How to Dye Blonde Hair Brown

Updated on November 12, 2019
Maffew James profile image

I offer professional advice and knowledge about all things hair dye. Discover the terminology, chemistry, and processes behind dyeing hair.

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If you have blonde hair and want to dye it darker, there are a few things you need to know first in order to dye it successfully and avoid unintended color mistakes.

Dyeing Your Hair From Blonde to Brown

You might believe that to dye blonde hair brown, all you need to do is apply a brown hair dye and wait for it to develop. It's a little more complicated than that though because darker dyes won't work as intended on light hair.

Depending on how light your hair is and what shade of blonde hair you have, you could end up with your hair turning green or another unexpected color if you simply put a darker shade on top of it.

In this article, you will learn how to avoid common color mishaps when you go from blonde to brunette, as well as multiple ways to do it so that you can choose what is easiest and most convenient for you.

Accounting for the Base Tone of Your Hair

Whether your hair is dyed or naturally blonde, there is a yellow base tone beneath the color you actually see. The cool tones in your hair cancel out some of this undertone and give you anything from a golden-blonde to an ash-blonde color just through its modification.

These cool tones are important even in a golden-blonde shade, and without them, your blonde hair would simply be an unnatural-looking fluorescent yellow color from the underlying base pigment.

How Does This Apply to Dark Dyes?

The problem with simply applying a shade of hair dye to blonde hair is that a dark is meant to have an orange or red base, whilst blonde hair has a yellow base.

The dye itself can't include the necessary concentration of warm tones to deal with this issue because then it would be overly-red when used for any other purpose. The result of this is that dark dyes applied over the top of light hair colors show their primary tone with great intensity because it's unfettered compared to how it would look if the warm base tone was actually present.

Ash-brown hair dyes in particular, contain significant amounts of blue and green pigment to counteract red tones. This is why they can be used to tone your hair to a nice brown after darker color stripping, or they can be used to tone down red-brown hair colors like mahogany or bright red to a more natural shade.

When applied to hair that has no red or orange tones, however, an ash-brown hair dye is extremely overpowering—instead of resulting in an ash-brown hair color, you'll end up with either dark gray or even a murky and horrifying shade of green.

When you have blonde hair, you don't have any red tone present, and the use of this ash dye can be a significant mistake. This is an example of why you need to be careful and dye your hair properly if you want to go from blonde to brown hair, and it is not just ash dye that will lead to an unexpected color if applied to your blonde hair.

When dyeing blond hair brown, it's essential to take into account the lightness and shade of your blonde hair.
When dyeing blond hair brown, it's essential to take into account the lightness and shade of your blonde hair. | Source

Avoiding Hair-Color Mistakes

If you want to dye your blonde hair to a brown color, you have to be very careful in regards to what dye you use or you will end up with a completely unintended color and a trip to the salon for an expensive color-correction service.

There are two easy ways to avoid green hair, grey hair, and any other color mishaps in between:

  • Fill your blonde hair beforehand
  • Use a warmer shade of brown dye

When you fill your blonde hair, this means that you replace the missing base tone by filling with a color like gold or red to prepare it before you apply the final color. This introduces the necessary tone to your hair that was missing so that the brown dye has a foundation to sit on.

You can also sometimes use a warmer brown hair dye instead. The only problem with this method is that for whatever shade of dye you use, the outcome will be less precise.

This method should ideally be considered where there is a smaller increase. You wouldn't do it if you wanted to go from platinum blonde to dark brown for example, but for a lesser change it works just fine.

However, the technique leads to less-precise shade results, and it's also less effective if you have a lot of grey hair. There will be another modified method explained later to deal with grey if needed.

Light brown hair
Light brown hair | Source

Filling Blonde Hair

If you have blonde hair, depending on what shade of blonde you have and how light your blonde hair is you may need to fill it with gold or red tones for the best result before you dye it brown. This can easily be achieved by applying a warm shade prior to using the desired brown shade.

You can fill your hair with a colored protein filler or a demi-permanent dye.

Colored Protein Fillers for Blonde Hair

Colored protein fillers are especially great for porous hair because the protein helps normalize the porosity of your hair and prevent hair dye from coloring unevenly. If you bleached your hair when you dyed it blonde, it is likely porous, and a protein filler is the preferable way to fill it.

If your hair is naturally blonde, it doesn't matter too much which option you choose. This kind of filler is quicker and easier, but can lead to some warmth lingering into the new color in some cases. You can avoid this with the other kind of filler.

Demi-Permanent Dyes for Blonde Hair

If you decide to use a demi-permanent dye to fill your hair, use a shade that's at least one level lighter than your desired brown hair. You can dye your hair a neutral or warm brown after filling it with a copper or red shade.

If you want an ash-brown hair color, however, use a dye that is two levels lighter than your desired brown shade. The reason for this is that you need some red tone in your hair so that your ash dye doesn't turn out green, but you don't want so much red that it turns out too warm even after applying an ash-brown dye.

Which Color Do I Use to Fill My Blonde Hair?

If you're having trouble working out which shade to fill your hair, you can use the table below to quickly identify the shade you need.

The number that precedes the shade is the hair level, which tells you how dark the shade is. The name of the shade corresponds to this level and also tells you the primary tone.

For example, if you wanted a dark neutral-brown color, this is a level 3, and you should apply a level 4 medium red-brown to fill it first so that the color turns out exact.

Desired Brown Color
Demi to Use
5 - Light ash brown
7 - Medium red blonde
4 - Medium ash brown
6 - Dark red blonde
5 - Light natural brown
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium natural brown
5 - Light red brown
3 - Dark natural brown
4 - Medium red brown
5 - Light golden brown
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium golden brown
5 - Light red brown
5 - Light auburn
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium auburn
5 - Light red brown
5 - Light mahogany
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium mahogany
5 - Light red brown
5 - Light burgundy
6 - Dark red blonde
4 - Medium burgundy
5 - Light red brown
Going from blonde to brunette can be tricky, but filling your hair first can make all the difference.
Going from blonde to brunette can be tricky, but filling your hair first can make all the difference. | Source

What Are Demi-Permanent Dyes?

Demi-permanent dyes differ from permanent hair dyes in that part of the color in the tube is oxidative like a permanent dye, but part of it is also direct.

Oxidative dye is permanent and requires oxygen from developer to react and become the final color, whereas direct color is pre-formed and also used in semi-permanent dye. In this sense, a demi-permanent dye is kind of like a middle-ground between the two.

The low volume of developer used—which is usually between 5–7 vol—is necessary to oxidise the dye but causes almost no damage because it is so diluted.

Where Can I Buy Demi-Permanent Hair Dye?

You won't likely find demi-permanent hair dye in supermarkets or pharmacies, so you're better off checking specialty beauty stores or buying online. You will also need to know exactly what you're looking for in order to buy it, because the fact that it is a demi-permanent dye isn't usually labelled on the tube.

A few great demi-permanent dyes include Igora Viviance, I.Color I.luminate, and Matrix Color Sync. If you can't get a demi-permanent dye, you can use permanent dye with 10 vol developer for the filler instead.

To dye blonde hair brown, you should either fill it first or use a warmer shade of brown.
To dye blonde hair brown, you should either fill it first or use a warmer shade of brown. | Source

Dyeing With a Warmer Shade

Instead of filling blonde hair with red prior to dyeing it brown, you can also dye it with a warmer brown shade than your desired color. In this case, a natural brown would turn out more like an ash brown, while a golden brown would turn out closer to a natural brown.

For cooler shades of brown, you'll notice that shades that are one tone warmer than your desired shade will give you the color you want—but this rule slows down and stops working when you get to caramel brown, where you should use a caramel brown shade for an almost exact color.

The main exception to this rule is with mahogany and burgundy hair colors. These shades contain red and violet tones to give more of a purple color. In this case, the yellow tones present in your blonde hair can counteract the violet tones in these colors, leading to shades that are redder or pinker than they should be. If this is a problem for you, add violet intensifier to your mahogany or burgundy shades to boost the purple color.

You can use the table below to decide what dye to use when dyeing your blonde hair brown without filling it first. Keep in mind that you should only do this when the change in darkness is up to three levels. For a more extreme change, fill first to ensure success.

Desired Brown Shade
Dye to Use
Ash brown
Natural brown
Natural brown
Golden brown
Golden brown
Caramel brown
Caramel brown
Caramel brown
Red brown
Red brown
Mahogany
Mahogany
Burgundy
Burgundy

Mixing Dyes to Darken Blonde Hair Without Filling

If you have a lot of grey hair of want a more exact color result but only one step like with the previous method, there's a similar method you can use, but be aware that it does involve mixing two different shades of dye together so it's a little more complicated.

However, this method allows you to dye your blonde hair darker regardless of grey and doesn't require you to fill your hair first. It should primarily be used where you want to go up to four levels darker or less though in most cases.

To do this method, you'll use a natural shade mixed with a portion of the shade you actually want.

How Can Natural Shades Be Used to Darken Hair?

A natural shade is a shade that is formulated to contain all three primary colors in the right mix for the level it is used at. They're also sometimes called neutral shades.

As this shade is balanced, it can dye grey hair darker very effectively and is often used for this purpose because the result is more precise. It has the same benefit when darkening blonde hair to a brown shade though as it will re-introduce most of the missing base tone.

How to Use

To use this kind of dye, you should mix roughly 75% natural shade with 25% your desired color. This means that if you were to use 4 oz of dye, you would use 3 oz of natural shade and 1 oz of your other shade, then add developer based on the total amount of dye. However, only mix dyes within the same brand (they're designed to be inter-mixable in the same range).

Apply and develop the dye as normal and that's it. The color result won't be exactly the same as the way your intended shade looks, but it will be close and the difference will be especially insignificant after you reapply your desired shade by itself to deal with regrowth and fading several weeks later.

Like with the other single-step method to dye your blonde hair brown, it's important that you don't try to make a drastic jump from a very light to very dark color with this method because it's less effective for that. Instead, always pre-fill your hair if you need this kind of change to eliminate mistakes.

Dyeing your hair can make you feel like a whole new person!
Dyeing your hair can make you feel like a whole new person! | Source

If you dye blonde hair brown and take these rules into account, you'll end up with the brown shade you actually want instead of making a mistake that would require a color correction.

Hair color is all about the interaction of tones and depth. As you start to grasp how these different tones interact with each other, you'll be able to dye your hair any color without ending up with unexpected results.

Hair Care and Fading in Dyed Brown Hair

Once you've achieved the perfect hair color, there are a few things you need to do to take care of your dyed hair. Here are a few key tips to maintain your new brunette hair and keep it healthy after dyeing.

  • Don't wash your hair too often.
  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner (except in oily hair types).
  • Focus on shampooing your roots rather than the middle and ends of your hair.
  • Wash and rinse with cool water only.
  • Be gentle with towel-drying and use of combs and brushes while your hair is wet. Your hair is weakest when it's wet.
  • If hot tools are necessary for your look, use heat-protectant products or hair serums to reduce damage.
  • Use a deep-conditioner or hot oil treatment once a week for softness, and a protein treatment for strength.

You will likely need to retouch your hair in 4–6 weeks to deal with fading and natural color regrowth. However, more fading will occur the first time you dye your hair dark compared to after a retouch since more pigment will build-up within the hair.

Do you have a question about dyeing blonde hair brown, or want to know more about how the different tones in your hair contribute to its color? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Maffew James

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    • profile image

      Angela 

      9 days ago

      Hi. Love your site. I have never colored my own hair before and wish I had done some research before I did!

      I had salon colored and highlighted blonde hair. Like so many others I haven’t been able to get hair done at a salon. With my gray taking over, I decided to grab a box of light brown hair dye. As you discussed, my hair turned a really dark murky brown green color! So I freaked out and bought Color Oops. I used as directed, but it just lightened the color. Its now a medium brown/green with brassy notes. Help! I have brown eyes and warm tones. What can i do to get back to warm blonde or warm light brown.

      Thanks in advance.

      Angela

    • profile image

      Julie 

      9 days ago

      My hair is normally dark brown with caramel and blonde streaks if i put a chocolate brown on all over until salons open as brown gone light would it turn strange colour

    • profile image

      Ann Conlon 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi, i use preference, extreme platinum blonde box dye but I'm really fed up because I'm on a lot of medication and find since its been increased now my roots are yellow, my friend is a hairdresser and puts the colour on for me so she now adds a bit of her bleach to my colour, i leave it on for 90 minutes because it takes that long to change but is still tint of yellow. So I've decided to bite the bullet and go brown but my friend said it will go green. I've just read your full write up about what colours to use but reading the part that says best using professional colours to mix up.... i did buy 2 colours on advice from hairdresser to different tones of golden blonde? And 20% peroxide. We haven't done it yet due to the coronavirus. But myself and the hairdresser is nervous if it goes wrong.

      I've just watched on the This Morning show if go from blonde to brown use semi permanent dye. My heads baffled haha, please help.

      Annie

    • profile image

      Jenise 

      7 weeks ago

      I have light highlighted blonde hair would like to go to light or medium brown. can't get fillers need to use shampoo in color what can I use.

    • profile image

      Taz 

      8 weeks ago

      Hi, i'm a first year cosmetology student and we just started color theroy before spring break then everything closed due to coronavirus so our instructor has been sending us work online and she has asked us to formulate (with nothing at home to actually formulate) for a client that is a natural level 7/8 warm blonde wanting to go to level 5 neutral brown and for another client that is also a natural 7/8 warm blonde with 75% gray again wanting to go level 5 neutral brown...i should mention we are a redken salon, so color chromatics, color fusion, color gels lacquers,and shades eq. please help me lol

    • profile image

      Anya 

      3 months ago

      Hello Maffew, im so glad i found this website, i hope you can help me...so had a very bad dye experience, i had my roots growing for 6 months..and asked my hairstylist to get rid of the dark old color from my end and try a balayage so i can grow my hair fully natural. BUT she just put a chocolate hairdye all over my hair that left me with a very very redish brown. My features are olive skin and green eyes with level 6-7 very ash blonde naturally but i have very strong red pigment in my hair(i know this from my hairstylist). After this ive waited another 3 months of natural hair growing and tried to bleach my hair at home with olaplex and 6% developer on the redish brown.After this my hair got to a gold-slighty orange shade and i just tone it with a 6N demipermanent...but sadly 6N is still to orange and dark for my very ashy roots and i also touched my natural roots with the 6N and they got coppery... This is my natural hair color maybe even more ashier that that.https://www.google.com/search?q=natural+level+6/7+hair&client=ms-android-samsung-ga-rev1&prmd=imvn&sxsrf=ALeKk004WHJa310i-N775jAFR5K6ZDTp3Q:1582208538540&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi1vpmPquDnAhVRw4sKHSvZBGEQ_AUoAXoECAwQAQ&biw=412&bih=756&dpr=2.63#imgrc=xg2TCfr-f1TRrM

      I intend to bleach my hair again incliding my roots again to a level 8/9 and use 3/4 8N and 1/4 7A demipermanet with 10vol. Will this give me a result closer to my natural level 7 ash blonde? Thank you

    • profile image

      Karen 

      3 months ago

      Hi !

      I bought a new wig but some of the highlights are too blonde for me. Is it possible to just dye the super blonde bits? Or if I dye all of the ends (super blonde and darker blonde) will it still have some dimention?

      If I want to take them down to like an ashy light brown should I fill with a warm brown and then dye it an ashy brown?

    • profile image

      Samantha 

      4 months ago

      Well i made this mistake before reading the article. I was advised to get the wrong color to do my hair. I used a neutral filler and an ashy brown and all of my blonde is now a steely grey-brown. How can i fix this to make it more of a natural brown? Can i put something on top of this to achieve what i want or do i have to strip this and start from square one?

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      4 months ago

      Maffew James-

      Natural blonde here, seeking your advice.

      My natural hair color is around an 8-9 natural blonde. I want to semi-temporarily dye it to a medium brown (maybe like a 4).

      Your article is wonderfully written, and it explained so much that I didn’t know about hair and dyes, I am a complete novice.

      But if I want a such a different color to last only around 10-12 weeks tops, how would I go about that? Demi-permanent dyes seem too long-term, but I am wondering if a semi-permanent will give me the same gross-green hair you’ve described in your article if I just jump straight to that deep brown.

      Please help, you seem to be my only hope.

    • profile image

      maxineweblin@gmail.com 

      4 months ago

      I've bleached my son's hair with highlights and he didn't like it as it went white blonde. He wants it back to his natural colour with just a few golden blonde highlights in it. About number 8 goldwell colour he likes. He natural colour is about a 7 . I put a 7na on it it looked a nice colour but faded out after two weeks. He has to wash his hair everyday as he has greasy hair that's why I used bleached. Can you advice me to put a colour on it and so it's lasts and doesn't fade? Also if I toned the bleach highlights with no 8 10vol will the colour go golden and how long will it last if I put this toner on? Thanks Max

    • profile image

      CMCacoustic 

      4 months ago

      Im so glad I found site. I am need of your expert advice please going back to brown. My stats are latina natural dark brunette self made level 10 blonde with about and inch of natural color regrowth. I have a protein filler that will deposit red back into my hair. My desired color is an light ash brown level 7-ish. I have Wella color charm permanent dye smokey ash brown (blue base). My two biggest concerns and questions:

      1. What did u mean about choosing a color that is two shades lighter than desired color? Was that for filling the hair with semi-perm? Or does this apply to me if I want a level 7 I have to choose a level 9 ?

      2. What do i do about my regrowth? Bleach that first? I dont know where to start. Please help.

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      4 months ago

      Hi AR,

      Although you only see that golden undertone in your natural brown hair, there is definitely orange/red tone in there too that you don't see. It forms the foundation of darker colours like this. Think of it like blonde shades, your hair can look silver for example as if there's no yellow in there but in reality there is yellow and it looks silvery because of violet/blue pigment added to the hair that counteracts the appearance of the yellow.

      Another example is blue-black hair. This looks like a really dark blue colour, but if you strip it out, it goes from blue-black to black to dark rusty brown, and then to really muddy red, deep red, orange, so on. You wouldn't really say the colour has red undertones looking at it, but the red is there even though it looks blue visually.

      With that said, if you did want to just fill with gold, it's not a big deal if you use a natural shade brown as the brown dye after, eg light natural brown or medium natural brown as these have balanced tone including the warmth needed to properly darken your hair. It's less effective by itself in very light hair like platinum which is why you'd want to fill first though. There's the potential for one of the 3 primary colours meant to be balanced in the dye to show too prominently.

      Filling with golden only will work, but the result is going to be ashier than if you filled it with the proper base tone. It probably won't turn greenish or greyish, but I think a good compromise to make is to mix just a little copper shade into the gold you use rather than only using a golden shade, or use a gold-copper shade (the copper is a weaker secondary tone so it's not overly prominent). Doesn't have to be a lot, just enough so that the blue tone in darker dyes doesn't go unopposed. Remember that blue and yellow mix to make green, so this is why gold by itself may be problematic.

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      4 months ago

      Hi AG,

      You could try using a clear protein filler applied to your hair before any permanent dye and this helps to ensure it dyes evenly and lasts longer because it stabilises the porosity of your hair.

      No guarantee this will produce a significantly longer-lasting result though. It's strange that you've only had dyes last 2 weeks before fading right back to a warm blonde, which really should last longer. It'll still fade no matter what when you dye lighter hair darker, especially if it's the first application, but generally much less than this, and a retouch should darken it back up and the potential for fading is reduced significantly after that point.

      Only thing I can think to recommend without knowing more about what specific dye has been used in your hair before that faded so much, is that some brands of salon dye have what's called a 'double natural' shade, eg, for light brown that's a 5NN instead of the typical 5N you would see. These are used to dye hair that is very resistant or with a significant amount of greying and that might work to get a more lasting result for you. Apart from that, there's either something off with the dye or method that's been used on your hair previously, or with your hair's porosity itself, probably more likely the dye.

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      4 months ago

      Hi SJO,

      For light brown, dye your hair with medium copper blonde or use an orange-gold protein filler and then dye with light natural/neutral brown over that colour. If you want it to be ashier, mix a little light ash brown into the natural. Vice versa if you want it to be warmer, mix a little of your desired warm shade, eg golden brown, into the natural. Don't use either by themselves when darkening your hair this much though, you need the natural shade primarily to darken it properly.

      For medium or dark brown, fill with dark red blonde or a red protein filler and then same process. Dye with medium or dark natural brown, mix in either an ash or warm shade with the natural if you want to alter the tone a bit.

    • profile image

      agsrx 

      4 months ago

      edit: I think I actually have a dark ash blonde-dark ash brown I really can't pinpoint it :( will a golden hair dye as a filler be too much gold?

      Hi! My hair is platinum white and I want to just dye it back to my natural color since my roots are super grown now. My hair is naturally somewhat of a light brown/dark blonde shade and I'm thinking of filling it with a gold shade (since I only have yellow undertones) and then putting the brown dye on top of it. I'm scared of using a permanent hair dye so I'll probably just go for the demi path, will my attempt of filling it work? and when it starts to fade out I have to repeat the same process, right? Thank you in advance for the help!

    • profile image

      AR 

      4 months ago

      Hi! My hair is platinum white and I want to just dye it back to my natural color since my roots are super grown now. My hair is naturally somewhat of a light brown/dark blonde shade and I'm thinking of filling it with a gold shade (since I only have yellow undertones) and then putting the brown dye on top of it. I'm scared of using a permanent hair dye so I'll probably just go for the demi path, will my attempt of filling it work? and when it starts to fade out I have to repeat the same process, right? Thank you in advance for the help!

    • profile image

      AG 

      4 months ago

      HI,

      I have dirty blonde hair naturally. Ive tried to dye it brown through a hairdresser twice now. The dye only last for maybe two weeks and it goes to this really ugly blonde thats not even close to my natural hair color. Allot lighter and uglier.i Kinda like an orangish yellow. I don't have iron water so I know that shouldn't have an effect on it. How do I dye my hair and make it stay that color for a long time?

    • profile image

      SJO 

      4 months ago

      I plan to dye my bleach dyed blonde hair back to brunette using box dye however I am very nervous about it turning green. What is the best way to avoid this; outside of going to a professional. I've home colored my hair many times and subsequently experienced both positive and negative experiences but in this case I am really trying to avoid the 'green sheen'. Any help is appreciated! Thank you in advance.

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      5 months ago

      Hi Callie,

      So what is likely responsible for that is the blue tone in the blonde dye you used mixing with yellow tones in your light blonde hair to give the green tinge. If you add another blonde dye it probably wouldn't help with that since the warm tone present would likely be more golden than anything else and you need orange to counteract an over-abundance of blue tone.

      To fix it, either add a little of a copper dye into a beige blonde dye, or a copper concentrate if available and that will take out the green tone. Alternatively, you can mix a very tiny amount of a semi-permanent orange dye into some conditioner and apply that for a few minutes as a conditioning toner whenever you wash your hair to keep it toned. Eventually the blue pigment would wash out as the dye fades since cool tones like blue are way less durable than the warm tones in your hair. You won't need to keep toning it forever.

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      5 months ago

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      Depends how dark the red dye is relative to the brown, and how much you mix with it, whether there is just enough pigment to add the right amount of warmth in or whether some of that red tone will show through after as more of an auburn colour. In theory it works, but in practice it won't be as simple, but you could do a strand test and titrate how much red you're mixing into the brown dye to get it right before you dye all your hair with it.

      Worse case scenario, if you messed up and it looks too auburn you can tone that out with ash.

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      5 months ago

      Hi Jayne,

      The warm tone remaining means it wasn't toned adequately, which would come down to it not being toned with a dark enough ash dye, or it not being lightened enough to really be toned to the intended colour. If you tone it adequately it'll likely end up light brown based on what you've said, rather than blonde, since you've already used a dark blonde dye to no avail.

      To fix it, apply light ash brown with 10 vol to the roots, let this develop partly and apply more of the dye pulled through to the lengths and ends in the last 10-15 minutes depending on how much warmth (and how much lighter) they are. If the difference in depth isn't too extreme between the lengths and roots, you could get away with just applying it all at once if that's easier but the lighter areas will end up a lot ashier by the end so keep that in mind.

    • profile image

      Callie 

      5 months ago

      Hi there, I put a dark blonde box dye over my salon dyed light blonde and there are some green tones in it- what do i do? do i now just re-dye the green parts with a warmer blonde/brown shade??

    • profile image

      Kaitlyn 

      5 months ago

      Hi I was just wondering if I was to mix a red and natural brown dye together and dye my hair will the red act as a filler and result in just brown. My hair is currently a faded semi permanent purple on the ends. Would it be best to let that completely wash out first?? Thank you

    • profile image

      Jayne nixon 

      5 months ago

      Hi, hope you can help me. Yesterday morning my hair was a slight natural dark blonde/light brown root, with pre lightened highlights and toned with silver and powder - quite light ends. I went to the salon asking for some natural balyage because I wanted my roots darker and my mid lengths lighter to match the ends. I told them it always goes golden / coppery / brassy even with purple shampoos etc. So she decided on a root smudge with a light brown Ash, a few highlights at the back where it was darker than every where else and and the toned at the sink and she didn't say what colour that was. Anyway washed and sat back in the chair, and I could see straight away she had failed to understand and picked the wrong root colour. The roots 2inches all ginger / bright strawberry blonde. I could tell she knew it too as she then asked what is my natural hair colour, was white till hormones and then gradually got darker till it was dark blonde light brown. She said youve got lots of warmth in your hair, it will be really hard to keep the gold etc from coming back! It was all gold for half way down! So I paid and left and then searched on line how to darken roots on all lightened hair, I was going to do it but my friend who is an hairdresser offered to do it for me. So we used a dark blonde with 20v. At her house it looked perfect and very natural. Came home my daughter says it's even more golden now! I know different lighting gives different hues etc but it's definitely no dark/ brown enough. I've read your article and others and I just don't know what to do. Sorry for the long post but wanted to give a clear picture as such. What would you advise. Merry Christmas by the way

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      6 months ago

      Hi Lianne,

      It's a bit tricky for you because if you apply a permanent dye all over it'll affect your dark brown base colour too. You might see some lightening and warmth occurring.

      I'd say, don't use anything darker than a light brown for the highlights and make sure you're using no higher than 10 vol developer. If you can separate out and foil it onto the highlights only that'd be even better though this should minimize any affect on the rest of your hair while still darkening your highlights up a bit even if you have to apply all over.

      Another alternative is to use demi-permanent dye with 7 vol developer because this shouldn't lighten your brown hair at all, though this would fade a lot more over time because it's not fully permanent.

      One thing to note, when I say you might get a little lightening and warmth with the permanent dye that might not be a bad thing since it would only be slight and could blend the highlights more to make them look less contrasting.

      Just make sure you throw away the provided developer if you use a box dye, and replace with 10 vol. You don't want to potentially get 20 vol or higher in the dye as that will lift a lot of your natural colour out.

    • profile image

      Lianne 

      6 months ago

      Hi,

      I have naturally dark brown hair & wanted natural highlights but they just look yellow & far too many of them. Would a golden brown bring them to a normal brown? I’d like to still see the difference but have a golden/normal brown rather than the yellow drastic highlights I have!

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      6 months ago

      Hi Lorena,

      Fading back out to blonde within a week is...odd. It'd fade a lot over time, but not that quickly or that much. No idea what she must have used for that to happen.

      Put a red protein filler through it, give it time to set into your hair, then apply a neutral medium brown over the top of that and develop as usual. That filler will fill and help seal the new colour in so that it lasts longer.

    • profile image

      Lorena 

      6 months ago

      Thanks for quick reply!

      So I’m mainly just wanting some sort of Dark brown for some pictures I’ll be taking soon.

      The last dye job wasn’t entirely what I wanted but it was almost like a dark ash brown if that makes sense but faded quickly, I’d say within a week! Maybe she skipped the red filler?

      She did say she had just finished cosmetology school...

      I’m still confused about the red Part of your reply but it’s a light brass what I have now..

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      6 months ago

      Hi Lorena,

      Did the chocolate brown look close enough to your natural colour? I'd say mix that shade half and half with natural dark brown and that will turn out good. I'd be a bit wary about too much red tone showing up if you just put another chocolate brown over it by itself so the natural shade will balance that out.

      If that brown you had didn't quite look like what you want I'd have to give you a different recommendation though. Depends on exactly what shade of brown you're working towards getting back to.

      Keep in mind that you'll never get it exactly as your natural shade until it finishes growing out, and it will fade each time it's dyed (though less than the first time going back darker usually).

    • profile image

      Lorena 

      6 months ago

      Hi there! I have Dark brown hair naturally, a while ago I dyed it all blonde! Then it grew out because I w aged to go back to my natural color. I went to a salon and she dyed it a “chocolate brown” but it faded! So now I have brassy blonde, how would I go about dying back to my natural state?

      By the way this whole scenario was about 6 months ago so my hair is Healthy I just want it back to natural

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      6 months ago

      Hi Kathy,

      Because it's 2 different colours and levels, if you just apply a dye the unevenness in shade will probably show through still.

      Ideally, dye it all to the same orange as the darkest sections, then dye over that with light ash brown or dark ash blonde depending on how porous your hair is. Use the lighter shade if your hair tends to darken a lot when dyed. Otherwise if it does darken a little more than you want, a few shampoos and time will correct that anyway so no great issue there.

      Of course, the above means you need to use 2 different dyes and since you're on a budget, if it's more affordable, just dye it all with light natural brown. I'd avoid that option if at all possible though since the unevenness you have now will probably follow through into the new result. It'd be lessened but there'd be some difference in depth and tone that you can see.

    • profile image

      Kathy 

      6 months ago

      I have light blond and orangey hair now, and i want to change my color to light brown, i can't afford to go to a salon and i jave to do it at home, what 2 shades do i have to mix to fill it

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      6 months ago

      Hi Vanessa,

      Depends what colour you want to get it too. Lighter is probably out of the question because of the damage but if you dye it all to the colour of your roots, then cover with an ash dye to tone out the warmth you can get it all even and the same shade.

      Alternatively, go close to your natural colour and maintain that for a while without any more lightening until it grows out a bit and the damage is gradually trimmed off. This would be the easiest thing to do because you won't have to do any root touch-ups that involve lightening (risk of bleach overlap onto the previously damaged lengths which could cause snapping in very damaged hair). You'd still need to retouch it when it fades, especially after the first time going back to darker because the fading will be more dramatic then, but this isn't very damaging compared to if you were to do any lightening.

    • profile image

      Vaneyney 

      6 months ago

      Heya! My hair is platinum blonde and pretty damaged.. The last time I've done my roots was a disaster so I had to cover it up and all that I've had left on my shelf was pink directions.. So it's pink now. And I really want to get a more natural color back.. Any idea what I could do?

      - Vanessa

    • Maffew James profile imageAUTHOR

      Maffew James 

      6 months ago

      Hi Victoria,

      Somewhat late reply here. You can dye that with neutral and it will darken the grey up to blonde. Probably go with a shade lighter than your natural color at first because ending up darker than expected is common with a lot of brands, especially with neutral or ash shades.

      Now this will change the natural color of your blonde hair a bit though because obviously the dye isn't the same as your natural color, but you can get around this by mixing different shades like adding some beige blonde to it if you feel like experimenting with it. Importantly though, the grey will be dyed blonde and darkened to match the rest of your hair.

    • profile image

      Victoria Naamogtan 

      6 months ago

      My hair is natural blonde and I need dye to keep blonde there has been white grey hair which has discolor the hair

    • profile image

      ann 

      7 months ago

      love this! thank you!!

    • profile image

      Jj 

      9 months ago

      I’ve bleached my hair and need to but some sort of light brown or lowlight to break it up what is the best filler colour to use to stop it going green? Should I use a copper or red then apply colour over top? Help?

    • profile image

      Katie 

      9 months ago

      I want to dye my hair dark brown roots is already light brown and the rest is bleach please help what colors should I use

    • profile image

      Kelley 

      10 months ago

      I want to dye my hair dark. My natural hair colour is mid brown but for many years I’ve coloured it light blonde. Is this possible?

    • profile image

      Rhiannon 

      11 months ago

      Hi, I want to dye my hair from dirty blonde to a really dark brown. What I'm worried about is my roots, because my hair is way lighter than the color I want it to be and it might look bad if it grows back with extremely lighter roots than the color of the dyed hair. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I couldn't find anything when I looked it up, so do you have any tips?

    • profile image

      Sarah C 

      11 months ago

      My friend got pre lightened hair and had a few darker streaks put through,she says light ash brown ,with high lift tint used all over everywhere else,

      I want to reverse it by using a similar colour to light ash brown as the base tint then the high lift through as foils,but concerned how the base colour will go on everything she’s already got as it’s slightly golden tone which I want to get rid of but don’t want the green tinge either ,

      Any advice please

    • profile image

      Jen 

      11 months ago

      What if your blonde hair has been bleached, and is a very light blonde with "some" gold in it, yet is healthy and not porus. Should you still use golden brown? I worry that because there's still some gold in it and because it's healthy/not poreous it'll still turn out golden, even though i want it neutral. Yet i Definately do not want it ashy. Taking those things into account, should i still use golden brown instead of neutral?

    • profile image

      Megan 

      11 months ago

      I'm a blonde dirty blonde with highlights I would like to die my hair brown.

    • profile image

      Angie ham 

      12 months ago

      My hair is naturally blonde. Its darker at my 3" roots and has grown out highlights. I want to dye it a golded brown or caramel brown. Do u have any suggestions on a box dye i should get.

    • profile image

      Jo Barbour 

      12 months ago

      Do I leave the Demi dye on the hair and apply the final colour on top of it?

    • Raven Gomes profile image

      Raven 

      12 months ago from Portugal

      Hello!! Im done with my current hair and wanted to achieve a dark burgundy hair (dark brown hair with burgundy shades), but my current hair is dyed Grey with fake light brown roots (and now real brown grown out roots, looks good in person I promised).

      And since your tutorial focus on mostly blonde hair I'm afraid I might do something wrong! Any advices?

    • profile image

      Jackie Kinggg 

      12 months ago

      I have bleached blonde hair and I hate it and want to go dark brown again so I went to Sally's to get a filler to put in my hair before dying it brown. She gave me a tube of ion Demi permanent creme hair color. The color she gave me is dark warm blonde. I thought I'm supposed to use a red filler before dying it brown. So,do I put the demi in and then rinse it out and use the box of dark brown that I bought at the store? I'm so confused! Please help! Thank you!

    • profile image

      Myra 

      14 months ago

      Hi I wanted to know how I can get back to my natural dark brown hair color I dyed my hair a light blonde and I bought this dark brown hair dye but I’m scared to dye it over my blonde what all should I use to get my natural dark brown hair color back ?

    • profile image

      Alane 

      14 months ago

      I have bleached blonde hair and want to have it the color of jenifer aneston.please help

    • profile image

      Rachel 

      19 months ago

      Hi i have bleach blonde high lights but would like to go back to my natrual colour which is a light mouse Brown im on alot of medication and my hair is thinning alot and falling out so i really don't want to keep breaching it any idea's of whats i can could do or use to do this please

      Thanx

      Rachel

    • profile image

      Brandi 

      23 months ago

      I used the 6n with 10 developer and it’s a muddy green shade ... how can I correct this ???

    • profile image

      Cortney 

      23 months ago

      I used wella 6n/60 dark natural blonde demi permanent dye with 10vol developer, left it on my brown roots/brassy ombre that fades into blonde hair for 20min, evenly applied. It came out a nice brown colour, a bit too dark, but it will fade with head and shoulders shampoo use over time (within the week if washed daily). If ever your hair is grey, mix 3/4c lemon juice with 1/4c conditioner, leave in for an hour and that will take away the grey.

    • profile image

      Tammie Hogan 

      24 months ago

      My hair was bleached and it turned out awful white trying to it it back brown and put ash 7a and 8a and came out grey how can I get my brown back

    • profile image

      Hannah 

      2 years ago

      My hair is dyed and bleached golden/yellow blonde. Hate it. My hair is sort of dead feeling and very fluffy/frizzy, but it was similar to that before i got it dyed. If I add a brown box dye on top, will it completely saturate my hair and make it orangeish?

    • profile image

      Collie1 

      2 years ago

      I have dark blonde to light brown hair. I haven't colored it in about 5 months. The roots have grown out about3 inches and are my natural color. The rest is about 4 to 5 shades lighter blonde. I just got a 7N permanent color. I wanted to get it all one color and then do a lighter blonde highlight/balayage. Will the roots and rest of my hair be the same color? They told me at the beauty supply store to apply to ends first and do the roots last because the heat from my head would color roots quicker.

    • profile image

      Zoe 

      2 years ago

      Do you have to use a developer with Demi permanent colour?

    • profile image

      Joanne 

      2 years ago

      I have highlighted hair but want to go an all over colour , what shade should I use please ?

    • profile image

      MRodRod 

      2 years ago

      So I recently had my hair professionally dyed and hate it. The base is reddish brown, then orangy and finally yellow highlights all around. I'd like a light ash brown all over. What do I do? Where do I begin? Since I have so many shades I don't know where to start. Please help.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      2 years ago

      I have a client with home color of golden blond hair wanting to go to a a light neutral brown , what shade of brown should I use ?

    • profile image

      Gill 

      2 years ago

      Client has high Lift tint and bleach highlights.......I am new to matrix colour sync! Client wants to go back to her natural base colour of 6/7 or nearest to it........(ombré ) heard you can use these colours & you don't have to pre pig before Hand ?would appreciate any help with matrix color sync .. What numbers to choose ? Thank you in advance

    • profile image

      lisa 

      2 years ago

      I have platinum blonde hair. Want to dye it chocolate brown .What steps should I take?

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      Amazing website full of information!! I love it!!

    • profile image

      Anjali 

      2 years ago

      I have bleach dark blonde hair but I want to change into dark brown colour so is there any other effects to the hair

    • profile image

      Donna 

      2 years ago

      I have mid length to long blonde hair where the ends are lighter, and my roots I have been dying with blonde hair dye but it doesn’t take and looks ginger ish, I want to go a light brown. Please can you help what I need to do?

    • profile image

      Ashtastic 

      2 years ago

      I have a question,

      Once I've filled my bleached hair with the appropriate demi red (in my case light red brown), when I add the second dye to my hair, should my desired brown be a permanent dye or an another demi dye?

      Thanks in advance!

      Ashleigh

    • profile image

      Kim 

      2 years ago

      I’ve recently

      Colored my blonde. I like it but am looking for a more brown shade. The colors I added were 7Ash with a hint of 7N then went to a 9A on the bottom. The bottom is rather blonde and the top turned out more red than I wanted. So I’m curious if I should add a 6ash to the top and perhaps an 7N to the bottom to neutralize the ashy tone on the bottom. I’d really rather have the Balayage effect but, more in the light brown Family. I used a 10 developer on it all.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      2 years ago

      I tried to dye my hair brown and didn't know about the repigment part of the process. I had bleach blonde hair and it was growing out and was beginning to look trashy so I decided to dye it brown and it turned out grey/blue. I heard that if you mix lemon juice with conditioner and leave it on for an hour or so it will take the grey color out and it would go back blonde but I don't want to go back blonde. Can I just dye over it with another brown or will it pull even more odd color?

    • profile image

      Erin 

      2 years ago

      Hi there so I'm about to do this. I'm I understandi g correctly. I want medium to dark natural brown. I'm getting a 5R Demi permanent dye to fill my bleached blond hair. Then I'm going to apply a medium gold brown permanent dye after that and I should be in the ball park of medium/dark natural brown hair? Fyi thanks a million for this post.

    • profile image

      Mandy Wager 

      2 years ago

      Hi. I have dyed blonde hair and have a lot of natural root,I really want to go a nice warm autumnal colour,just didn’t know if u could give me some advice as to what is best to use.

    • profile image

      Tracey Olivier 

      2 years ago

      My daughter has blonde hair but it is very yellow & very oily - how does she colour her hair to remove the yellow & help get rid of the oilyness?

    • profile image

      Sharon 

      2 years ago

      I have colored blonde hair that a bit porous. I want a warm caramel color. What do you suggest?

    • profile image

      Cindy kimball 

      2 years ago

      I have bleach blonde hair on top but want to go back to medium brown,what do I need to get,im scared to do it but cant affford salon prices

    • profile image

      Nikki 

      2 years ago

      I have bleached my hair and hate it! What can I do to go a reddish brown colour please? Can I just use a normal dye as it has red in it or is there more to it?

      Thanks in advance x

    • profile image

      Carla 

      2 years ago

      I have partial highlights. The bottom part is like a warm medium brown. Im aiming for an ash brown color. Should I use a Natural brown all over my hair? Please help!

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      2 years ago

      I used the frost and tip. I hadn't done my roots in a year. I had 6-12 inches of brown roots. I pulled every hole. (Too much). I used two boxes. The Sides and back didn't get enough die and stayed an orangush color. I've always had just highlights. Now Im an almost all over blondish- orange. With a few dark roots here and there. How do i get brown highlights back in

    • profile image

      Debbie 

      2 years ago

      I have the top part of my hair bleached blond and need to get it back to my natural color med. brown I have purchased ion hair color 4N-40 med. brown with a bottle of natural protein filler to use as well will this work ??

    • profile image

      jennifer cervantes 

      2 years ago

      My hair was bleached..but they didnt lift my roots...went back to have it corrected and they put a toner with brown low lights. Hated it. Dyed it with a 4n and ended up with ash hair and brown roots eith red undertones

      .how do I get my hair all one color?!?!

    • profile image

      lease 

      2 years ago

      Great article thanks!

    • profile image

      Amanda 

      2 years ago

      I have platinum blonde died hair. My natural color is medium brunette. What is my safest way to go back natural??

    • profile image

      pauline gibson 

      2 years ago

      still confused ! ive been dying my hair cool dark blonde for a while now , its far to light as I have a dark tanned looking skin , a nice medium brown would look better but darent dye it again .

    • profile image

      Dominika 

      2 years ago

      Heey! I ve had platinum blonde/grey hair and I wanted them to be brown again so my hairdresser told me to use mahagony brown. Now I cant get rid of mahagony and I look really bad with this hair colour. I would like to get rid of it,but I dont want to bleach them because they will be so damaged After that. Is there any possibility how to fix it ? Maybe using an ash hair colour with green or blue pigments? Thanks for reply

    • profile image

      Helenmcd2022 

      2 years ago

      Fab help here! Just bleached hair, now mainly yellow with some orange

      I'd like to be a natural darker blonde, how would I achieve this plllleeeaaassseeee xxxx

    • profile image

      Emily 

      2 years ago

      My hair is a ashy dark blonde almost brownish color. I am cool toned with pink undertones, but i am wanting a medium natural brown color. This chart says if i want natural to dye it with a golden, but i don't want it to actually turn out golden because it won't flatter my skin tone. What should i do? I feel i do the gold and it come out gold toned, can i dye a natural on top to make it more cool?

    • profile image

      Shannon 

      2 years ago

      My daughter just added ash blond colour to her resent dyed light yellow blond hair. The pharmacy girl told her it works like a toner? Now her hair is grey/ green everywhere! Help anyone! She needs to go back to light brown how? Her hair has been bleached and. coloured multiple times!

    • profile image

      Nitu 

      2 years ago

      Hello. Just wanted to say this is a great article. Now I need help ASAP. I going to a wedding in 2 days & coloured my hair with high Color & 40 developer blond. Some of the roots were light brown & gray to begin with rest was dark brown. Now my roots are really really light yelliw & dsomevdarl yellow about 3 inches the rest of the hair is golden light brown cooperish I am ok with the golden brown but the yellow roots make me look like a skunk. How do I get the top to match the bottom. Can this be achieved with semi permanent hair son or to dry it with permanent. I had to wear a hat today to hide my yellow hair on top. Can't Effie's to go to a salon for correction.

      Please Help.

    • profile image

      Pui 

      2 years ago

      Hi Maffew,

      I bleached my hair to white and on the end its white and light yellow ( since i got hilighted it before).

      The salon put violet toner then add revlon nutri color creme 411 (brown) and 812 ( light pearly beige blonde ) on my hair. It turn out to be a grey color with violet tinted. After shampoo, the violet tinted vanished and my hair become light grey color.

      Its too bright for me so I mixed Revlon nutri color creme 411 (brown) 50 ml and 713 (havana) 25 ml and applied on my hair. It turn out to be very dark grey from root to middle of my hair and dark grey with dark brown hilight from middle to the end of my hair.

      ( revlon nutri color creme can be wash out around 8 shampoo)

      I would love to ask for some advice for coloring my hair into brown color. If I want my hair to be caramel brown or ash brown which color should I choose?

      Thank you so much !

    • profile image

      Plume 

      2 years ago

      Hi,

      I've bleached my black hair into a dark blonde and want to go for a chocolate brown after a month.

      Bought a red filler but I don't know the exact brown shade of dye I should buy to achieve the color I want,

      Need help!

    • profile image

      Tracey porter 

      2 years ago

      Help just had my hair stripped and a blonde colour put on its far too light like a strawberry blonde, my family hate it I just want a really light cool brown. Can I fix this at home I have spent a fortune so far getting it the wrong colour.

    • profile image

      Tina 

      2 years ago

      Hi there,i have heavy blonde highlights. And i bought loreal feroa light brown with shimmers. I understand the lights part will still be lighter after dying it,and im ok with that. But is it ok to use by itselfs? The dye? Ty

    • profile image

      helppls 

      2 years ago

      so I have done a lot to my hair, it was burgundy, then i got it professionally bleached, and then it was purple, then back to blonde/rose gold, after all this i was tired of paying, and dealing with the upkeep to go back to my natural brown, so i did about 2 stains which weren't permanent so when they washed out my hair was a pale greenish/gray, i figured getting a medium ash gray would take me back or at least close to my natural color, but the permanent dye didn't even do anything. is there a color that would be recommended so it turns brown, even dark brown would be better than this greenish.

    • profile image

      Angie 

      2 years ago

      I stripped my hair then tried to dye it light brown and it turned out like an ash blonde. What color can I use to achieve a light to medium golden brown. Help

    • profile image

      julie Stothars 

      2 years ago

      Hi, I've been having my brown/grey hair professionally coloured an ash type blonde to blend in my grey. I got bored and decided to dye it myself back to brown. I used the Vidal Sassoon medium intense red number 5/452 as a filler, then the dark neutral brown 4/0. Unfortunately its resulted in a colour that's too dark, warm and red

    • profile image

      Karen dogu 

      2 years ago

      my hair is currently highlighted, when I use the filler shade of semi-permanent hair coloring do I just apply that on the blonde parts of my hair or do I apply that to my roots too?

    • profile image

      Isabel 

      2 years ago

      I bleached my hair twice, toned and added ash blonde. The color is an ashy blonde that I'm trying to dye a light brown. I bought the john Frieda lightest cool almond brown 6.5 pbn. My question is which protein filler color should I use before dying it the above color?

    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      2 years ago

      I dyed my hair and it's a yellowish blonde, now I want to go back to a Carmel brown, would I need to use a filler to do that

    • profile image

      Reese 

      2 years ago

      Hi, i currently have dark blonde hair but really want to change it to light brown. Im just wondering, do i need to put conditioner in a bowl with the hair dye, or can i straight away put the hair dye in?

      Thanks :)

    • profile image

      Karla 

      2 years ago

      Hi. I have been putting ultra light blonde hair due on my hair for quite awhile. And it is pretty dried out.the last time I used a light blonde but I want to go to a medium reddish brown. However I have about 1/4" regrowth that is most brown with gray and the very ends of my hair are very ashy and in the middle I have a pretty blonde with some gold or red tint any help?

    • profile image

      Tamara 

      2 years ago

      When I used six in on my hair it turned a swampy green then I used level out twice the green came out and my hair is a blondish color I died it twice with mocha and the results were still a blondish color I just bought a medium chestnut brown will that turn My hair green again

    • profile image

      Sharon 

      2 years ago

      Hi, I have very light ash blonde bordering on grey in places I would like to go back to my natural colour which I think was light brown (it has been about 15 years since I had a natural head of hair) do I need a red filler or could you tell me which demi colour would work best

      Thanks

      Sharon

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