Can I do box dye over balayage? Sure, but read this first

  • To do box dye over balayage you must take into account some techniques and coloring knowledge.
  • If you want to cover your balayage with box dye, you can choose up to two tones lighter. Alternatively, f you want to darken your hair, you can choose any darker color. Remember you should always apply the dye from roots to ends.
  • If you want to change the color of your balayage, you can choose any tone. Apply the box dye irregularly by identifying the areas where the fading begins.
  • If you want to do box dye to disguise gray hair on your balayage, choose the hair dye color you have on the growth. Apply it to the roots without touching the fading area.


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As you can see, it’s possible to do box dye over balayage. The challenge is to get the color right.

You’ll need to consider two factors:

  • First, the results you want to achieve.
  • Second, your coloring knowledge.


I’m not telling you this to convince you not to apply box dye over your balayage.

  Instead, I’m telling you this so that you take every precaution to avoid a disaster for your hair.  

So, let’s start with the basics: can you do box dye over balayage?


The short answer is yes.

Is it a good idea?


It all depends on your coloring skills.

When I say coloring skills, I mean choosing the right color and application technique.


  If you have zero skill, it would be best to go to a professional salon to find the best alternative for your hair.  

Otherwise, if you have coloring skills, you could do box dye over your balayage. It brings us to the next question.

What do you want to achieve by doing box dye over your balayage?


  • Do you want to apply a uniform color on your hair?
  • Do you want to change the color of your balayage?
  • Do you want to touch up the roots and growth to cover gray hair?


  You can use a box dye in those cases, but you must pay special attention to the color choice and the application method.  

To understand each of these options, I’ll share with you the story of three different clients.

They’re three very different people with one thing in common: they all used box dye over their balayage.

The results?


You’ll have to read on to find out.

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How to do box dye over balayage for even color

hairdresser applied a dye too dark

Ana came to my salon looking for a total makeover. Her hair was brown 4, and she wanted to reach the highest blondes. So, I suggested a balayage to start the transition.


It was a beautiful coloring job that faded from brown 4 to blonde 8.

Also, her hair got lighter and lighter after each touch-up due to the successive bleaching processes.


One day, Ana missed her balayage touch-up appointment, but what surprised me the most was that she didn’t call me to reschedule it. After a few days, Ana came into the salon.

I must admit that I had to look at her twice to recognize her. Her hair was all one color: dark blonde 6. I mean, no news about the balayage. What had happened?


Ana had gotten tired of balayage and did a root-to-tip box dye to achieve a uniform color. She had chosen a dark blonde 6 because her balayage started from a brown 4.

So, given her coloring experience, she had chosen the perfect color to cover her balayage with box dye.


If you feel identified with Ana because you want to cover the balayage, you should choose the color following the rule of two numbers.

To scale numbers on your hair without bleaching it, you can apply up to 2 numbers higher than you currently have.

  • If your balayage starts from auburn 4, the hair dye color should be up to a dark blonde 6.
  • If your balayage starts from a dark blonde 6, it should be up to a light blonde.
  • If your balayage starts from a blonde 7, it should be very light blonde 9.


This way, you’ll achieve a uniform color to cover the lighter blondes of the fading area, and also the darker colors from where you start.

To lighten colors, you can apply a dark brown 3 or a black 1 on all your hair. Don’t forget to apply it from roots to ends.


How to change a balayage color with box dye

toner and developer mix

Let’s move on to the next story.

Andrea is a very special client with a very sophisticated style. Little by little, she was encouraged to change her natural dark blonde 6 hair color with a balayage.

Why did I choose a balayage for this makeover?


Because this coloring technique is very versatile and allowed her to have several colors in her mane.

After the three-balayage makeovers, Andrea showed up at the salon with a scarf covering all of her hair. When she removed it, I almost fainted, not from excitement but from shock.


Her balayage was as red as fire, and there were some orange locks with a dividing line between growth and lengths.

Andrea confessed that a co-worker recommended applying red box dye only on the lengths of her balayage.

Without having any coloring experience, she applied the dye where the blonde area of the fading part started and up to the ends.

If you want to avoid a disaster, you should do the opposite.


Therefore, you should apply the hair dye unevenly on the previously bleached lengths.

  • Comb your hair with a middle parting to identify where the fade part begins.
  • Mix the box dye according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Wearing gloves and using a dye brush, start the application.
  • You can make longer and shorter strokes to get your growth to blend in with the rest of the hair.
  • You shouldn’t apply the hair dye in a straight line to avoid having a dividing line between the color of your growth and the lengths of the balayage.
  • After the exposure time recommended by the manufacturer, rinse.


This brings us to the last story in which an explosive pairing comes together: gray hair and balayage.


How to apply box dye to a balayage to disguise gray hair

Brenda is a client who had a lot of gray hair and one dream: to have a balayage.


My first recommendation when she told me about it was that it wasn’t the best alternative because balayage imitates the natural fading that occurs with the sun.

Therefore, the top part, which is the roots and growth, always remains darker than the lengths and ends.

After her insistence, I agreed. As a stylist, I can give advice but the client has the last word unless her hair is at serious risk.


As this was not the case,   I proceeded to apply the balayage on one condition: she had to respect the touch-up times strictly every three weeks.  

When it was time for touch up, I applied a brown 4 hair dye on the gray hair without touching the fade. Her balayage looked perfect.


One day, she called me in desperation because she had a work meeting, and her gray hair was exposed. However, I had no availability. So, I recommended that she apply a brown box dye 4 ONLY ON HER ROOTS AND GRAY HAIR.


This alternative solution was successful because Brenda only applied the hair dye on the two centimeters of the roots to cover her gray hair.

If you want to disguise the gray hair while keeping the balayage, choose the same color you have in the growth, and apply it on the roots without touching the lengths and ends.



To do a box dye over a balayage, you need to choose the right hair dye color and respect the application method considering your goal.

If you don’t have much coloring experience, don’t take any risks. Visit your trusted colorist to avoid losing a coloring job as stylish as balayage.

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