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Can I mixing black and blonde hair dye?

Quick Answer

It is generally not recommended to mix black and blonde hair dyes together in the same formula. Black hair dye contains darker pigments while blonde hair dye contains lighter pigments. Mixing these together can create an ashy, muddy tone. It’s best to choose one color or the other when coloring your hair.

However, some stylists may mix a small amount of blonde dye into a mostly black formula to soften the tone. This should only be done by an experienced colorist who understands how to properly balance the pigments. Improper mixing can lead to green or red tones in the hair.

The Science Behind Hair Color Mixing

Hair color works by depositing pigments into the hair strand. Here is a quick overview of how it works:

  • Natural hair pigment is called melanin. It contains two types: eumelanin (black/brown) and pheomelanin (red/blonde).
  • The balance of these melanins determines your natural hair color.
  • Hair dye contains artificial pigments that coat the hair strand.
  • Darker dyes have higher concentrations of eumelanin.
  • Lighter dyes have higher concentrations of pheomelanin.

When you mix two colors, the pigments interact. For example, combining a black dye (high in eumelanin) with a blonde dye (high in pheomelanin) neutralizes the tones. The darker color usually overpowers the lighter one.

This makes the color muted and muddied. While some stylists do this on purpose for subtle color shifts, an improper balance can result in undesired tones.

Can You Mix Permanent vs. Semi-Permanent Dye?

Permanent hair dye and semi-permanent hair dye contain different types of pigments:

Permanent Hair Dye Contains oxidation dye pigments that penetrate into the hair shaft.
Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Contains direct dye pigments that coat the outside of the hair.

Permanent hair dyes produce longer lasting color that does not wash out. Semi-permanent dyes fade faster and gradually wash out over 4-6 weeks.

You should not mix permanent and semi-permanent dyes together in the same formula. The pigments are not designed to bond together, which can lead to uneven color results.

However, some stylists will apply a semi-permanent dye on top of permanent dyed hair to refresh the color or add new tones. The order is important though – the permanent dye must go on first.

Can I Mix Black and Blonde Box Dyes?

It’s best to avoid mixing entire boxes of black and blonde home hair dye. At-home dyes contain pre-measured pigment ratios designed to produce specific results. When you mix two boxes, you disrupt this balance.

Here is what happens when you combine full boxes of black and blonde dye:

  • The darker pigments usually overpower lighter ones.
  • You can end up with dark hair with unnatural red/green hues.
  • The color may turn out uneven with dark and light patches.

Instead, choose one box dye color or the other. For subtle highlighting, try using blonde foils with your black box dye.

How Can a Stylist Mix Black and Blonde Dye?

While mixing full boxes of black and blonde dye is not recommended, some expert hair stylists may mix custom formulas. Here are some techniques they can use:

Balayage or Ombre

Balayage and ombre involve painting or sweeping the lightener through the ends of the hair only. This creates a sun-kissed look at the tips while keeping the roots darker. The two colors blend softly together.


Folayage is similar to balayage, but the lightener is applied in ribbon-like strips throughout the hair. The contrast of dark and light pieces provides depth and dimension.


Adding a small amount of dark lowlight pieces to blond hair keeps it from looking brassy. The lowlights blend with the natural regrowth to tone down the base.


Toners are translucent deposit-only pigments. Stylists use them after bleaching to neutralize brassiness and create natural-looking blonde and brown shades.

Black with Blonde Pieces

Some stylists may mix a small amount of blonde dye into a mostly black formula to soften the tone while keeping a dark base. This requires careful measurement of pigment levels.

Black Root Smudge with Blonde Ends

Shadow root techniques paint the regrowth area slightly darker. This helps the transition between the light ends and new growth look more seamless as the hair grows out.

Tips for Mixing Black and Blonde Dye at Home

It’s best to have a professional mix custom black and blonde dye formulas. However, if you want to experiment at home, here are some tips:

  • Use semi-permanent dye instead of permanent.
  • Choose demi-permanent black dye to soften the tone.
  • Mix a small amount of blonde into mostly black dye.
  • Spot test on a strand first to check the color result.
  • Apply blonde only to the ends and lower half of hair.
  • Use 10 volume developer or dilute with conditioner.

Take precautions to avoid damaging your hair. Always do a patch and strand test before applying any mixed formula all over.

What Happens If You Mix Black and Blonde Dye?

Here’s a recap of what happens when black and blonde dyes are combined:

  • Black pigment overtakes blonde pigment, making the color darker.
  • Can result in an uneven, muddy tone.
  • May create unnatural hues like green or red.
  • The color will be darker than anticipated.
  • Professional mixing can produce subtle, blended results.
  • Improper at-home mixing often leads to color correction appointments.

Unless performed by a skilled colorist, the end result of mixing black and blonde dye is usually less than desirable. Make sure to do a strand test first!


Mixing full applications of black and blonde box dye is not recommended. For best results, choose one color or the other. With professional techniques like balayage, ombre, and folayage, stylists can mix custom formulations to create stunning dark roots with light ends. This requires expert precision that is very difficult to achieve on your own at home. Always consult your stylist first before attempting to blend black and blonde dyes. With proper application and care, you can achieve a beautiful dual-tone hair color.