effective ways to darken highlights

How to Darken Highlights: 4 Effective Ways

Are your highlights feeling a bit lackluster, not quite blending with your natural hair color? No worries, you can easily fix that and achieve a more cohesive look.

We've got four effective ways to darken your highlights and bring them to a shade that complements your hair perfectly. From using hair dye to toners and toning shampoos, we'll guide you through each step.

Get ready to liberate your highlights and achieve the perfect shade you desire!

Key Takeaways

  • Highlights can be darkened using hair dye, toner, shampoo, or dry shampoo.
  • Semi-permanent hair dye is recommended for darkening highlights, as it is less damaging to the hair.
  • Toner can be used to neutralize undesired tones in highlights and darken them.
  • Toning shampoo, such as purple or blue shampoo, can subtly darken highlights by canceling out unwanted tones.

Using Hair Dye to Darken Highlights

To effectively darken your highlights, you can use semi-permanent hair dye that's only two shades darker than your current highlights. Choosing the right hair dye for darkening highlights is crucial to achieving the desired result. Look for a semi-permanent dye that's specifically formulated for darkening highlights without significantly altering the base color. These dyes are ammonia-free and less damaging to the hair.

When applying the semi-permanent hair dye, follow these tips for effective darkening: start with clean, dry hair; section the hair and apply the dye evenly using a brush or applicator; ensure thorough saturation of the highlighted strands; leave the dye on for the recommended processing time; rinse out the dye with cool water; and follow up with a nourishing conditioner.

Darkening Highlights With Toner

Use a toner to darken your highlights and achieve the desired shade. Toner is an effective way to neutralize unwanted tones in your highlights and deepen them into a darker hue. To choose the right toner for darkening highlights, consider opting for the Wella Colorcharm Permanent Liquid Hair Toner.

It's recommended to mix the toner with a 10 or 20 volume developer for best results. When applying the toner, make sure to focus on the highlighted strands or the entire head, depending on your preference. Allow the toner to process for the desired amount of time and then rinse it out.

How to Darken Highlights With Shampoo

To subtly darken your highlights, you can use toning shampoo with dye pigments that cancel out unwanted tones in your hair. Toning shampoo is specifically formulated to target and neutralize brassiness or unwanted warmth in highlighted hair.

If you have blonde highlights, purple shampoo can be your best friend. Purple shampoo helps eliminate yellow tones and keeps your highlights looking fresh and cool. However, it's important to note that purple shampoo doesn't actually darken your highlights, but rather enhances their desired tone.

On the other hand, if you have orange tones in your highlights, you can use blue shampoo to counteract them. Regular shampoo shouldn't be used for darkening highlights, as it doesn't have the necessary pigments to achieve the desired result. Additionally, clarifying shampoo isn't recommended for darkening highlights, as it can fade bright highlights with regular use.

If you want to darken your highlights without washing your hair, you can opt for tinted dry shampoo in a darker color. Remember, it's always best to consult with a professional stylist if you're unsure about the best method to darken your highlights.

Effective Techniques for Darkening Highlights

If you want to achieve darker highlights, there are several effective techniques you can try. Here are some tips and common mistakes to avoid when darkening highlights:

  • Use hair dye or toner to darken highlights that are too light. Opt for semi-permanent hair dye, which is less damaging to the hair.
  • Choose a color that's only two shades darker than the highlights to preserve the streaks.
  • Be patient and wait at least two weeks before applying another chemical process to the hair.
  • Use specific toning shampoos, such as purple shampoo or blue shampoo, to subtly darken highlights and cancel out unwanted tones.
  • Avoid using regular shampoo for darkening highlights and opt for clarifying shampoo or tinted dry shampoo instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before I Can Apply Another Chemical Process to My Hair After Darkening My Highlights With Hair Dye?

After darkening your highlights with hair dye, wait at least two weeks before applying another chemical process to your hair. This waiting period allows your hair to recover and minimizes the risk of damage.

Can I Use a Toner to Darken My Highlights if They Have Already Been Dyed?

Yes, toner can be used to darken already dyed highlights. If you're looking for toner alternatives, consider using purple shampoo or clarifying shampoo. Remember to follow tips for maintaining darkened highlights to keep your hair looking great.

Is It Necessary to Use a Developer When Applying a Toner to Darken Highlights?

Using toner without a developer has pros and cons. Pros include less damage and gentler results. However, the cons are limited color control and shorter-lasting effects. It's necessary to use a developer for optimal results when darkening highlights with toner.

Can I Use Regular Shampoo to Darken My Highlights?

Using regular shampoo to darken highlights has its pros and cons. While it may temporarily darken the hair, it won't provide long-lasting results. To maintain darkened highlights without damaging the hair, opt for specific toning shampoos or other effective methods.

Are There Any Natural Ingredients That Can Effectively Darken Highlights?

Yes, there are natural options to darken highlights. Coffee, black tea, and carrot juice can be used, but results may not be long-lasting. To maintain darkened highlights without chemicals, use toning shampoos and conditioners.


Congratulations! With these four effective ways to darken your highlights, you're just steps away from achieving the perfect shade that complements your natural hair color.

Whether you choose to use hair dye, toner, or toning shampoos, you now have the knowledge and techniques to achieve a cohesive and beautiful look.

Remember to communicate with a hairstylist if needed, and get ready to rock your stunning new hair!

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