How To Darken Highlights?

You were once in love with those colors, but things are different now. Check out these practical and straightforward solutions on how to darken highlights.

For decades, getting highlights has been quite popular. You may obtain a range of highlights, including babylights and balayage. They’re typically used to add a pop of color to your outfit. 

However, if you have committed to keeping them for an extended period, you may now get bored. Moreover, too-bright highlights and brassy orange hair tones may be irritating.

So, how to darken highlights? Using hair toner and dye are among the most effective ways to do so.

Continue reading to learn more!

How To Darken Highlights

darken highlights
How to darken highlights?

Method 1: Using Hair Dye & 20-Volume Peroxide

Step 1: Choose A New Color For Your Highlights

Allow at least 15 days between the first highlight application and the next period you color it because your highlight will be its actual tone after around 15 days. 

After those days have passed, you may decide whether or not to darken your highlights. 

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub
  • Most women pick highlights as their preferred color treatment because they like blonde tones or conceal their grey hairs. 
  • If it’s the case, and you have too-light highlights, we suggest going with a shade of no more than two darker tones, such as a light or very light blonde. 
  • If your colors are light blonde, you won’t go more than one shade darker to blonde. 
  • If you go a few shades darker, you will be in the lighter-colored spectrum, which means you may lose your brightest highlights and see the gray hair more easily. 

If you are hesitant about selecting the color and do not want to make mistakes, you’ll not regret going to the salon. The pros will help you out.

Step 2: Prepare Materials

Let’s take a look at the items you will require to darken your highlights.  

  • Your hair dye and a 20% peroxide solution 
  • Gloves for applying dye 
  • A bowl in which to make the mixture

Remember to use no more than 20 percent peroxide. If you use more than 20 percent peroxide, you’ll be dying your hair totally, which isn’t what you want. 

You may get the peroxide and dye individually from a haircare store or drugstore, or you can purchase one of the traditional color kits. If you opt to use a kit, ensure it contains peroxide in a 20-volume solution.

Step 3: Apply The Mixture

  • In a plastic bowl, combine the dye tube in the color you have selected and the 20-volume peroxide until smooth.
  • Comb your hair and wet it well, and make sure there are no knots left. Now, it is time to combine the color and the developer after your hair is moist and detangled. 
  • Apply the mixture to your entire head, from roots to tips, remember to wear gloves while doing so. Allow the mixture to rest for 15-20 minutes. It shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes. 
  • You may check it every 5-10 minutes to ensure the mixture works the way you want it to. Rinse your hair well with shampoo and lukewarm water as usual. 
  • Apply an anti-frizz product to it and dry it on moderate heat. Now you can have lovely highlights that are darker than the ones you had previously.
Balayage hair
Balayage hair

Method 2: Darken Highlights With Toner & 10-Volume Developer

Step 1: Pick The Right Toner

To begin, you must first determine the brightness of your highlights. It’s essential to consult the hair color chart of the manufacturer whose toner you’re considering. 

Because contrary colors on the color wheel chart are mutually exclusive, it is critical to consult the color chart carefully. Check to see if the toner you’ve chosen will provide the desired result. 

It is the best method since you’ll be more likely to choose the correct color. Hold a strand of the highlights up to the chart. Then, determine which hue is the most similar to your natural hair color. 

Your highlights should be in the 9 or 10 tones on the chart if they are exceedingly pale, practically white. Now choose the color you want to use for your highlights. 

Rather than purchasing online, we advise visiting a beauty salon. If you’re having problems choosing a toner, you may ask the shop staff for help.

It would be best to choose a toner that matches the color you want your hair to be. When you darker your highlights, choosing a toner might be simple.

Step 2: Prepare Materials

The toning procedure is really simple and takes little time to accomplish. You’ll need the following items to complete this process: 

  • Your toner color
  • A bowl for mixing the mixture
  • 10 or 20 volume developer

It’s better to choose a 10-volume developer.  When you combine the developer and toner, they will give a new color to your hair. We recommend using a developer from the same manufacturer as the toner.

Step 3: Dye Your Hair

  • The first step is to combine one part toner with two parts developer. In a mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients until they form a thicker, gel-like substance. 
  • To conduct a more exact job, separate your hair into a few portions. Use clasps to hold the hair you’ve previously dyed in place. 
  • Apply the mixture to your hair using the dye brush. You may use the toner solely on the highlights or use it on your entire hair. 
  • Apply from the roots to the tips, starting at the back of the head. Don’t worry if you use it on your darker strand; it won’t make a difference. Start at the roots and comb your whole hair to ensure that all strands are coated in toner. 
  • You should keep it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off based on the toner. Hold it for an additional time if it does not appear dark enough but do not go longer than thirty minutes. 
  • It is best to check your hair every 5 minutes to ensure the toning solution works the way you want. On the other hand, you can rinse it sooner than the predicted time as it gives you the desired result. 
  • Rinse your hair off with cold water to remove the toner. Notice not to shampoo it straight away since it can make the highlight shades lighter than you intended.

Other Ways To Darken Highlights

Wait It Out

If you do not like the new shade at first, the problem may resolve itself with time. The natural color of the highlights may take up half of a month to settle within the strands. 

During this time, they may get darker or decrease a bit to a shade you enjoy more. It is best to wait roughly two weeks before doing anything extreme to your hair that might exacerbate your highlight problem.

Try Purple Shampoos

Purple shampoo
Purple shampoo can also help you with color correction.

This bottle of shampoo has been renowned for its toning benefits when applied to highlights. The shampoo’s purple pigments will tone down any strong orange and yellow tones, making them milder and, in some situations, darker. 

If you wish to tone it down, use a purple shampoo and conditioner set on your brassy highlights twice a week till you get the beautiful highlights.

Use A Strong Clarifying Shampoo

A clarifying shampoo is an excellent cleaner that may effectively remove pigments from the hairs. Any color will fade when you wash this with such a strong cleanser, which will aid in toning down the highlights’ tone if they’re too bright. 

To minimize drying out the scalp or producing frizz, use this shampoo a couple of times a week.

Use Dish Soap

Dish soap
Dish soap can darken unwanted highlights.

Using dish soap to tone down highlights is a practical tip. They are alkaline, and washing your hair with them will cause the cuticle to bulge. 

This permits any pigment trapped in the cuticle to be released, fading the light tone and darkening it considerably more quickly than a regular wash would. 

They are like clarifying shampoo, which you should not apply to your hair frequently since it is drying. To help prevent your strands from damage, follow a treatment with a hydrating conditioner.

Add Lowlights

Rather than fully toning down all the highlights, try including some lowlights. Lowlights are a type of highlight that is usually a few shades more profound than the underlying hue. 

They can give your hair more volume while also making your highlights look darker. On the other hand, lowlights are usually applied by a professional stylist and are not always the simplest to achieve on your own.

Use Dry Shampoos

Spray dry shampoo on hair
Spray dry shampoo on hair to darken hair quickly.

Many dry shampoos come in colored versions, which can help you correct the tone of the highlights. 

Choose a dry shampoo in a moderate or dark brown shade based on the highlights’ tone and softly spritz it over the roots to the tips of your highlights. It will darken your highlights a few shades while absorbing extra grease or oil. 

Remember that you should not use dry shampoo every day and must wash it out after three days at the most. If you want to darken your highlights quickly, though, it may be a terrific quick cure.

How To Maintain Your New Darker Strands?

New Darker Strands
Effective ways to maintain a new hair color after darkening highlights.

Do Not Overwash

We understand how difficult it is to resist the temptation to wash your hair after a workout but do so for the sake of your color. It is ideal to wait two days after you have colored your hair before washing it to allow the color to settle into the follicles. 

Washing your hair too frequently might cause intense color loss and deplete its natural base. Alternatively, use a dry shampoo, which will absorb excess oil without coating a darker shade. 

Use Color-Safe Products

We feel that your specific tone deserves the most excellent treatment. Therefore, it’s critical to utilize color-safe conditioners, cleansers, and style products. 

Quinoa, sunflower seed extract, and wheat proteins are some ingredients that might help you keep the dark shades. Take note of what you have and replace those “not-so-good” sulfates with specifically-formulated care products.  

Apply A Color-Enhancer After Each Wash

Sun exposure, heat style, and over-washing can all cause your hair tone to fade significantly over time. 

While color hair care is essential for extending your color, a hue booster may renew your shade during the application process. It is best to add temporary color to your hair shafts between washes and maintain brightness.

Use A Custom Ends Refresher

A custom ends refresher is the second bottle of bespoke hair color prepared exclusively for your mid-lengths to ends. 

Not everyone requires this product to achieve color resurrection so remember to consult your colorist to see whether it is a possibility for you. It is a mystical elixir that resurrects and revitalizes your color.


We suggest adding a weekly deep moisturizer to your routine since moisture is the foundation of beautiful hair color. Dry hair is fragile, prone to separate ends, and may have a difficult time taking color. 

On the other hand, hydrated hairs are more robust, healthier, and retain color better, resulting in a smooth application all the time. 

Use a weekly hair mask on your conditioners to keep your strands nourished throughout the dry seasons. Also, this way helps maintain the beautiful tone of your hair.

Final Words

Hopefully, you know how to darken highlights at home after reading this article.

There are many ways to do so, but you can refer to us for the most convenient application technique. Now, you won’t be worried about dying your hair with light color anymore.

Thanks for reading!

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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