Beauty

I Dyed My Damaged Blonde Hair Back To Brunette — & I’ve Never Been Happier

The itch to bleach your hair is very real, and most of us have felt it, if not experienced the sting of the peroxide first hand. But what happens after you take your hair super blonde and then decide after a few months that you want to go back to your natural, much darker root color?

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Find out in the latest episode of Refinery29's YouTube makeover series, Hair Me Out, where we meet Los Angeles-based director and model Alli Gooch, a natural-born brunette who let her boyfriend bleach her hair platinum over quarantine. Now, dealing with quite a significant amount of breakage, she wants her brown hair back.

For a pretty extreme color correction, Gooch enlists the help of a trained professional, seasoned colorist Adriana Pinto. "I'm looking to get my hair color corrected because I absolutely obliterated it with bleach in the beginning of quarantine," Gooch explains to Pinto, adding that she's very much over being blonde. "While it was fun for the summer, I'm definitely ready to go back to brunette."

Up for the challenge, Pinto begins the correction process by shampooing and towel drying Gooch's bleach-damaged hair. She coats her still-damp strands with a dark, almost red-tinged dye to "fill in" the stripped strands. "I go in and replace the underlying pigment in the hair that was removed from the bleaching," Pinto explains of her coloring technique. "I went a bit darker on the top and one shade lighter towards the bottom because our hair is naturally a bit darker at the root and lighter towards the ends."

The last step is applying demi-permanent gloss to lock in the dark-brown color and a quick refresh trim to get rid of existing breakage. "For Alli's cut, I'm not going to do anything crazy," Pinto explains, grabbing scissors and perfecting the final look. "I'm just going to take an inch off the ends and frame around her face."

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Before showing Gooch her fresh new hair, Pinto offers up some helpful advice on at-home maintenance. "I tell my clients to buy a filter for their shower head, because we have a lot of minerals in our water, so a filter will help keep your hair soft," Pinto recommends. "Also make sure to use professional-brand shampoo and conditioner — something that would be sold in a salon or a beauty supply store. When you're using drugstore [products], there's no guarantee, so you're rolling the dice with maintaining something that you payed good money for."

Finally, Pinto spins the salon chair to position Gooch in front of the mirror. "This is such a trip," the freshly-brunette model exclaims, running her hands through her softer and silkier hair. "I definitely won't go through any other major hair transformations any time soon — I'm super happy to be back to my natural brunette."

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