How to Darken Bleached Hair: Tone It Down in 3 Easy Steps

tone down hair color

To darken bleached hair, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

  • Moisturize your hair for two weeks
  • Choose the dark-colored dye you want
  • Use the dye you chose on your hair


 Darkening your hair after bleaching it is one of the easiest procedures in the world of hair. 

Like I’ve already said in other articles, it’s not hard to darken your hair, but rather, lightening your hair is what’s difficult.

But, since you’ve already gone through that process, all you need to do is tone down that post-bleach blonde.


  • The first thing you need to do before anything else is moisturizing your hair.

Bleaching is a chemical process that damages your hair fiber.

It’s always a good idea after bleaching your hair  to wait at least two weeks before you use any other kind of chemicals on your hair. 

You can use masks, oils or any other kind of re-structuring treatment you like to hydrate it.


  • Once you’ve hydrated your hair, you need to choose which color dye you want to use.

To settle on a color, all you need to do is go to the store and pick the color you like best.

Since your hair has already been bleached, you can pick any color you like.


 If you’re set on darkening your hair, you could choose a medium chocolate brown 5, a brown 4 or a dark brown 3. 

I wouldn’t recommend going any darker than that, in case you want to lighten your hair again eventually.

If you were to use a black level 1 dye, it would be really hard to get rid of and you’d have to bleach your hair several times to even get to medium brown 5.


  • And the last step you need to do is use the dye.[su/_list]

Once your hair is hydrated and you’ve picked the dye you like, all you need to do is use it.

 You can do it at home – it’s an easy procedure, so you shouldn’t need to go to a salon. 

You can do it without running into any trouble if you just follow the instructions that come with your dye to a T.


Now let’s consider each of the steps in a little more depth.

Let’s start with the step that a lot of people don’t do or don’t give enough time to: hydrating your hair before you apply any color.


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Step 1: How to hydrate bleached hair before dyeing it

keeps hair hydrated

As I’m sure you know, bleaching your hair is a chemical process that damages your hair because of the chemicals involved as well as the heat the reaction between those chemicals causes.

To be able to recuperate your hair from that damage faster, you should hydrate it before you use dye, that way you’ll be able to avoid your hair continuing to dry out.

Do you know why that happens?


  • When you bleach your hair, your hair cuticles open.
  • When you use dye, your hair absorbs the dye as a way to hydrate itself when it’s dry.
  • The dye contains ammonia, so it ends up drying your hair out even more rather than hydrating it.
  • To avoid this cycle, you need to seal your hair cuticles.

There are different ways to do it.


 You can hydrate your hair and seal its cuticles by using hydrating masks, coconut or argan oil, end-repairing products or cuticle sealers. 

Any of these products will hydrate your hair.

But, do you know how to use them?


I’ll leave you a guide of how to apply those products, so you aren’t left with any questions.


Hydrating masks or cream baths:

  • Wash your hair with your normal shampoo
  • Dry away any excess water with a towel
  • Apply the mask from your roots to your ends
  • Let it sit for 20 minutes
  • Rinse with lukewarm water
  • Repeat every 3 days if your hair is very damaged or if it’s mediumly damaged, once a week


Coconut oil, argan oil or end-repairing products:

  • Wash your hair with your normal shampoo
  • Dry away any excess water with a towel, wring it out well
  • Apply the oil or product at your ends
  • Leave in for 24 hours
  • To rinse it out, wash your hair again
  • You can do this every 48 hours if your hair is very damaged or if it’s mediumly damaged, every 4 days


Cuticle sealer:

  • Wash your hair with your normal shampoo
  • Use the cuticle sealer on the middle of your hair to the ends
  • Use the product after every time you wash your hair


 If you follow this treatment guide, you’ll be able to hydrate your hair and it will be healthy for when you use the new dye. 

You can choose the treatment that is best for you and adjust it to your schedule. You can also use more than one at the same time without any issues.

Try not to do them all in the same day, though, alternate the treatments, using one every other time, then another, and you’ll see how your hair regains its health in just a few days.


Step 2: What color dye should you use on your bleached hair?

revlon colorsilk

Once you’ve hydrated your hair and it’s strong and healthy again, you should choose your next dye color.

If you haven’t seen a color that you love on Instagram, don’t worry, you can read these recommendations.


  • If your skin is pale, you can go for a chocolate 5.5 that will perfectly complement your hair.
  • If your skin is darker, you can use a mahogany 4.5 that will intensify your gaze.


  • If your hair is straight you can choose a dark brown 3, which will perfectly frame your face.
  • If your hair is curly, you can choose an ash brown 4 that will give more depth to your features.


This is just a guide, of course you can choose whichever color you like best.

Since your hair is bleached, there’s no bottom limit to how dark you can go with your color.


The dark colors out there for you to choose from are the following:

  • 1 black
  • 3 dark brown
  • 4 brown
  • 5 medium brown or chocolate

You can choose the color you want within this scale; all you need to do is go to a haircare store or pharmacy and pick which one you like.

What should you buy?


You don’t need much to darken your hair.

  • Dye kit
  • Gloves

You see? That’s it.


Step 3: Step-by-Step How to Use the Dye

at home

Once you’ve already hydrated your hair and chosen the dark color you want for your hair, all you need to do is find the right time to do it.

First off, I’d recommend that you don’t wash your hair for 48 hours before you plan to use the dye.

That way, your hair’s natural oils will protect it from the damage the dye might cause it.

Now let’s start with the application process:


Step 1: Preparing your hair

Carefully detangle your hair with a brush or comb.


Step 2: Preparing the mix

Once your hair is completely detangled and brushed out, put on the gloves that come in the kit and prepare the mix.

Add the dye from the tube to the container the developer comes in.

Mix until smooth and completely incorporated.


Step 3: Application

Start spreading the mixture from your roots to ends.

 Cover the entire surface of your hair without leaving any part of your hair without dye.  

Leave the mix in for 45 minutes.


Step 4: Rinse and dry

Once 45 minutes have gone by, rinse your hair with lukewarm water.

Use the post-color treatment that’s included in the color kit and leave it in for 3 minutes.

Then, rinse and wrap your hair in a towel.

You can dry it with a blow dryer or let it dry naturally.



 Now that you’ve already darkened your hair, you need to remember the number of the dye you used.  

Dark colors don’t have too strict of a maintenance schedule; you can touch up your color every 5 or 6 weeks.

Or, if you want, you can touch up your roots if you have a lot of gray peeking through.

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