14 answers

What to Do with a Bad Highlight

I need some advice. My daughter has been begging me for years to highlight her hair. I thought I would do it myself. I used a cap and pulled her hair strands through and put the lightener in her hair. It was supposed to turn her hair a light brown seeing she has darker brown hair. Instead it turned it blond! She hates it and I am unsure what you can do about it...I am thinking that it bleached her hair and I don't know if that can be stripped or if you have to recolor over it. If you have to recolor it,how long do you wait?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank You everyone for the Advice. I will bring her to the hairdresser this weekend to correct it. For all of you who "Questioned" me letting my 10 year old have her hair hightlighted, a little back story may help explain this. My sister in law has her hair highlighted and dyed all the time. She's a pretty and well put together person. My older daughter loves the way she looks and absolutely loves her hair and has always wanted to emulate that. Although we've been resistant to this for years, we had a talk with her and we are very assured it's not because she thinks she's not attractive or anything of the sort. We figured we'd try doing it at home as a reward for Straight A's on her report card. Sort of turned out the way she didn't want, but it has curbed her enthusiasm for changing her hair and has made her appreciate what she has already. Thanks again for the advise!

Featured Answers

It sounds like it might be time to take her to a professional. Doing too much at home could overprocess her hair and really damage it. Good luck!

More Answers

It sounds like it might be time to take her to a professional. Doing too much at home could overprocess her hair and really damage it. Good luck!

can you call the number on the box? I know when I've dyed my hair (a diaster!) i went to sally's beauty supply and shampooed my hair with metal x? I think that's the name. (recommended from Clariol)

Maybe this is a good thing! This experience might curb the interest/need for highlights for a while? I would go to a salon, they have a better eye and color range for picking her natural color out, or can mix colors to match exactly. You get something from a store and it might be an equivalent disaster.

Just dye her whole head with a brown close to her natural color. If you'd like to try highlights again - take her to a salon & they'll foil it w/the proper color. You probably left the highlight color in far too long for it to come otu that much lighter - as well as her having 'virgin' hair i'm sure. Wow - 10 yrs old coloring her hair?!?!? I guess times ARE changing ... I didn't highlight my hair for the first time until i was 17! and my mom IS the queen of hair coloring/highlighting/etc!!!!

Lightener is bleach, so the parts that turned blond have already been bleached. Once the color has been stripped out, the only thing you can do to change it is put a darker dye over it. If you want to go back to the original color, you'll use a dye that is that same shade. If you want to tone down the blond highlights, you could also try using a medium brown color - it won't change the color of the darker hair but will darken the bleached part.

All that said, unless you can live with another potential disaster, I highly recommend that you have it fixed by a professional. I've been to beauty school and seen all kinds of bad at-home jobs that take forever to correct. It doesn't have to be very expensive, and you can be sure that you won't wind up with another mistake. If you do decide to try highlights at home again, stay away from the cap - the results are always unpredictable because you can't see where the hair you pull through is coming from.

Good luck!


Yrs ago my friends had colored my hair the same way & the same thing happened. I felt like a freak! Horrified about going to work on Monday looking that way, i went to the store & bought a hair color my natural shade to color it back to normal. It was fine. I'm not sure why a 10 yr old wants her hair dyed, but whatever. My daughters 8 & i dont think i'd allow it at such a young age. Just my own opinion. =]
Good luck

At least it didn't turn her hair orange I know a lot of people w/ dark hair that turns orange anytime they try to lighten it w/o a professional. I would say take her to the salon and if she wants it darker they can fix it or they can get it as close to her natural color as possible.

As a professional DONOT attempt to recolor your daughters hair. The lightened pieces may grab the color and be too dark as well as herown color will darken too. It is best to wait a few days and let the color settle it may get less intense over time. If you must do something and cannot afford to take her to a salon buy only a non permanent/tempory color they only last for a short period of time but will not damage her hair and let it grow out or you'll be coloing that hair from now on. Good luck

I'd take her to a hairdresser and use this experience as a "teaching moment" for why you did not want her to do it in the first place.I'm sure she is beautiful just as she is and does not need highlights to maker her more so.

If you can afford it a trip to the salon is your safest bet at this point. I am not a professional but, yes you have stripped the color out of her hair so to go darker you would have to add color back in. What color and for how long, that is the tricky part (and where a professional can help). Good luck!!

Hi M., I recommend going to Sally Beauty and purchasing purple shampoo. The purple shampoo will cut any brassiness of the blonde and should tone it down a bit. Your daughter can use the shampoo once a week. If that doesn't work I recommend purchasing a semi-permanent color (the kind that will wash out in a few weeks); and purchase a color that is the closest to her natural color. Of course, if it's in the budget having a professional do this would be ideal! =) Good luck with your daughter!

Sorry, but highlighting a 10 year old's hair???? and you say she's been asking your for years????? Anyway, just get Loving Care or one of those wash out hair dyes closest to her original hair color, it will hopefully tone down the blonde until it grows out.

Hi M.! You can take her to a salon right away and they can put a toner in your daughter's hair to achieve the color that she was looking for. They will use a demi-permanent color that won't damage the hair and gradually will wash out. It will be a quick fix. I recommend going to a salon that carries Redken Shades EQ. Best of luck!!

Go to your hairdresser. She can probably fix it. I was actually just talking to mine recently about this. She was telling me how many times people have come to her after having dyed their hair for years on their own, but then they mess up. She has worked miracles on people's hair to make it a more natural color. So I would see what a hairdresser recommends doing. Preferably if you have someone you trust. Someone who isn't going to tell you that you need a bunch of stuff you don't and charge you an arm and a leg. Good luck. I would say if you lived in CT I could give you the name of my hairdresser, but I don't think you want to drive 3 hours or more to fix this.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.