Can I Highlight My Hair After Dyeing it Brown? What color should you choose?

shoulder length haircut

  • Yes, you can highlight your hair after dyeing it brown. It’s a great idea if you want to add a little light and depth to your hair.
  • I recommend choosing a color three shades lighter than your brown base color. I’ll tell you what the different possibilities are in a moment.
  • It’s important to wait at least 15 days between dyeing your hair and highlighting it.


I don’t know why people associate highlighting their hair with blonde, gold, and sun-kissed locks. These days, it’s common to use the technique on dyed that’s been dyed any color, from blonde to brown and even to black.


 If your hair is dyed brown, you can choose highlights in warm colors like honey or dark blonde, and even reddish colors if you’re feeling more original. 


The most important thing when it comes time to highlight your brown hair is the color you choose to highlight. Because in colorimetry, it’s very important to follow the rules for the difference between the base color and the color of your highlights, so your hair is in perfect harmony.


That’s why if you’re thinking about adding a little extra light to your brown hair by highlighting it, keep on reading because I’ll tell you:

  • What color to highlight your hair that you’ve dyed brown
  • How to correctly highlight your hair and maintain those highlights on dyed brown hair


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What color highlights should I choose for my hair that’s dyed brown?

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Highlights are a technique that uses bleach and adds a certain lightness to hair that’s all one shade. And, depending on your brown base color, you should choose specific colors for your highlights.


For example:

  • If your hair is dyed a level 3 dark brown, you can choose a light brown 6 for your highlights
  • Level 4 brown? You can go for a dark blonde 7.
  • For level 5 brown, you can use a blonde 8.
  • As for light brown 6, light blonde 9 will work for you.

Did you notice the number of levels of difference between the base color and highlights?


 You should always choose a color for your highlights that is 3 levels lighter than your base color. Because not only will that help bring light to your hair, but it will also do the same for your facial features. 

The shades should always be within the same range because, after all, you don’t want to walk around with hair that looks like a replica of a zebra’s coat.


If your hair is a dark brown 3 and you choose to do highlights in the lightest blonde 10, you’ll look like a zebra.

That’s 7 levels of differences, which is not a combination that will turn out well.

If you follow the 3-level rule, you won’t have any issues when choosing the right color for highlighting your dyed brown hair.


How to highlight your hair and maintain highlights

highlights on dark brown hair

You can use one of two techniques to highlight your hair: foil highlights or cap highlights.

Both techniques will do the same thing in the end, which is use a different color from your base color on some areas of your hair. But, there are a few differences between the two techniques that will help you decide between them as to which you prefer.


The primary differences between the two techniques are:

  • Cap highlights are neater since the distance between pieces of hair to highlight is determined by where you pull hair through the holes in the cap. On the other hand, the hair color’s experience is much more important as to how evenly spaced the highlights are when it comes to foil highlights.
  • Cap highlights can be more painful because when you pass the hair pieces through the cap, it can pull on your hair. That always happens no matter how careful your hair colorist is.
  • You also leave about an inch without color at your roots with cap highlights, while that doesn’t happen with foil highlights.
  • When you do cap highlights, it’s much faster since once you separate your hair, you bleach all of it at the same time. On the other hand, you need to take more time with foil highlights as you wrap each piece of hair in foil.


You need to keep in mind that for both techniques, you need to bleach your hair. And as you know, bleaching is a chemical process.

That’s why, if you’ve just dyed your hair brown,  it’s a good idea to wait 15 days to do the highlights. In those 15 days, you should moisturize your hair once a week to strengthen it before you do the highlights.  


Once the 15 days have gone by and you’ve chosen the correct color for your highlights, it’ll only take 90 minutes to highlight your hair. And, once the process is done, your hair will look different, seem more luminous, and have more contrast.

But, you shouldn’t forget that maintenance is important, too. You should always touch up your highlights every 5-6 weeks.

And, if you want to lighten your highlights, even more, that will be your chance since you can use a color up to 2 levels lighter.



Highlights are a great way to add light to hair that you’ve dyed brown and get away from uniform color.

Remember that it is important to choose a color up to three levels lighter than your base color to maintain chromatic harmony and wait 15 days after dyeing your hair brown to highlight it.

That way, you’ll have perfect highlights in your brown hair, and you’ll maintain your hair’s health.

Now tell me: What color will you choose to light up your hair that’s dyed brown?


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