Decolorize your hair safely

Are you tired of your dark hair? Do you also want something different? Do you also want the same golden blonde locks as Beyoncé? Then decolorization is something for you! You can choose to go to the hairdresser, but you can also opt to do it yourself, considering your budget in these times of crisis. How do you approach it? And what should you definitely take into account?

The hair

A person’s natural hair color is determined by the melamine content of the hair. There are two types of melamine, the dark eumelanin and the light pheomelanin, which differ in proportion to each other. Blonde or red hair has more pheomelanin than eumelanin and black or dark hair contains more eumelanin than pheomelanin. Of the two pigment types, eumelanin is easiest to remove through decolorization. This is also why black/brown hair that is bleached tends to turn red.

Types of colorings

Permanent hair coloring

Permanent hair coloring is necessary to replace the pigment in the hair with the chosen hair color. It is possible to obtain a wide spectrum of colors. Permanent hair coloring always starts with a bleaching process. A pigment color of your choice is then added. The ingredients in permanent hair color include ammonia, peroxide and a pigment.

Semi-permanent hair coloring

With such a coloring, bleaching is not necessary to obtain the final color. They contain an alkaline base instead of ammonia. With this coloring it is therefore not possible to lighten natural pigments. The color pigments are absorbed into the hair, but do not reach the core of the hair fiber.

Temporary hair coloring

A temporary hair color has little coverage, but is suitable for livening up the natural hair color. For dull, damaged or lackluster hair, temporary hair coloring provides shine and shade.

If you want to lighten a dark hair color, it is necessary that you first bleach your hair. How many shades you can lighten your hair depends on your natural hair color and the type of hair color you use. With a bleaching cream it is possible to lighten the hair up to five shades.

Color theory

You can determine your hair color based on a picture depicted on the box with hair dye. The different ones are shown with numbers. Normally a 10 is light and a 1 is black. Your package may have a different numbering, so always pay attention.

  1. black
  2. dark black/brown
  3. Black brown
  4. dark brown
  5. medium brown
  6. light brown
  7. dark blonde
  8. medium blonde
  9. light blonde
  10. very light blonde

Every color has a reflection, a nuance. You can find this code on the box of the hair coloring by looking at the number displayed after the point:

  1. blue
  2. violet
  3. yellow
  4. Orange
  5. magenta
  6. red
  7. green

For example: A 6.5 is light brown hair with a red glow. If we want blonde hair, then this corresponds to yellow.

Color wheel / Source: Sakurambo, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Let’s use the color wheel. On the left you will find the colder colors and on the right the more warm colors. We can also deduce from the color wheel that red and blue become purple and blue and yellow become green. Colors that are opposite each other are canceled out. In other words, orange is specified by blue and violet by yellow, etc. In our example, the red must be removed, because we want to be blonde (=yellow). In that case we must choose a color with a green reflection, i.e. hair coloring with a 7 after the point (For example 6.7). If you want to go darker, this is no problem, if you want to go lighter, you will have to decolorize or use a coloring with a brightening effect.

The decolorization process

Perform sensitivity test

Test the color cream behind the ear and wait 48 hours. If you notice a reaction such as itching, red spots or swelling during this period, please do not use the hair coloring and contact a doctor.

Do the test

To avoid surprises, it may be a good idea to test the hair color on a section of hair that is not immediately noticeable. This also gives you the opportunity to determine how long you need to get the desired result.

Tip: don’t wash your hair before coloring it. It is better not to wash your hair for one or two days before dyeing it. The natural oils will protect your scalp during the dyeing process.


Decolorization cream should not be applied to the scalp. Keep an eye on your hair and the time when bleaching, it sometimes goes faster than you think. Never leave the bleaching cream on the hair longer than recommended, this will only cause more damage. Decolorization affects the quality of the hair, so good aftercare is important.


After bleaching, some people choose to apply permanent coloring to the hair to eliminate the red/yellow color that usually occurs. It is recommended to wait two to three weeks after the last discoloration.

Not the expected result?

Your hair may turn out differently than expected. Common problems include:

  • Orange hair: put an ash blonde color on it. An ash color neutralizes warm tones.
  • Green hair: this indicates that you have too little red pigment in your hair. Take tomato paste and apply it to your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  • Yellow hair: use silver shampoo. This has a violet undertone, the opposite of yellow.

Natural bleaching agents

Would you rather not risk permanently damaging your hair? Then choose a natural bleaching product such as lemon, hydrogen peroxide or honey.