Back to Brunette

Our colourists often provide advice about taking hair from brunette to blonde – but what about taking lightened hair back to brown?

If your hair has been chemically lightened, taking your blonde hair to brunette is far more complicated than throwing on some brown dye and calling it a day. Achieving the perfect brunette hue can be just as difficult and complex as taking dark hair to blonde. If you think you’re ready to head over to the dark side, here is some advice from our top colourists:

1. Make Sure You’re Sure 

Ask yourself why you want to make the change before booking your appointment. Switching to a new hue will change your entire look, so it’s important to be 100% committed to your new colour. Going from blonde to brunette is one thing – but taking fresh brunette hair back to your previous shade of blonde straight after your appointment can be close to impossible. If you have any hesitation, wait a few months and see if you’re still ready to take the plunge. You can also test the waters by asking your stylist to tone your blonde one or two shades darker on your next appointment.

2. Ask for Advice

Have a good chat with your colourist before making any decisions – we work with hair all day every day and have a great understanding of the art and science of colouring. Remember that your perfect brunette shade depends entirely on your skin colour, eye colour and hair type. If you’re using Pinterest or Instagram to gather inspiration photos (we always recommend bringing some in to show your colourist) keep in mind that what works for one person won’t work for everyone. Look for celebrities or models with similar colouring to yourself and work from there. During your consultation, let your colourist know what you like about the looks you have chosen – for example the tone, the placement of highlights or lowlights – and assess whether the look you love is achievable.

3. Follow the Process

Colouring hair is both an art and a science, with the final result depending entirely on the interaction of tones and your natural hair. If your hair has been chemically lightened, going straight from blonde to brunette can result in muddy, greenish brown tones. We’ve seen it in real life – our colour correction appointments often involve fixing hair that has turned sludgy after clients have used brown box dye to cover blonde hair. The professional approach involves the preliminary step of ‘filling’ blonde hair before applying the final brunette colour. This helps to counteract unwanted green tones and also normalises the porosity of coloured hair, allowing for a more even colour application.

4. Banish Block Colour

When you’re used to seeing yourself with blonde hair, darker brunette tones may feel heavy or harsh at first. Generally, solid brunette colour isn’t the best option when going darker – we generally recommend that clients take a more multidimensional approach to their colour. This may involve the layering of highlights and lowlights all over the hair in lieu of a single-process blanket colour. If you’re keen to ease yourself in to the colour change, a few well placed tonal highlights around your face can complement your features and keep the look fresh. Consider mixing up golden blonde foils with darker brown tones, or a colour gloss to enhance the dimension of your colour.

5. Find a Maintenance Routine 

Although brunette colour may require a little less maintenance than blonde tones, keeping your colour healthy and glossy requires attention and TLC. At-home professional treatments are a great way to keep your hair moisturised and shiny to make the most of your colour. If you’re looking to prolong your colour between appointments, consider an in-salon gloss treatment to boost brunette tones whilst strengthening and conditioning your hair. If you’re unsure what products are best for your hair, ask your colourist for their honest opinion during your initial appointment – they can help you to tailor your haircare routine to maximise your new colour.