The Truth About Going From Dark to Light Hair

Dark to Light

One of our guests on her journey to platinum—3 sessions so far.
Hair by Brittany Shott (@hairbybrittanyshott on Instagram)

Spring is the season for hair transitions, as many people want to go from dark to light. But you may not get the end results you dream of in just one sitting, and there’s a good reason for that.

The reality: Going from very dark to very light hair is a marathon, not a sprint. Keeping the integrity of your hair—you will not go from super dark hair to icy blonde in one appointment. We recommend taking it in stages and lifting your hair no more than two shades per session. Since this is a chemical process, color results are dependent on the individual’s hair color movement.

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At Tulip, the process will start with a thorough consultation to determine if your hair is healthy enough for a lightening process. Your stylist will want a complete hair-color (chemical) history and will analyze the condition of your hair, establish realistic desire shade, discuss timeframe, maintenance and frequency of visits expectations, first appointment end results expectations, detail desired end results with pictures and cost (budget).

As our stylist Sami explains it: “Most people don’t understand that the darker your hair, the more natural pigment lives inside of it—and that underlying pigment is red. In order to do any lightening we must first remove that red, which turns to orange and then yellow as we get lighter. This is where people typically feel brassy or warm,” she says.

“While we will apply a gloss to diminish the effect, these stages are necessary to get to our desired result. That process of removing pigment takes time to make sure we remove it evenly and without damaging your hair.”

Sami recommends starting with partial highlights—focus on the top and the front of your hair. This creates immediate lighter results without affecting the entire head. Return every 6-8 weeks for a retouch and to add additional lightening in stages.

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Home Care

Post-lightening hair care maintenance, starts with choosing a system of at-home haircare products recommended for color-treated hair to support healthy integrity. Your stylist will make customized Aveda product recommendations for your particular hair type including: shampoo, conditioner and a masque (like Damage Remedy or Dry Remedy). Color Conserve helps protect and preserve color-treated hair, while Damage Remedy will help repair dry, damaged and chemically treated hair by adding protein and protection from heat styling.

Between color appointments, it is also recommended that you gloss your hair to keep the tone of your color fresh and add shine and moisture. To ensure your hair is healthy enough to keep going lighter, it is also recommended that you use moisturizing masques or have treatments between each hair color service.

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The good news is—transitional hair can really be beautiful, as our colorists prove time and again. It takes patience and realistic expectations.

Let us take care of your spring transition!

Call us at 540.785.4004 to take the first step on your road to blonde.