Ask a hairdresser: How do I take my dyed auburn hair back to blonde without damaging it?

Emma Stone - auburn hair with highlights

The question

Reader Haley writes:

I have been blonde for the past eight years… my natural colour is a dark, mousy blonde. Recently I dyed my hair a dark auburn colour. I know I am going to eventually going to want to go back to blonde. How would I go about that in the simplest way possible without destroying my hair? Is adding highlights to an auburn color even a viable option? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The answer

Tony Chaar’s advice:

The best way to approach this is to have soft, golden-mocha highlights, a little bit at a time (because you are probably feeling claustrophobic right now—it is a natural behaviour for a blonde going into any darker shades).

There is a product from René Furterer called Karité Intense; it is an oil that you put on the hair to protect it while it is lifting. That is very important if you are concered about the health of your hair.

So, go slow and get a few scattered highlights every two or three months and do not get lowlights.

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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1 Comment

Sunday, December 30/2012 at 3:36 pm

Awesome advice. Healthy hair should always be maintained. No matter what the colour, it always looks best! I would also say to any blonde thinking about going darker to consider using gentle demi permanent colour. It’s less damaging, shinier and easier to lift out- blondes always want to be blonde again! This is one trick used by celebrity hair colourists as well- and how many of their clients are able to change their colour with such apparent ease.


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