Originally Posted by 1fish2fish
I've been thinking about dying my hair for a while. I love my natural color, its sort of a milk chocolate color with reddish streaks and very shiny.. but I've wanted to try out going darker.
One year in highschool the class pictures turned out really weird and my hair looked black in the picture and I really liked it. I'll have to have my Mom scan the picture and send it to me so I can show y'all.
I'm just scared I won't like it and I'll have to dye it back to my natural color.
Going darker actually isn't as damaging to your hair as going lighter. You wouldn't have to dye your hair back so much as strip the color out; they sell a product called ColorOops that I used to strip out a semi-permanent disaster and I was back to normal in about a half an hour. (It's sold at Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc.)
For going black, I'd suggest a semi or demi-permanent, ammonia-free color that will be easier to strip out if you hate it. Clairol Natural Instincts, for example. Or go to the salon. Semi-permanent hair color coats the hair shaft and isn't supposed to alter the underlying color.
I used a shade of Natural Instincts that turned my hair orange (my fault -- I picked a shade that was wrong for my hair) and it stripped out with no problem. It was a SMIDGE lighter, but not that noticeable; I didn't even have a grow-out line.
I had a horrid experience with L'Oreal Healthy Look, however. It turned my hair into an uneven mess and when I stripped it out my natural hair color had been lightened to a nasty brassy blonde. I got that mistake fixed at a salon... which wasn't even that great. I put ColorSilk over it and it came out better and more even than the $50 semi-permanent salon color.
The nice thing about ColorSilk is that, besides being cheap, it's ammonia-free and -- despite being labeled a permanent hair color -- fades. Right now it's been about a month since I colored my hair and I can hardly see my root line. My natural color is kind of peeking through underneath the color. I've no experience with the really dark shades, though. I'd suggest Googling for reviews; with all the blogs around these days, it's not hard to find some "real-world" experiences.