Advice to turn bleached blonde hair brunette

So, you probably all know me as having quite blonde hair. I last had it highlighted 2 years ago, and since then I just used a blonde box dye all over to stop my roots showing. Now I’m fed up of blonde hair, and I want it back to natural brunette.

turn bleached blonde hair brunette

So a few times now I have put a brown permanent dye on my hair, which looks great for the first day, and then it fades, literally in a week! These pics show it.. I started off blonde.. dyed it brown last week… this week.. it’s all blonde at the ends where it was bleached years ago and its sooo uneven!
I’ve used this dye, and I love the colour on the box! It didn’t turn out quite that dark for me, but it still looked nice. And now it’s just disappeared :'( I’ve read that I should use a red dye first and then go over it with a brown.. but this sounds scary! Any advice please?


  1. September 20, 2012 / 7:38 pm

    Loreal Casting creme gloss is amazing. My sister was blonde for ages and she used that one. Didn't fade that much and really conditions your hair. smells good too. 🙂 xx

  2. September 20, 2012 / 7:45 pm

    When I went from white blonde to brown, the hairdressers put a red dye on my hair first, and then the brown dye xx

  3. September 20, 2012 / 7:45 pm

    Hiya, I used to have really light bleached blonde hair but got fed up of it and went back to brown. I went to a hairdressers (It was expensive but really worth it for me) they began by covering my hair in this orangey/red mousse and then drying it in. Then they put the brown colour on top. She explained that bleaching the hair strips the natural tones out and that they need replacing otherwise it will just keep fading or worse give your hair a green tone so its a really important step. If I was going to do it again I would definitely pay a salon and get it done properly. Hope this helps x

  4. September 20, 2012 / 9:54 pm

    Hey huni! I'm a natural brunette and I've been blonde a few times but always returned to being brunette – I find it so much more warming to the skin. Prehaps use a colour remover to get all the previous dye out and then use your hair dye of choice.

    Hope it all works well and cannot wait to see the results! xxx

  5. September 20, 2012 / 10:42 pm

    Semi permanent before permanent!! country colours from home bargains are good. don't use a colour remover it'll make it fade faster! (shortened it ALOT there haha)

  6. September 21, 2012 / 6:47 am

    I went to the hairdressers to go from blonde back to brown. They put a red dye first to stop the colour going greeny and then brown over the top. The red doesn't show through, my hair went a nice brown and after one month faded slightly so in the light my hair was blondish. I went back and she dyed it brown again and it's stayed brown now and it's over one year later 🙂 x

  7. September 21, 2012 / 7:42 am

    i have brown hair, and then one crazy day died it ready pink.. then i tried to hide it with a black/brown.. it hid it well but then like yours the ends went reddy and the rest was brown … which looked terrible. i ended up going to the hair dresser and getting all the bottom layers cut out so it all blended. however the hairdresser said that i should of used this red die before hand to strip out the colour.

    Good luck!

  8. September 22, 2012 / 5:48 pm

    Hi, i would recommend using natural Henna to colour you're hair brown. pick some up from a Lush store, it's like £8 for a block which should coat you're hair… it's chemical free and as well as colouring, will completely restore, nourish and condition the hair. it closes the hair follicle, retaining moisture, making it hugely shiny and lovely. you could try the brun or marron colours. going from blonde may take a couple of colourings … but the beauty of henna is that you could use it every single day and it would make you're hair better and better 🙂
    as a tip… henna is red
    other ingredients such as coffee make it brown therefore you should wrap you're hair with cling film to accentuate the brown tones
    if you leave it unwrapped, the red will come through more

    you can youtube good videos with instructions from Lush
    its so great

    your blog is really lovely

    • January 4, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Never use henna!!!! It can not be removed. It has to grow out. You can but the strongest bleach over henna and it won't lift at all. It also has a very dangerous gas that comes off the head when you mix professional color or lighter with henna. A stylist was sent to the Dr because the client lied to us saying she had professional color, and finally admitted it was henna.

  9. April 9, 2014 / 2:30 pm

    Hi Victoria,

    I know you posted this a while ago, but red dye did you use first? Just I want to go back brown as I am fed up with having light hair and want to get back to a more natural colour. Is it just any red colour?!?

    Your help would be much appreciated.

    • April 9, 2014 / 3:10 pm

      I didn't try the red dye, I just used another box of brown! I use the brown permanant dye from Poundland.. nothing special haha and I'm still brunette. Much healthier! xx

  10. May 1, 2014 / 12:21 pm

    hi everybody i am bleach blonde with dark brown roots and really need to go back brown as my hair is looking a mess also i cannot afford to go the hairdressers at the moment, i have heard to put a red box dye on then put brown on top but when i look on another site it told me dont do that as it really hard to get the red out, and that site told me put a semi permanent light golden brown on to put gold init your hair then put a permanent brown on top, i really dont know what to do, but i need do something fast about my hair is driving me crazy!! xxxxx

  11. May 18, 2014 / 6:07 pm

    go to a beauty supply shop pick up a red filler not dye use filler and while still wet apply the brown…. if you have a sally store then i suggest mixing a ion 6n and 5n 50/50 those are a neutral dark blonde and a neutral light brown if you hair is truly bleach blonde (superlight) its going to grab the pigment and go fairly dark… you can get a sealer which helps with the fade out… biggest challenges are always retaining the color as bleached hair drops color

  12. Ellie Tansey
    August 21, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    Hey guys so i have bleached blonde hair and quite dark brown roots and I need it brown before school starts in a couple weeks. My hair dresser took a few samples of my hair but said each time she applies brown dye to it, it fades really quickly. Is there a way for me to get my hair back to dark brown without it fading or costing loads.??

    • Victoria
      August 22, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      Try applying a red dye on top! x

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