Dyeing Hair Darker: Do I Need a Colorfill?

Short answer? A colorfill is a crucial in-between step in the light-to-dark hair color process. If you’re thinking of taking that bleachy, beachy blonde to a deeper shade, read on to learn about how colorfills work, the effect they have on your hair, and whether it could be the right move for your color goals.

Going from Light to Dark

So you’ve previously lightened your hair and now you’re considering a drastically darker color. (Go you!) To achieve the richer color you’re after, you’ll likely need to start with a pigment-restoring colorfill.

Jumping straight to the darker color without the colorfill could leave hair looking muddy—or even green. That’s because lightening agents deplete the warm undertones that are necessary for darker shades to shine.

The colorfill process is the necessary in-between to restore those lost undertones before you go all the way to your darker color goals.

How It Works

When you lighten your hair, you strip it of its natural pigmentation to achieve lighter results. But that pigmentation is an important undercoat to your darker color, and it’s necessary to replace it when you go dark again. (Think of it as a coat of primer before you go whole-hog with the paint.) That’s where colorfill comes in.

If you colorfill with eSalon, the two-part process will include two bottles:

- First, a demi-permanent color that redeposits the lost pigments. This will add back the missing warm tones, and prime your hair for an all-over color application.

- Second, a custom hair color designed to move you in the direction of your darker goals. You’ll apply this one directly on top of your first color. 

Image of woman before on the left with uneven and too-light hair color with dark roots. On the right after photo of same woman who had a color-fill to even out her color and roots

Will I See Immediate Results?

You will see an immediate change with the colorfill process, but you’ll typically need at least one more application to get to your final color goal. Since colorfill is a middle step, you’ll have a chance to re-evaluate and adjust as you go. It’s not permanent just yet.

Is It Safe?

You bet it is. The colorfill process uses demi-permanent color, which means it will fade naturally if you don’t follow up with another application. While the colorfill does add warm pigment back to your hair, this step is still only temporary and will not chemically alter your hair at all.

Want to talk out your color goals with an expert? You’re in luck! Our pro colorists are always ready to help!