Do blondes really have more fun? We’ll leave that for you to decide, but we can say that blonde is one of our favorite ways to completely transform your look.
There’s no need for a blonde vs. brunette debate when you can have both! After years of dark hair, you may be ready for a major change, and lightning your locks to a rich blonde is one of the most impactful ways to do it.
Before you reach for the bleach, stop everything and read this. There are a lot of ways that dying your hair blonde can go wrong, especially if you decide to go the DIY route. Always read the product packaging and inserts for complete directions, instructions, and warnings.
Though we would suggest working with a stylist for a dye job like this, we’ve still got your back if you’re committed to learning how to dye brown hair blonde at home.
So, without a skilled colorist to do your dye job, we’ve got the next best thing: This stylist-approved guide that well teach you how to dye your brown hair blonde without turning orange. Hallelujah!
First, let’s talk about color.
What Are Color Options?
Doing a double process is the easiest way to go from dark brown to blonde. This involves stripping your natural hair color before toning it to your desired blonde hue. If your hair is super dark, single-process lifting won’t work. You need the double-step process to lift and lighten.
You can also achieve your blonde ambitions by highlighting your hair, doing balayage or ombré, all of which also use bleach to lighten specific strands instead of full-head application.
However, picking the right hue also depends on your natural hair color and skin tone.
The darker your hair, the more golden hues your hair will have. If you have light brown or dark blonde hair, then you should choose a cooler shade; often called ash.
Your skin tone is also important, so if you have porcelain skin, you should opt for a brighter beige-y blonde. If you have a darker skin tone, you should choose a richer, more honey-toned hue.
How to Choose a Developer
You might be ready to hop on the blonde bandwagon, but you need to know how to dye brown and dark brown hair to blonde without looking like you have unicorn hair.
The lightener or permanent color you choose will need to be mixed with a developer powerful enough to lift the color without turning brassy. And since all developers are not the same, the first step is knowing which one you need.
Our preferred lightening products are AGEBeautiful Ultra Bond.
Just in case you’re a newbie, the developer is an important part of the coloring process if you’re looking to go from brown to blonde. Without the right developer, you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
While a developer alone might turn your hair different colors, it definitely won’t look like the blonde you’ve dreaming about!
You also need to use the right ratio of developer to permanent color or lightener. However, we’ll talk more about that below.
Benefits of the Right Developer
The right developer can make or break the final color result. If your developer is off, or you don’t know how to choose developer, you can wind up with orange, brassy or rust-colored hair that isn’t even close to the blonde you were dreaming of.
The right developer opens your hair’s cuticle to improve color absorption. Basically, it ensures you get what’s on the box rather than a half-baked version that forces you to pay double for a salon emergency rescue.
In addition to improving color absorption, the right developer also gently but effectively removes your natural color. This ensures a more even distribution across your entire head, from root to tip.
Tips for Choosing the Right Developer
- Read our article Tips from a Blonding Specialist for instructions on how to pick the right volume and application method.
- If you don’t know how to pick the best developer for your situation, call your favorite stylist or our hotline!
How to Mix Hair Dye
Knowing how to dye brown hair blonde properly means getting the ratio of developer to bleach. Follow manufacturer recommended ratios for best results.
The developer will ultimately impact how light your hair is, so opt for the right developer rather than just trying to straight-up bleach your hair blonde. It won’t happen.
Using the bowl and brush or applicator bottle, combine the developer with the bleaching agent. If you use AGEBeautiful Ultra Bond Lightener+, you can easily pair it with the Ultra Bond developer. The packaging contains instructions for both on-scalp and off-scalp application.
The Application Process
The first step is to prep your tresses. Going blonde can strip the life right out of your hair, so a little pre-color pampering is a must. Two weeks before the big day, do a few deep conditioning treatments to strengthen your strands. Biotera Ultra Moisturizing masks are a great choice.
You should also avoid washing your hair a few days prior to the big day. Washing your hair right before dyeing may cause scalp irritation.
Mix your dye or bleach with developer according to the instructions. Make sure that you have a timer handy, so you can time the development process and get it just right.
You should also wear gloves and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Lighteners can permanently stain clothes, so we suggest getting yourself a designated “dyeing shirt”. An old button down shirt is a great choice to keep from getting dye on face or skin when you’re ready to wash out.
After you’ve brushed your hair, apply the mixed lightener and developer blend. Allow it to process for the allocated time, and rinse thoroughly afterward. Be mindful that you may not get the perfect result after your first go. Take your time and remember it’s a journey. But whatever you do, don’t apply more developer or excessively bleach in hopes of lightening things faster.
For a more natural look, you’ll want to likely follow up your bleaching session with a blonde coloring job that we like to refer to as toning. This can also be pushed further to incorporate lighter highlights. Start small, though, and make sure that you only dye hair after bleaching if it’s a similar shade to what you’ve lightened to.
In other words, if you plan on coloring your newly blonde hair, don’t expect to go from dark blonde to platinum with one application. Any extreme makeovers like that will require two steps and may be better off handled by a stylist.
After Color Care
Keeping your blonde bright and beautiful does require some daily care. A cleanser, conditioner and deep moisturizing treatment are essential to keeping your hair looking great. The AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond care products include Ultra Bond Synergy No. 1 Cleanse Shampoo, Ultra Bond Bond Synergy No. 2 Conditioner, and Ultra Bond Synergy No. 2+ Deep Conditioner Treatment which are all excellent choices.
Immediately after dyeing, make sure that you rinse your hair with warm water, not hot. And be sure to have your new blonde hair maintenance products ready to keep your hair looking it’s best.
If you ever need help in the middle of the dyeing, lightening, or toning phase we’ve got your back. Our stylists can help you master how to dye brown hair blonde at home via LiveChat, so reach out to us if you ever have any questions or need a professional’s input.