what color can I dye my black hair without bleaching?

semi-permanent hair dye

Today I got an email that worried me quite a bit.


That’s why I decided to share it with you, while at the same time answering the desperate girl that wrote it. Maybe it will help many other girls that find themselves in the same situation.

The girl in question is named Valentina and this was her message, that after asking permission, I’ve transcribed for you.


“Hi, Carina,

I’m writing to you because I’m desperate and I can’t find anyone that can help me.

I have really dark hair, almost black, and I want to lighten it.


The problem is I don’t want to put it through the bleaching process.

I’m tired of always seeing myself the same way.


My friends always change their hair color, but they bleach it without any problems, although I’ve noticed personally that in many cases, their hair doesn’t look healthy.


Also, I don’t want to be constantly worrying about my roots coming in, where you’ll see the color change immediately.


I’ve visited three or four beauty salons but they always tell me the same thing: you should bleach your hair. And that’s when I run out of there.


Please give me some advice, Carina.

And let me know if there is any way to change my dark hair without bleaching it.

Thank you, Carina.”


I’m sure that all over there are other Valentina’s with the same question.

 The first thing that I want tot clear up is that if you want to make a drastic change to your hair, for example, going from black to platinum blonde, there’s no other way to do it than by using bleach.  


And bleaching is a process That no matter what will damage your hair because you need to use chemicals that erase the natural pigments of your hair.

These chemical products penetrate the cuticle if your hair, breaking the chains of melanin and stripping out the color.


During this process, the hair loses its natural moisture, making it dry and sometimes straw-like.

So, now we’ve eliminated one alternative for changing the color of dark hair.

Bleaching is off the list of possibilities.

blue, purple and red

I’m sure you’re asking, “but Carina, does this mean I’m going to die with dark hair without any chance of being able to change it?”

Of course not.


There are other ways to color dark hair without having to use bleach.

And now, I’ll tell you the ones that I personally think are the best.

Have you ever heard of semi-permanent dyes?

Now, I’ll tell you how they work.



Semi-permanent dyes: what color will you choose for your hair?

fantasy colors

Semi-permanent dyes are a possible solution for lightening your dark hair without using bleach.

While bleaching works by eliminating the natural pigment of your hair, semi-permanent dyes deposit the toner you want in the stalk of the hair to the get the tone you want.


My advice is to choose two or three tones lighter than your own so that the semi-permanent dye shows better, if you are a classic girl that isn’t looking for a drastic change.

For those that are more daring, there are fantasy colors that will change the color of your dark hair without needing to bleach it first.


The fantasy dyes are those colors that don’t fall within the natural hair tones, like pinks, violets, and greens.

If your hair is dark, within the fantasy colors, you should choose dark blues, dark purples, burgundies, and dark green tones.


That is, referring to the tone of the hair.


But when it comes time to choose a fantasy tone, it’s also important to keep in mind the tone and sub tone of your skin.

Do you not know the undertone of your skin?

Here’s a little secret.

temporary hair dyes

The undertones of human skin are divided into warm and cold, the best way to figure out what undertone your skin has is to look at your veins.

Yes, as if you were a vampire thirsting after blood.

If you have blue, purple, or violet veins, your undertone is cold.

If you have blue and green veins, your undertone is neutral.

Now, if you have green or olive veins, then your undertone is neutral.


Now that we know the undertone of your skin, it’s easier to choose a fantasy color dye.

 For cold undertones, we should choose fantasy colors in the pastel range.   For warm undertones, we should choose fantasy colors in the red and violet range. 

I want to clarify that this is what color theory dictates.


Nothing is stopping you from dyeing your hair yellow or light blue if you want to.

I’m simply suggesting what can look best on you.


How do you apple semi-permanent dye?

To apply semi-permanent dye, simply wash your hair first.

Unlike permanent dyes, your hair should be very clean and wet for the semi-permanent dye to penetrate better.


This is a way of changing the tone of your dark hair without aggressive extremes.

What you should know is that it will last less time in your hair than permanent dyes, because the color fades as you wash your hair.


What semi-permanent dye should I choose?

peroxide and ammonia free

Here the first thing I recommend is choosing products from well-known brands.

Don’t go experimenting with something as precious as your hair.


 Many people buy generic products that come from God-knows-where because they are cheaper and afterwards they go crying in the corner because it ruined their hair. 

Don’t turn into one of those cry-babies.

It’s best to choose a name-brand product.

Products that have been used with good results by millions of women before you.


Some brands are:


Arctic Foxwithout aggressive chemicals for hair

Check Arctic Fox on Amazon


Manic panicvegan formula

Check Manic Panic on Amazon


L’Oréal Colorista

Check L’Oreal Colorista on Amazon


Joico Color Intensitycomes in a range of colors

Check Joico color on Amazon


How to change your hair color with creams or gels?

fantasy colors

Those that simply last las long as a breath.

And they are creams, gels or mousse that change the color of your hair, but the color only lasts until you wash your hair.


 These types of products are ideal for a change of look for just a moment. 

Maybe for a night out with your friends.

Or your boyfriend’s best friend’s wedding.

Or simply because you want to see what you would look like as a redhead.

They aren’t harsh, and they don’t have chemical products.


Here you are, my dear Valentina, my best advice for dyeing your dark hair without going through the bleaching process.


The truth that no one can bring themselves to tell you

starting from black hair

I want to clarify one thing in case it wasn’t clear.

With either of these two alternatives that I gave you above, the change of color is going to be very subtle, almost unnoticeable in some cases.


 If you have black hair and want to make a more radical change, you will have to lighten your hair a few tones.  


Depending on the color that you want to achieve, you will need one or more bleaching sessions.

For example, if you have black hair and you want an intense red or violet, you’ll need at least two bleaching sessions.


Many people think that bleaching is a destructive process for your hair. This is a false belief generated by women that have at some point bleached their hair on their own, ruined their hair and then came to the conclusion that all bleaching was the devil.

The reality is much different.


 If the bleaching is done by a trained professional, you shouldn’t have so many problems.  But of course, in order to get good results, you need time because in one bleaching session to the next, you have to wait enough time so that your hair can recuperate.

Many women don’t have patience and speed up the process. That’s when they end up ruining their hair.


That’s why my first advice is that you think hard about what color you want to dye your hair.

If it’s one of those fantasy colors that’s in style right now, or ash blonde, don’t get false hopes thinking that you can achieve that color without bleaching.

Arm yourself with courage and look for a salon with good references and do your color there.


To close this idea:

  • If you are okay with a subtle change of color, use one of the options that I gave you above.
  • If you want a more radical change, do yourself a favor and go to a professional salon.

And now, I’d like to know your opinion.

Do you have dark hair?

Are you thinking about changing your color but you haven’t mustered up the courage yet?

Tell me about your experience.

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