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How To Get Blonde Hair Without Bleach: Step-by-Step Guide

How To Get Blonde Hair Without Bleach- Step-by-Step Guide

Ever wanted to get healthy blonde hair without subjecting your brown hair to bleach?

Believe it or not, YOU CAN!

In this article, we’ll share our best tips and tricks on how to transform your dark brown hair into the prettiest blonde shade – THE BLEACH-FREE WAY.

Here’s a complete guide on how to get blonde hair without bleach.

Trust us, after this tutorial; you’ll be rushing to go to the department store for the products! We guarantee it!

Table of Contents

What to Know Before Getting Blonde Hair

What to Know Before Getting Blonde Hair

Before anything else, there are a few things you NEED to know and be aware of.

First off – TECHNICALLY, it is possible to use a blond hair dye without bleach and get lighter hair results.

The catch? Not ALL will get the exact blonde shade they desire.

IT ALL DEPENDS on your NATURAL COLOR OF YOUR HAIR– more specifically, your virgin hair.

If your hair has undergone treatments (color, keratin, rebond, or perm), expect this to affect the final results.

So – who will gain the best results from a dark brown hair to blonde transformation?

Those with dark brown hair, light brown hair, or dark blonde hair will give off the best results.

Aside from natural hair color level or hair depth, hair porosity is also a factor.

In the following sections below, we’ll discuss these two in more detail to help you determine if the non-bleach option would work and give you the results you dream of.

Determine What Level Your Hair Is

Determine What Level Your Hair Is

A vital step in turning your brown hair blonde without bleach is knowing the level of your hair.

There are different levels of darkness or depth of hair color.

  • There are three main family colors – blonde, brown, and black.
  • In addition, there are two subcategories – copper and gray.
  • These family colors can be classified into light, medium, and dark.

For example, an individual with brunette hair can have medium brown hair.

Other brunettes have darker hair – deep brown hair or deep dark black.

Some might have soft brownish hair, but they have dark blonde hair in reality.

As a rule of thumb, a hair dye can lighten your brown hair by as much as 3-5 tones lighter.

Moreover, if you are working with permanent hair dye or high lift dye (non-bleach coloring product) to transform your hair to blonde, expect the final result to be 1 or 2 tones lower than advertised.

Use the chart below to determine which level you are at. Knowing this would help you identify the best high lift dye option for your hair.

Hair Levels

Check Your Hair Porosity

Check Your Hair Porosity

When transitioning your dark hair to blonde, the second factor you need to check is hair porosity.

While the one-level lighter rule is to be observed for all non-bleach coloring products, determining how well your hair absorbs color and moisture is another thing to determine.

Hair porosity can differ whether you have dark hair or a lighter shade.

However, those with healthy hair and black hair tend to have more resistance to hair colors. 

To mitigate this, make sure there is enough ammonia in your hair dye to make it less resistant to color.

What makes hair low, medium, or highly porous?

Hair experts look at the hair cuticle. One quick way to do a strand test would be to put a hair strand on a glass of water.

Low porosity hair will stay afloat, while high porosity hair will sink eventually.

Manage Your Expectations

Manage Your Expectations

Knowing these factors would help you turn your hair blonde and avoid having orange hair or brassy blonde.

It can be the difference between having a hair-dyed salon look or a hair that died and didn’t survive your DIY makeover.

It’s crucial to conduct a strand test to know which shade of blonde dye to achieve your target blonde without bleach.

How to Get Blonde Hair Without Using Bleach

How to Get Blonde Hair Without Using Bleach

Skip the trip to the hair salon and TRY THE STEPS BELOW AT HOME to transform your hair blonde without bleach.

  • What hair coloring products can you use that would help you lighten your hair color?
  • Are there ways to lighten hair naturally?
  • What shade should I look for when choosing a high lift pigment?
  • What chemical should be present in my high lift tint?

These questions regarding turning your dark hair to blonde will be discussed in the sections below.

Natural Hair Lighteners

Natural Hair Lighteners

Before we delve into this option, proper caution is necessary.

Be advised that these “natural lighteners” have not been proven scientifically. 

Also, there have not been enough studies or experiments that have tried these options for those with black or brown hair color and obtained conclusive results.

Thus, before you try them out, note that they are not the most reliable option if you want to achieve a BLONDE color.

They are completely SAFE as they use natural ingredients that we can consume. (Skip these tips for those who have shown allergic reactions to these options, of course).

They CAN lighten brown hair to some extent, but permanence and efficacy VARY immensely.

With these methods, you won’t transform your brown hair to blonde.

So, how do these work?

You can use them individually, or you can mix them.

The most popular mix contains the following:

  • 3-5 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • One tablespoon honey
  • Chamomile tea or flowers
  • 1/2 cup water



  • Boil the flowers to make chamomile tea.
  • Alternatively, you can use packed chamomile tea and pour hot water.
  • Mix in the lemon juice, honey, and water. You can add 1 or 2 more tablespoons of lemon juice to increase the acidity of the mixture.
  • Let it sit until warm to touch.
  • Lather onto your hair and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Some testify that they have observed that their brown hair transitioned to lighter hair with warm tones after 2 to 3 applications.

These natural lighteners can help you in the process of turning your hair to blonde without bleach.

Using High Lift Dye

Using High Lift Dye

Achieving blonde hair without bleach and ONLY using natural ways might take FOREVER.

Thus, a fast and sure-fire way would be utilizing a hair lift dye.

1. Prepare your hair (colored hair)

This step is applicable for those with hair color.

For best results, strip your hair off of any color. You would need a hair color remover which is available in department stores.

Follow the steps indicated on the box and let your hair dry.

2. Dye hair with High Lift Dye

Once you have conducted a strand test and sensitivity test (if you are not allergic to your chosen high lift pigment), proceed with applying the blonde dye pigment.

Ensure you wear gloves and have ready tissues if it goes beyond your hairline.

Tip: Always go for a hair lift tint with ASH TONE base dye over other blonde dyes.

This would prevent yellow tones or corn colors when you dye your hair blonde, especially if you have brown hair or darker hair colors.

3. Do blonde highlights

Although this step is COMPLETELY OPTIONAL, this step can give you better and more natural-looking hair color results.

Lifting your blonde color through highlights would give it more depth and volume.

Pick a few strands of your hair in the middle and upper portion of your hair and separate them for coloring. 

Apply the product one more time. You can choose the same hair lift tint or one shade lighter.

Note: Highlighting adds that extra oomph and works best for those with pale skin and tan skin.

4. After-care routine.

Turning your hair blonde without bleach is an important part of your post-treatment hair routine.

Choose a trusty purple shampoo to counter any brassiness or prevent it from drying.

Moreover, keep in mind that if you have brown hair or dark roots (i.e., black hair), you must retouch the roots every six to eight weeks.

Otherwise, the natural pigment of your hair will be more noticeable – which can be an eyesore, especially if you have black or dark brown hair.

Try Opting for A Bleach Bath

Try Opting for A Bleach Bath

If you want to nail the blonde shade you’ve been eyeing for a long time, you might also want to try a BLEACH BATH.

It’s less damaging than direct bleaching AND — when done correctly, it can substantially lighten your hair without drying it out.

  • It’s easier for those with long hair to apply packs of blonde dyes from root to tip.
  • Great for those who are afraid of uneven coloration (which can happen if you spend an inordinate amount of time coloring a portion of your hair)
  • It can also help achieve lighter hair color for soft black or dark brown natural color.
  • The best option for those who want to lighten their shade using minimal bleach

The idea is to apply diluted bleach and mix it with your shampoo.

  • Create the mix for your hair bleach. This normally includes a part of bleach powder and developer. This would vary depending on the brand you are using and the shade you want to achieve, so make sure you ready the packet carefully.
  • When this mixture is ready, add the same ratio of shampoo. Adding more will dilute the mixture. If you want a stronger solution, add less shampoo to make it more potent.
  • You can opt to wash your hair or use a spray bottle. Whichever is more convenient – make sure your hair is WET before you do the bleach bath.
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes but check it PERIODICALLY. If needed, use a shower cap to prevent the solution from ruining your top.  

You can wash it out as soon as you see your desired shade. Use a deep conditioner to lock in the shade and reinstate the moisture in your hair.


What Developer Should I Use?

What Developer Should I Use-

This entirely depends on the color you want to achieve. The developer is the chemical responsible for turning your dark brown hair into a natural blonde color.

It opens the hair cuticle and lifts the artificial color so that it can easily attach and blend with your current hair color, among its many other uses.

If you want to achieve blonde hair, it’s advised to use 30 to 40 vol.

Meanwhile, for those who only want to go one or two shades lighter, 3 to 30 vol would be the trick.

What If I Already Have Colored Hair?

What If I Already Have Colored Hair-

If you have undergone hair treatments (altered your hair color) but hope to transform your hair blonde without bleach – you need to return the dyed hair first to its original hair color.

This would require one additional step to remove the hair color first before applying any lightening hair products.

For example, if you have red hair and want to achieve platinum blonde or golden blonde, you won’t do this without stripping off the red dye.

However, you can skip this step for those with light to medium hair color.

In all cases – keep in mind the one-shade lighter rule when choosing your high lift pigment for your hair.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Ash, dark, golden, or platinum or blonde are hot hair colors that go well with almost all skin tone types.

There is now a safe and effective way to turn your brown hair to blonde without bleach.

Just make sure you follow the steps closely and follow through with a moisturizing and maintaining hair care routine to seal the color and glow of your new blonde hair.

Let us know your experience below of turning your dark brown hair to blonde without bleach!

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.