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How to Go From Brown to Blonde Hair While Keeping Your Hair Healthy

Patience is a virtue, it will also help to preserve the integrity of your hair.
July 07, 2023


If you’re currently craving a hair makeover for your brunette strands, the options are plentiful. However, if you’re planning on going ultra-light like platinum blonde, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind because making the switch from brown to blonde hair is a big one. The end goal should be healthy strands that not only look great but feel great, too. Take notes as we share some of the most important things you should know about going from brown to blonde hair at home without causing severe damage to your strands, plus how to care for your new blonde color.

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How to Prepare Your Hair to Go From Brown to Blonde

Before you embark on your blonde hair journey, you’ll need to decide which shade of blonde you’re going for. If you want a preview of what different shades of blonde, like ash blonde or honey blonde, will look like on you, check out the L’Oréal Paris Hair Genius Virtual Hair Color Try-On tool which lets you upload a selfie or try on various hair color shades in real time using your phone or computer’s camera. 

Going from brown to blonde hair requires bleaching — and the darker your starting shade, the more work may be required to reach your desired shade of blonde hair. If you have dark brown hair and want to go blonde, don’t expect your hair to magically transform into a beautiful blonde color after one sitting. It’s important to remember that you may need a few bleaching and coloring sessions to achieve your dream hue. 

For a DIY at-home blonde hair color, you should always follow the directions on your at-home hair color kit. If you're aiming for a light blonde shade or your starting base color is deep, you’ll need to bleach your hair. Try the L’Oréal Paris Feria Hyper Platinum Advanced Lightening System Bleach, which is ideal for dark brown hair and can lighten your hair up to eight levels.

How Long Does it Take to Go From Brown to Blonde Hair?

How long it will take to make your transition from brunette to blonde hair largely depends on your starting base color. If you have a light brown base, you could do it in one to two sessions, which could take upwards of one to two months. If you’re starting with a dark brown base, anywhere from two to four months is a realistic timeline. You want to give adequate time for your hair to recover between bleaching sessions (around four to six weeks) so keep that in mind when you’re trying to come up with a timeline. 

How to Dye Brown Hair Blonde

To go from brown to blonde at home, you’ll want to pick the right shade of blonde that’ll complement your strands. Here are a few options to consider. 

How to Go From Light Brown Hair to Blonde Hair

If you have light brown hair, becoming blonde will require lifting your base color a level or two. This needs to happen in order to lighten your hair so that it’s a more receptive base color for blonde dye. You’ll probably need two sessions to make hair magic happen, but (lucky for you) it shouldn’t take too long for you to go from brown to blonde hair. 

If you’re looking for a large range of shades to choose from, check out the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying Shine Permanent Hair Color line, as it offers long-lasting, high-shine hair color that stays vibrant for up to eight weeks. 

How to Go From Dark Brown Hair to Blonde Hair

If you have dark brown hair, transitioning to blonde will require some patience, but it’s totally doable. If you’re getting your hair colored at the salon, you’ll definitely need to book a few appointments for your hair transformation, and if you’re doing it at home, you may need to bleach your strands a few times. Note that you won’t be able to do that on back-to-back days — you have to give your hair time between bleaching sessions so that you don’t strip it of necessary oils and moisture. The wait time will depend on your hair’s specific needs and condition, but the longer you can wait (around four to six weeks), the better it is for your hair. 

While you wait, treat your hair with protein masks to help strengthen it before your next bleach session. Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Power Restore Multi-Use Treatment, which is formulated with a repairing concentrate that includes proteins to strengthen and fix any damage.

As for color, the L’Oréal Paris Excellence Créme Permanent Triple Protection Hair Color line is a great choice for dark base colors because it’s formulated with a keratin complex that protects the hair as it colors it, as well as provides 100 percent gray coverage. If you’re looking for a lived-in hair color to minimize root maintenance, try the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Balayage At-Home Highlighting Kit. This at-home balayage kit includes a precise applicator to mimic the hand-painted strokes that are synonymous with balayage highlights

How to Care for Color-Treated Blonde Hair Color

Once you’ve achieved your ideal blonde hair color, make sure you give it the extra care it needs to keep it in excellent condition. This includes swapping out your regular hair care arsenal for products that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Here are four tips to consider for your blonde hair care routine.

1. Cut Down on Hot Tools

Repeated exposure to heat can wear down your strands and fade your color. You can opt for heatless waves, but if you do decide to use a blow dryer or other hot tools, be sure to use the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant to prime your strands, first.

2. Swap in a Purple Shampoo 

Color-treated blonde hair is prone to brassiness or unwanted warm tones, so you’ll want to add a purple shampoo into your blonde hair care routine. To combat the brass, use the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Brass Toning Purple Conditioner, and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Anti Brass Purple Mask Treatment once a week as a full system to hydrate your hair and neutralize yellow and orange tones in blonde, silver and bleached hair. 

3. Use a Hair Gloss

The L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Cool Blonde or Honey Blonde is a great option for correcting lackluster hair color while conditioning strands and adding shine. Use it when your color-treated hair starts to fade or as a weekly step in your hair care routine to keep your color vibrant and shiny.

4. Try a Hair Bonding Treatment

Bleach dries out your hair, which can lead to damage. If your strands are suffering after your blonde transformation, it’s a good idea to incorporate a hair bonding treatment into your routine. We suggest the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Strengthening Pre-Shampoo Treatment, the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid. This trio repairs weak hair bonds from the inside out to strengthen hair and prevent future damage. Apply the pre-shampoo treatment onto damp hair, leave it on for five to ten minutes and rinse. Follow up with the shampoo and conditioner as usual. 

Next: 6 Tips for a Solid Silver Hair Care Plan

Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Senior Art Direction: Melissa San Vicente-Landestoy, Senior Visual Designer: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Assistant: Victoria Ochoa, Digital Tech: Kyle Thompson, Model: AnnChristine Velazquez 

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