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Can I Dye Brown Hair Without Bleaching? To What Colors?

If you have brown hair and are looking for a change, are you wondering what color can you dye your brown hair without bleaching?

The good news is that you can dye your brown hair without bleaching it, easily giving yourself a fresh look by lifting the shade up to five levels.

If you want to change your brown hair color easily instead of using bleach which adds additional steps, time, and the possibility of damaging your hair, this article will guide you through the process.

Can You Dye Over Brown Hair Without Bleach?

Dying your hair is a fun way to change your appearance and reset your look. You can dye over brown hair without bleach as long as you know what results you will achieve.

Generally, when dying over brown hair, you can change your hair to just a few shades darker or lighter than your starting color. It’s important to know that you generally won’t achieve pastel colors, so if you are looking to go for a platinum blonde shade, you wouldn’t be able to do so by dying your hair without bleach.

What Color Can You Dye Your Brown Hair Without Bleaching?

colors you can dye brown hair without bleach

If you have brown hair and want to change your hair color, there are a few options you can choose from, but how light your hair will turn without bleach is going to depend on your natural hair color.

While it’s best to visit the salon professionals, you can lighten hair at home, but you’ll want to ensure the hair dye has a low peroxide concentration to maintain hair health.

If your hair is a medium brown, you can use hair dye to lighten hair up to five levels and achieve a soft, golden blonde shade.

You can dye your hair and achieve a caramel color if it is naturally dark brown.

If your hair is naturally brown and you want to achieve a blonde color, you won’t be able to do so without using bleach.

If you don’t want to go with a brighter shade of blonde, consider some more creative colors. Purple hair dye looks fantastic and takes to natural brown hair easily.

If you want to go purple, consider darker shades like plum and berry rather than lavender. Dark shades of blue and green, like navy and emerald, also take to brown hair well- no bleach necessary.

Why You Should Avoid Bleaching Your Hair

Below are some of the disadvantages of bleaching your hair:

  1. Bleaching weakens hair, altering its strength and structure.
  2. Regular, costly touch-ups are required as roots grow out.
  3. Hair becomes dry, less elastic and requires expensive treatment products.
  4. Over-bleaching can cause uneven hair and breakages.
  5. Severe damage may force you to cut off all your hair.
  6. You can only wash your hair once a week to prevent further harm.
  7. Swimming in the sea can fade the color.
  8. You may lose significant amounts of hair after showering.
  9. You can’t return to your natural color after bleaching.

How To Dye Brown Hair Without Bleach

Dyeing Brown Hair Without Bleach

Dyeing your hair at home is a great way to save money, but you should do some research before breaking open that bottle, especially if you’ve never dyed your hair before.

Note that you won’t be able to make your hair lighter without using bleach. You can change from dark brown to dark red, but you won’t be able to go from dark brown to blonde without the use of bleach.

Remember, if you want to make your hair lighter, you will have to use bleach. You can go from a dark color to another dark color, but you won’t be able to go from dark to light without some bleaching treatments.

Choose Your Dye

If dying your hair at home, you’ll want to research the best at-home kits and be sure you have a solid developer and toner available to use.

Some brands, like Arctic Fox, make dye specifically for dark hair. Look into different brands and check out pictures of before and after results in the reviews before purchasing a dye.

For best results, choose a permanent dye in a cool tone to reduce brassiness.


Once you’ve made your decision, read all of the instructions written on the box. Tutorials may be available on the brand’s social media pages, websites, or YouTube channels. Familiarize yourself with the steps and process before beginning the process.

Put down old towels, newspapers, or an old tablecloth to protect the floor, counters, and table. You should also apply some petroleum jelly along your hairline and wear old clothes or a cape to avoid staining your clothes.

Next, prepare the dye according to the directions on the box.


Starting at your roots, apply the dye using the applicator blush and blending down. You’ll need to wait approximately 25 minutes but this amount of time will depend on the brand of dye you use.

Wash and Style

Rinse your hair with cool water until the water runs clear. There’s no need to use shampoo but follow with a color-safe conditioner and any smoothing oils included in the box. Style as normal.

What’ll Happen if You Dye Hair Without Bleaching?

Effects of dyeing brown hair without bleach

When you dye your hair without bleach, you will see a color change (usually just a few shades lighter or darker), but it won’t be a drastic change or several shades lighter, especially if you are trying to go blonde. You will need bleach for that.

It’s also essential to remember you won’t be able to go platinum or achieve any pastel colors without bleach.

Dying your hair without bleach also minimizes the risk of damage to your hair.

What Colors Can You Dye dark brown hair without bleaching?

You can dye dark brown hair without bleach. Try burgundy, deep purple, or dark blue. These colors make your hair look deeper and richer. But remember, your hair’s natural color and texture can change the final look. The dye quality matters too. Always ask a hair expert for advice before you dye your hair at home.

Can You Dye Dark Brown Hair Purple Without Bleaching?

If you’re thinking about dyeing your dark brown hair purple, be ready for a subtle change. This color might only pop in very bright sunlight. A similar experience I had was when I dyed my nearly black hair blue – it was so delicate that only under direct sunlight did the color truly show.

If you want a more noticeable outcome, bleaching can be an option. This is something you can safely do at home, given you take the time to learn from numerous online tutorials. I followed this path and applied a small amount of bleaching powder and developer for just a few minutes.

My thin hair turned a dark orange quickly. But, I minimized any damage by using less developer than what is typically used at a salon.

Once the bleach set, I layered a blue hair dye over my now orange hair. The result was a stunning, dark bluish-purple color that really shone under sunlight. A tip to prolong the color is to add a bit of purple dye to your usual shampoo and conditioner.

The key was not adding too much developer, which helped keep my hair healthy, even with all the changes.


You can change your brown hair color without bleach. The new color depends on your natural shade. Use dyes with low peroxide for healthy hair. You can lighten medium brown hair to golden blonde. Dark brown hair can turn into caramel color. You can’t turn brown hair blonde without bleach. Try dark purple, blue, or green for a fun look. These colors work well with brown hair and don’t need bleach.

Hopefully, with some of the information we’ve provided, you’ll be happy and confident knowing you can dye your brown hair without bleach.