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Back to Blonde

Q: I'm a 55 year old woman. My natural hair color was brown with reddish highlights. As I aged, my hair turned gray and I started using blonde haircolor on it with great success. I was always complimented on my beautiful hair (healthy, shiny, great color). However, lately I've wanted to go back to my natural color (thinking it might look better with my skin tone) so finally bought a box of reddish brown color and applied it. Although it turned out well and it looks nice, I am shocked at how different I look and I now feel mousy, and now I think my skin tone looked better with the blonde! Now I'm wondering if I'll be able to go back to blonde without a lot of trouble. I am so hoping that you will tell me I can just buy a box of blonde hair color (just like before) and apply it with no problems. I really don't want to strip this darker hair color out first and am hoping that it can just be a one-step process as before. I am not in a big hurry and probably will make no changes for at least a couple weeks.
 
A: Whether the results you want can be achieved in a one-step process depends on the amount of lightening you want to achieve. If you are looking to lift the color by 3-4 levels, this can be accomplished through a high-lift single process color. However, any lift greater than 5 levels generally requires that the hair be pre-lightened.
 
      Unfortunately, you generally cannot achieve effective high-lift color in a boxed hair color. You will need to visit a beauty supply store and get your desired hair color and a 40-volume peroxide developer.
 
      If the color you want to have can be achieved by lifting your hair color 3-4 levels, then try the color and high-volume developer listed above. However, if the color change is 5 levels or more to the lighter spectrum, you should consider visiting a salon to have the color you want restored.
 
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