What Color Should I Use If I am a Natural Blonde and Want Brown Hair?

A rich brunette shade can warm up a washed-out complexion.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Looking to trade in your Goldie locks for a deeper, darker color? The right brown hair color can add instant vibrancy to your skin tone and make light-colored eyes glow. Getting the right shade of brunette totally depends on picking the right color level, with the correct underlying pigment, for your skin tone.

Light Ash Brown

Do you cringe at the thought of gold or red mixed in with your brown hair color? Then you want an ash brown so those colors won't crash your brunette party. As long as you don't have any gold in your natural-blond hair color you can simply get away with picking up a level six hair color with a neutral base. But, if you've got a lot of gold in your blond you'll need to grab an ash-based level six so that the gold gets ditched in the coloring process. If you do have to ditch some gold, go for a 20-volume developer just so it has the strength to open up your cuticle and chase that gold out before it lays down your new brown hue.

Golden Brown

Now, if you love a little golden glow to your brunette then be sure to grab a golden-based level five or six (depending on how dark you want to go). If you've got a lot of gold in your hair tone naturally, you may not need a base that adds more gold, but at the very least you need a warm brown. Don't go for an ash brown, because it'll steal all your golden glory. You'll be good to go with a 10-volume developer.

Deep Chocolate Brown

Craving a chocolaty-rich shade of brown? Reach for a level four or five rich, warm brown. If you're using a store-bought kit, look for one that actually says it's a chocolate brown. If you're going to beauty supply store and buying by the tube (the kind you have to mix yourself), a warm-based brown is your best bet. A 10-volume developer will do the trick.

Highlights

A great brunette 'do can absolutely be fabulous on its own, but if you want to make that brown hair color pop, add some highlights around the face. The highlights should not look like stripes of much lighter color -- that's so 1980s! Instead, the highlights should look like the light is just glinting off these pieces. You achieve that by only letting the highlights get a maximum of two or three levels lighter than your base color. The easiest way to do this is to mix up a small batch of bleach and 20-volume developer and paint it on your hair (once the main color is on from root to tip) for the last 10 minutes of your color process.

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