How to Dye Balayage Hair Back to Brown (4 steps that you can follow too)

return to the previous color

  • To dye your balayage, all you need to do is use a brown dye with a 20 volume developer.
  • If you’re set on going back to a dark brown, you should use a level 4 brown dye.
  • If you’re not ready for such an abrupt change, you could opt for a level 6 light brown or a level 7 blonde.
  • And you should do it with special attention to the middle and end of your hair since those are the areas you had to bleach to get your balayage.


Balayage is a trendy color technique with natural-looking and stunning results. But, it’s a technique that is expensive to get and maintain.

That’s what happened to Tatiana, who has been maintaining her balayage for three years. But, she found a new passion in her life. And I’m not talking about a passionate feeling.


I mean a passion for a sport: swimming. She fell in love with the sport and even began to participate in local and regional competitions, where she was able to win medals and prizes.

But her hair was not so happy with her new passion. And enemy number one of balayage is something key to her passion: the chlorine in pools.


Her golden locks that used to look sun-kissed started to turn into limp, lifeless dandelions. That ugly color was just a symptom of what was happening to her hair.

Her hair was weakening, becoming more and more fragile with each stroke.

It was time for a change. She wouldn’t stop swimming, so she had to leave behind her balayage.


And that is the state she was in when she came to the salon with her hair still damp since she was coming straight from the pool she swam at every day.

When she told me what she was going through, I proposed that we could dye her hair brown, that way, we could cover her balayage, although she would still need to keep nurturing her hair to help it recuperate its strength.


Today, Tatiana can enjoy all of the upsides to her sport, and she doesn’t have to deal with her cranky balayage because it is much easier for her to maintain her hair all one color.

That’s why the best way for her to cover her balayage is to dye all of her hair brown. Do you want to know why brown is the best color for covering a balayage?


If so, keep reading, because I’ll tell you:

  • Why brown is the best color for covering a balayage
  • How to go back to brown after having a balayage without damaging your hair in 4 steps


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Why brown is the best color for covering a balayage

If you’ve already gotten a balayage, then you’re already aware that it is a technique of blending colors, creating an effect that fades from dark to light. That’s why you need to bleach the middle and ends of your hair.

That means that the part that is not affected by the balayage is at the crown of your head and your roots.


  • If you have a balayage, then you probably have it done in the lightest blonde shades.

Because the idea of balayage is exactly that: to give your hair the effect that blondes have after being at the beach for a few days in the sun and water.


  • Brown is an intermediate color that allows you to cover those blonde highlights without going for a more extreme color like black.
 That’s why level 4 brown is the best shade, or, at least, the one I would recommend.   Because you won’t feel like there is such a contrast between your previous color and the brown.


Remember that while using a new dye isn’t something super crazy and does not require much skill, you should still take a while to think it over before you go through with it.

Are you sure that you want to darken your hair?


  • Because when you use brown dye to cover your balayage, if you change your mind and decide that you want to go back to a lighter shade, then you’ll have to bleach your hair.

Remember all those times you had to bleach your hair to get those beautiful blonde highlights?

Well, if you cover them up with a dark dye and then you regret it later, then you’ll have to go through the same process all over again.


  • That’s why there is   another alternative. You can use a level 6 light brown or a level 7 blonde on your hair, which are intermediate shades. 

That way, if you regret using the brown dye, you don’t have to put your hair through so many bleaching sessions to lighten it.


So, as a hair colorist, I’d recommend that when it comes to bleach, you should never make any rash decisions.

If you’re not 100% sure, then you shouldn’t do whatever you’re considering because getting rid of dark dye is complicated and severely damages your hair. Remember that to get rid of a level 4 brown dye, you’ll have to bleach your hair again, and it will take several sessions to get back to a medium shade.


If you’ve already thought long and hard and you’re sure that you want to leave your balayage behind, then don’t worry because I will help you get your hair back to brown.


How to go from balayage to brown without damaging your hair in 4 steps

The first thing you need to do is get a color kit in level 4 brown. Try to choose one from a well-known brand because that will ensure that not only do you end up with a cute shade of brown, but you also will get a post-color treatment for your hair.



  • Level 4 brown color kit
  • Dye brush


Besides buying the color kit, make sure that the developer includes a 20 volume developer since you do not need a stronger one.

 If you were to use a stronger developer, you’d run the risk of lightening your roots too much and them ending up lighter than the rest of your hair.  

To get to most colors, you should use a 20 volume developer, although there are a few exceptions, like lighter blonde and lightest blonde, which require a 30 volume developer.


Step by step

Once you have everything you need, you can start applying the dye.


Step 1

Brush your hair with a brush or comb. I’d suggest being very careful during this step not to leave with any knots since that could trip you up in the application process.


Step 2

Everything you need will be inside the color kit: the tube of level 4 brown dye, the 20 volume developer, and gloves.

After putting on the gloves, mix the dye and the developer in a plastic container until well-mixed and smooth.


Step 3

I suggest using a dye brush to apply the dye since it is the easiest way to make sure you first cover your crown and roots and then move on to the middle and ends.

Cover all of your hair with dye. Make sure no part is left without dye because if any part is not fully covered, you run the risk of some areas ending up lighter when you rinse off the dye.

 Let sit for 30-45 minutes. Never leave the dye in longer than indicated on the instructions since all that will do is dry out your hair. 


Step 4

Rinse your hair, making sure not to use any shampoo, which would ruin the dye’s pigments. You can use a conditioner or a post-color treatment to hydrate your hair and give it extra shine.


How to take care of your hair after you dye it

Once your hair is dyed brown, it’s time to concentrate on its health.

  • Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates and, when possible, choose shampoos that deposit color pigments in your hair when you wash it. Yes, believe it or not, there are shampoos made for hair dyed dark colors and blonde.
  • You’ll never go wrong with a keratin treatment in a salon. These treatments strengthen and nurture your hair, adding natural proteins to your hair fiber.
  • Lastly, avoid washing your hair with too hot water, since that will make your color last less time.


Are you ready to say goodbye to your balayage and embrace your new brown color?

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