Can You Color Over Haircolor?


Color does not lift (lighten) a previously applied color. It's a simple rule that all stylists have had drilled into them. You can deposit color onto hair and add different tones all you like, but you cannot lift the hair a single shade if it has been dyed previously.


  • It is very simple to color over hair that has been previously colored---if you are going darker. All you have to do is apply the color, process it and enjoy the results.


  • It is also possible to tweak the color just a bit. If you desire a redder tone, for instance, you can add red tones to the color provided that the color is not too overpowering to allow the red tones to shine through.


  • You cannot lift hair color with hair color. You must pre-lighten, or bleach out, the existing color before you can apply more color.

Strand Test

  • It is always advisable to perform a strand test on hair that has been previously dyed to see if it is feasible to dye it again. To perform a strand test, cut out a small strand of hair and apply the desired color to the hair. Process the hair, and check the results.


  • In some cases, color-treated hair is not strong enough to withstand another color application. You must always make sure that another color application will not damage hair beyond repair before applying more color.


  • "Milady's Standard Textbook of Cosmetology;" Milady, Diane Carol Bailey, Margrit Attenburg; 2008
  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Luciano Consolini
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