Vegetable Hair Dye

Hair dye
Photo: Andriana Syvanych/Shutterstock
Q: I have been coloring my hair a light blonde for about 10 years. At my last appointment my stylist convinced me to put some low lights thought my hair as well as coloring the underside of my hair (from ear to ear) in the same color as the low lights.
The result being the hair underneath turned a very dark brown, not dark blonde as I wanted, although the lowlights throughout the rest of my hair look very natural. I called her to find out if we could "fix" the problem and was told the only way to do so would be to strip the hair.
She said she used a new product made of vegetable dye and if I'm patient it will fade after about 3 weeks. I'd like to know if this is true and is there another way to "fix" my hair.

A: Well, your stylist is correct in that the only way to lighten the too-dark results is to strip away the color you dislike, at least partially. There is no way to remove permanent hair color except by using a product that will disperse the color molecules that have been imbedded into the hair shaft.
Since your stylist specified having used a vegetable based dye that should pale after a period of time, you may be best served to heed her advice and give your hair some time for the color to fade. Most vegetable dyes do fade. In fact, the only vegetables dyes that can be considered permanent use additional coal-tar dyes to add pigments that are permanent. The most commonly used hair coloring formulas are based on coal-tar dyes.
If you are unwilling to wait the requested time to allow the too-dark color to fade, or if after three weeks or so the color is still too dark, speak with your stylist about possibly having a "peroxide cap" application done on the hair underneath that is too dark.
This generally involves the stylist combining hydrogen peroxide with a conditioner and applying it to the hair and allowing it to process. The mixture of conditioner with the peroxide will help prevent damage to the hair as the color is gently dispersed and the hair is slowly lightened.
It is definitely best to include your stylist in the resolution of this problem, because she knows the potential interactions of any reparative process with the color product she used initially.
See also:
Hair color stripping
Coal tar hair dyes
Fading hair color
How to color hair