How To Fix An Overly Dark Dye Job (or just a bad one)

Lindsey is in her mid-twenties and hails from the Midwest, a land second only to the South in Really Bad Hair. Having spent much of her youth supporting that title, she feels compelled to help others escape a similar fate, and is convinced salvation can be found in department store product aisles. Lindsey hates seeing people with wet hair in public and is suspicious of shampoo that costs more than $20.

In the years and years that I’ve been coloring my own hair, I’ve had a total of two “oops!” dye jobs.  The first is unfortunately immortalized on my current driver’s license in the form of completely black hair.  Lots of pale people can pull off brown-black or black hair.  Apparently I am not one of them.  The second “oops” occurred yesterday.  It’s autumn and I want lovely, shiny, dark brown hair.  And I mostly have it.  I deviated from my normal hair color brand and shades, choosing something seemingly innocuous and ended up with almost-black bangs, roots, and ends.  The middle?  A medium brown.  Ombre may be a trend, but NOT ON YOUR HAIR.

Unable to afford a professional fix and headed to a wedding this weekend, I and my patchy hair went to a beauty supply store, where they presented me with two options:  buy a professional dye kit, bowl, brush, developer, etc or buy L’Oreal Color Zap to bleach the color out.  I went with the third option:  Google.  Armed with the knowledge of the masses, I went back to the drugstore and my mainstay hair color, as well as bought some dish soap.  The unsealed hair color box made me suspicious, so I checked to make sure the numbers on the bottle and on the box matched.  They didn’t.  When I was in high school, a friend regaled me with a story about how her co-workers used to switch hair dyes around when they were bored at work.  Horrified, I’ve checked and double-checked product numbers ever since.  My neurotic behavior has finally been vindicated!

Back at home I lathered up my head (particularly the roots and the ends) with some Palmolive, rinsed and repeated.  I let it air dry, and apologized to my poor, innocent hair, promising to buy it ice cream or maybe a pony.  At the very least, some really deep conditioner.  It is of course, entirely possible that I botched this one and applied it poorly.  But I’m skeptical of that being the lone culprit having colored my hair dozens of times before, and am going to go ahead and point some blame at the brand.  Whose name will go unmentioned so as to protect the innocent.

Screw that, it was GARNIER.

In any case, thanks to a little dish soap (another alternative being a good clarifying shampoo) and some freshly and carefully-applied L’Oreal Feria, my hair is rested, redyed, and ready to work.  Perhaps a little bit more fragile, but no longer resembling the back end of a raccoon.  I obviously wouldn’t recommend this as a regular antidote to overly darkened hair, but as a quick fix?  It totally worked.

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