Box Dye Over Bleached Hair – Is it a Good Idea?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

If you’ve bleached your own hair, you may be ready for a color change. You might be wondering whether using a boxed hair dye over bleached hair is safe. If you want to learn more about using box dye over bleached hair, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together answers to all of the questions you may have about using box dyes to change your hair color after bleaching it.

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Table of Contents

Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color Nourishing Permanent Hair Color Cream, BR3 Intense Burgundy (1 Kit) Red Hair Dye (Packaging May Vary)

What Happens if You Box Dye Bleached Hair?

After you’ve bleached your hair, you may be curious to know what will happen if you use box dyes to change the color.  Will it ruin your hair?  Will you be happy with the finished product?

Let’s start by saying using a box dye on bleached hair isn’t going to ruin your hair.  However, you will need to be strategic about choosing the dye color you use.  Even though your hair is bleached now, you still have underlying pigments in your hair.  The tone and color of those underlying pigments will affect the way the box dye color looks on your hair.

The resulting hair color from bleaching varies from person to person.  An individuals’ natural hair color and the length of time they left the bleach mixture on their hair will all impact the way the hair looks.  Bleached hair can vary from light yellow to a darker reddish color.  Clearly, the color your bleached hair is to start with will impact the results you’ll see using box dyes.

Is It Bad to Box Dye Over Bleached Hair?

Is using box dyes over bleached hair one of the worst hair coloring mistakes you can make?  No, with taking the proper precautions and carefully selecting the right color for your hair, you can achieve results you’ll be happy with.

Another thing to consider when dying bleached hair is how even the bleaching job was.  If the bleach sat on some areas of your hair for longer than it did on other areas, it may mean that sections of your hair are lighter than others.  If you color your hair using a box dye, it may be more obvious which parts are lighter or darker.

Can You Dye Bleached Hair With Box Dye?

Yes, you can dye bleached hair with box dye. However, as we said earlier, you will need to be very careful to choose the right color and think about how the dye will look with the tone and color of your natural/bleached hair.

If you don’t think about how the color of the dye will look mixed with the color of your hair, you may end up with opposing pigments.  This can result in a finished product that you likely won’t be very happy with.

Before just grabbing any dye color off the shelf, consider which tone is best for you.  There are two different categories of hair color tones.  They are warm and cool tones.

To decide whether a warm or a cool tone will look best on your skin, you need to determine whether your skin has a warm or a cool tone to it.  You can do this by looking at the veins on the inside of your wrist.

If your veins appear blue or purple in color, it means you have a cool skin tone.  If your veins look blue-green or green, then you have a warm skin tone.  For some people, it may be more difficult to tell the color of your veins, and you may see some areas that look more blue and purple and other areas that look more green or blue-green.  If this is the case for you, it means you have a neutral skin tone and can choose either warm- or cool-toned hair colors.

Thinking about which color jewelry looks best on you is another way to determine your skin tone.  Individuals with cool skin tones typically look best in silver, while those with a warm skin tone tend to look better in gold.  Those who look good with either gold or silver jewelry tend to have a neutral skin tone.

Can You Brown Box Dye Bleached Hair?

Can I put brown box dye over bleached hair?  Yes, you can put brown box dye, such as Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Dye in Medium Brown, on bleached hair.  Just remember, that if your bleaching job wasn’t even, the brown color may not appear even once your hair is dyed.

Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Dye, 5 Medium Brown Hair Color, 3 Count
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Putting Ash Blonde Over Bleached Hair

If your bleached hair is currently lighter than the ash blonde color you want, then you should be fine trying L’Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying Ash Blonde Hair Color or another ash blonde box dye.  However, if the color of your bleached hair is currently darker than the ash blonde color, you may want to opt for something different.  Since your hair has already been through quite a lot by getting bleached, you won’t want to try to lighten it even more, as it can cause more damage.

L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color, 7.5A Medium Ash Blonde, Pack of 2, Hair Dye
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Blonde Box Dye Over Bleached Hair

As we just mentioned, you should only use blonde box dyes over bleached hair if your current bleached color is lighter than the blonde color you want to achieve.  Trying to further lighten hair that has just been bleached can cause more damage to the hair.  If your bleached hair color is very light already, then you could consider a blonde box dye like Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Cream in Light Natural Blonde.

Garnier Hair Color Nutrisse Nourishing Creme, 90 Light Natural Blonde (Macadamia), 2 Count
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Red Box Dye Over Bleached Hair

When applying red box dye over bleached hair, you should work in layers.  This will help give your hair more dimension and improve its overall appearance.  Consider trying a red box dye like Clairol Nice’n Easy Light Auburn Permanent Hair Dye.

Clairol Nice'n Easy Permanent Hair Dye, 6R Light Auburn Hair Color, 3 Count
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Black Box Dye Over Bleached Hair

Before using black box dyes over bleached hair, you’ll want to do a protein treatment to help ensure that our hair will more fully accept the new color.  Then, before jumping right from bleached hair to black hair, start by dyeing your hair a dark brown color.  Then, you can move on to a black hair dye, such as Schwarzkopf’s Color Ultime Sapphire Black Hair Dye.  Dyeing your hair in stages will help ensure that the color you end with is the color you want, not a washed out or muddy brown color.

Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Hair Color Cream, 1.4 Sapphire Black (Packaging May Vary)
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Permanent Dye on Bleached Hair

Permanent hair dye is designed to last longer than semi-permanent dye (as you can probably guess by its name).  This type of hair dye can be a better choice than semi-permanent dye if you need to cover gray hairs.  This is because semi-permanent dyes do not offer the same gray coverage as a permanent dye such as Revlon ColorSilk.  However, if you are looking for red, blue, purple, or some other non-traditional color, you’ll definitely find more options by looking at semi-permanent dyes.

Permanent Hair Color by Revlon, Permanent Hair Dye, Colorsilk with 100% Gray Coverage, Ammonia-Free, Keratin and Amino Acids, 61 Dark Blonde, 4.4 Oz (Pack of 3)
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Platinum Box Dye Over Bleached Hair

If you want to use platinum box dye, like L’Oreal Paris Feria Absolute Platinum Advanced Lightening System, over your bleached hair, it may not be the best idea.  Trying to lighten already bleached hair with a box dye doesn’t always turn out as you’d expect and can inflict more damage on your hair. If you feel that you have too many brassy tones in your hair currently, you could consider trying a purple shampoo and keeping your current hair color.  Otherwise, if you’re really set on platinum, a trip to the hair salon may be best.

L'Oreal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color, Extreme Platinum, Pack of 1, Hair Dye
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Closing Thoughts: Using Dying Kits Over Lightened Hair

Using box color hair dye over bleached hair can turn out perfectly fine as long as you take the time to really consider the tone of your hair and the color on the box.  You need to choose tones and colors that will look good together, otherwise you may end up with results that you don’t like.

Ever dyed your own hair? Gotten your hair dyed and the stylist declared how much they hate box dye? Tell us about it!

Ready to learn more about bleaching and coloring your hair? Read through these related blog posts:


Can you put hair color over bleached hair?

Yes, you can put hair color over bleached hair.  Keep in mind, however, that if the bleach job wasn’t completed evenly, the resulting color from the dye may also appear uneven.  You’ll also want to carefully choose the right hair color based on the tones in your skin and hair. Perhaps you should also check if your hair texture suits the type of dye you’re choosing!

Why do stylists hate boxed hair color?

There are a few reasons that professional stylists don’t like boxed hair dyes.  Boxed hair dyes don’t match the quality of professional salon hair color dyes that stylists are used to using. The results you can achieve with boxed dye are less predictable than using professional hair dyes.  Another reason hairdressers hate box dye is that they take the creativity out of developing a hair color for their client.
Coloring is an art that many stylists pride themselves in; they want to be able to mix their dyes to create the perfect color for each client.

Is Box dye bad for your hair?

Is box dye healthy or bad for your hair?  Box color can be more damaging to hair health than professional hair color.  Many box dyes include ammonia in their developer, which isn’t great for hair.  Box hair dye is also less predictable and doesn’t match the quality of professional salon hair color.

Why is box hair-dye so bad?

If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t choose the right color for your hair, or don’t apply box dye correctly, it can leave you with results that you won’t be happy with.  Coloring your own hair at home is definitely less expensive than going in for a professional salon hair color, but it is also a lot more risky.

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. This is such a helpful post!

    Bringing in a little spring sunshine in my new post in the form of a new bag! Would love to hear your thoughts!


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