How do I Dye Brown Hair Blonde?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

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.

Hair coloring kits may be used to highlight hair at home.
Hair coloring kits may be used to highlight hair at home.

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.

Avoid stains on the skin by applying a thin line of petroleum jelly near the hairline.
Avoid stains on the skin by applying a thin line of petroleum jelly near the hairline.

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.

Hair that has been overexposed to heating tools like hair dryers may become extremely brittle when bleached.
Hair that has been overexposed to heating tools like hair dryers may become extremely brittle when bleached.

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.

Dark hair is often bleached when a platinum blonde shade is desired.
Dark hair is often bleached when a platinum blonde shade is desired.

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.

When bleaching hair, it's necessary to wear gloves to protect the hands.
When bleaching hair, it's necessary to wear gloves to protect the hands.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

anon164571

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?

OceanSwimmer

@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.

calabama71

@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.

momothree

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?

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