How to Dye Your Hair Back to Its Natural Color

by Daina Galante ; Updated September 28, 2017

Stick with natural colors when returning to original color. Browns and dark blondes are common colors, while bright reds or blue blacks aren't.

dye image by Orlando Florin Rosu from Fotolia.com

Getting your natural hair color back can take years if you allow it to grow out completely. Using dye to change the color to your original is a faster way to achieve your goal. Clairol claims that permanent color lasts until your hair grows out or is re-colored, while semi-permanent lasts 8-12 washes. However, chemicals such as sulfates that are in shampoos can strip the hair of its dyed color, claims L'Oreal. So, depending on how often and what you use to wash your hair can impact its longevity. However, Using permanent color will help you avoid having to immediately re-dye.

Choosing the Right Color and Dye

Grow your hair so at least an inch of your naturally colored root is showing. This should only take about 2 months, since hair is said to grow 1/2 inch per month.

Go to a store that sells hair dye and look through the color selection. Name brands are popular for a reason, so trying ones from companies like L'Oreal, Garnier, and Clairol may be the best options.

Match the color on the box dye to your natural root. Remember to consider the color of your dyed hair. On the back of most boxes there will be before and after pictures of hair color. Match your hair to the before and your root to the after. If there are no guides, use your judgment.

Dyeing the Hair to Match Roots

Take the dye home and put on a shirt you do not care about or a cape if you have one.

Read the instructions on the box of dye. You may have to mix together two smaller bottles, or just shake up one.

Put plastic gloves on.

Work the dye through your hair by starting right where your natural new growth ends. You may want to comb the dye through the ends of your hair to ensure a more even color job.

Put a cap over your dyed hair. If the box dye does not require a cap, then clip your hair up so that the ends are not dripping. You may want to use your own shower cap if you own one and the box does not supply it.

Timing the Hair Color and Washing it Out

Set your timer or watch the clock to track the time the box says to keep the dye on your hair. It can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Lift your cap off when the time is right. Rinse your hair until the water runs clear.

Shampoo and condition as you normally would.


  • Your hair may fade even if the new color matches your root. You may need to re-dye your hair with a semi-permanent or permanent color until your hair grows out completely and it is all your natural color.

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About the Author

Daina Galante began writing professionally in 2009. Her work has been published in the book, "One Word!" and she has won contests and has been published through the Rutgers University English department. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers, where she is also pursuing her Master of Education in English education.