How to Dye Hair Back from Blonde (at Home)

person wearing blue denim jacket with platinum hair - How to Dye Your Hair Back from Blonde
Photo by Scott Webb on

How to Dye Hair Back from Blonde

In 2014, I had my hair professionally dyed platinum blonde. Since my natural hair color is medium brown, it was quite an undertaking.

I was able to have my hair professionally dyed as payment for participating in a local fashion show. I kept the look up for several months thanks to a touch-up I received as payment for a styled shoot I did in June. (2014 was a glamorous year, lol)

But then things started growing out.

I have never been one to spend a lot on my hair (in fact, now I cut and dye my own hair) and I knew I didn’t want to pay $70.00+ every couple of months to maintain a color so distant from my natural one.

how to dye blonde hair brown at home - before and after of Leah with blonde and brown hair

So, I decided to dye my hair darker at home.

This is easier said than done. Box dyes are made to go over preexisting pigment. And when your hair has been heavily bleached, they have nothing to “hold” onto.

This means that home dye will fade incredibly fast over platinum blonde. And even scarier, your hair could fade into a garish shade like green.

This is because natural hair almost always has a red tone as its base. Without the warmth of natural hair color, box dyes will skew too cool-toned over platinum.

After consulting with several local stylists and doing some online research, I came up with a plan. And it worked!

dyeing your hair at home
From left, starting from top: before, after dye, growout phase, after first step, faded, finished

What you’ll need:

  • Warm Red semi-permanent dye
  • Warm Dark Blonde/Light Brown semi-permanent dye
  • Permanent dye in the color of your choice

How to Get Rid of Platinum Blonde Hair:

1 | Follow instructions on box to dye your hair a warm red tone, concentrating more color at the roots than on the ends, as bleached hair is more absorbent than your natural roots.

It is imperative that the dye you choose is listed as a Warm tone, as you really need to get the brown-red base of a natural hair color back in your hair before permanent dye can adhere to it.

3 | After both semi-permanent dyes have been applied, dry your hair and apply permanent hair color in the Neutral or Warm tone of your choice (I used a neutral medium brown). You’re finished!

This is a really effective and reasonably gentle method. Just make sure your base dye is semi-permanent and not permanent so that you don’t wreck your hair.

When I used this method, I had absolutely no issues other than some dryness to my scalp due to so many dye treatments. Make sure not to wash your hair for a few days (rinse with water to remove dirt and excess oil) to keep your scalp healthy.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

May we recommend...

1 Comment

  1. Your hair looks beautiful and this seems like a great plan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.