Ask a hairdresser: Can you dip-dye brown hair at home?

Coco Rocha - dip-dyed hair

The question

Reader Alana writes:

Can you dip-dye dark brown hair? How could I do it at home?

The answer

Tony Chaar’s advice:

Depending on the colour you want, there are a few ways you can do dip-dye on brown hair.

If you want to go lighter, go Ombré. Dip your ends in a high-lift lightener with 30-volume developer for about 15 minutes. Make it runny and choose random pieces—no perfect pieces—and at minimum 3 inches away from each other. Keep your eye on it if you don’t want it to go too light.

You can stop here if you want a tone-on-tone effect with brown hair and light brown or blonde ends. If you want a shade like pink, use a deposit pink dye for about 15 minutes over the lightened ends.

If you just want to darken your ends, then dip them in a deposit dark brown dye for about 15 minutes. (As with the above process, make it runny and choose random, imperfect pieces 3 inches away from each other.) Make sure to keep your eye on how it develops if you don’t want it to go too dark.

Tony Chaar is a Toronto-based hairstylist who has worked with celebrities such as Coco Rocha, Freida Pinto, LeeLee Sobieski and Kim Cattrall. Visit his salon at 11 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto or call 416-920-9965. On the web, find him on FacebookTwitter or at

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Thursday, October 25/2012 at 6:15 pm

Woo! I love this article! I’m curious about the 3″ apart thing, though. Wouldn’t you want all your ends lightened/dyed? I’m no hairdresser, though, so what do I know? I really want to try this but I’m afraid my ends are already too fried from stripping my hair/redying it :(


Friday, January 11/2013 at 7:21 pm

just bleach the ends then you Splash hair dye
works PERFECT :-{


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