View Full Version : Does hair coloring remove highlights?

April 7th, 2008, 09:07 PM
I had a question about hair coloring I'm hoping someone here will have some information about... I've never colored my hair before but I was thinking of trying it this spring. I read that you can lighten your hair a few shades by using hair coloring, (without bleaching) if you choose a hair color that is a few shades lighter than your natural color... I just want my hair a little bit lighter.
Anyway, my question is about highlights. I love my natural highlights, which are golden blonde. When the sun hits my light brown/dark blonde hair it looks gold/blonde and individual strands sparkle as if they're made of gold thread!
The problem is I don't know if using a hair color on my hair would remove my natural highlights? Does anyone know? I don't want to color my hair if my highlights will be dulled or go away...

April 7th, 2008, 09:12 PM
Yes, hair coloring will completely cover up your highlights. AND you cannot get a lighter color without bleach or peroxide. Sometimes the formula will say that it contains no peroxide, bleach, or ammonia, but as soon as it is exposed to air, it will form one or all of those compounds. If you love your natural highlights, leave your hair color alone.

April 7th, 2008, 09:13 PM
If I understand you correctly you want an all over color?

Yes, its most likely going to diminish the appearance of your natural highlights. Maybe look into a glaze. I'm not all that knowledgeable about them although I have one on my hair now. My problem was that the women who did my highlights did a terrible job and they were super blonde. I got a glaze over the whole thing to make them more subtle.

April 7th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Yes, I want my hair to be a little bit lighter all over. I read that a hair color can lighten hair (without bleach) but only by a few shades...
If it's going to remove my highlights though I'm not going to try it...

April 7th, 2008, 09:29 PM
If you dont have any color I def recommend not starting to color. I wish I have listened to my mom when I was 16 and she told me not to color my hair.

April 7th, 2008, 09:36 PM
My guess is those highlights will more or less go away, given what my hair did--I dyed my hair to a light blonde (just a box dye from the store, no prelightening -- ie, peroxide only, no bleach, one-step rather than two) for about five years. I'm a dark ashy/neutralish blonde, and my hair lightens easily.

The sparklies also went away (but then, I was going to a lighter blonde--if you stay on the medium to darker end on the golden side, you might still have 'em, maybe)...and my lighter patches at my temples/nape/hairline actually got a tad darker and brighter (they are rather light and quite dull, naturally).

But, yep, the end result was pretty much one colour -- no natural highlights, etc., and if you want to keep 'em, I'd just leave your hair alone.

Riot Crrl
April 7th, 2008, 09:39 PM
I read that a hair color can lighten hair (without bleach) but only by a few shades...

That's true, but with ammonia and/or peroxide, which will flatten the color as much as the same amount of bleach to lighten it, pretty much. And be almost as damaging.

April 7th, 2008, 09:49 PM
You could get some lighter highlights foiled in. Just ask them to do a lot of fine ones and to also weave out your natural ones and leave them alone. This will give you the appearance of having lighter hair without losing your natural highlights that you like.

April 7th, 2008, 09:50 PM
That sounds good but probably expensive :P

Maybe I'll just go out in the sun more this spring and see how light I can get my hair naturally... It usually goes a bit lighter in the summer from the sun but I don't go out in the sun a lot normally.

April 8th, 2008, 01:35 AM
I cant understand why you would want to dye your hair if you like the natural highlights you have? dying can look nice but you loose the variety of colours which virgin hair has plus the up keep can be a pain.

If its not broke hun, dont fix it!

April 8th, 2008, 02:11 AM
It's one of the main downsides about colouring hair - that, unless you go through the extra effort of putting in chemical highlights, the hair will all turn out uniformly the same colour. Even those brands that promise to give you a naturally highlighted look - like Natural & Easy - in my experience produce the exact same uni-coloured look at least on the second application. Even if your hair is partly grey (that is, if you have actual white hairs intermingling). So your hopes of retaining your natural highlights will be crashed. At the very most there will be a little variation when you first dye your hair and after that in the only-once dyed root section. This happens even if you try "just" to do the roots each time, since some degree of doubling up is unavoidable if you want to make sure you are covering all the virgin roots.

Plus, you need to be aware that the lighter the hair colour is that you are using, the greater the damage to your hair will be. I was quite amazed when I tried to use a dark ash blonde once as opposed to my usual medium browns, I found it to be noticeable more aggressive on the skin as well as making my hair feel much worse afterwards than one of my usual dyes (while staying with the same brand). I think the lighter coloured dyes are significantly higher in peroxide (or some other rather aggressive ingredient) in order to create just that lift effect you are looking for.

So, if I were you, I'd seriously reconsider if you are prepared to go down the route of hair colouring and give up your hairs natural highlights and sheen. The sheen of coloured hair is, in my experience, always slightly different, more intense / "glaring" to start out with while virgin hair has a softer sheen. But coloured hair is prone to loosing its sheen gradually during the period before the next touch-up, only this will make it look duller rather than softer.



April 8th, 2008, 05:02 AM
Highlights are just a fancy name for bleach. Dyeing your hair lighter than its natural color is just bleaching it then putting another color onto the bleached hair. So at the end of the day, the results are mostly the same, though highlights often refer to bleaching strands rather than all the hair.

I agree that getting on the hair dye bandwagon is a bad idea. Once you start bleaching/dyeing/highlighting your hair, it is very hard to stop doing so, and you end up damaging your hair.

As someone who dyed lighter than her hair for 15+ years, and whose hair was always dry and damaged, I am very suspicious of regular dyeing or bleaching.