Hair color can come out darker than you intended, turning your plans for a subtle change on its head. When that happens, celebrity hairstylist Ricardo Rojas recommends reaching for a clarifying shampoo to help soften the color. "A clarifying shampoo will help lift the darker color and fade and lighten it quickly," said Rojas. "I recommend always purchasing this with your box color if you are trying an at-home color for the first time, just in case you need it."
If you're not too nervous to give another DIY color process a go, Rojas explained that you can also utilize a bleach kit on the ends of your hair to achieve a trendy new look. "When you color your hair, it is always concentrated more at the ends of your hair, and lighter towards the scalp," said Rojas. "So, a secret to change the style, is to lighten the ends of your hair, which will give a lighter, more dimensional look to your hair overall."
He cited the rule of thumb that you should only apply it to the bottom few inches of your hair — about two to two-and-a-half. "This is a general rule of thumb, but alter this number according to the length of your hair," said Rojas. "The longer the hair, the more inches you should paint. It's very important to follow the directions of the box to not over process."
You can also try something called "bleeding the color" if you're still unsatisfied. "You can do this by mixing a glass of warm water with a tablespoon of salt and some inexpensive, drug-store variety shampoo that contains sodium laurel sulfate in the ingredient listing," said Markham. "Salt and sodium laurel sulfate are known exfoliators and will strip the color from the hair. Apply to the hair and work into a lather. Cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then rinse." If it's still too dark, he recommends repeating the process once more.
Most importantly, Rojas recommends keeping up a good hair care routine during at-home coloring. Both dyeing and stripping color can take a toll on your hair. "Nourishing hair masks have never been more vital part of your hair care regime."