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How Can I Get my Natural Hair Color Back?

stripping hair back to natural colour

A recently posted question on stripping back to your natural hair color

I want to let my natural (almost pure white) hair grow in. I have very healthy, coarse-textured fairly long hair that I have been coloring honey blonde for years. Is there a way to match this bright white hair with some kind of streaks or hair high lights? Lately, on TV, I have been seeing young men with beautiful white or silver hair, so it must be possible — surely they could not have gone completely white/grey at such an early age! A couple hairdressers have suggested bleached hair high lights — but they say they cannot achieve a match with the white that is my natural hair color — it will just have to grow out, they say. Is this true? What do you suggest I do, especially to avoid damaging my hair?

Comment by Laura — January 18, 2007


From my perspective you have 3 options to get back to your natural hair color:

  1. Cut it short and let the hair color grow out, or bleach and tone.

  2. Bleached hair high lights, as the hairdressers you mentioned suggested but which won’t match your natural white hair color.

  3. Bleach up and tone back with a semi-permanent hair color. (My choice)

Find a reputable hair colorist to do this and you’ll be happy with the results. They’ll bleach your hair up to a pale yellow hair color shade leaving your regrowth untouched.

“Getting Back to Natural Hair Color”

Then they can tone back all of the hair with a semi-permanent platinum hair color shade. Bleaching is the only way to get the blonde hair color out of your hair. A semi-permanent tone back will fade in 6 to 12 weeks or more.

You may need to tone the regrowth to even out the hair color until the old bleached hair is cut out. As the toner fades, you’re left with your natural white hair color. Since your hair is very healthy you shouldn’t have a problem going this route, unless you have extremely long hair. It’s more difficult to lift color out of long hair evenly.

Deep conditioning treatments would be good to do beforehand and afterwords. The young men you mentioned seeing on TV with white hair, no doubt had their hair bleached up and toned back to the hair color you’re seeing.

Don’t miss our complete guide to hair coloring for more in-depth information.

For further discussion on hair color correction you might want to check out these other articles:



  1. Hi Erika,

    Unfortunately, there are no products that will return your hair to its natural color, but you do have options. One thing that you could do is get red lowlights. This would help blend your natural and existing hair color. Want to learn more insider tips? Don’t miss the article How to Grow Out Gray Hair.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Michelle Skye — January 3, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  2. Help: My hair has been falling out and I have a bald spot on top, so I decided to get rid of my red color, which I’ve been dyeing for years. I went to the beauty shop and got a real short haircut. Now I have 2 inches of gray and the rest red. The grey looks OK but there are still red streaks. The beautician told me it will take another 2 months for them to grow out and she can cut my hair again. It looks awful now. Can I get something to take the red out?

    Comment by Erika — December 30, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

  3. hi, I had my hair dyed red in December last year and carried on dying it until about February this year, I got fed up of the red though and I’ve dyed it darkest brown over top of the red at least 10 times since, and it’s ok as soon as I have it dyed but within a few days it’s faded back to a redish colour again, is there anything I can do to get my natural dark brown hair colour back?

    Comment by becca — October 22, 2011 @ 3:21 am

  4. i am trying to get-red of orange and my hair is very damage what can i do go to blond without see orange on my roots

    Comment by sue — September 21, 2011 @ 2:52 am

  5. Hello. I am trying to go back to my natural hair color. Naturally, I have dark ashy blonde hair, but I have been dying it red for over a year. In an effort to get rid of some of the red, I dyed my hair a more brown color, but it is much too dark. Do you have any suggestions on how I can lighten it without bleaching and redying? Going to a salon isn’t an option with my budget. :) Thanks!

    Comment by Mary — July 29, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  6. Hi Amy:

    Checkout this article and the related articles at the end of the article:

    Comment by Paul Lynn — July 6, 2011 @ 10:14 am

  7. Hi,
    My natural hair colour is blonde but darker blonde. I decided one day to dye my hair a lighter blonde with a cheap preoduct oviously i was stupid. I hate it ! how do i get my natural hair back without cutting all of my hair off and without letting it grow out. I need serious help

    Comment by Amy — July 6, 2011 @ 2:27 am

  8. Tytler,
    Here’s an article that may help you;

    Comment by Barb Quinn — May 17, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  9. hi my natrual hair colour is a brown and natrual highlights ,im 17 and iv dyed it a few times the last colour i used was a black/dark brown i dyed it in january its practily may now and its faied alot and my roots have grown though bout an inch or so now i just want my natrual hair colour back so it will give my hair a break and allow it to grow long again but how can i go from a dark brown to a light mousy brown with out bleaching and on a low buget im desprate i just want my natrual hair colour back . if you can give me sum advice i would be really greatfull

    Comment by tyler — April 30, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  10. Hi i had put a strip of semi-permment red dye in my natural black hair six days a go. Before i bleached it i put the red dye in first. then a couple of hours later i blech the piece i dyed because it didn’t look like it came out. but now i a wondering if i wolud be able to get back my natural hair color back once it fades away with out me dying it any more. and this was my first time put any dye it my hair please help me out. please please please.

    Comment by Amanda — January 21, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  11. Ceri,
    Go to a professional for this. Your highlighted hair will grab color differently from your natural hair and roots. A professional can asses the right color to use and the right application needed from roots to ends.
    You can help your hair out for the next color by doing deep conditioning treatments now.
    Good luck!

    Comment by Barb Quinn — June 10, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  12. Help! I have natural light/medium auburn hair, 2 months ago i had highlights put in (full head) and it looks awful! :( can i dye my hair nack to its natural colour using a home dye or will it go wrong? help!

    Comment by Ceri — June 9, 2010 @ 9:11 am

  13. PLEASE HELP ME SOMEONE! i have peroxcide white/blonde hair which has not had a toner put on it.. but now i want a natural blonde colour on my hair? what can i use? will it come out okay? MY HAIR IS IN SUCH BAD CONDITION from the peroxcide, i hate it! help me please :(

    Comment by Olivia — April 25, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  14. Hello.
    A few months ago i went to the chemist and found they had $1 hair dye, it was only semi.
    i was a natural strawberry blonde and wanted to go brown.
    I dyed it that night and it went orange so the next day i went to the hairdressers and got a semi brown to see if i liked it or not.
    After a few days it started to go a brownish, red.
    It’s been about 3 months now and i have regrowth.
    How can i have regrowth if it was only a semi and how can i get back to my natural colour without damaging or dying my hair.

    Comment by jazzie — June 28, 2009 @ 1:43 am

  15. Maria,
    Whether you used a permanent or semi-permanent color, red is likely to show up for quite some time.
    I suggest you call the manufacturers hot line on the back of the box for their advice. They will give you the best options as they know what you’ve used. Also be sure to tell them of any other hair coloring you’ve done that could still be on your hairshaft.

    Comment by Barb Quinn — March 16, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

  16. I had recently dyed my hair a red-ish color, but i don’t like it. Is their a way to get my hair back to its medium brown color? it hasn’t been 24 hours that i dyed it, is their a way to get it back without dying it? Or will the color fade into an almost brown?

    Comment by maria — March 16, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  17. My natural hair is a reddish brown but I recently got my hair cut and dyed I had them bleach the under section of my hair so it would be brown on top and blonde on the bottom. They also cut my hair so that it sort of looks like scene hair thicker on top thinner and longer on the bottom. My hair is naturally wavy and the blonde ends up looking very stragely and I don’t really like it how soon can I dye over it ? How do I get my wave and volume back? If I dye over it will it look better if I just get go to a salon and have them dye my whole head a nice choclate brown?

    Comment by Kathleen — February 15, 2009 @ 12:35 am

  18. i am a natural blonde, i first dyed my hair about 2 years ago, it turned out a light brown, luckily all the dye got washed out as it wasn’t perminant or semi perminant.
    i then dyed my hair dark brown the next year about december time, i left it to fade to a light brown until july when i dyed it a bit lighter, but it didn’t really work.
    i left that for a bit, then did a stupid thing by bleeching it blonde, i left that for about 3 months, because my roots came out really dark.
    i dyed it light brown again last week.

    i was wondering if anyone knew if i would ever get my natural hair colour back to blonde without dying it, and if there was a way to get all the hair colourant chemicals out of my hair without damaging it or making me go a horrible colour.

    Comment by becka — October 28, 2007 @ 12:09 pm

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