Hair / Tutorials

DIY Dark Brown to Blonde Hair

Hello beauties! Long time, no see. I’ve been visiting my family for the Easter holiday and haven’t had much time to check any of my accounts. Also, I am not currently blonde! The picture on the right is from a few years ago. Since I’ve done my own hair in the past, I thought I would share how I got blonde hair myself at home. To see how I did it, keep reading.

Screen shot 2015-04-06 at 9.35.42 PM


  • I am not a professional! I’ve never taken a beauty class in my life. But this worked for me, so I thought I would share
  • My hair was never a super light blonde. As you can tell from the picture. I went dark blonde, but never lighter, so if you’re looking for something more dramatic, sorry!
  • I actually took pictures of the process, but never posted them. I dyed my hair blonde a few years ago and did not have a blog at the time. Then, my computer crashed, taking all my pictures with it. So sorry that I can’t show you how my hair looked between stages. Also sorry that the lighting isn’t great in the blonde picture. Like I said, I lost a lot of photos.

Phew, glad that’s out of the way. Now let’s get to what I did.

Before Bleaching Your Hair

  • Make sure your hair is in good shape. Prior to going blonde, I hadn’t dyed my hair in about a year prior to bleaching it and hadn’t lightened it (that means highlights, ombre, etc.) a year and a half prior to bleaching it.
  • Prepare for disaster. There’s a chance that this won’t work out. Financially prepare a “just in case” fund to see a professional if your hair doesn’t turn out like you picture
  • Mentally prepare to lose a few inches. Bleach will damage your hair. Depending on how bad the damage is, be prepared to lose up to a few inches.
  • Deep condition your hair for about a week or two prior to using bleach to minimize the damage

Dying Your Hair

  • You really have two options here: You can jump in with bleach or you can pre-lighten your hair with a high-lift dye
    • Bleach: if your hair is like mine, the first process is only going to take you to a red. And not a flattering I Love Lucy red. More likely, it will be an unnatural orange red. From here, you have the option to suck it up until the next process or mess around with toners to tone it down. I know absolutely nothing about toners, so I actually did not lighten my hair with bleach on the first go
    • High-Lift: Because I have no idea how to turn red hair any flattering color, I went with this option. I used a high-lift box dye (beauty sin–I know) in ash blonde. Any DIY hair colorist knows that there’s no way your hair will look anything like the box. If you’re lightening your hair, it will probably end up darker and redder than the color chart says. Mine turned into a medium auburn shade which I got a lot of compliments on.
  • I waited 2 weeks (deep conditioning the whole time) before going in with the bleach. At this point, my hair was a medium auburn shade, so I only needed the bleach to get it to a dark blonde. Consult your local Sally’s salesperson about the level developer to get. The stronger the developer, the lighter your hair, but also the more damage. You’ll want to check your hair as it bleaches. Generally, I find it tends to look lighter under the bleach, so wipe a little bleach off to check how light your hair is actually getting. I left mine on for about 45 minutes.
  • At this point, my hair was gold–not lovely golden, but trophy color gold. Some people’s hair turns canary yellow. I had to suck it up a few days before I could dye my hair again. During that time, it oxidized to a slightly more flattering shade, but I still wasn’t happy. I used another box dye in light ash blonde. The ash tones helped cooled down the brassiness, but this did not lighten my hair any more
  • Finally, about two weeks after that, I went in with bleach to give myself highlights. I thought my new blonde color looked a little flat, so I wanted to add dimension. This time, I only left the bleach only for 30 minutes.


  • During and after this process, you need to make an effort to continuously condition your hair. Deep condition at least once a week
  • Invest in a purple shampoo
  • Get a trim to get rid of damaged hair if needed

Other Considerations

  • I had fun in my brief moments as a blonde, but I also learned some things: for example, do not fill in your eyebrows so dark anymore
  • Also realize that your wardrobe might take on a different vibe. I had a fuchsia and black dress that looked fun and flirty as a brunette, but completely Barbie as a blonde.
  • Have fun. I mean, if you really screw it up, hair grows back.

So that’s how I went blonde a few years ago. Have you ever made a major hair change? Let me know in the comments below!

25 thoughts on “DIY Dark Brown to Blonde Hair

  1. I’ve had my hair so many colors. It went from having dark hair to blonde hair in a very slow process. I just would start out with highlights and keep highlighting it every now and then till my hair was just blonde eventually. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the share V! I’ve bleached my hair once in college and it literally became copper blonde before my stylist added color back in. I was too young back then to know how to care for my hair (kind of wish the old me read this lol~) so it was a big mess. Now I know to deep condition every week as you mentioned here. Quick question what is a purple shampoo? 🙂 xo~ Lena

    • It’s a shampoo that is literally purple and specially formulated for blonde hair. The purple in the shampoo cancels out the orange tones in your hair so it keeps it from looking brassy

  3. I’ve had my hair in any colour you can think of, except blonde – black, all shades of brown, all shades of red, copper, auburn, purple, green, orange pink. It has taken some serious damage during years. And I’ve never had my hair dyed by a professional stylist, I always do my stuff at home with trial and error. I tried blonde once, with some oh-so-aggressive bleach and I turned light blonde with which, to my horror, I looked like a been-dead-for-3-days freshly dug out corpse. It seems like my yellowish-greyish skin undertone did quite get along with blonde hair at all so I immediately dyed it red and carried the after effects of hair looking like shite for a year after that.

    But you know, a girl should try some stuff.

    • Oh boy. Bleach can do that. But I love experimenting with hair colors. Sounds like you have quite a bit of experience in that regard.

      • I do love experimenting, too. To some point, whenever I want to make some changes in my life, I start with the hair – the colour, the ‘do. As you stated, it makes you feel different depending on what colour your hair is, and what ‘do you’re having. That might kind of explain my hair adventures. That and all my hippie /goth /punk /scene /bohemian /grunge phases (they all continue very much up until present day cohabiting in that colourful head of mine so the experiments are a given).

  4. Goosh, I went from black to dark brown, then to golden blonde, then to bright red, and now I’m back at black again lol. Red was sooo hard to get out though, so annoying. Ended up cutting off my hair and starting again

  5. Great tips! I accidently went strawberry blonde after a home dye when I was younger…It was a nightmare to fix! Lol!

  6. Pingback: Reacting to Past Pics w/ Karen from Confetti and Curves | Say Hello to Gorgeous

Comments Show You Care

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s