How to Go from Bleached Blonde to Brown Hair Color

A woman is a fickle creature, which is why our hairstyles undergo constant changes, from subtle to the most spectacular ones. One day we want to go blonde, another – we want our dark hair color back.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you here. Going blonde to brown is not that easy, so in order to prevent your hair from turning green or a dirty color, it’s important to take a sensible, professional approach. Here are some tips on how to get a clean and long-lasting hair color.

The Intricacies of Going from Blonde to Brown Hair

Why is coloring previously bleached hair not as easy as it sounds? Well, the whole process is complicated and depends on a few key factors:

Your Current Bleached Hair Color

The ability to achieve your target brown color will depend on what level your bleach blonde hair color is. The lighter the hair you’re applying the brown dye to, the more it will take on cool tones (including green, ash and blue). This is why a common occurrence when trying to dye your hair cool brown yourself is a greenish muddy effect. Greenish tones are very difficult to fix, so you should better think twice before you dye your hair from blonde to brown at home.

Pigmentation or Filling

A very important aspect of transitioning from blonde to brunette hair is hair pigmentation or hair color filling. This is nothing more than pre-dyeing your hair to fill the pigments that are common undertones in brown hair lacking in light hair colors. The filler is meant to penetrate deep into the hair structure and create a base for the brown dye. If you skip the filling step, the hair shade may lack depth, be unsuitable or wash out quickly.

Warm tones, reds, and coppers play a very important role here. As we know from the color wheel, the color green neutralizes the color red, so in order to obtain an even, natural brown hair during the filling procedure, it is usually advisable to use one of these shades as a filler.


Selective Filling Might Be Needed

There are cases when it is necessary to add pigment only to certain parts of your hair to get you closer to the new color. For example, the colorist may need to apply a pre-paint with the appropriate shades only on the ends of the hair (or the middle and ends of the hair), which are the most damaged. In this way, we get an even and permanent color along the entire hair length. Most often, this is used in cases such as unevenly bleached hair, dull hair color, damaged or oxygenated strands.

Each case is individual and requires a different approach. Thus, always consider the condition of the hair, the color spectrum, the shade, the color type, and your color preferences. In the end, the most important thing is the satisfaction from a well-chosen hairstyle!

Below I will detail the most common cases and try to briefly explain how to achieve the desired brown color most easily.

#1: Going from Blonde to Brown with Highlights

It often happens that women with bleached platinum blonde would very much like to go for a more natural type of coloring, sombre, highlights, or tri-dimensions. Some may also choose to get a similar yet darker hair color for fall. How can this be done? Well, I have a few tips.

First of all, it’s a good idea to use a filler first so that the color washes out evenly depending on the color. Then, we do the opposite of what we do when bleaching hair. This means we first apply a dark shade to the roots, and then by selecting the strands, apply medium brown or light brown shade. Your colorist might also call it reverse balayage.

Getting Brown Lowlights in Bleached Hair

Instagram / @haleykurtze

#2: Going from Platinum to Darker Blonde

This case is a bit easier, which doesn’t mean easy of course! There are two things to consider. First, a colorist will assess what the condition of your hair is (platinum bleach blonde could have left your hair too damaged and porous, which means it needs to get a good conditioning treatment first). Secondly, careful inspection is needed to see what level your blonde hair is and if it has been lightened evenly.


It’s worth paying attention not to overdo with the amount of red dye – if you aim for dirty blonde, it will be hard to cover. Do not insist on getting the look you have saved on Pinterest. Let the colorist select the most flattering color; at this point, he’ll be able to safely cool the color down as desired to get darker blonde hair.

Transitioning from Platinum to Dark Blonde

Instagram / @annahairartist

#3: Going from Blonde to Light Brown Hair

Here, the story is similar: it is necessary to pay attention to the shade of the initial color and the condition of the hair. It is worth filling the hair using red shade filler, which will eliminate the bottle green tones.

Coloring Blonde Hair Light Brown

Instagram / @hairmeroar

#4: Going from Blonde to Dark Brunette

The darker the shade of hair, the more difficult it is to maintain the new color, even if you are trying to get your natural hair back. In other words, the dark brown color can bleed out more quickly. At this point, it is important to take care of your hair at home, as shampoos based on chamomile, nettle, lemon, as well as anti-dandruff and cleansing shampoos can speed up the color leaching process. You should choose products that close the cuticle, moisturize hair, and are formulated for colored hair.

At the first visit to the salon, a colorist should fill your blonde hair and then deepen the color to a desired dark brown shade.

#5: Dyeing Bleached Hair Black

The black color is quite specific, whether in the world of painters, cartoonists, or hairdressers. Why? Black is considered a neutral color – just like white. But unlike white, black is made up of all its shades superimposed on each other. Black is my personal favorite color: it adds a touch of class and elegance. Still, it accentuates all our features, every refraction of light on our body, and enhances the color of our complexion, which on fair skin can make us look pale and unhealthy. Once you’ve checked with your colorist that you’re happy with the color, you can move on.

Here, we need a pre-pigmentation treatment, filling the strands with all the pigments that are present in the color wheel. Then, we can darken the color in two or three-tone intervals, until we achieve an even black color.

Blonde to Black Hair Color Transformation

Instagram / @thedreamyblonde

#6: How to Dye Bleached Hair Warm Brown

First of all, it’s much easier to color bleached hair a warm brown than a cool one, because bleached hair tends to catch the cooler shades, and with the wrong choice of a filler, the color can come out dirty. When I want to go from blonde to warm brown, I use mainly red, brown, red, gold and sometimes pink dyes so that the color is three-dimensional and plays with the light.

Coloring Blonde Hair Warm Brown

Instagram / @brookeatcapelli

#7: How to Dye Bleached Hair Ash Brown

Dyeing blonde hair ash brown is a lot more difficult than dyeing it warm because, as mentioned before, there’s a big risk of getting DIY green tones. To get cool brown on medium blonde, light blonde or platinum, you need to pay attention to what shades you put in your coloring bowl.

Even when you aim all for a cool shade, always add a bit of red and pink (which is great for color purification). Also, try to choose cool shades that don’t heavily contaminate the color – violet, blue, graphite and, last but not least, ash. Mind that ash is the most risky color and most often turns hair green if not used correctly.

Coloring Bleached Hair Cool Brown

Instagram / @hairbyshadi

After reading this article, you must be more aware of how difficult the art of coloring is and how many factors influence how to achieve a satisfactory final color. If you are not too picky regarding the ultimate variant of the brown hair color you are going to get and choose to go from blonde to brunette at home, using a box dye, at least remember to fill your bleach blonde hair color with some red pigment (use a red box dye) before dyeing hair brown. Another variant may be using a warm, copper brown hair dye even if you go for a neutral or cooler shade.

I invite you to follow me on my Instagram @annahairartist, where I focus mainly on coloring, but also on hair care and haircuts. Have fun with your image and color the world with your uniqueness.

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