5 reasons your blonde hair dye is not working and how to fix it

fix uneven hair color

If your blonde hair dye isn’t working it could be for some of these five reasons:

  • Reason 1: You chose a very light blonde dye that doesn’t cover your color. Therefore, if you want a very light blonde, the solution is to bleach your hair first.
  • Reason 2: You didn’t let the dye sit long enough. The solution is to re-dye your hair with the same color and leave it on for 45 minutes.
  • Reason 3: The dye was out of date. In this case, you’ll also need to dye your hair again with a new dye.
  • Reason 4: You dyed your hair without removing the oily residue. The only solution is to reapply the dye to hair that is free of hair product residue.


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I’m trying to imagine the situation you’re going through and also the disappointment you’re feeling.

That’s what life is about: putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. In other words, having empathy.


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I imagine the excitement with which you bought that blonde box dye.

I take it a step further and imagine you setting aside your entire Saturday afternoon to color your hair on your own.

This is how you did it.   You applied the dye, and while waiting for the exposure time, you amused yourself with some Tik-Tok postings.  

Up to that point, your life was shining. Then, it was time to rinse out the dye.


Later, you let your hair air dry and, to add up to the excitement, you didn’t even peek once in the mirror.


But when you finally noticed that your hair was completely dry, and you looked in the mirror, all the colors of the universe disappeared, and it was all black.

The deep, anguished black of disappointment.

What happened?


Why didn’t the blonde dye change the color of your hair?

hairdresser applied a dye too dark

Dear reader friend, unforeseen events happen.

They do even in your multicolored world that now seems to have lost its colors. But don’t worry.


I can’t stand life in black and white.

So, today we’ll analyze what may have happened with your blonde dye that didn’t work to change your hair color.


Of course, we’ll find the solution.

Welcome the joy of color into your life, and let’s get started!

Tabla de Contenidos


Reason 1: The blonde dye didn’t work because you chose a very light color

match hair color

This is the most common problem.


Permanent blonde dyes shouldn’t be applied directly to dark brown, auburn, or light brown hair. Although they are mixed with a 20-vol developer, they aren’t intense enough to lighten the hair more than half a tone.

In these cases, it’s necessary to bleach the hair first.

What color was your hair before you bleached it?


  If your hair had a dark base, such as brown, even light brown, you’ll need to bleach your hair to achieve at least a dark blonde 6.  

A blonde dye won’t work on your dark hair.


For the dye to work properly, the difference between your hair color and the dye color should be no more than two levels.

If you want a much lighter color, you’ll need to bleach your hair.


To help you understand this theory, let’s look at some examples.

  • If your hair is dark brown 3, and you apply a light blonde hair dye 8, you won’t notice any change.
  • If your hair is brown 4, and you apply a blonde dye 7, you won’t notice any color difference.
  • If your hair is black 1, and you apply a dark blonde dye 6, your hair will remain black.
  • If your hair is light brown 5, and you apply a very light blonde dye 9, you’ll end up disappointed.


So, for a blonde dye to work on your hair, there should always be a maximum of two tones difference between your base color and the dye you choose.

For example:

  • If your hair is light brown 5, apply a blonde hair dye 7.
  • If your hair is brown 4, you can opt for dark blonde 6.
  • If your hair is dark blonde 6, choose light blonde 8.

So much for the theory. Now, how do you solve your problem to finally sport your ideal blonde?


  If you want to achieve very light blonde colors, like light blonde 8, very light blonde 9, or platinum blonde 10, you’ll need to bleach your hair. Then, apply the dye.  

Bleaching is a very aggressive process for the hair that can cause irreversible damage, dryness, frizz, and dullness.


  Before you start applying such a damaging process to your hair, I recommend you visit your trusted salon   and ask your colorist about the steps to follow.

If your hair has a light base, and you only want to lift up to two tones on the color scale, you can color it maintaining the difference between your hair color and the dye you choose.


Reason 2: You didn’t respect the exposure times of the blonde dye

hair dye two days after dyeing

Oh, we live in such a hasty world!

If this is your case, you’ll have to reapply a new dye and let it sit for the time recommended by the manufacturer.

How do you know how long the manufacturer recommends?


  Coloring kits include “instructions for use.” It’s a fairly large piece of paper with directions and little drawings.  


You should read the instructions so that the dye gives you the results you expect. Permanent dyes need time to change your hair color.

What happens during the forty-five minutes you leave the dye in your hair?


A chemical reaction takes place. The developer opens the cuticles of your hair for the color to penetrate to the core of your hair and settle.

If you leave the dye in your hair for less time, the core won’t absorb the pigments. In that case, you won’t notice any color change in your hair when you rinse the dye out.

So, what’s the solution?


Re-dye your hair and respect the exposure times.


Reason 3: The dye was out of date or in bad condition

If it’s been months since you bought your blonde dye, and it wasn’t stored properly, chances are the dye was ruined.


  Dyes contain chemicals that react to heat, moisture, and light. If your dye was exposed to any of these factors, it may be ruined.  


Try to remember that moment when you were preparing the hair dye.

  • When you mixed the dye and peroxide, were the ingredients liquid?
  • Did the dye have a strange color or white spots?


If you answer yes to any of these questions, the blonde dye didn’t work because it was expired or ruined.

The solution is to reapply another blonde dye. Only this time, check the storage conditions and the expiration date.


Reason 4: Your hair had oily residues when you colored it

hydrate colored hair

Tell me the truth. Did you apply a mask to your hair before you dyed it blonde?


Don’t feel embarrassed if you did.

Chances are you wanted to protect your hair from the chemicals in the dye.


  The problem is that most masks contain oils that form a “greasy” film on your hair. That film causes the dye to slip or stick to that oily layer.  

If that happens, the pigments will wash away with the water when you rinse the dye out because they didn’t reach the core.

What’s the moral of the story?

Whenever you color your hair, it should be free of oily product residue.

Therefore, the solution will be to re-color your hair. This time, make sure it’s free from any hair product residue.



We have analyzed the reasons why your blonde hair dye didn’t work. It probably didn’t work because you applied it on a very dark hair base, or because the dye was out of date. Also, you probably didn’t respect the exposure times.

The solution for most of these cases is to dye your hair again.

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