General Question

deni's avatar

So if I have dark hair, is there a way to highlight it without first bleaching it?

Asked by deni (22853points) February 26th, 2012

This is just a thought, but I’ve been considering dying or just highlighting my hair a dark maroon-y red. Nothing outrageous just something fun and different. But, I have dark brown hair. And I don’t know much about hair dye. Preferring not to pay for a professional to do it, if I did it myself, is it possible? I am not going to do it if I have to bleach my hair. No thank you. But if it’s possible to do it without bleaching, I may give it a whirl. So, would it work? Or not show up at all, if it’s a color that is lighter than my current color?

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9 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

A red might show up. I’m not sure how dark your hair is now. If you are buying your own dye, many of the boxes have on the side or back of the box how the color will look on brown or dark brown hair for instance. I am naturally a medium-darkish brown, and I have no problem dying my hair red shades.

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Aethelflaed's avatar

You really won’t know until you try it. Get a developer with a high number, not a low number – the higher the number, the lighter the results. Get stuff from Sally Beauty, not from a box at the drug store. But, I know many girls with dark hair who routinely dye their hair with some Manic Panic, and it seems to work for them, so there’s definitely hope.

deni's avatar

@Aethelflaed What is manic panic?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@deni Manic Panic is the dye brand you use when you want your hair to be the “freaky” colors – blue, purple, green, yellow, orange, pink, etc. The stuff that doesn’t even come close to appearing in nature.

deni's avatar

@Aethelflaed Ha! Thats crazy. Some times I think that can look cool. I was actually considering a streak of bright red. Seems like something I’d regret though so I’m trying to steer clear but every time I go to the store I find myself in the hair dye aisle so….bound to happen and I figure I might as well do it right.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@deni Manic Panic washes out pretty fast (mine was gone in less than a week, though they’ve since come out with more permanent versions since then), so it’s nothing too drastic.

Haleth's avatar

With dark hair, you can tint your hair but you can’t really highlight it. I’ve done all kinds of different colors and maroon works really well if you’re naturally brunette. If you get an intense shade or red or burgundy hair dye, it will blend with the brown and create a dark mahogany color.

Bleaching damages the hair follicles and lets them absorb more color. So if you want a very bright, intense color, like magenta or turquoise, you would have to bleach first. @Aethelflaed mentioned manic panic, which usually comes in bright crazy colors like that. If you used the same magenta or turquoise dye on dark brown hair, you might get deep reddish brown or dark navy blue.

stratman37's avatar

lemon juice

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