Can I apply a box dye over my highlights? What color should I choose?

hair color kits different brands

Do you want to know if you can use a box hair dye over your highlights?


The answer is “yes”, but you must take into account the following if you don’t want to ruin your highlights:

  • If your base color is natural and you have some highlights, the important thing is that, when using the box dye, you mix it with the developer and dilute it with water and shampoo, so as not to change your natural tone. Afterwards, you only have to apply the mixture to your highlights.
  • Now, if your hair is also colored, and, you did some highlights on that color, you should use a measure of the box dye, mix it with a measure of 20 volumes of developer, and just cover your highlights with the mixture.
  • It is also important to choose the correct box dye tone, as well as its corresponding shade to neutralize the unwanted tones of your highlights. I’ll tell you how to do it later.


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to go back to natural hair color after highlights?


Box hair dyes are excellent tools that you can use in the comfort of your home to modify the tone of your hair, or neutralize those unwanted tones that appear after some washes in highlights or balayage.

Of course, the important thing is to know how to use them correctly so that they fulfill the goal you are looking for, without ruining your hair or your coloring work.

Why are box dyes used to tone up highlights?


 About six weeks after you get your highlights done, they will most likely look dull and turn orange or yellow. 

That tone will always depend on the natural pigmentation of your hair or the lightening background achieved by the highlights.


So, if that beautiful tone you had disappeared and you want to get it back, stay with me, because I will tell you:

  • How to correctly use box dye to tone your highlights
  • How to choose the perfect tone of box dye to apply on your highlights

Tabla de Contenidos


How to use correctly a box hair dye to tone your highlights

In order to use a box dye you will have to take some things into account, such as when to use the box dye directly and when to use it diluted.

How do you know which of these options is best for you?


It all depends on the coloring technique you have on your hair.

Does your hair have a full color? Then, you must mix the box dye with half a 20-volume developer container, which is also included in the kit.


Box dye for colored and highlighted hair

If your hair is fully colored, meaning that you have had an overall color change with permanent dye throughout your hair, and, then, had the highlights, you will be able to use the box dye directly.

What do I mean by this?


 All you have to do is open the coloring kit, put on the gloves and mix the ingredients included in the kit. 

As simple as that, with no major inconveniences.


However, wet your hair first to apply the dye and apply the mixture where you have the highlights.

To visualize exactly where your highlights are, always section your hair to make sure you cover all the highlights with the dye.

 It’s also very important not to exceed the exposure time  because twenty minutes is more than enough.


Was your hair naturally light, did you get some highlights and you want to tone them up?

Then, you should proceed as follows.


Box dye for natural and highlighted hair

If your hair retains its natural color, except for highlights, it is very important that you use diluted box dye.

If you applied it directly to your hair, you could change the color of your hair.

How should you dilute it?


 You should mix the dye and peroxide included in the kit, and add 10 ml. of water and two tablespoons of shampoo.  

Once you have the mixture ready, simply moisten your hair and apply the mixture to your highlights, leaving it on for about 7 minutes.

Got it right, didn’t you?


 In this case, you should leave the mixture on for only 7 minutes.  

We already know how to mix the box dye to apply to the highlights, but how to choose the right tone? This is what I will explain to you next.


How to choose the perfect color of box dye to apply to your highlights

at the hairdresser

There is an infinite number of colores of box dyes on the market, especially if we also take into account that each brand seeks to develop its own, well-customized colors.

What do you have to take into account when choosing the right color?


You must keep two things in mind: lightness and reflects of tone.

Let’s start with lightness.


If you like your hair’s level of tone, you’ll need to choose that same tone.

In the dye boxes, it’s identified by a number, ranging from 1, which corresponds to black, to 10, which would be the platinum blonde.


For example, if your base tone is a light blonde, you should look for the tone identified with the number 8.

If you want to darken the tone, you should choose one or two darker tones. Continuing with the previous example, if your tone is a light blonde 8, you should choose a 7 blonde or a 6 dark blonde.

 In the coloring kits, you can always see photos of the tone, so you can place a lock of your hair close to the photo, and compare them, to see if the one you choose is close to your tone. 


You should also take into account reflects of the tone, which are also identified by a number. It is found after the level number, followed by a period or comma.

If you want to neutralize an undesirable yellow shade in your highlights, you should use a box dye with the shade identified by number 2.

For example, 8.2 is a light iridescent blonde, so it will neutralize the chicken-yellow tones in your reflexes.


If you want to neutralize an orange, you must choose a dye that has tones identified with number 1, and if you want to neutralize reddish tones, choose the tones identified with number 7.



Box dyes are ideal for neutralizing unwanted tones that appear in highlights after a while, due to washing or sunlight exposure.

You only have to consider if you have to use it diluted or as it comes in the coloring kit, and apply it only on your highlights.


It is also very important that you choose the right tone and reflect of the dye, so that it tones your reflexes correctly.

And now, there’s only one question left, what tone of box dye will you use to tone your highlights?

Deja Tu Comentario