Lighten Hair Color

Long dark brown hair
Photo: Quorthon/Shutterstock
Q: I have dark brown hair - almost black. How can I change my hair color to light brown without bleaching or stripping the color? Can I use Revlon blonde hair color to achieve this, or would it turn my roots orange?
A: In short, you cannot lighten the hair color without using some form of bleaching or sufficiently strong peroxide to remove enough of the existing pigment to allow you to create the look you are after.
Based on what you describe as your starting hair color and desired color you may be able to get the right lightness level using a high-lift color process, but I don't think you will be able to get the look you desire from a boxed color in a do-it-yourself process.
I also don't think you should even consider trying to do the job on your own regardless of whether you use a single process or two-step color process. The chemicals involved are very strong and there is too great a level of risk that something will go bad in the attempt.
My best advice is to talk to your hair stylist or if money is a concern, look for a beauty school in your area where you can get the job done for a lesser rate, but still supervised by qualified professionals.
As for the question of whether using the Revlon blonde hair color would turn your roots orange, the answer is less simple: Any color process that lightens the hair's natural color must account for the natural base pigment in the hair, or there is a risk of negative results.
The base color in the hair color formula must be compatible otherwise you could end up with a bad color reaction. Lightening the natural color can often reveal the base pigments, and an incompatible base color in the hair color formula can exacerbate this effect. This is how people end up with orange, or green hair color results.
See also:
Hair coloring
How bleaching hair works
Hair color levels or lightness levels