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How do I Dye Brown Hair Blonde?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 17, 2024
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In order to dye brown hair blonde, the natural dark color of the hair has to be stripped away. There is a range of blonde shades from a deep honey blonde to a nearly white platinum blonde, and the color that a previously brown haired person will get depends on the amount of time the color-stripping chemicals are left on the hair and any additional dye that's added later.

When light or gray hair is dyed to look darker, color is added to the hair to permanently stain it. The reverse is done to turn brown hair blonde. Through a chemical process, color is stripped away from the hair in order to achieve the lighter tones. Sometimes, a second product called a toner has to be applied to the hair after the color has been stripped to achieve the exact desired color.

The best way to dye brown hair blonde at home is to purchase a kit that is sold specifically for this purpose. There are a number of hair product companies that sell hair-bleaching products, and many are packaged with a color grid. These are often the best kinds to purchase because they give a clear way to gauge the results. The grid will show a range of brown hair colors from light brown to dark brown and will show the different blonde results that are usually achieved by using the product.

Turning brown hair to blonde is usually relatively simple and just involves following the instructions on a kit. It is important to note that the chemicals can burn the skin and damage the eyes, so they must be kept only on the hair. Lining the hairline with petroleum jelly is a good way to keep the chemicals from running down onto the skin of the face and causing burns or irritation.

It is important to note that the results of the hair bleach may vary depending on how processed or damaged the hair is. If the hair has been colored multiple times, has been permed, or is regularly styled using heated styling tools such as hair dryers, curlers, and flat irons, then it may react badly to the bleach. Before going through the process, make sure that the hair is healthy enough to withstand it. Otherwise, the hair might break or even fall out.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
Discussion Comments
By anon164571 — On Apr 01, 2011

okay so i do my hair by myself, every time i decide to do something with it. now I'm bleaching my hair only on the underneath of my hair. do the bleaching instructions change for using it on your hair?

By OceanSwimmer — On Jan 12, 2011

@momothree: A good tip is to always wash hair dye off of your fair, hands, floors, etc. as soon as it gets anywhere because it does stain very quickly. As far as what color to choose, that is up to you. It is important to look at the back of the box, match your hair color with the closest match shown, and view what the turn out will look like.

Also, if you have thicker hair you may want to purchase two boxes of hair dye because one is not usually enough.

By calabama71 — On Jan 09, 2011

@momothree: Home hair dying offers affordable ways to create a new look in less than an hour. Personally, I dye my own hair at home if I want it a solid color. Home hair dying not only offers solid hair colors, but also has highlighting kits of your choice.

I have found that home hair dying works great and is a lot cheaper than going to a hair salon. If it’s your first time you may want someone who is experienced to help you. In fact, you may want them to do it for you and observe their steps.

By momothree — On Jan 08, 2011

I’ve never dyed my hair before, but from what I hear, home dying works great and is the cheapest route to go. I would like to dye my hair a golden brown, but I can’t afford to have it professionally done. I’m nervous about using home hair dye but I’d like to try it. Does anyone have any tips on how to color hair?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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