So you dyed your hair to darken it, and your hair grabbed more color than you expected. You wanted medium brown, and instead you got the darkest black-brown in existence. While you can go to your hairstylist to get your hair stripped and recolored, this is an expensive and harsh process. If you want to try fading your hair a little bit at home, use Dawn dishwashing liquid to lighten your hair.

Things You'll Need

Shampoo your hair with a small amount of Dawn. You will immediately see some of the hair dye being washed down the drain. Repeat if necessary and add a deep conditioner, as using dishwashing liquid is a drying method of lightening hair.

Mix a bit of Dawn into your regular shampoo. It will fade your hair more gradually than straight Dawn will, but it will be gentler on your hair.

Try a clarifying shampoo mixed with some Dawn dishwashing liquid. These shampoos are designed to remove styling product buildup from your hair and restore it to a healthy shine. When you mix Dawn into it, you will wash out some of the extra color and get a lightening effect.

Saturate your hair with Dawn evenly when you use it to lighten hair that has been dyed too dark. Distribute the dishwashing liquid throughout your hair to ensure that it lightens all of your hair evenly. Otherwise, you could get a patchy look to your color.

Use Prell shampoo for a similar effect if you don’t have any Dawn on hand or cannot find it at the store. Professional colorists even recommend Prell and Dawn to rinse extra color from your hair and lighten it to a more suitable shade.

Add baking soda to the Dawn when lightening your hair. The gritty baking soda acts as a scouring agent and scrubs your hair. Be aware that this is very drying and could potentially damage your hair, so go easy.


  • Condition, condition, condition. Dawn was designed to wash dishes, not your crowning glory. To avoid damaging or drying your hair, only use the Dawn two or three times and then deep condition your hair. Continue with the conditioning treatments until your next coloring.

  • Use Dawn to wash oily hair also. Dawn is known for its degreasing power, as it breaks up oil from dishes and washes it away. That also makes it a good way to clean oily, greasy hair.