You may think you can never have beautiful blonde highlights just because you have dark brown hair. If you think this or have been told this by an unknowing hairstylist – forget it! Dark brown hair does not have to be drab and boring! If you want to know how to get blonde highlights in your dark brown hair and where to put them, read on!
Can dark hair have blonde highlights?
The first step in getting blonde highlights is to determine what shade of blonde looks best on you. While your friend may be able to rock perfectly golden highlights, you may need an ash shade to bring out the best in your own hair. If your skin color has pink tones in it, you are considered a cool skin tone. If you can see a slightly yellowish tone, you are probably a warm skin tone. If this seems a little too difficult to figure out by simply looking at your skin, there are some other things you can do to determine your skin tone.
One very simple way is to look at the veins that are visible on the underside of your wrist. If these veins look blue, you probably have a cool skin tone. If these veins look blue-green, you are more likely to have a warm skin tone. Your natural hair color can also help you determine your skin tone. If your dark brown hair has red or gold-colored highlights when you are in the sun, you are most likely to have a warm skin tone. If the sun hits your hair and you see ash or blue highlights, you most likely have a cool skin tone.
What shade of blonde highlights should I get?
Once you have figured out your skin tone, you can figure out which blonde highlights will suit you best. Brunettes who have warm skin tones look their best when they have light copper, golden, or strawberry blonde highlights. Cool skin tones look great with ash and platinum blonde highlights, as well as light ash brown colors.
Once you have figured out which blonde highlights will look best in your brown hair, you have to decide what look you want to achieve. For a bold look, you can choose shades that are several shades lighter than your natural color.
For those of you with cool skin tones, this could be platinum or golden, honey-colored highlights. Warm skin tones can go bold by choosing a honeyed blonde or coppery shade of highlights. If you are not quite ready to make such a drastic change, you should choose shades that are within three shades of your natural hair color, regardless of your skin tone.
After determining what shade of blonde highlights you want to use in your dark brown hair, you need to decide what look you want to achieve. There is a wide range of styles to choose from when adding blonde highlights to dark brown hair. You can go face-framing highlights that are put only around your face, or you can choose an all-over highlighted look.
Blonde chunky highlights
Another popular way to add blonde highlights is to use a chunking effect. Chunky highlights for dark brown hair can be done in a single section like your bangs or throughout your hair in varying thicknesses. You can also use blonde chunks to frame your face. Chunking can also be done to create a multi-tonal look by applying different colors that all complement each other.
The ombre highlighting method also looks great on dark brown hair. This look creates a sun-kissed look that leaves the roots and top of your hair dark brown, and then the blonde highlights are added from about halfway down to the ends.
This is a great look if it is done properly, but if not, it can look like you are trying to grow out your hair after you dyed it. If you have never done any type of highlighting on your own, you should probably go to a professional if you want to achieve this look.
If you want a subtle change in color throughout your hair, you can highlight very thin sections of your hair and add a bit more blonde to the tips. You can create even more depth in your hair color by using more than one shade of blonde highlights. Simply create different colored highlights throughout your hair, being sure to apply each color evenly, so you do not end up with sections that are all one color.
Blonde highlights can also be used to significantly lighten your dark brown hair. For this type of color, you would add lots of blonde highlights throughout your hair but leave small pieces of your natural color throughout the underneath. This allows you to show off your natural hair color while adding the depth of the blonde.
Should I highlight my hair at home or go to a salon?
When you have figured out the look you want, the next step is deciding whether you are going to do the highlights at home or if you should go to a salon. Highlighting your own hair for the first time can be a little tricky, and it is very different from applying color all over your head. You have to be careful when selecting the pieces to highlight to make sure you do not end up with stripes that are too wide.
You also need to take the condition of your hair into consideration. When using blonde highlights on dark brown hair, you will need to use bleach. Bleach is very damaging, especially if it is done repeatedly to maintain the look. If your hair is already damaged from frequent dying, you may want to consider consulting a professional to make sure you do not end up with fried hair that breaks off every time you brush or comb it.
Dark brown hair can look gorgeous with blonde highlights. Just make sure to follow all of the preparation and timing directions provided with your kit, and you will have no problem achieving the look you want.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.