How long will it take to change my hair colour from brunette to blonde?

“How easy is it to change from brunette to blonde?” was the questions posed to me by a friend. I asked the same question to Goldwell Celebrity Colorist Rona O’Connor. Rona is responsible for one of my favourite blondes, Blake Lively, who is just one of her many celebrity clients who frequently change their hair colour for roles.

Rona shared her tips for changing your hair colour from brunette to blonde, but how long can you expect to be in the salon to see results, and how often will you need to go back?

It all depends on how dark your natural colour is, and what shade of blonde you want to become. You can change your hair colour in one visit but is not usually recommended. Rona warns,

“You can change your color in one visit, but, if you have previously colored hair or have a damaged texture, the coloring  process will take longer to become a blonde.  If your hair is brittle or damaged as a brunette, it will take more visits to be light blonde to keep your hair healthy.  Healthy hair reflects your best blonde!

There are three easy options to change your brunette hair to blonde in the salon:

  1. Highlighting with several lighter shades shades – this can be done in two and a half to three hours, thicker hair will take longer. You’ll need to return to the salon approximately every six weeks.
  2. Lightening your hair overall, with highlighting and toning to achieve your perfect blonde – this process will take approximately three hours. You’ll need root touch ups every four weeks plus highlights at every second appointment.
  3. Bleach blonde and toned – make sure you choose a reputable salon for your first time. You’ll be in the salon for most of the day, and will need four weekly appointments for root touch ups.

Rona warns against using box colour for a major hair colour change.

Box colors for a brunette trying to go blonde could be risky. Often the color results are gold or orange. I would only recommend a professional for a dramatic change like this. There is too much room for error.”

“On a personal note: I am a natural brunette, that likes to be blonde, and had my own color disaster as a teenager and didn’t know a corrective colorist. The most common mistakes people make when coloring at home, is believing they’ll look like the box.”

Have you ever tried to go from brunette to blonde using a box colour?

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  1. Brianna says

    Hi! Thanks for this post, very useful information. I am a natural blonde and I dye my hair dark brown. I sometimes consider going back to blonde but am nervous of how it will turn out – would the process be about the same?

    Thanks again!

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Brianna. It would be a slightly different process as you can strip back the darker colours from blonde hair, though it depends on how dark you have gone and how long you have been colouring your hair. I wouldn’t try it at home, but ask your stylist about removing the darker colour, and then softening the colour with highlights / lowlights to balance the colour.

      • Chloe Sky says

        Hi, I’ve dyed my hair red a few times but I had it bleached so the box red just washes out easily, now I want to go blonde, and my hair is quite healthy as I don’t like unhealthy hair it been almost 3 months since I’ve dyed my hair and almost all the red has washed out I want to get my hair done blonde in about a week, how do you think it will go as I have heard red is the hardest to get rid of.

        • Hair Romance says

          Hi Chloe, yes it can be tricky to remove the red to get a clean blonde. My colourist always says he can do anything if the quality of the hair is there. If you’re bleaching your hair, ask your colourist to use Olaplex which will help protect your hair. Good luck x

  2. says

    I haven’t tried to do it from a box colour, but I did have a disastrous in salon episode which left me with orange hair…including several bleach shampoos to tone it down to a light strawberry blonde…I’m convinced I’m not supposed to be blonde! My natural colour is a dark blonde, light brown.
    Kylie recently posted..happy halloween! {no. 31}My Profile

    • Hair Romance says

      Oh no Kylie! That sounds like a disaster. I once had terrible tiger stripe highlights which I had to redo at another salon.

  3. jasmine says

    Hi! I’m a natural brunette but have been dying my hair in and out of every color for many years now. I am now in college and due to my lack of money have not died my hair in quite a while. Although lately I have been truly considering going back to blonde, I have read many of your articles on going blonde and as a brown hair, brown eyed, yellow skinned girl I am looking for a golden tone. What is your best advice in taking these steps and is there a certain thing I should ask for when I go to the salon? I am afraid that I will not get what I am looking for due to my ineptitude with directions. haha.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jasmine, I’d take a couple of colour inspiration images in to your hairdresser and have a consultation to work out how long it will take to achieve the colour you want. As you’ve coloured your hair before, it would be best to colour your hair blonde over a few appointments to minimise any damage to your hair. Maybe an ombre blonde would suit you as it is much lower maintenance. Being blonde can be expensive. Good luck! Christina

  4. India says

    Hi great read. I’m a natural dark brunette who has just paid £52 for highlights. I am so sad because they are turning more brassy by the day. I haven’t a clue what to do. I really want to be blonde.

    Have you any advice on what I can do. I am so sad it is my first time having my hair highlighted and was disappointed on the results and have no money left for another week. thanks

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi India, it sounds like you need a toner. Try a silver shampoo (L’oreal professionnel is a good one) and this will help tone down the brassiness in your hair. It can take time to lighten hair from dark brunette to blonde, and maintain the quality of your hair. Good luck!

  5. Natalie says

    Hi I’m naturally dark brown but have been getting blonde highlights for for about 11/12 years now. However I recently decided I wanted a change as sick of always having regrowth so I bought a box dye (meant to be dark brown but went black), I read on the Internet using certain shampoos helps strip the colour out of ur hair which it has significantly. S now my hair is dark brown but the blonde is starting to come through the more u wash it. I hate this dark hair and so desperately want to be blonde again can I just get highlights again and it will be ok? As I start college soon and don’t want to turn up with a hair disaster thank u

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Natalie, you need to be careful lightening your hair so that you don’t do too much damage. As it’s only been one colour process of dark over light, they may be able to do another process to strip the colour back out. Then a few highlights can blend the colour. Good luck x

  6. Hannah says

    Hi, I have light/golden brown hair and would like to go to a champagne blonde. Would I be able to achieve this with highlights?thank you!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Hannah, yes but it will take a few sessions. Highlights only colour small sections of your hair at a time, so you can gradually go lighter x

  7. Rose Jewl says

    Hi, my natural hair colour is dark blonde (kind of a dirty blonde)/ light brown, and my hair colour at the moment is brunette/ dark brown, I have died my hair a lot, (im only 15 though) and I want to know which is the healthiest and easiest way to go blonde, im thinking about going to a salon but I dont know if I should ask for blonde foils, and would my hair go blonde with just one session of blonde foils? I dont know how it would look?
    Thanks xx

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Rose, foils are the most natural way to go blonder as it blends with your natural colour. It will takes 2-4 visits to get it to the colour you’re after x

  8. says

    Hi my natural colour is red but i have some build up of brown hair dye and i want to be able to get rid of that colour and some how get my hair colour to a strawberry blonde what do i need to do in order to get rid of the brown and slowly get to the strawberry blonde

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Alicia, you’ll need to try and strip some of that colour back, or lighten your hair. Depending on how long the colour has been on will determine the best course of action. I would go to your salon and take a picture of the colour you want to be and get their advice x

  9. Niz says

    Hello! My natural hair color is a light ash brown, but I’ve been dyeing my hair darkest dark brown for about 6 months. I want to go back to my natural hair color, and I’m not sure what the best way to go about it is. I’ve called my hairstylist and she recommends starting off with full highlights and after each visit keep highlighting and then dye my hair to that color. I’m a little nervous that my hair might be brassy due to the red pigment in my hair from the dye. And will the ash get rid of all the red?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Niz, that sounds like a good way to go. The highlights will be gentler on your hair than an all-over colour. Plus it will look more natural and combine with your hair as the darker colour grows out. I wouldn’t worry about it being brassy. A toner will correct any red tone that’s in your hair. Good luck! Christina x

  10. Jen says

    Hello! So my natural hair color is sort of a chestnut brunette and I wanted to color it a sort of dirty/honey blonde. I made an appointment with my salon, after I tell them this what should I expect to be the first step of transitioning over? Will they put bleach in my hair or just gradual highlights?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jen, it depends on what colour you want to end up like. A tint will give you a solid colour, but I think highlights are more natural. You may need 2 sessions to lighten your hair to the colour you want. They should use a few tones of blonde as highlights and maybe a powder lightener, depending on how light you want to go x

  11. Samm says

    Hey! I’m going to be 16 in a week or two and begged my parents to let me change my hair (yet again) for this winter. I went back to my natural color, which is a medium shade of brown. I colored it at the beginning of school at the end of July/early August. I also used box color but my hair has basically faded to its natural color. I really want to go like a bronde or dirty blonde color. My hair comes to the middle of my back and is really thick. Would it turn out for me? How many times would I have to get my hair touched up?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Samm! I can’t say exactly as box colours can be unpredictable. If you only want to go a few shades lighter try a semi permanent colour or ombre kit. Good luck! x

  12. Morgan says

    Hey there! I’m a natural medium blonde with natural highlights and 2 months ago I decided to go a medium brown with permanent color. Although the color doesn’t look bad necessarily, I’m deeply missing my blonde hairs! I scheduled an appointment with my hair dresser to go back to my medium blonde natural color, but she said it may take a few visits for it to completely get back blonde in order for it to be the least damaging to my hair. I was wondering what method she is most likely going to use and how “blonde” or what will it look like after this first visit with her?
    Thank you!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Morgan, there’s a few ways to do it but most likely she will do a full head of highlights. Then on the next visit either a half or full head of highlights again to create a more natural colour, and to maintain the health of your hair. If she does an all over colour, going lighter in stages, a few shades at a time, will be the gentlest on your hair x

  13. Want to be blonde says

    How many visits to the salon will it take? Ive been twice for a full head of highlights My roots are about 4 inches long so the top went blonde really easy but the bottom of my hair (I have long hair the highlights are more of a caramel colours . The top always lightens but the bottom is always a bit darker . Anyways I’ve been twice his wondering how many times it will take .
    I got to a good spa (fayez)

    • Hair Romance says

      It depends on how dark your hair was to begin with and how blonde you want to be. You’ll need to make regular visit (every 6 weeks) and it should take 2-4 sessions of highlights

  14. Liz says

    Hi! I have been dying my hair a level 5 brown color for almost two years. My natural hair color is a dirty blonde color. When my hair is dyed dark brown, it takes about a month for it to lighten back up a bit. For winter, I’ve been wanting to of pretty blonde. With lowlights. Not platinum, but pretty blonde. I dyed my hair the dark color again about two months ago. I want to get my hair dyed completely blonde all in one day, is it possible to do that? Or will hair salons not do that? I want to surprise my boyfriend with it, but I want it to only take one day to do so. Thanks!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Liz, it depends. It can be done but you will need to take care of your hair after. It will have to go through a lot of lightening in one day, maybe even be lightened twice. I’d allow a lot of time in the salon. Maybe pop in to your salon and ask for a consultation to find out what they think and how long it will take. Good luck!

  15. steph says

    I recently stripped my hair from black, it is now a dark goldeny auburn colour at the top, and a very dark brown at the bottom. it is quite a bit past shoulder length, and i’d like to go a dark sandy blonde. is this possible to do in a salon? or wouldnt the colour take?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Steph, what’s your natural hair colour? Sounds like you still have a lot of colour in the end of your hair. I’m sure you can go blonde but your ends will need lightening, and probably your roots too. Tell your colourist what you’ve done so far so they can work out how to best colour each section of your hair x

  16. suzanne says

    im naturally blonde and have been dying my hair for a while now, im 17, I dyed my hair red about a year ago and have been trying to get the colour red out, its took me a couple of attempts as ive used the colour b4 colour remover, I want to go blonde in one salon visit, my hair now is like a browny/redy/orbany type colour, would the hair dressers be able to get it to blonde?! need to know asap :)x

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Suzanne, my colourist always says “I can do anything to hair if the quality is there” so if your hair is in good condition you can be any colour! Some processes will take a toll on your hair so it’s often safer to do a drastic colour change in 1-3 salon visits. Make an appointment with your salon to find out if they can do it in one appointment, or would prefer to do it gradually. Good luck! Christina

  17. sasha says

    Okay, I have gone to the saon and died my hair a dark brown its been a month now and I used to have highlights making me very blonde, is it possible to go back (at the salon) to blonde?

    • Hair Romance says

      of course! Depending on how dark you are it may take a couple of sessions to get it back to your old blonde. Or you could do it in one but you risk doing damage to your hair. The slow approach is better.

  18. Jasmine says

    Hi there I haven’t dyed my hair for 5 years now so it’s all natural. My hair is brown fairly light and I wanted to dye it blonde a really light blonde. I want to use a box kit though so do I have to bleach my hair first before applying the dye ? And also should I use moe than one dying kit ?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jasmine, it’s hard for me to say and I really believe box kits work well if you want to change your hair 2-3 shades from your natural colour. Beyond this, it’s tricky and in the long run, you’ll end up spending more at a hairdresser to fix mistakes. I’d be wary of box kits for changing your hair to a very light blonde. Or start saving for a corrective colour in salon 😉

  19. sue purnell says

    Hi Im sixtyone now an over the years gone from dark brunette to ninety percent grey,so changed to blonde,,,then last couple years went brunette,,,,an would like to go back to bllonde,cos regrowth. Lasts longer ,whats the best way ? High lights ?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Sue, yes highlights would be my recommendation. It will take 2-3 appointments to get an all over blonde look, but your grey will grow out and act as a natural highlight. It’s the easiest for maintenance too x

  20. Addyson says

    I want to get my hair to platinum blonde from brown. I went to the salon a week ago and the girl said she could only do all over highlights this session and I would have to come back in 10 to 12 weeks to repeat the process. Do I really have to wait that long and when I go back will she be able to at least get it all blonde?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Addyson, how platinum are we talking? Like Gwen Stefani pale white blonde? This is a very strong colour lift and you can go from brown to blonde with an all over tint but depending on the quality of your hair, your hair could be very fragile at the end. You’ll be blonde but you might need to cut several inches off the length of your hair. All over highlights is the more natural way to go blonde. 10-12 weeks seems like a very long time in between visits. That will give your more of a balayage look. For a true platinum look you’ll need salon visits every 4-6 weeks.

      • Addyson says

        I’m talking Gwen stefani pale white blond and she said my hair lifted very well with the bleach and now I have Carmel blonde all over highlights. But could I achieve that blonde in another salon visit?

  21. Jerrica says

    Hi there! I have naturally thick, dark brown hair that comes to about the middle of my back. I decided that I want to go a dirty blonde,like previously mentioned Blake Lively. I did, however, dye my hair about a year ago, and it is still a honey brown color. I want to set up a consultation with a salon, but would first like to know what kind of coloring I would have to get done, like tinting or highlighting or shading, so I don’t sound like a complete fool. I am also wondering how many trips it would take. Thanks so much!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jerrica, I wrote a guide to the different types of salon colour here but don’t worry about not understanding. If your stylist doesn’t explain it clearly to you, don’t let them do your hair. Depending on how dark your hair is, it’s usually 2 visits to get a really good blonde result. It always looks better after the second colour. Good luck x

  22. Sonova says

    I had dark blonde hair and then I decided to dye my hair a dark auburn. Big mistake! Waited 3 months to go to a salon in which they dyed my hair black. A week and a half later I had my hair soap capped and put a lighter shade of brown and now it’s basically the same auburn color before all the damage. I’ve lost 3 inches of hair and the thickness is a lot less. I’m going to wait a few months to try to lighten it again. I have heard that a color weave a few times over the next year will keep my hair healthier and achieve a blend of the two colors. What do you suggest? I’m so angry with salons right now due to spending money and not getting the hair color I wanted.

    • Hair Romance says

      Oh no Sonova! That sounds awful. I think a color weave (highlights would be the gentlest way to blend your hair color. Good luck x

  23. caroline foxon says

    Hi I am currently going through the process of going blonde from dark brown which was a dye I will be having my 3rd session tomorrow it seems to be taking along time my roots have gripped to the blonde but not the ends and there Is still a lot of brunette there I am going crazy with despair I just want to go blonde

    • Hair Romance says

      The roots take the colour easier because it is virgin hair. The ends of your hair are older and have more colour on them so it is harder to shift. Going slow is frustrating but will leave your hair in better condition. Good luck with your next session x

  24. Stefanie says

    My hair is naturally brown with a little red (I guess you can call that auburn) and I want to go Taylor swifts color blonde but I’m unsure because I don’t know how well my stylist can execute it. I have a formula for it but I want it that particular color so I would be upset if she got it too light or too dark. Should I take the chance?

    • Hair Romance says

      Make sure you take in the exact photo of Taylor Swift that you like as she also changes her hair colour. Have a consultation with your stylist before to make sure they understand what colour you want and let them explain how they can do it, and if it will suit you. Good luck!

  25. Diane says

    Hi there so I dyed my hair black a while back and now I’m trying to go dark blonde is it possible if so what can I do help please?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Diane, it’s best to go to a salon when lightening your hair, especially by so many shades. Talk to a colourist and get specialist advice for your hair x

  26. Seema says

    Hi ….i have brown hair ….does lemon help turn it into a nice dirty blonde ? I want to make it a nice dirty blonde naturally …if lemon doesnt help ,,,,,, can you give me another way ??

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Seema, the lemon juice is a bit of a myth and it can be quite drying on your hair too. There’s no natural way to lighten your hair except in the sun and this won’t really lighten your hair more than 2 shades. Best to go to your hairdresser and ask for a colour consultation x

  27. Lily says

    Hi there,
    I have brown hair some platinum blonde highlights. Would adding blonde highlights(bleach) every two months (less damaging) achieve the look of being blonde without the brassiness?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Lily, highlights would definitely give you a more natural blonde look over time but the brassiness is a separate issue. Using a violet conditioner or a toner will get rid of any brassiness and dullness in your hair x

  28. bianca says

    Hi! my hair is naturally a dark brown and i usually dye it about a shade darker, just using box dye. I am now looking into going to a salon to go lighter and get the ombre hairstyle based off of kim kardashians (the shade hers is) I was wondering if you could estimate how much It will cost and how much damage there could be to my hair. It is naturally very thick and dries out easily so i use a lot of argan oil to help it stay stronger and silkier.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Bianca, every salon is different so I can’t guess a price. As for damage it’s impossible for me to say. Highlights will dry your hair out slightly but it shouldn’t noticeably affect your hair. Keep using argan oil and you should be fine :)

  29. Kris says

    Hiya, I am a natural blond but I went dark brown then even darker auburn for the winter months. I am ready to go back to blonde for the summer, how difficult would it be? I’m feeling a tad desperate for summery blonde with super light highlights!!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Kris, it depends on your hair and I recommend going to a salon and getting their professional advice. Good luck, Christina

  30. Jess says

    Hi, I’m naturally a dark brunette but I would love to have a blonde / honey highlights but I’m always told it’s not possible cause I’ve used boxed dye is that true? What can I do to achieve that

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jess, it depends on how long you’ve been using the box dye. Dark box colours can leave heavy colour deposits on your hair which are very difficult to remove without causing damage to your hair. Anything is possible as long as the quality of the hair is good. You’ll also have to be prepared for a lot of maintenance and treatments in order to maintain your hair as a blonde. Try a different hairdresser to get a second opinion. I wouldn’t go lighter with a box colour on top of already coloured hair. Go to a professional salon. Good luck!

  31. Marie says

    Hi, I have a quick question. I have medium brown hair (had it in November coloured with a semi permanent colour, in a salon, copper, but its 99% faded out now). I am wanting to go blonder, an ashy sort blonde, think Emma Watson (Hermione), not platinum if you get me. Is this at all possible in one session? Or would I need to return a few times? I’m assuming that doing it all at once is cheaper than going back again & again? Thanks for your help!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Marie, anything is possible but it depends on the quality of your hair. It may be cheaper to do ti in one visit, but it is harsher on your hair. Remember that it often takes 2-3 colour processes to achieve a “natural” colour.

      • Marie says

        Ok, thanks for the info & help. I’ll go & have a chat with the hairdresser & we’ll sort something out! I’d rather pay more for it to look better! :)

  32. Sabrina Molina says

    Hi so I want to so bad go to a champagne blond (just a tad lighter than that) with darker light brown roots. My hair is relative in good condition, I deep condition frequently. I have natural dark brown hair. I’ve processed my hair before my current hair color now which is dark brown with burgundy red highlights that I’m now letting fad for the lightening process. I ordered myhd color remover and I plan on using that first and then putting a light ash blonde for dark hairs on after. I plan on putting the ash blonde or lighter color with 30 or 40 developer a month later. Then when my hair is light enough I feel comfortable to bleach (like a light light brown) then I’ll bleach and put a medium blonde/champagne blonde in at my ends working to my root cuz I don’t want my roots light. I want to gradually lighten my hair so by 2 months from now I can achieve blonde. I don’t know what ash blonde color to use I heard of loreal hilift highlights but open to better suggestions. Also would love to get any advice and if my process will relatively work. And would appreciate info on what kind of toners I should use and products to keep my color neutral and not brassy. Thanks (:

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Sabrina, I can’t advise on any colours as I always have my hair coloured in a salon. As for toners, there are several semi permanent colours like DeLorenzo Novacolour and Evo Fabuloso that are great. Using a purple/violet shampoo & conditioner are a great way to maintain your colour with each wash too.

  33. Annie says

    I got my hair done with a half head of blonde foils but freaked out that I didn’t like it when I did and tried to dye to back to my natural brown and so chose a dark brown box dye but it basically turned black with red undertones cause I dyed it red first as I red online it would turn green otherwise. Can my hairdresser strip this colour out, dye it brown and then half head the foils? What is the best option to get my natural kind of brown with a half head of blonde foils?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Annie, I’m not really sure as it depends on the quality of your hair. They should be able to remove some of the colour and fix it back to your natural colour. I would go in for a consultation and ask your stylist for advice. If you weren’t happy with the first foils, maybe also get an opinion from a different salon. Good luck x

  34. Michelle says

    Hi there,
    I have natural light brown hair but have been getting really light foils all over for the past few years resulting in very light blonde hair at the tips but keeping the roots a bit more earthy. Today I went to my regular salon and asked for it to be made a bit more of a dark dirty blonde-making sure that I sai I didn’t want it to be really dark at all. Anyway, I left with really dark hair! Like a dark brunette. She did an overall colour and kept telling me how much she liked it but all I could say was this is so much darker than I had wanted! It’s not even a really nice colour, It seems really dark at my roots and then fades out to a nothingy dull lighter brown on the ends. I really was after a light brown Jessica Biel type colour with highlights and lowlights but feel like I got exactly the opposite of what I was after! She’s very understanding so I’m going back in a few days after I’ve let the colour settle a bit. What do you think I should ask her to do to fix this? Strip the colour? Then add foils? I like I need to be direct in what I’m asking this time round. Please help!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Michelle, so sorry to hear about your experience. I’d definitely take in more photos and show them exactly the colour you want. They should be able to lighten all the colour and add some highlights at the ends. Good luck x

  35. Elle says

    Hi ! I have recently had a very traumatic experience at the hair dressers, I have been a natural light blonde all my life, in the past few years having highlights to brighten it up, my roots now being an mousy darker blonde. I asked the hair dresser to blend my root colour ( in a subtle ombre style). The girl applied an all over darker shade, and now my hair is brunette, and darker then my natural has ever been. I rung them after I got home as I was so devastated to loose my blonde locks, they said they can re-lighten it for me, but I am worried it will frazzle my hair. I am doing deep conditioning oil treatments in the mean time, and it will be about 5 days before I get it re-lightened. Will I be able to return to my light blonde without too much damage?

    • Hair Romance says

      So sorry Elle but I’m sure it will be fine. Take in photos of your old hair colour so your hairdresser is very clear on what colour you want them to correct it back to. Good luck x

  36. Zoe Thornton says

    I’m a natural mousey blonde but a month ago used a shop bought box to colour my hair medium brown. After visiting the salon to have this lifted it has left my hair an orangey yellow blonde. Not a nice colour even though the brown lifted out fine. In fact the colour was better before the tint was put on. I have been told I will need to leave my hair like this until my next appointment in 6 weeks (I go on holiday in 3!). Firstly the cost puts me off going back (£90) and secondly I have been told they still might not get the lighter blonde I want. I feel like I am being ripped off a little. My 1st question is how long should I wait before putting another box colour on my hair after my visit to the salon. My second question is would a box colour lighten the orangey yellow colour or will it exacerbate it? I want to use a baby blonde (one I’ve previously used with exceptional results)

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Zoe, I would be very cautious of using a box colour over the top of your hair. It could turn your hair khaki green! Most ash colours have a violet base so when you put blue over yellow/orange it turns out a lovely shade of green. You’ll end up spending more at the salon after all. You can use a blonde toner if you want to make the colour appear less yellow. These are cheap and easy to do at home. I would leave the permanent colour to the salon, especially as you’ve already dyed your hair twice in a month. Even if that box worked perfectly before, your hair will take colour differently now. Try the toner and see how you go. Good luck!

  37. Carley Taylor says

    Hi! My hair is dark brown, I think I dyed it black or a dark brown about 5 months ago, 3 months after I had dyed it red and it coming out horribly, I’m trying to get my hair to a very light shade brown with white ombre ends. How many salon sessions do you think it would take for me to achieve this goal?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Carley, unfortunately black and dark brown box dye is one of the hardest to remove. I can’t say for sure but I would assume you need several colour appointments to achieve white ombre ends. Depending on the quality of your hair, you might not be able to achieve it. Good luck, and go for a couple of consultations to see what your salon thinks they can do with your hair.

  38. Diana says

    Hi, just wanted to start off by sayin thanks for writing this up as it has been some help for me to read the initial post and everyone’s questions.

    I also had a question about my hair. I’m naturally a dark blonde, but had been dying my hair dark brown and black for the past few years. I finally got fed up and wanted a change, so I’ve had 2 highlighting sessions to get back to blonde. My hair is a medium light brown now, but my goal is platinum/ really light blonde. How many more highlighting sessions do you think it will take to achieve that? (Think Claire Danes in stardust as the color I want, right now it’s probably the same color as Emma Watson in vogue a few years ago). My colorist seemed to think I could achieve it in about 3 sessions, but as I’m about to go to my 3rd I just don’t see it happening. So how much longer could it take to achieve the color I desire, if at all (I’m wondering if I should give up on my blonde dreams lol)?

    Thanks so much for your help and suggestions!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Diana, sounds like you’re on the right track with highlights. It’s the prettiest way to change your hair colour, though not always the quickest. I’d guess it would be another 2 sessions to get your hair as light as Claire Danes, but you could possibly get there in 1 appointment. The issue is the quality of your hair. If your hair is in good condition, you could lighten it faster but if it’s feeling dry or stressed from the colour it’s best to take it slower. I’m not sure if that’s really helped, but don’t give up your blonde dreams :)

  39. sonia says

    I went to hairdressers had pre appointment to work out the colours I wanted and also double check the day of appointment showed pictures.i wanted to go from brunette to blonde it just looks like it’s got blonde striped highlights not happy at all can’t even see the caramel colour we talked about should I ring them to sort it what do I do it cost a lot. I can’t afford to pay again.

    • Hair Romance says

      Definitely call the salon Sonia! Ask them to correct it and show them the original images to explain what went wrong. Good luck x

  40. SaraaH says


    I got my hair ombré’d last week and absolutely hated the results. I have naturally very very dark brown/black hair and I wanted dark caramel/light brown ombré but the result was a caramel/organe/blonde colour – depending on the light. I’m pretty sure my hair reacted to the colour a lot quicker than the colourist imaged and I guess he left it on too long.

    The next day I bought the Loréal Creme Casting semi-permanent (lasting 28 shampoos) hair dye at home box in a dark brown. Now my hair is pretty close to the natural colour.

    I’m wondering – what colour will my hair be when the semi-permanent bye begins to fade? Will it be the ombré that I was trying to get rid of? Or, will it be the natural dark brown/black hair colour?!

    Really confused! Please help!

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Sarah, I’m sorry, I’m not sure how it will turn out. I recommend calling the L’Oreal helpline as they can probably best advise with their brand of colour.

  41. Sue says

    I went to the salon get my hair colored but when it’s all don’t I only can see a lighter color of my natural brunette and it’s only at my crown , I wanted to color the whole head . And the stylist said in 2 weeks the color will be lighter , how is that possible??. I try not to get upset as upset won’t solve the color problem.normally I will color my hair to a lighter shades using the box color and it works fine.

  42. Emma says

    Hi, I’m currently trying to go blonde I have had 1 salon session got full head of foils my hair took well and now im going for my second colour in the morning but my hairdresser said it will be half a head of foils this time why is that if im wanting blonde all over? And my roots are way too black is it possible for a root tint along with the foils so soon? Thanks in advance.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Emma, I’m not sure why a half head, it could just be to give a more natural look. I used to alternate a half head/full head of foils in my hair. Getting a root tint is a very different process and is more maintenance than foils. I would call your hairdresser to talk about it today if you can as the won’t have put aside enough time if you want to do a different process. A half head of foils is a good way to go blonder in a natural way that’s not too expensive.

  43. Liz says

    Hi! I my hair has 4n dark brown color on it from about 6 months ago, i went and got an ombre done and in turned coppery instead of blonde at the ends! If i wait a week or so and get it re-bleached one more time, will it turn a light enough blonde to get the brassiness toned out? Or will my hair fall off? Ive been doing conditioning treatments to help strengthen my hair back up a little.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Liz, you may need to lighten it again, or try toning it to get the colour you want. Unless you really bleach it your hair won’t fall off :)

      • Liz says

        Yeah toning it didnt do anything this time because i dont think my hair is a light enough level yet. Its really brassy/coppery, maybe a level 7 or 8. So ill just get it re done one more time in a week or two. I was just wondering if it would be safe to do that. Thanks!

  44. Fernanda says

    Hi Hair Romance,
    So basically for a while now i have been planning on bleaching my hair from light brown almost dark blonde to a buttery blonde almost and some caramel low lights and i would also like to get a base bump. It´s virgen hair and I take very good care of it. I’m afraid to do it at home so I wish to go to a salon. I would just like to know how long it will take,and an estimate price.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Fernanda, every salon will have a different price. I’m not sure what you mean by a base bump so it’s best to take a few photos of the hair colour you like and want to achieve in your hair and have a consultation with a salon. They will be able to explain how long it will take in your hair and what you can achieve x

  45. says

    Hi I had medium brown hair with some highlights I’d left it a few months before getting my hair dyed I asked the stylist for an all over semi wanting to improve the condition but keep near the brown colour she said without the highlights the semi she had been putting in would be too flat so she mixed it with another colour my hair is dark nearly black and I look so washed out looking another girl cut my hair and the colourist never came back to check the colour. Do u think I should go back and is there anything you can recommend I should get done???

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Catherine, I’d definitely go back and chat to your hairdresser. See if they cam fix it. If you don’t trust them, at least find out what colours they used on your hair so you can explain it to your next hairdresser. Good luck x

  46. alex says

    Hi, I used to get my very long hair bleached at the hairdressers for many years. I decided to get my hair dyed brown and I’m planning on getting it cut to just below my shoulders so I can donate my hair. For the moment, at least until next winter, I’m giving my hair a break from heat, dye and harsh chemicals. After that, I plan to dye my hair back blonde. Do you think I could re-dye my hair next year? I am worried that some old hair that has been previously bleached will be dyed over and I’m worried it will break and dry out. Surprisingly however, my hair is very healthy now even in addition to all this processing. Also, what should I ask my hairdresser to do? All over dye or a full head of highlights? Will it be bright blonde in one day?

    • Hair Romance says

      The safest way is to go blonde gradually with highlights but it is possible to go blonde in a day. You will probably have to spend 12 hours in the chair though and may still need another day of toning. It really depends on the quality of your hair. If it’s in great shape you can do anything, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have great hair at the end of the day. You have to decide what’s more important – how much you want to be blonde, or how much you want your hair to be healthy x

  47. Tayler says

    I am a natural blonde and dyed my hair red first, then I dyed my hair a dark brown. That was about 2 years ago. I have very thick hair, goes to the middle of my back. I have been doing professional root touch ups but also box dye when I haven’t had the money. I want to go back blonde but don’t know if it will damage my hair and how long would it take? And would you know roughly how much it would cost for me? Any answers you can answer would be great! Thank you

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Tayler, I can’t give any idea of costs but I can predict it probably will be a long process. Box dyes can be hard to remove from hair. I would visit a couple of salons near you and ask for a consultation with a colourist to get their opinion on what to do. There’s no right way to go back to blonde and depending on the quality of your hair you may be able to go lighter in 2-3 visits or it may take longer. Be prepared to do lots of treatments as it will dry out your hair. If you’re thinking long term, go slow and you’ll keep your hair looking healthy and get the colour you want. Also ask if they use olaplex as this will help you when lightening your hair. Good luck! x

  48. Dee says

    Hi hair romance

    I have natural blond hair and have been going to the salon to get foils in to top up the roots. I’m now looking to know what would the best hair colour to buy at a shop for this as salon getting expensive.

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Dee, it’s difficult to replicate foils at home as this is a technique that’s hard to DIY. I will be testing some home hair colour soon and wil report back x

  49. Rosemary says

    Hi. I have box dyed my grey hair for many years and now I want to go light brown,do blond or blond. What would you suggest. Thanks

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Rosemary, what colour is your hair now? Depending on how dark it is, I would recommend going lighter gradually with lighter box colour if you’re comfortable with that. Or consult with a hairdresser to lighten your hair. It’s much easier to go dark at home than to go lighter x

  50. Georgie says

    I have never dyed my hair before but the ends of my hair are quite damaged from heat. I am currently trying to repair them with deep conditioners and regular cuts. My hair colour is a mid brown shade, more on the lighter side, and I would love to go a golden/honey blonde, something very natural that will also give light to my hair. I am really worried this would damage my hair even further and reduce hair growth (as I am also trying to grow my hair) . What is your advice? Thank you very much
    Georgie xoxo

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Georgie, lightening your hair does damage it, but it can be managed with treatments. If you really want to grow your hair long, I’d skip colouring until you reach the length you want. Then colour your hair then x

  51. Jbed says


    I am in the process of going blonde, I have naturally dark brown hair and had never dyed it before this. I have had 2 sets of highlights on it so far, I want to achieve a dirty/honey blonde but I am still a few shades off this, do you think one more session will get me to the look I require?


    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jo, it’s very hard for me to say but I would follow your hairdresser’s advice. It may seem like it’s taking forever now but it’s important to maintain your hair quality so slow if often better :)

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