Do you always have to bleach your hair to dye it? Blondes, brunettes, fantasy

from dark to blonde

Bleaching and dyeing.

The two sides of the same coin.


The two delicate sides of the same coin that don’t always pay well.

When people ask me this question in the salon, my answer is, “depends.”


And I know that answer doesn’t satisfy anyone, but it’s the truth. If you want to know if you need to bleach your hair to color it after, the answer will depend on many factors.


For example, if you’re a brunette and you all of a sudden want to look like a Nordic Goddess.

Or if you have light brown hair and want to add some red tones.

It also will depend on the physical state of our hair fibers and on the hair products that you want to use when dyeing your hair.


  There isn’t just one answer because it all depends on the natural color of your hair and the tone you want to get to.  

But don’t freak out.

Here I’ll prepare you with a small guide to know when it’s necessary to bleach your hair so you can dye it afterward.

And like I always say, bleaching is a serious topic.


I know you’ve seen an infinite amount of videos in YouTube of girls that experiment on their hair, bleaching it, putting one color on top of another, smiling as if they were trying to prepare exciting cooking recipes.

But the truth is bleaching is a chemical process in which a professional should always be involved, a person that is qualified to be able to do this kind of hair procedure with the least amount of damage to your hair.

That is my opinion as a stylist, after years of working and seeing ruined hair in my salon from the misuse of hydrogen peroxide.


In addition, remember that each hair tone has a different undertone. Black has a blue hue; dark Brown has an auburn hue; medium brown has a red hue; light brown, orange, dirty blonde, orange, light blonde, yellow, and platinum blonde a pale yellow, almost white.


As you bleach your hair, those natural hues will come out.

Let’s go back to what we were talking about

In what cases is it really necessary to bleach your hair.

Tabla de Contenidos


Is it necessary to bleach your hair to dye it blonde?

lighten dark brunette hair

To go from dark tones to lighter ones, it really is necessary to bleach your hair. If you have black hair, there is no other alternative but to erase that color, so that you can later dye it the color that you want.


This is because you should completely eliminate the natural pigment of your hair, in this case black, getting the chemicals to penetrate the hair shaft.

Doing this removes the protective layer of each of your hair fibers which dries out your hair.

Later, I will tell you how to get your hair ready for bleaching.


Now, if you have light brown hair and you want to go to a dirty blonde, you can tyr a couple of natural processes without needing to use bleach.

For example, you can lighten your hair naturally with honey and vinegar.

Yes, I haven’t gone crazy, nor am I an expert in the kitchen, but these ingredients can lighten your light brown hair.

How to Lighten Your Brown Hair Without Bleach


  • Two cups of vinegar
  • One cup of raw honey
  • One tablespoon of olive oil
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix the ingredients well in a bowl and apply the mixture to your whole head.

Make sure you completely cover the streaks.

Wrap your head in a plastic cap and let it sit overnight.

The next morning, rinse your hair well.

This is not a magical solution, but it is natural. You should repeat the process a couple of times until you get the results you want.


How to lighten your hair with chamomile shampoo

If you homemade recipes aren’t your friend, you can also use chamomile shampoo, which is able to lighten your hair.

For this you need to have a lot of patience and use the shampoo for a couple of months if you want to see any result with this type of shampoo.

 It’s an interesting way to lighten your hair in a practical way without using bleach.  


Do you need to bleach you hair to dye it fantasy colors?

bleach with 20 volume peroxide

This definitely will depend on the tone of your current color.

 If you have a dark tone, there is no other way than to bleach you hair so that the fantasy colors will take in your hair.  


Now, if you have light hair, whether it’s dyed or natural, you can find some brands that have developed products that transform your hair to colors like purple, blue, green, etc.


These are dyes that contain nano-pigments that attach to your hair more easily.

According to some of my clients, the color remains in tact for five weeks, even though that seems like a bit of an exaggeration to me.

My hair is dark and I want to dye it red. Do I have to bleach it?

If you are thinking of coloring your hair red, allow me to give you some advice: think twice. Red tones can be very eye-catching, but they demand a lot of dedication so that they are always vibrant and beautiful like you just left the salon.


My advice so that the red takes evenly throughout all the hair is bleaching, because if you place dye over dye, you run the risk of your hair being stained and then you would basically be like a version of one of the dogs loved by Cruella De Vil.


Dark hair is very difficult to color if you want to lighten them, which is why the recommendation is almost always to bleach your hair to get to the tone you want.


Do you have damaged hair and you’re thinking of coloring it? This is what you should do


Up until now, we only talked about color.

But what happens with very fine, mistreated hair? Is it okay to bleach it?


For years I’ve maintained the same idea.

  Mistreated or fragile hair should be put through any kind of chemical process.  

Not bleach, nor coloring, nor keratin treatments, nothing.


If the hair is fragile, for whatever reason, first you need to restore it and strengthen it, and then you can color it how you want.

Let’s suppose that your hair is mistreated due to continuously using heat tools. In those cases, what you have to do is simple.

Stop using your hair dryer and flat iron for a while. Start using good quality products for washing that are sulfate-free. Do these things for at least six months.


After those six months, reevaluate the conditions your hair is in.

If your hair is stronger, then you can color your hair. If your hair still is weak, then you need to keep babying it and caring for it for a bit more time.

I insist on this.


 Bleaching or coloring fragile or mistreated hair seems crazy to me.  


4 Basic Rules of Coloring that you should keep in mind

Always remember that there are some basic rules to keep in mind when dyeing your hair.

  • If you want to lighten your natural hair color up to three tones, you don’t need to use bleach first.
  • If you have dyed your hair a dark color and you want to lighten it, you should bleach it to be sure that you’re getting the results you want.
  • If you have light hair and you want darker tones, you don’t have to use bleach.
  • If you want to go from a lighter tone to a copper tone and your hair is natural, you won’t have any problems and you don’t have to use bleach. Simply choose the color that you want. If your hair is dyed ashy blonde, I recommend consulting with a colorist because ashy tones don’t mix well with coppery tones.


3 tips for not damaging your hair when bleaching

If you have decided to change your hair color, here, I’ll leave you some tips to damage your hair as little as possible during the bleaching process.

  • Deeply hydrate your hair the days before bleaching it.
  • Check over the ends of your hair, and if they aren’t healthy, trim them because damage extends from split ends.
  • Don’t use the flat iron or hair dryer on your, and don’t do any keratin treatments for at least three weeks before bleaching.


And you? Have you managed to change your hair color without using bleach?

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