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How to Lighten Dyed Hair Without Damage
What You Will Need:
- 15-25 Vitamin C tablets (You can get these at most drugstores. Do not use chewable or gummy vitamins, only pills. Uncoated is best, but any will work.)
- Anti-dandruff shampoo (Any brand will work.)
- A bowl
- A spoon or knife to mix
- A shower cap or plastic wrap
- Your favorite deep conditioning treatment (hair mask, hot oil, etc.)
Step 1: Crush the Vitamin C
Put the Vitamin C tablets into a plastic baggie. Place them on a hard surface and use something hard to crush the tablets until you are left with a fine powder. Pour the powder from the bag into a bowl.
Short hair will need 15 crushed tablets.
Medium hair will need 15-20 crushed tablets.
Longer hair will need 20+ tablets.
Step 2: Mix the Vitamin C and Shampoo
In the bowl, add the anti-dandruff shampoo to the crushed Vitamin C. You'll be applying this paste to your hair in the next step, so make sure that you add enough shampoo so the mixture is wet enough to do this. See the picture for an idea of the texture you're aiming for:
Step 3: Apply the Vitamin C and Shampoo Mixture to Damp Hair
Before applying the mixture, wet your hair. This is to help the shampoo lather and allow the mixture to spread more easily. (It may be helpful to keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby during this step to add extra water when needed.)
Apply the paste to your hair like you would shampoo. Gently massage the mixture into hair until it foams and is spread evenly throughout the hair.
Be careful not to scrub too hard because the mixture will be very gritty and could irritate your scalp or rip fragile ends.
Step 4: Cover Hair and Wait
Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap or wrap clear plastic wrap around it.
Leave the mixture on your hair for 1-2 hours, depending on how much lightening you want to do.
This process is very drying for some and there are no negative effects for others. If you feel that your hair is very damaged, only leave the mixture on for one hour. If you have generally healthy hair and have some serious lightening to do, consider leaving it on for 1-2 hours.
Step 5: Rinse and Condition
In the shower, gently rinse out the mixture. Due to the roughness of the mixture, use the same care when rinsing it out as you did applying it to your hair.
After all of the shampoo and Vitamin C has been rinsed from you hair, apply a deep conditioning treatment. This can be your favorite hair mask or a hot oil treatment. I prefer a quick, 5-minute hot oil treatment. Hot oil treatments can be purchased from almost any drugstore.
(If you will be using a hot oil treament, prepare a cup filled with hot water to place the oil in before you begin rinsing out the mixture. Place the oil tube in the cup before you begin rinsing so that it is thoroughly warmed by the time you are ready to apply it.)
Rinse out whatever conditioning treatment you chose to use.
Step 6: Post-Lightening Care
Towel dry your hair and avoid using heat for several days to keep your hair in the best condition.
Once your hair dries, you should notice that it has lightened at least one or two shades.
- Honey has also been known to lighten hair naturally, due to the small amounts of peroxide found in it naturally. Try adding a small amount of honey to the mixture as well.
- This process can be repeated as many times as you feel are necessary to achieve the lightness you want. Just be sure to take care of your hair in between/after processes with deep conditioners and avoiding heat from styling tools.
- This process should not cause brassiness. However, if you are trying to lighten a reddish- brown color, you will be left with a lighter brown but still reddish color.
- This will NOT work to lighten blond hair or add highlights (unless very light hair has been dyed to a darker shade of blond). It only removes dye that has been added to the hair and will help to return the hair to whatever the pre-dye color was.