HAIR CARE HAIR COLOR How to Lighten Hair At Home Like a Pro

by Better Natured

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Going lighter and brighter is a way to get yourself out of a hair color rut. While there’s a lot of seasonal hype about brightening your hue in the warm weather months, the reality is, you can illuminate hair color any time of the year. Still, there are a few things you should be thinking about before mixing up your product to ensure well-hydrated and lustrous tresses.

Let’s take a closer look at the steps to take before, during, and after the lightening process so you can preserve the well-being of your strands while enhancing your look. 

Considerations to Keep in Mind

Better Natured® at-home hair color lifts one to two shades of hair that has not been previously colored or chemically treated, so it’s perfect for subtly lightening your look while providing 100 percent gray coverage. Here are a few considerations to remember before launching into the lightening process. 

  • Hair Color Level: Your hair’s color level is a number that represents how light or dark your natural hue is. When you choose a hair color, the shade you select depends on the current level of your hair and where you want to take it — in this case, one to two shades lighter. 

    To determine your level, take a section of hair from the crown of your head and hold it out where you can see it, away from the rest of your hair. Then, compare it to our Level Chart, with level 1 being the darkest (black) and level 10 being the lightest (light blonde). Be sure to check out our Hair Color Level Guide for tips on determining your hair color level and tone to make choosing a flattering hair color shade easier.
  • Underlying Pigment: When coloring your hair lighter, warm tones are naturally exposed during the dyeing process. Colorists refer to these naturally exposed warm tones as “underlying pigment.” You can choose to enhance the underlying pigment by choosing a warm tone shade or neutralize the underlying pigment by choosing a cool tone shade.

    ACHIEVE TONE PERFECTION: Check out your complexion – warm tones can help enhance color, while cool tones can take redness down a few notches. When in doubt? Go the natural route.
  • Hair Type: Your hair type is also an important factor to consider before lightening your hair. If you have fine hair, the processing time is usually quick. Thicker hair tends to have a bit longer processing time. Regardless of your hair type, you want to keep an eye on your processing time for optimal results. 
  • Current Condition of Your Hair: Better Natured® Liqui-Creme Hair Color has conditioning benefits that leave hair soft and silky smooth. Still, you should always consider the current state of your tresses before moving forward with any chemical service. 

Take a few weeks to restore your strands with Better Natured® Damage Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. Cleanse your hair and replenish moisture while strengthening* stressed-out strands. Our reparative shampoo helps reduce breakage by 40 percent* and helps to prevent future damage, whereas the conditioner replenishes moisture to deliver stronger* strands three times less prone to breakage.* It’s the perfect pairing for bolstering your hair before or after chemical treatments. 

*Against combing breakage on damaged hair when using Better Natured® Damage Repair Shampoo and Conditioner vs. a non-conditioning shampoo.

If you have dry, brittle stands, treat them with our Damage Repair Strengthening Leave-in Cream. This results-driven formula smooths and strengthens* hair while resisting frizz-inducing humidity for over 24 hours. It works to shield tresses from future damage, and your strands will feel three times stronger,* more resilient, and ready for your next color application. 

*Against combing breakage on damaged hair vs. a non-conditioning shampoo.

woman brushing hair

Determine Your Lightening Technique

Remember, color doesn’t lift color. Better Natured® Liqui-Creme Hair Color with a 20-volume developer lifts one to two shades on virgin, non-colored hair, depending on which shade you choose. If you already have colored tresses, another application of permanent hair color will only deposit more pigment instead of having a lightening effect. 

All-Over Color for Virgin Hair

If you have virgin, untreated tresses, you can apply an all-over color and lift your shade up to two levels. If you’re wondering which Better Natured® hue suits you, tap into our virtual tools. Take the Better Natured® Hair Color Quiz to find your ideal tone and shade! It takes less than five minutes to complete and eliminates the guesswork out of choosing the right hue for you.

The application process couldn’t be more straightforward! Our all-in-one hair color kits provide everything you need for salon-quality, professional-level hair color at home. If you still have a bit of trepidation, check out our how-to videos and guides with step-by-step instructions on how to color your hair like a pro. 

Shop Better Natured® At-Home Hair Color Here
  1. Start by applying color at the roots onto vertical partings using either the bottle or bowl and brush method. Starting in the front, work down in rows about ¼’’ apart and then repeat in the back. Unclip and re-clip each section if necessary. Set the timer for 35 minutes.
  2. Apply the remaining color mixture to hair lengths and ends, section by section, using a wide-tooth comb, color brush, or gloved hands to evenly distribute the mixture into the hair. 
  3. If covering grays, leave the color on for an additional 10 minutes. 
  4. Rinse your hair well with warm water until it runs clear. Next, shampoo and condition with our Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner

Face Framing Highlights 

If you want to add more dimension to your lightened hair, add a few face-framing highlights to the mix. These look can be achieved with any shade for as much – or as little – contrast as you like. Depending on the shade chosen, color framing can highlight and brighten the face, giving a flattering contouring effect.

Regarding the application process, you will work with two hair colors: your base shade and a lighter face-framing shade on virgin, untreated hair. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to pull off face-framing highlights at home

How to Care for Colored Hair

Color Correct If Necessary

If you notice that your lightened tresses are starting to look a bit on the orangish side, reach for one of our brass-reducing color correcting hair treatmentsPurple for blondes and Blue for brunettes — to eliminate any unwanted brassy or orange tones. 

Shop Our Hair Treatment Products

washing hair with shampoo

Use the Right Shampoo and Conditioner

Keep your lightened locks shiny, hydrated, and frizz-free with our Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. When used together, this shampoo and conditioner set leaves color-treated hair smooth and helps keep your hair color vibrant for up to nine weeks.* Preserve your newly lightened hue while leaving your hair soft, silky, and less prone to breakage.**

*When used as a system with Better Natured® Color Care Shampoo.

**Against combing breakage on damaged hair when using Better Natured® Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner vs. a non-conditioning shampoo.

Protect and Restore Your Tresses 

Overworked hair can appear dull, dry, and damaged. Protect your tresses and colors’ vibrancy with our heat styling lotion before you grab your blow dryer or heated styling aid. This smoothing blow dry lotion protects hair during blow drying,* delivers 96 hours of frizz control, and preps strands for a soft, gorgeous finish that’s smooth, reshapable, and long-lasting. Additionally, Better Natured®’s Hydrating Leave-In Milk hydrates, softens, detangles, smooths, delivers shine, and protects against your blow dryer’s blast while providing all-day moisture. 

*Against combing breakage during heat styling.

If you have questions about the application process or can’t determine which color to choose, we’re here to help!  Our color specialists are available for a consultation via live chat or our contact form. Our customer service phone number is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST at 1-800-242-9283. 

Take Our Hair Color Quiz to Ensure You’re Choosing The Right Hue for You!

Image sources:

  • Source: Look Studio/
  • Source: sirtravelalot/
  • Source: H_Ko/

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