The Best Hair Lightener for Dark Hair

Kim Kardashian even took a stroll on the light side.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Dark hair is fabulous, fun and can even be mysterious. But sometimes dark-haired divas want to see what the other side is like. Going light can either be incredible, or a disaster. You have to know what you're getting yourself into and know that you won't see instant results. Time is everything and taking care of your tresses is most important.

Things to Consider

Before you decide that your dark tresses are ready to shine as golden blonde, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Miguel Angarita, colorist and educator at Mizu New York salon, says that if you're naturally dark -- meaning you haven't had any color chemicals touch your hair -- you have the most options, such as permanent color, a cream lightener or even powder bleach. He recommends Goldwell, Wella and Clairol as being great products to take virgin dark hair lighter, without the brassy undertones. However, Angarita says that if your dark hair has been colored, it's best to see a colorist.

Using Color

Usually, lightening hair can be a bit of a process. If you don't want to go around bleaching your precious strands, don't fret, there's another method for you. Mike van den Abbeel of Orlando's Mosaic Hair Studio says he prefers to use color to lighten dark hair because he has more control over unwanted brassy colors that will be exposed. Also, he says coloring is a better method because it's much more gentle on the hair than other lightening methods.

At-Home Kits

So, you're strutting down the aisles at your favorite drugstore and see a miraculous product that says it's going to lighten your hair. Resist the temptation! Van den Abbeel says that at-home lightener kits are the number one reason people go into salons for hair color disaster fixes. He says that color fixes are probably the most expensive service at most salons. So, if you're looking to be budget-savvy and lighten your hair at home, it will probably backfire.

Alternative Method

You don't have to dye your entire head to get the effect of light hair. Angarita says that dark-haired gals can always go lighter with highlights. He says that you can lighten the base of your hair just a tad lighter than your present color, then add highlights in some areas for accents and dimension. Although Angarita does say that the lighter you go, the more maintenance is required.

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Miguel Angarita; Mizu New York; New York, New York Mike van den Abbeel; Mosaic Hair Studio, Orlando, Florida

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