How To Dye Blonde Hair Dark Again, Because It's Not As Easy As It Sounds


It's good to have a change, whether it be a new career, home, or hair color. But, you might change your mind when it comes to your appearance and if being a blonde isn't your favorite look, you may want to discover how to dye blonde hair dark again. In life, sometimes things don't work out and that's totally fine! Life is all about experimenting and giving something your best shot – if it doesn't work, you can usually go back to what you were doing before or try something different.

So, you tried being a blonde because you heard blondes had more fun, but lighter locks just aren't working for you? Considering that going blonde can take a long time, a lot of money, and many salon trips, you might be a little concerned about performing the task in reverse. Don't worry you're not alone. There were numerous celebs who went platinum in 2015 and plenty of us mere mortals followed suit. Now, it seems some celebs are going back to their roots; recently Taylor Swift's platinum hair disappeared and was replaced with her usual, darker natural blonde.

Well, if Kim Kardashian went from blonde to black in a matter of weeks, it can't be that hard to dye blonde hair dark again... Can it? I spoke with a bunch of hairstylists to find out.

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Firstly, Moran Gallagher, Master Colorist and Educator at Mizu New York explains what clients should expect. Gallagher says, "Basically it depends on a couple of things. The condition of the hair and where you want to go with it. The client has to understand it may not be 100 percent that day or they may need to come in for a follow up depending on how the color holds up."

Gallagher tells me, “When going from blonde to darker, usually a primer will be applied so the color has something to hold onto. If the hair is super damaged the color won't grab so well and in that case you would have to layer the colors. You should do conditioning treatments before and after to protect the hair.” So be sure to prime your hair beforehand, if you want your color to stick.

Miguel Angarita, Master Colorist at Mizu New York explains the process, "Traditional 'tint back' is the technical name for blondes going back to brown hair colors. It is becoming increasingly popular. I think that super blondes are done looking like clones of each other." Angarita believes, "The only way to do this and do it right, is by a professional who understands the laws of both color and chemical reactions." Angarita explains what happens during a "tint back" and why it's so important, "In order for a tint back to work we have to do two things. Number one is to assess the condition of hair like porosity, elasticity, density, and the overall damage caused by lightener/bleach. The second is we must "fill" the hair; we have to put back in (the tint) that was taken out of the hair (by lighteners)."

Honey Artists Hairstylist Daven Mayeda, seconds this telling me, "It's important to re-pigment the hair when going darker. All of the warm tones including auburn colors need to be put back into the hair to prevent fading." Mayeda explains, "If they aren't put back in the hair, it can leave your hair with a not so pretty gray or green tone to it. Definitely seek your professionals when going darker."


Angarita concludes, "Putting a brown on a blonde with out 'filling' hair will result in a totally ugly and regrettable mistake… That only works in 30 seconds on TV commercials." While the TV commercials look tempting, I definitely wouldn't want to be left with a gray, green shade!

Honey Artists Hairstylist Tyler Colton tells me, "I would first suggest going to a professional to color blonde hair back to brunette," however he explains if you are trying this at home, "you will need to first fill the blonde hair with the missing underlying pigment which in most cases will be a gold/copper color." Colton echoes Angarita and Mayeda's advice, however he gives a step-by-step breakdown of how to dye blonde hair dark again at home.

Colton says, "This means first using a demi-permanent color and coloring your hair using a level 8 gold/copper. Process for 10 minutes, then rinse or lightly shampoo this color out of your hair. The color will be bright and scary looking, but do not worry the next color will cover it. The next color to create a medium to dark brunette color, you will use a level 5 natural brown color, also in a demi-permanent color. Process the entire 20 minutes before shampooing. Remember this will cover your blonde back to a solid looking brunette. If you are looking for more dimension/highlights/ombre then you should see a professional colorist!" If you're new to hair dyeing or beauty isn't your strong point, like Colton, I'd suggest getting your hair done by a professional. However, if money's tight and you're a natural at coloring, at least you've got some thorough instructions.

For folks wanting to get their tresses colored in a salon, Angarita says, "It can be done in one day with the right professional – it can take from 3 to 5 hours so plan ahead." This is great for anyone who's fallen out of love with their blonde locks and wants to be a brunette again ASAP. However, Angarita warns against letting your aftercare trip you up at the last hurdle, "Be careful with the aftercare: The wrong shampoo or conditioner and it's bye bye brown!"

Brunette bombshells rejoice! It is totally possible to go back to the dark side again. Depending on your funds and free time, it may take a little longer than you first imagined, but at least you now know how to go about it!