Can I use blonde box dye over highlights? No, unless you want to ruin your hair

woman holds mobile in one hand and in the other a lock of hair with highlighters

  • If you want to cover up your highlights, it’s really not a good idea to use blonde box dye. Because after just a few washes, your highlights will reappear. I’ll tell you why later on.
  • If your idea is to intensify the color of your highlights, applying a blonde box dye is not a good idea either. Because after two weeks, or after a few washes, your highlights will start to get a harsh orange or yellowish color.
  • Now, setting aside my professional opinion, if you want to experiment with your hair by applying a blonde box dye over your highlights, it’s best to choose light ash blonde 8 or very light ash blonde 9.


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With some issues, I prefer to be blunt up front.  As a professional colorist, my opinion is that you shouldn’t use blonde box dye over your highlights. 


And you shouldn’t do it, no matter what you want to achieve.

Because  if you apply blonde box dye over your highlights, it will lead to disaster. 

Do you know why?


It’s because blonde box dyes, or any color box dye for that matter, are not designed to be applied to bleached hair. And there are sections of your hair that are bleached, because you got highlights.


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So if you apply blonde box dye to cover your highlights, some unpleasant things could happen:

  •  If you wanted to cover or intensify the color of your highlights , after a few washes, your hair will start to get harsh colors. They’ll appear right where you had the highlights.
  •  If you wanted to apply a blonde box dye color to match the roots with the rest of your hair , your hair will now be two colors. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go to a professional for help. Your colorist will need to bleach some new sections to maintain the technique.
  • Also,  if you use a blonde box dye and your highlighted hair is weak and dry  already, you can damage it irreversibly.
  • It would also be useless to think you can use blonde box dye on your highlights to lighten them. Because blonde dye doesn’t contain bleach.


For me, it would be much simpler to tell you that you could use blonde box dye on your highlights, and then go through the whole process of explaining it’s not recommended. But things are what they are, and I prefer to be direct.


If you don’t want to ruin your hair, you can’t use blonde box dye on your highlights

several Garnier blonde box dyes

Well, you could. But get ready to lose hundreds of dollars at a salon to have a colorist fix the mess.

Because  when you bleached sections of your hair to get highlights, your hair lost melanin, i.e. color. 

If you then apply blonde dye, your hair will absorb the color. But  the color won’t be fixed inside the hair. It doesn’t have enough melanin. 


Then,  after a few washes, your highlights will emerge again but now with a horrible harsh color. They could turn orange or yellowish. 

And if that wasn’t enough, your hair will become more dry, weak, and brittle. Hair in this condition is very close to falling out.

Don’t want to heed my warnings?


Well, if you choose, you can ignore the warnings and apply blonde dye to your highlights. But at the very least. try to choose the right hair color. Below, much to my chagrin, I’ll leave you with a few suggestions.


What shade of blonde box dye you can apply over highlights… despite a colorist’s recommendations

different shades of blonde for hair with highlights

As the saying goes, “none so deaf as those that will not hear”. But at least now you know the risks you’re exposing your hair to if you use blonde box dye on your hair.

Therefore, all I can do is at least recommend a color. And I ask you to at least listen to me on this.

 My recommendation is that you choose a medium blonde box dye. 

For example:

  • Light blonde 8
  • Very light blonde 9


And it’s also  important that within these two colors, you choose a shade that contains ashy or pearly undertones . This way, you have some chance of not creating those harsh orange or yellow tones. I repeat, you have a very small chance those harsh orange colors won’t turn up.

So, you could choose:

  • Light ash blonde 8.1
  • Light pearly blonde 8.2
  • Very light ash blonde 9.1
  • Very light pearly blonde 9.2



I’m sorry to have disappointed you today. But, you know, noblesse oblige. And as a professional colorist, I can’t recommend using blonde box dye over highlights. Because if I did, I would be helping you ruin your hair color, and worse, your hair’s health.

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