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How to Dye Bleached Hair Back to Brown

Updated July 12, 2018

Blondes may have more fun, but bottle blondes also spend more time getting their roots touched up. If you are thinking about redying to brown, there are a few things you should know. It is possible to dye bleached hair, but it has to be done carefully and in stages. When colouring over bleach, you have to remember that most of your hair's natural pigments have been stripped out. Applying a brown shade directly onto bleached hair can result in an odd, green tint because all of your red tones have been removed. Choose a warm, golden-blond shade with red undertones or a red shade for your filler colour--not an ash blond because they also tend to have green undertones. For your final hair colour, choose one that is several shades lighter than you want because it is easier--and less damaging--to darken hair than to lighten it.

Trim off as many split and damaged ends as you can, or have a friend or salon professional do it for you.

Apply a hot oil treatment to your hair, according to the manufacturer's instructions. After rinsing it out, do not wash your hair again for at least three days. The more natural oils in your hair when you colour it, the better.

Apply a warm golden-blonde or red permanent hair colour according to the manufacturer's directions. Do not wash your hair for at least three days after rinsing out the colour and conditioning your hair.

Apply a second hot oil treatment according to the manufacturer's directions. After rinsing it out, do not wash your hair again for another three days.

Apply a brown permanent hair colour over the red, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Do not wash your hair for three days after colouring it.

Apply a hot oil treatment to your hair according to the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat this last step twice a month to keep your hair soft and shiny.

Tip

Use the best moisturising and colour-protecting conditioner you can afford.

Warning

Do not do both stages of dying on the same day, or you risk damaging your hair. Dilute your shampoo with water because even the mildest shampoo can be too harsh for overprocessed hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp scissors
  • Hot oil treatments
  • Warm, golden-blond or red hair colour
  • Brown hair colour
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About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.