If you feel your colourist has dyed your hair to be darker than what you expect, it is best to wait at least 15 days to allow the colour to settle in the hair. If the colour remains dark after 15 days, you can revisit the colourist to have it lightened professionally. On the other hand, you can also try to fade the colour yourself. We will guide you how to fade your hair to avoid any hair damage as much as possible. You should not try to bleach your hair if you have been treated by your colourist who left it too dark. Additionally, it is not a good idea to apply lighter hair dyes or use any colour removers on your hair. We will explain to you the reasons.

We are sure that you are familiar with the well-known proverb, “There is honor among thieves” which refers to the behaviour that even criminals have a code of conduct and pride among themselves. Thus it is not right at all to criticize or scold the hairdresser for the mistake they have made. A doctor is a medical expert, but that doesn’t mean they cannot make mistakes when diagnosing an illness. This is true even for a colourist who has been in the hair industry for more than thirty years. They could make a hair dye mistake and wrong judgement, leaving your hair darker than you desired. To protect ourselves from ever being wrong, we always try to be perfect, but sometimes, nothing ever turns out as we expect and that’s a core part of being human.

The colourist may be losing focus or may not have the experience and skills required to spot or overcome any potential hazards or challenges. In these cases, they will need to find solutions to fix them. Sometimes, the client can also be part of the reason causing the obstacles. For instance, a client may decide on a hair colour that is beyond what the colourist’s advice. However, we will always put ourselves in the client’s shoes.

If you feel that your colourist has dyed your hair darker than expected and you are unable to look in the mirror because of it, we will certainly understand that you will need to find a solution at the earliest possible. It’s understandable as we live in an “urgent society” and you feel let down because you have paid for a service as you have the right to request for your expectations to be met. However, these are the moments where we may have to appeal to your emotional intelligence to take control. First, for the health of your hair and next is for your pocket.

Youtube videos maybe useless in such situations. You could spend many days trying to determine which tutorial was truly performed by a genuine hair professional. Thus, it is important that you must follow this golden law if your colourist dyed your hair too dark, that is you must wait at least 15 days for the hair dye to settle down in your hair naturally. Yes, that’s right. It will take 15 days and 15 nights. You will be surprised to comprehend this concept after seeing the results 15 days later – the action of hair dye doesn’t end immediately after you have coloured your hair in the salon.

After the process of colouring your hair in the salon, the colourists will rinse the hair after they have dyed it to get rid of any excessive dye pigment which is referring to the excess hair dyes that can no longer be absorbed by your hair. This thorough rinsing means that water is rinsed until it runs clear transparently and leaves no colour residue. However, your hair dye still remains in place and functioning on your hair even after you leave the salon.

The pigments on the hair will continue to settle by penetrating through the cuticles, reaching the core where they are finally deposited and stabilized. It typically will take these hair dyes fifteen days to settle down. You won’t know if your hair has really darkened more than you want it to before that time. Hence it is important to adhere to the golden rule to wait for fifteen days.

Are you sure that the colour will be what you desire after fifteen days? Statistically, in this real world, there will always be outliers from a normal distribution and thus there are bound to be some unfortunate cases that the colour might still be too dark after fifteen days. Hence you have to make an appointment with your colourist to work with him to lighten your hair colour.

No hairdresser in our circle of colleagues isn’t open to fixing any colour job (at the expense of the hairdresser)that has failed to please the client.  The hair salon is where the real work of hairdressers takes place, not on any social media networks. All the hair salons and hairdressers fully rely on recommendations, mouth to mouth, and even online reviews. A hairdresser who loves her job and will be most willing to work with you to fix your hair if it is too dark or you do not like the colour.

We hope to share our experience with one of our clients, Jennifer as she brought with her a reference photo that she had seen on Instagram. It was a picture of a celebrity, and she showed it to us. The desired hair colour is 7.1 ash blonde as claimed by the said celebrity. Jennifer requested us to dye her hair to that reference, ash blonde shade of the celebrity. She refused to accept our explanation, no matter how many times we have tried to convince her that those reference photos could have been digitally altered. Nevertheless, Jennifer’s base colour had been a light brown 5 and we applied the ash blonde hair goal that she so desperately wished for. In our hair salon, we will always “try to be all things to all people 100% of the time”, to help her achieve her hair goal.

Eventually we had rinsed and blow dried her hair. She was very satisfied with the new ash blonde colour before she left the salon. The next day, she returned to the salon and we could see her unhappy with her hair colour by her facial expressions. Her answer was simple: she thought the colour was too dark for her and it was far darker than what the celebrity posted on Instagram. We asked her to wait for fifteen days to allow the hair dye to settle in her hair and we fixed an appointment for her to come back to us after fifteen days.

After 15 days, Jennifer returned to the salon and her hair was still darker than what she had desired. What had happened? Either the celebrity had incorrectly spelled the hair dye number, or Jennifer used a different colour base as compared to the celebrity. For a hair dye application, the finishing results of hair colour can be as much as two tones difference even if it is exactly the same number as the reference which is the celebrity hair colour in this case. After examining her hair again and confirming that it was healthy, we further applied another new hair dye to lift up by one level which is light ash blonde hair dye 8.1. Eventually, Jennifer was pleased with the final result of her hair colour.

However, what can be done if you don’t want to go to the salon again? If you have dyed your hair at the salon, and it is too dark, you might try to fade the hair dye by yourself if you do not wish to return to the hair salon. Shampoos can also fade and wear out the hair colour. This isn’t highlighting or bleaching. It will be easy to wear out the colour as you wait for the right time to dye your hair again. Permanent hair dyes typically will last 4 to 6 week. But with the technique of colour fading, it can be achieved in just 2 to 3 weeks.

Only shampoos with sulfates are required, which are detergents that will cause hair dye pigments to fade. Before you jump for joy, it is important to moisturize your hair after every wash as sulfates can dry out hair. After shampooing your hair, apply conditioner or moisturizing oil like argan or coconut.

  • Use shampoo to wash your hair. Leave it on for 3 minutes.
  • Massage from the roots to the ends. Leave it on for another 3 minutes.
  • Use warm water to rinse your hair and then apply conditioner. Allow it to sit for four minutes.

The abovementioned fading technique should be repeated at least four to five times per week. After the third or forth wash, you will notice a lighter hair colour and a faster fade. You can also start to perform the lighter hair colour application.

What You Should Not Do If Your Hair Colour is Darker After Dyed in Hair Salon?

Avoid bleaching your hair as it can be very damaging and aggressive. You should consider the fact that you have just dyed your hair, which is a chemical process. Since you cannot bleach your hair but there is another “miracle” which is the colour removers.

Are colour removers bad? They are neither good nor bad. But they all depend on the skill and experience of the user who performs the application. These results are comparable to winning the lottery. Applying them to your hair may have risks as these colour remover products can dry your hair and cause your hair to turn yellow, green or orange.

Never apply a lighter hair dye to your hair until you’ve faded the dark dye. You won’t get lighter hair by applying one hair dye over another. You’ll end up damaging your hair with even more chemicals. If you choose a lighter hair colour, you won’t notice any difference. However, orange colours will most likely be visible.


Hairdressers are not just professionals. They are also humans, so there is always some room and tolerance for error. If your hair has been dyed at the salon but is still too dark, wait for 15 days for it to settle in the hair. If your hair becomes too dark, you should return to your hair salon to get the best and most healthy solution.

You can’t fix it with anything else. It will just be Russian roulette. We all know that there is always a risk to all the consequences.