How to Prevent Dark Ends on Prelightened Hair When Dying a Darker Color

A high quality conditioner can prevent dark ends.
A high quality conditioner can prevent dark ends. (Image: hair care image by Glenn Jenkinson from

Coloring your hair a darker shade can be a beautiful choice, especially in the winter and fall months. Before doing this, it is important to know some important tips to avoid darker ends. Darker ends can result because the ends can be much dryer than the roots, causing them to "grab" the hair color. You can save money by coloring your hair at home and still attain professional results.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair clips
  • Hair color
  • Conditioner

Part your hair in four sections, and use clips to separate. Starting at the crown, take half-inch sections and apply the hair color mid-way through the hair, starting at the roots and leaving the ends of your hair without hair color on them. Continue to apply hair color to all four sections half-way through the hair. Allow the hair color to stay in for 10 minutes. Most hair colors, both permanent and semi-permanent, are applied for 20 minutes. For gray hair, longer amounts of time may be required, but adhere to the instructions that come with the hair color.

Apply a small amount of conditioner to the ends of your hair. This creates a "barrier" between your hair and the hair color, inhibiting the hair color from penetrating the dry ends more deeply than other, denser areas of your hair, such as the crown. Pre-lightened hair, especially the ends, will be more fragile, because the process involved in lightening includes stripping the hair of its pigment.

Apply the remaining hair color all the way through the hair during the last 10 minutes of processing, making sure that the ends are saturated. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. This should result in even hair color, and as a bonus the conditioner prevents the ends from being brittle and dry.

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