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Highlighted hair has this element of sass and confidence associated with it. But what if those fresh highlights ended up way too bright? Or, even worse, they went from chic to brassy in just a matter of weeks?
Oh goodness, I know that’s a complete turn-off! Who even likes an unhealthy hair mess?
Since you are here, I am assuming that you, my dear, too, are looking for hacks and tips to darken your highlights.
But hold up! What is it in the beauty world that is not reversible? 😉 My bestie was in the same situation, and we tried everything we could to darken her highlights and these are all the tips that worked from those experiments. Let’s spill the tea!
7 Proven Techniques to Darken Highlights
1. Use a toner to tone down your dark highlights
This is by far the most amazing hack to darken your highlights temporarily! It’s none other than toners. And yes, you can totally try this at home!
Toners work by depositing pigments onto those lighter strands, making your highlights appear darker. The trick is to choose a toner that’s two shades darker than your current highlights. Remember, the effect is temporary, but it’s definitely a game-changer!
While you can become a DIY hair magician, it’s a great idea to book an appointment with your professional colorist to ensure you get the best results. They’ll handle everything like the hair pros they are!
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2. Color-depositing Shampoos & Conditioners
Who knew that banishing those overly bright highlights could literally be as easy as washing your hair? Thankfully, there are color-depositing shampoos and conditioners available that will gradually and naturally darken your highlights with each use.
Perfect for a low-commitment solution you can 100% do at home that’ll keep your strands silky-smooth!
- Look for products specifically labeled as “color-depositing.”
- Choose the correct shade (more about it in a second)
- Be patient and watch the color transformation happen over time, approx 4-5 weeks.
So, if your highlights are turning a not-so-appealing pale yellow tones, choose a purple shampoo . And for those pesky orange streaks, give the blue shampoo a whirl!
But make sure you keep using it regularly. My bestie used to wash 3 out of 5 times with a toning shampoo and 2 times with a really nourishing shampoo to reap both benefits.
Also, we have tinted dry shampoos that can help darkening highlights temporarily!
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3. Go for semi-permanent colors
Oh boy, do I have a super fun hack for your hair! Using semi-permanent colors to darken highlights not only adds richness and dimension but it’s also safe and kind to your hair. No more hair damage, hon!
That is because these semi-permanent dyes just sit on top of your highlighted strands, adding a pop of color without penetrating the hair.
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4. Try gloss treatment
Gloss treatment is a simple yet amazingly effective way to bring down the brightness of your highlights while adding a luxurious sheen to your hair.
They gently deposit semi-permanent hair dye onto your strands, providing a subtle shift in tone rather than an extreme color change. It also helps to boost hair health, making your locks irresistibly soft, smooth, and shiny! Schedule an appointment at your go-to salon and enjoy the silky smooth results!
Darkening highlighted hair with a gloss treatment actually helps keep the natural tones of our hair intact.
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5. Opt for permanent colors
As you can guess, permanent hair colors are here for the long haul!
Now, here’s where it is at – ammonia! This little ingredient helps the hair dye dive deep into your hair shaft, bonding with your strands like BFFs.
With permanent dyes, you don’t have to stress about fading or lightening highlights as they generally last for 4 to 5 months!
But a word of caution, they are not the safest way to treat your hair and ammonia can severely damage your hair, make it weak and brittle, and a lot more unhealthy. So, my advice to you is to leave it to the pros and ask them for the safest way possible to with permanent hair dyes!
6. Try the Color melting technique
I can’t get enough of this amazing hair-coloring technique called color melting! It effortlessly blends different shades together for an eye-catching gradient effect. The best part? It’s a perfect way to darken my highlights while still looking oh-so-natural.
So here’s the magic formula: apply the darkest shade to my roots, a lighter one to the mid-sections, and the brightest color on top. Voilà! This creates a seamless, natural gradient that has my hair looking absolutely fabulous!
But wait, there’s more! This color-melting technique barely fades at all, and your highlights are never going to look brassy again. Instead, they’ll have that dramatic angle everyone is raving about.
7. Go for at-home techniques
Oh, can you really darken highlights naturally? Um, kind of.
But I’ll be honest with you; DIY home remedies might not give you long-lasting results, but they’re definitely worth it to protect your fabulous locks from strong chemicals. Plus, they’re super fun to make!
One of my go-to remedies is using coffee to darken my highlights – and it works wonders! Here’s what I do:
- Brew some pre-ground coffee for a few minutes
- Let it cool down and apply it to the highlighted strands
- Wait for 40-60 minutes and then wash it off
- Give my hair some TLC with a creamy conditioner
But hey, coffee’s not your only option! You can also explore using other natural ingredients like beetroot juice, carrot juice, and black tea.
How to Maintain The Color of Your Dark Highlights?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you wish to maintain your straight-out-of-salon highlights!
1. Choose color-safe hair care products
Our hair highlights deserve the best! Trust me, investing in color-safe hair products like shampoos, conditioners, and serums will make a world of difference in maintaining those vivid colors.
Pro tip: Skip the sulfates! Look for ingredients like wheat proteins, quinoa, and seed extract to help your highlights stay on point.
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2. Embrace a custom end refresher
Before getting my highlights, I reached out to my colorist about this game-changer. They hooked me up with a custom hair dye bottle designed specifically for my highlighted strands. It works like magic, enhancing and reviving those gorgeous colors with ease.
3. Cut back on washing your hair
As tempting as it is to wash our hair after a hectic day or intense workout, overwashing can be the enemy of our highlights. My suggestion? Hold off on washing your hair for at least two days after highlighting, and aim for just twice a week.
If you’re like me and have a sweaty scalp, dry shampoo will be your new best friend!
4. Use a color enhancer every time you wash your hair.
Make friends with a color enhancer, and use it every time you wash your hair. Seriously, it’ll be like a magic potion that keeps your dark highlights looking fresh out of the salon.
Here’s what you gotta do: find a color-enhancing shampoo or conditioner, and watch your highlights shine brighter with every wash!
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5. Moisturize. A lot!
Dry hair is just no fun, and it definitely doesn’t do any favors for your dark highlights. Put moisture back in the spotlight by getting your hands on a high-quality hair mask or leave-in treatment.
This extra step of nourishment will keep your hair looking silky smooth and shiny. Plus, your highlights will stand out even more – score!
Why Should You Darken Your Light Highlights?
If you are feeling overwhelmed already and are indecisive about whether or not to darken your highlights, let me guide you.
If your highlights look 2-3 tones lighter than what you decided on earlier, then know that this is significantly affecting your overall appearance and confidence.
Here’s why you must darken highlights and get the exact tone you wished for!
1. Time for A Change
Transforming your light brassy highlights into a deeper shade can revitalize your look and make you feel like a brand new person. Changing up your hair color every once in a while keeps things interesting and exciting!
2. Low-Maintenance Magic
Let’s face it — light highlights can be high maintenance. Those trips to the salon for touch-ups can feel never-ending and expensive.
By darkening your highlights, you’ll enjoy a more low-maintenance look that allows you to be a bit more carefree when it comes to your hair routine. No more worrying about keeping those light strands vibrant and fresh!
3. Healthier Hair, Happier You
Lightening your hair can be damaging, and all that bleach isn’t the best for your locks. By choosing to darken your highlights, you’re actually showing some love to your hair. That means less breakage and improved hair health — a win-win situation!
4. Play With Depth and Texture
Darker highlights can create depth and dimension in your hair, giving your lovely locks a more complex and intriguing vibe. Um, not to forget, darker color tones can also make your natural hair color pop, bringing out the best in your overall look.
5. Say goodbye to that unkempt look!
Nobody wants to rock an average hairstyle, right? Lighter, brassy tones give off an unkempt, messy vibe.
6. It camouflages your “bright” accidents
We’ve all been there: DIY highlighting kits leading to overdone, too-bright strands. Fear not! By darkening these overly bright highlights, you’ll achieve a salon-like, classy finish that turns heads.
Now, let’s answer a few FAQs
1. For how long will my highlights last?
Your highlights can last anywhere between 6 weeks to 4 months. Go for slightly darker shades if you want your highlights to last long.
2. What can I do if my highlights are looking pale?
Try using a suitable hair ftoner or a color shampoo, which effectively neutralizes the yellow tone and gives you the desired look.
3. I ruined my hair while trying to highlight it at home using a DIY kit. What can I do now?
Don’t panic! Go to a professional hair stylist to get your hair fixed. They can help you restore your hair’s health and color. In the future, leave hair coloring to the experts!
4. Half-head highlights or T-section highlights- which one lasts longer?
Half-head highlights stick for around 8 weeks, while T-section highlights last for about one month.
I hope now you know a thing or two about how to darken highlights…
And there you have it – the 7 effective ways to turn your overly bright or brassy highlights into perfectly balanced, envy-worthy locks! There’s so much confusion around highlights, and I’ve tried my best to clear all of them.
Remember, a little TLC goes a long way, and you have the power to transform your hair with these easy-to-follow tips! So, why wait? Go ahead and try out these techniques to darken your highlights and bring back that ✨glow✨
Until next time, Toodles! xo