How To Dye Reddish Hair Blonde

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Your natural red hair is a result of the MC1R gene present in it. Only 0.5% of the entire world population has this hair color (1). You may sometimes feel that dyeing your reddish hair blonde may suit your face. Or, you may want to spice things up and try out something new for a change. It is perfectly natural to experiment with new styles.

However, if you are considering turning your reddish hair blonde, you need to be aware of a few things. Read on to find out.

Transition From Red Hair To Blonde – What It Entails

The transition from natural red to blonde hair is not as easy as a walk in the park. Red hair has some of the most potent pigments and molecules attached to it.

Hence, it will be difficult to remove the pigments in one session. It will, in fact, take several sessions before you can get blonde hair. However, converting your hair from red to blonde is not impossible.

Blonde hair is a light shade compared to red hair. Hence, you will need to bleach your hair to turn it from reddish to blonde. Bear in mind the consequences of bleaching your hair.

Blonde hair, like red hair, has more sub-types in color. Ensure that you have a good idea of the hair color you want. The most common blonde hair shades are platinum and gold. Alternatively, you can try a combination of red and blonde, which will give you a strawberry blonde look.

If you are considering keeping your red hair and adding a blonde touch to it, you can try that as well.

You can add blonde highlights to your natural red hair, get a red to blonde balayage, opt for red hair with blonde bangs, or go for any other hair look you wish. Ultimately, you need to decide on which option you are leaning towards.

Read on to know how you can convert your red hair to blonde without any damage.

Convert Red Hair To Blonde Without Hair Damage

Before turning your hair from red to blonde, it is almost always helpful to get some professional advice, especially if you are trying it for the first time. It would be best if you visit a hair consultant to get advice about your hair.

The following steps will help you get blonde hair without damage.

1. Remove Previous Dyes

Before dyeing your red hair blonde, the first step is to remove any previous dye from your hair. You will also need to get rid of all the product build-up.

Use a clarifying shampoo to remove all the build-up and old hair color from your hair over a few washes. It will help remove the build-up on the outer layer of your hair and cuticles.

2. Prepare Your Hair

Decrease shampoo usage, and let your hair roots recover from all the shampooing. Condition your hair as it will help during the bleaching phase.

Also, ensure that you do not have any split ends. Trim them if you find any, or they will advance to the roots and damage your hair.

3. Bleaching Done Right

Follow the instructions given on the box to mix the developer and bleach and to apply it to your hair.

Avoid applying too much bleach to your hair.

While trying to remove your natural red hair color, it is better to prolong the treatment duration over multiple sessions. Do not be hasty, or it may cost you your hair.

4. Tone Your Hair

Your blonde hair may still contain some red or orange tones, even after bleaching. Use a purple base toner to remove these brassy tones.

5. Protect Your Hair From Excessive Stress

Both chemical and physical stress can have a lasting impact on your hair’s health. Chemically-treated hair can cause a loss in volume, glow, silkiness, or dryness (2). Make sure to take care of your hair and protect it from damage.

After dyeing your hair blonde, you need to take special care of it. Read on to discover more.

How To Care For Your New Blonde Hair

Congratulations, you have done it! Your red hair is now officially blonde.

Here are the top tips that can help you care for your new blonde hair:

  • Use nourishing hair products developed for blonde color-treated hair.
  • Use a conditioner regularly. Allow the conditioner to moisturize your hair for a few minutes before you rinse it off.
  • Use a hair mask after a shower to add more moisture to your hair. Also, use a hair protection serum to prevent hair damage.
  • Over time, your hair will start showing brassy tones. To avoid this, use a purple shampoo regularly.
  • Choose heat-free hairstyles to prevent damage to your scalp or hair.

After bleaching, the UV rays of the sun become more harmful to your hair. They affect the keratin – the building blocks of hair – and melanin pigments that regulate hair color (3). Thus, you must cover your hair from sunlight.

The next section lists a few DIY tips that can also help.

DIY Tips That Work

  • Natural antioxidants and hair reconstruction products like artichoke and rice will help treat your hair fibers (3).
  • Keep your hair hydrated with lukewarm water.
  • You can use natural lightening products like honey with conditioner to maintain your blonde hair.
  • You may also dilute some lemon juice with water and apply it to your hair as a natural bleach.


Red hair color has one of the most resilient pigment molecules. To dye your red hair blonde, you will have to bleach it. However, you must know the consequences of bleaching.

Applying too much bleach or a higher concentration of bleach may endanger your hair. Even after your red hair has turned blonde, you need to take care of it. Remember that hair is an ever-growing part of the body and requires constant care and attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you leave bleach on red hair?

Many of us feel that the longer the bleach stays on, the better it is for your hair. However, the maximum time that you can leave bleach in your red hair without suffering long-term consequences is 30 minutes (2). Otherwise, your hair can get brittle and break off, turn white, or become unable to retain moisture. You may also endure hair loss due to loss of keratin (4).

You can take another bleach session after six to eight weeks (4). It is necessary to keep the gap between two sessions so that your hair can regain its vitality.

Can you dye red hair blonde without bleach?

The transition from red to blonde requires the application of bleach. However, you can lighten red hair through UV light or other lightening products (5).

Is red hair harder to bleach?

Yes, red hair is harder to bleach than other hair colors because of its darker shade. It will take you several sessions of bleaching to turn your red hair blonde.

Can you dye natural red hair blonde?

You can dye your natural red hair blonde after bleaching. It helps add better tones to your blonde hair look.

Why is bleaching red hair harder?

Bleaching red hair is hard because it has dominant red pigments. These turn to orange instead of blonde when bleached.


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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).