My bleached roots don’t take color, what do I do? 5 reasons and solutions

Angry platinum blonde haired young woman clenches her fist

If your bleached roots aren’t taking color, it could be for one of these reasons:

  • Reason 1: You have left the bleach on for a short time. Solution: Apply the bleach again.
  • Reason 2: You haven’t left the dye on long enough. Solution: Reapply the dye.
  • Reason 3: You haven’t rinsed properly after bleaching and have bleach residue. Solution: Reapply the dye.
  • Reason 4: The dye was expired. Solution: Buy a new dye and apply it.
  • Reason 5: The dye wasn’t properly prepared. Solution: Prepare the dye again according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


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You’ve spent hours bleaching your hair to get to your desired color.

Then, you rinse the bleach out and go for the last step, which is to apply the dye. You’re dying to see the result, aren’t you?


  You dry your hair and… your roots didn’t take the color you chose!  

What a disappointment! Then, you ask, “What happened? What did I do wrong?”


Relax. Let’s go step by step to find out the reasons why your bleached roots didn’t take the color and what the solutions are for each case.

Rest assured, there’s a solution!


Reason 1: You left the bleach on for a short time, and that’s why your roots didn’t take the color

bleaching roots

Maybe anxiety played a trick on you, and you let the bleach work for less time than necessary.

When applying the dye,   the color wasn’t right for the base you had.  

I’ll explain this in detail: The bleaching process has to start   from mid-lengths to ends. Lastly, bleach the roots.   How come?


The closer you get to the scalp, the hotter your head is, and   the faster the hair bleaches.  

Therefore, when you start bleaching at the roots, they reach the desired shade before your ends. It could make your color would be uneven.

However, what happens if you don’t let the bleach work long enough on your roots?


If you don’t let the bleach work long enough on your roots, the color will also be uneven. 

For the dye to take on the color you want (in the case of blonde tones), the bleach must reach a light base level.

Otherwise, your hair may look yellow or orange.

Solution 1: If you left the bleach on for a short time, do this

If you left the bleach on the roots for a short time, they’re probably orange/reddish or very yellow.

And if you wanted to dye your hair light blonde, you probably didn’t get it.   In this case, the solution is to bleach again.   Yes, I know!


That’s not what you wanted to hear.

  But there’s another solution to this problem: you can apply a darker hair dye color.   However, it may not be an option you want for your look.

So, don’t give up and go back to bleaching!


Watch out!   Bleach only the roots.   Be very careful not to touch the mid-lengths and ends that already reached the base you needed because you run the risk of ruining them.

Finally,   once you have bleached, dye again.  

Remember to have a few options on hand to restore your hair after multiple bleaches.

Reason 2: You didn’t let the dye long enough and that’s why your bleached roots didn’t take the color

young blonde girl smiles and holds a big clock

Dyes have a time of action: they open the cuticles during the first 15 minutes. Then, they deposit the color.

So,   if you didn’t leave the dye on long enough, the cuticles opened but couldn’t absorb the color.  

The good thing is that you can easily fix the color.


Solution 2: If you left the dye on for a short time, do this

You should reapply the dye and leave it on for the time indicated by the manufacturer.

  Here’s how I like to do it:   the cuticle opens with bleach and is ready to receive the color. That’s why I like not to leave it for about 20 and 25 minutes instead of 45 minutes.

The color is beautiful!


Whichever option you choose, respect the maximum time and don’t leave the dye in longer.

Reason 3: You didn’t rinse the bleach properly and it acted as a barrier so your roots didn’t pick up the color

frustrated woman with bleached hair

After bleaching your roots, you may have rinsed the bleach out but not enough. Then, residue remained.  When you applied the dye, your roots didn’t take the color well.  

Although it may seem obvious, this is something that tends to happen a lot, especially when working on large amounts of hair.

  The bleach inhibits the action of the dye,   so it doesn’t deposit the color. The dye faces a “barrier” and your roots don’t take the color.


Solution 3: If you didn’t rinse the bleach properly, do this

 La solución es volver a aplicar el tinte.  

Tip: To avoid bleach residue, wash with shampoo (preferably ph-balanced shampoo to clean your hair of any residue)


Reason 4: The dye you used was expired and this prevented your bleached roots from taking on the color

hands preparing dye mix in a bowl

Did you think that hair dyes didn’t expire?


Surprisingly, they do!

Like most products, the expired dye doesn’t work properly when expired.

Sometimes, it doesn’t dye at all, or   the color can be totally different from the one you chose   So, from now on, get used to checking the expiration date of all products.


Solution 4: If the hair dye you used was expired, do this

If the dye you used was expired, you’ll need to buy another dye. Make sure it’s not expired.   Prepare it and reapply it on your hair.  

Also, here’s an important fact: hair dyes have to be stored properly. Otherwise,   if they were exposed to the sun’s rays, they may not do their job either.  


Reason 5: You haven’t prepared the dye properly and that’s why your roots didn’t take the color

Blonde woman in gloves prepares the product for hair coloring

Each dye has a preparation form indicated on its package. It shows   the proportion of peroxide to be added according to the amount of dye.  


  For example, some labels say “1+1.” The first number indicates the amount of dye, and the second the amount of oxidant.  

So, in this case, you should use the same amount of dye and oxidant.

But,   it can also be “1+1/2”,  which indicates: one part of dye and one and a half of oxidant. This depends on each brand.


Solution 5: If you haven’t prepared the dye properly, do this

  Check the proportion of dye and oxidant to mix the products correctly and re-apply it to your hair.  

If you do it correctly, you’ll soon be able to wear the color you wanted.


  If you bleached your hair and the roots didn’t take the color,   take a deep breath and stay calm: whatever the reason, everything has a solution. Don’t despair!

Get to work and you’ll soon see results. Finally, don’t forget to moisturize your hair at the end of the process because it’ll have gone through several chemical processes.

It’ll be your way to thank your hair for having endured so much!

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