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How to Darken Bleached Hair | 2 Easy Methods

Bleaching your hair can be unforgiving, and sometimes it can look too light or even orange. If you want to darken your bleached hair, you have a couple options — to use toner or hair dye. You may achieve similar results with both, but they work differently.

Toner is used to adjust hair color. In contrast, dye changes the color of your hair entirely by placing color in the outer layer of the cuticle. The formulation is the most significant difference between the two. We’ll show you why below.

Darken Bleached Hair With Toner

These steps will help you learn how to darken bleached hair with hair toner:

1. Use Purple and Blue Shampoo to Mitigate Brassy Tones and Make Hair Slightly Darker

Purple or blue shampoos are like toners because they reduce brassy, yellow, and orange tones after bleaching. These products do not cause a dramatic change, but your hair will become a bit darker by removing bright tones. Use these shampoos a couple of times per week.

2. Use an Appropriate Toner to Remove Different Colored Tones

If you’re dealing with different colored undertones, you will need to use a toner to eliminate them — red toner for green, blue toner for orange, etc.

Use the international color scale to choose a color toner. Ignore brand-specific colors. The scale goes from one (very light) to ten (very dark).

3. Use the Correct Shade of Toner to Darken Your Hair

If your hair is more than two tones lighter than your natural color, you will want to use a toner that is at least one shade darker than your current color. For example, if your natural hair color is level eight and your bleached hair is level four, you’ll want to use a toner at level nine or ten.

To apply the color toner:

  1. Mix it with an equal amount of developer in a bowl. Learn what developer to use here.
  2. Apply the toner to your hair, starting at the roots and working your way down to the tips.
  3. Leave the toner on your hair for 20-30 minutes, then rinse it with warm water.

Your hair will be a few shades darker than before you bleached it, but it will continue to darken over time. To stop your hair from becoming too dark, use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner and avoid using heat-styling tools.

Read Next: How Long to Leave Toner on Brassy Hair

Darken Bleached Hair With Hair Dye

These steps will help you learn how to darken bleached hair with hair dye:

1. Choose the Right Shade of Hair Dye Knowing That Bleached Hair Absorbs More Color

Bleached hair is damaged and, therefore, porous, which means more bleached hair will absorb more color than non-bleached hair. If you want dark hair, choose a color several shades lighter than you usually would to account for this increased absorption.

Choose a color that is between medium brown and light blonde. If your hair is very light, you may be able to go a shade or two darker. But if your hair is darker, you will want to stay within a few shades of your natural color.

Read Next: The 10 Stages of Hair Bleaching

2. Coat Your Hair With a Color Depositing Conditioner

Going from bleached to brown takes several steps. The first step is filling your hair with a color depositing conditioner, which will help add some pigment to your strands and make the transition to brown much easier. After using the conditioner, you’ll want to use hair dye.

Read Next: How to Use Color-Depositing Conditioner

3. Add the Dye to Your Hair and Allow It to Process

Prepare the dye per the instructions. Split your hair into four chunks and apply the color to each area. Allow the dye to process until it reaches the desired shade.

Check it every five minutes. Rinse the dye out and dry your hair. Be sure to avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours to let the dye soak into the cuticle of your hair.

Read Next: How Long to Leave Dye in Hair

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about hair bleaching, hair toner, and hair dye:

What Are Some Things That Can Damage Your Hair?

  • Harsh chemicals can strip away moisture
  • Hot water can dry out your hair
  • Sunlight can fade your hair color and cause dryness

How Often Should You Use Hair Toner?

It depends on what shade you want your hair to be. If you’re happy with the color, you can tone your hair every few weeks or as needed. If you want darker hair, you can tone it every week or two.

What Will Happen If You Leave Toner in for Too Long?

If you leave the toner on for longer than the recommended time, your hair may become darker than you wanted. If this happens, don’t panic. Just shampoo and condition your hair and it should lighten up within a few washes.

Is Toner Bad for Your Hair?

No, toning your hair is not bad for your hair. It can help to protect your hair from damage. When you tone your hair, you create a barrier between your hair and the environment, which can stop your hair from becoming dry and brittle.

What Is the Best Color for Bleached Hair?

The best hair color for bleached hair is dark blonde and brown. If your hair is very light, you may be able to go a shade or two darker. But if your hair is darker, you will want to stay within a few shades of your natural color.

How Do You Rehydrate Your Hair After Bleaching?

It is important to rehydrate your hair after bleaching it. You can do this by using a deep conditioner or mask weekly. You can try a leave-in conditioner or serum daily to help keep your hair hydrated. Avoid using hot tools as they will further dry out your hair.

How Long Does Bleached Hair Last?

The length of time bleached hair lasts depends on how often you wash it, how you care for it, and the type of bleach used. If you don’t abuse your hair, it can last for weeks or even months. But if you don’t treat your hair well, it can start to look damaged and unhealthy after a few washes.

How Do You Remove Toner From Your Hair?

If you need to get toner out of your hair, you can do so by shampooing and conditioning your hair as usual. You can also use clarifying shampoo to help remove the toner. If you have a product build-up in your hair, you can also use a chelating shampoo to help remove it.

Will Hair Dye Damage Your Hair?

Hair dye can damage your hair if misused. Developer is hydrogen peroxide, and permanent hair color requires its use. If you apply too much peroxide, it will damage your hair. Your hair will be fine if you use everything correctly.

How Long Should You Wait Before Recoloring Your Hair?

You should wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before recoloring your hair. This period will give your hair time to recover from the damage of the last color treatment. If you color your hair too soon, it can cause further damage and make it more difficult to color in the future.

Can You Tone Bleached Hair at Home?

Yes, you can tone bleached hair at home. There are several toners available that you can use to achieve the desired results. Just pay attention to the instructions on the product and take care not to over-tone your hair.

Are There Different Types of Hair Dye?

Yes, hair dye is permanent or semi-permanent. Permanent hair color will change your natural hair color and may be too much for first-time dyers. It needs to grow instead of being washed out. 

Semi-permanent hair color will deposit color on your hair without lightening your natural hair color. Semi-permanent is a good option for first-time dyers or those who don’t want to make a significant change.

Can You Use a Box Hair Color to Darken Your Bleached Hair?

You can use a box hair color to darken your bleached hair. However, it is crucial to follow the instructions carefully so you don’t get unwanted shade.

What’s the Best Way to Dye Your Hair?

The best way to dye your hair is by going to a salon and having it done professionally, ensuring that your hair is dyed evenly and that the color lasts longer. If you are going to dye your hair at home, follow the instructions on the hair dye kit carefully. It is also essential to use quality hair dye so your hair is not damaged.

So, How Do You Darken Bleached Hair? 

Bleached hair can be a challenge to darken. However, by following the steps in this article and using the recommended products, you should be able to achieve your desired results.

Of course, we always suggest going to a licensed cosmetologist. But you can try these steps to home if you’re feeling adventurous. Happy coloring!