until you notice your hair is lighter.
  • Reason 2: When you touched up your color, you applied the dye from the roots to the ends. It caused a buildup of dye on the lengths and ends. As a result, the roots are lighter than the rest of the hair. At the next color renewal, apply the dye only to the ends. This way, the resulting color won’t get darker.


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Why does my hair go so dark when I dye it? For these 2 reasons


As you can see,   if the dye got darker, all the alarm bells shouldn’t go off.  

This means you shouldn’t act on the spur of the moment looking for extreme solutions, such as bleaching your hair or using a color remover.

Those options will lighten the color of your hair, but they’ll also leave it drier and more brittle. You could even burn your hair if you bleach it.


I want you to know that the dye didn’t get darker because you left it on longer than indicated.


woman covers her hair after dyeing it

  It’s time to stay calm and learn from your mistakes.  


On the other hand, if you apply the dye less than 48 hours ago, your hair will look darker. The color is now settling, and your hair will expel the excess in the first wash.

Then, the dye will be a little lighter.


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However, if it’s been more than 48 hours, you washed your hair, and feel the dye has become darker, let’s analyze what could have happened. Of course, we’ll also find a solution for you.


If the hair color became darker because you changed brand or color, you can use a clarifying shampoo

herbal essences clarifying shampoo

When a new client comes to my salon to color her hair, I’m always interested in the history of her hair. I usually ask her if she colored it before, what hair dye brands and colors she used, etc.

I don’t do this because I’m nosy, and I’m interested in these topics because each brand and type of dye has a special blend of pigments.


For example:

  • GARNIER NUTRISSE browns are special because they are always golden.
  • L’OREÁL PREFÉRENCE offers unique auburn red dyes.
  • REVLON COLORSILK specializes in ash blondes.


Therefore,   when you touch up your hair color, you should always use the same shade and brand. This way, you’ll prevent the dye from turning your hair darker.  


Even if you choose only one tone darker of the same dye brand or if it seems like a minimal difference, it could darken your hair.

For example:

  •   If you apply blonde 7 instead of light blonde, your hair will be much darker   because blonde 7 contains orange and yellow, while light blonde 8 does not contain orange. Therefore, your hair will look darker if you apply blonde 7.
  •   Alternatively, if you apply you apply brown 4 instead of light brown 5,   the same thing will happen to you. Brown 4 contains orange and will darken your hair.


woman washes her hair with clarifying shampoo

  To solve it, wash your hair twice a week with a clarifying or detox shampoo.   It’ll quickly fade the color until you reach the shade your hair had before applying the dye.

However, I recommend you apply a moisturizing mask once a week because clarifying shampoos dry out the hair.

When you notice your hair is lighter, stop using the clarifying shampoo.


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To prevent the dye from making your hair darker, touch up only the roots

woman applies dye to the roots so that the hair color does not darken and they take on color

Otherwise, if you apply the dye to all of your hair, you’ll build up layers of color in your hair.

  The only section of your hair that you need to dye is your roots, which grow with your natural color.  

How long have you been coloring your hair the same color?


Let’s imagine you’ve been using the same color for eight months. This means that your lengths and ends have eight layers of color while your roots have only one layer of color.

That’s why you notice your lengths and ends are darker. There’s a buildup of dye in those sections that makes your color get darker.


If you’re desperate, you can use clarifying shampoo to fade some of the color from your lengths and ends. However,   my advice is that you just touch up your roots from the next color renewal.  

As you wash your hair, your lengths and ends will lose the most intense color.


Always choose the same brand and shade of dye to prevent the dye from making your hair darker. At each color renewal, only apply the dye to your roots.

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