How to darken dyed blonde hair? How to tone it down in only 3 steps

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Darkening dyed blonde hair is one of the simplest treatments that exist in hair styling. But beware, even if it’s simple, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions. Or at the very least, respect the rule of the Three N’s:

  • Never darken your dyed blonde hair by more than three shades
  • Never bleach your hair because it isn’t necessary
  • Never wash your hair for at least 48 hours before applying the new color

And I want to emphasize this rule of the 3 N’s. Do you know why?


Let me tell you about a time when someone didn’t keep this rule in mind. Afterward, I promise that I will give you the three-step guide to darken your dyed blonde hair in a safe, healthy way.

But first, let’s get to Anna’s story.


  • For many years Anna had been dying her hair light blonde

One day she appeared in the salon with a scarf that covered her hair and dark glasses, and if it hadn’t been for her voice, it would’ve been too hard to recognize her at all.


  • At first, I thought that she had escaped from someone or was playing detective, but when she removed the scarf from her hair, I had to hold my breath

Her hair, before light blonde, was now dark brown. And the darkness had not only affected her hair, but had taken over her whole life.

She wasn’t at all used to her new hair color. She felt that she wasn’t herself, like her clothes didn’t fit the same way, like her make-up didn’t sit on her as well, and even like her boyfriend didn’t look at her the same way as before.


  • And the thing is that Ana had made a radical change, and in questions related to aesthetics, radical changes are very dangerous.

It’s not easy to see yourself with dark hair when you change it overnight, if for years you’ve had blonde hair.

 For that reason, the first rule of the Three N’s is to not darken your hair suddenly, more than three shades from your base color. Because you need to make it gradual to get used to the change. 


  • But also, Anna’s hair color looked bad. What had she done? She had bleached it, because she thought that the new dye would take to her hair better.

My goodness! It’s never necessary to bleach your light hair to dye it a darker shade. Stylists bleach darker hair so that the pigments of the light dye can imbue the hair strands.


Of the three N’s, Anna had broken two, and at this point, I didn’t even want to know if she had stopped washing her hair 48 hours before making this drastic change.

 But this is very important, do you know why? Because the scalp generates natural oils that protect our hair from the damage that the dye chemicals can cause. 


Anna had done things badly, but she hadn’t come to the salon to listen to a sermon. She had come to find a solution.

Do you want to know what solution I offered her?


All in good time, before I want to tell you:

  • How to choose the correct tone for darkening your hair
  • The three-step guide to darkening your blonde hair


A change of look for your hair is always possible, but there are less dramatic ways than how Anna did it.

So if you don’t want to regret your new color, keep reading.


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How to choose the correct tone for darkening your hair

tone to darken blonde hair

As we saw with Anna’s story, the first thing you should keep in mind is that when you darken your blonde hair, you will experience a big change.

For that reason, if you have been dying your hair blonde for many years, don’t darken by a lot of shades at once, you should do it gradually. Because otherwise, when you see yourself in the mirror, you could not like the new color and that would be a problem.

You can choose an intermediate tone, I always recommend that you pick 2 or 3 shades darker than your base color. For me, that’s the ideal.

For example:

  • If your hair color is really light blonde 9, you can apply a blonde 6.
  • If your hair is light blonde 8, you can apply a chocolate 5.
  • If your hair is a blonde 6, you can apply a brown 4.

What will you achieve by this?


 You will get used to the new tone gradually, and then you can keep darkening your tones 

The important thing is that you don’t go crazy, like for example:

  • If you have light blonde 9, applying a dark brown three. This is what Anna did and look how bad it was for her.
  • If you have light blonde 8, applying black 1.

You have no idea the number of women that make these radical changes and then are sorry!


I’ve been working in the salon for 4 years, taking out the dark colors for women who’ve darkened their hair by 4 shades at once and didn’t like it when they looked in the mirror.

And it gets worse. Because to take out the dark tone you have to have at least three bleaching treatments with a month between each one.


For that reason, you must choose carefully the tone to which you want to darken your blonde hair. Because what you can do in an hour with dark dye, can take up to 4 months to reverse.

So, when you pick the tone, try for one that is similar to your base color, in this way you won’t have to retouch the roots monthly because of new growth.


Now that you know how to pick the best tone to darken your blonde hair, we’ll go through each step.


How to darken your hair in 3 steps

Without losing more time, let’s get to the three simple steps so you can change your look.


Step 1- Selection of the dye

As I told you before, this a fundamental step because it determines whether everything comes out well.

You should always choose a tone that isn’t very different from your hair color.

 One practical trick that I always recommend to my clients is going to the hair salon or pharmacy, and picking a color kit that they like. 

Have you noticed that the boxes of the color kits always have a color scale?


In general, all of them show three basic tones, that is, blonde, brown, dark brown and at the side of each of these tones, an estimation of how the color will look.

Compare with a section of your hair to see how that tone will look with your hair according to the image on the kit.

If you like it, that’s the tone for you.


Step 2- Applying the dye

The color kit has everything you need inside:

  • the tube of dye
  • the developer cream
  • the gloves
  • and the post-color treatment


  • Following the product instructions carefully, apply the dye in your hair, being very careful to spread it evenly across all of your hair’s surface.
  • Wait the amount of time indicated by the product, which is generally between 30-45 minutes. While you’re waiting, you will notice that at about 10 minutes after applying the mix your hair tone will have started to change. You’re on your way!
  • Leave it to work and rinse it with a lot of lukewarm water, and don’t forget the post-color treatment, because they are good and hydrate your hair


Step 3 – Drying and Styling

Dry your hair with a hairdryer at medium heat and apply some drops of anti-frizz serum. You can also style your hair with a straightener or a curler.

Now the only thing left to do is enjoy your new hair color, that I am sure that if you’ve followed all of my recommendations you will love.



And now, the only thing that remains is to tell you how I fixed Anna’s problem.


Because it had been two months since she had made her abrupt hair color change, I did a bleaching treatment using 30-peroxide, to which I added an Olaplex treatment.

This helped to nourish and strengthen her hair. And afterward, I applied chocolate.

What did I achieve with this?


Getting her away from such a dark brown which she was not used to, but without it being another radical change.

The result? Ana was happy, just as happy as you will be if you follow all the advice that I mentioned before.

Are you ready to join the brown hair gang?

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