How to Fix Highlights that are Too Light (in 6 steps)

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Are your highlights too light?

Do you hate your highlights every time you see them in the mirror?


Don’t worry.

I have an excellent solution for you.

 Darkening highlights that ended up too light is totally possible and I’ll tell you all about how to do it step-by-step here.  


All you need is a color kit, like the kind you can buy in the supermarket, and nothing else.

Does that sound good?

Ready to darken those highlights?


Let’s get to it.


  • Like I told you, the only thing you need to darken your highlights is a color kit, like the ones that you can buy the supermarkets, pharmacies or hair care stores.

You should buy a color kit up to two shades darker than the shade you have in your highlights right now.

If you’re unsure about which shade of dye to choose, don’t worry. I’ll help you choose the best dye for your highlights shortly.


  • The color kits are easy to use and they come with very specific instructions.

But, and here’s the important part, you won’t use the dye in the traditional way.

Because you’re not looking to dye your hair.

You’re just trying to darken your highlights.


 So, instead of letting the dye sit for 30-40 minutes, you’ll only let it sit for 20 minutes.  

That way you’ll darken your highlights without changing the technique.


Normally you dye your hair when it’s dry, but like I explained before, since you’re not trying to change your hair color, just darken it a few shades to make it seem less blonde, the process is different.


Usually when you dye your hair, you use 30-volume peroxide, which helps to ensure that your hair absorbs the dye correctly.

 For this technique, you’re going to use 20-volume peroxide because you only want to darken your hair two shades from blonde and not change your entire hair color.  


Okay, so now you know more or less what the technique is for darkening highlights that turned out too light.

Are you still with me?

Do you still want to darken your highlights?


Stay with me two more minutes because the best part is yet to come.

I’ll tell you step-by-step how to change light highlights to darker highlights.

But first, a few warnings.


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3 warnings before you darken your highlights

fixing highlights

Before I tell you the step-by-step process, I want to give you a few warnings.


  • First of all, if it has been fewer than 15 days since you went to the salon, wait to touch up your color.

Dye takes approximately 3-4 washes or two weeks to settle in.

Before that time has gone by, your hair will still be letting out the dye that it isn’t able to absorb, so you won’t know what your final color will look like until that time has gone by.

If you apply more dye, it will be a true disaster.


  • Secondly, if you don’t have a basic idea of how to dye hair—at least a minimal amount of knowledge—don’t do it on your own.

Ask for help from a friend, cousin, sister or aunt, if you still don’t want to go to the salon.


  • Third, if you’re not sure how to do it, even with help, then go to a salon.

It’s better to spend some time and money going to a good professional salon than to waste your hair’s health because you need to bleach and re-apply dye.


With those three warnings out of the way, we can get to the next step.

What color do you want your highlights to be?


What color dye to choose for your highlights

use 20 volume peroxide

If it’s already been 15 days since you got the highlights and you’re sure that you want to darken them, then you should choose the blonde shade that you’re going to use to darken your highlights.


 I insist, please, please, please don’t do anything to your hair until you’re 100% sure about which color you want for your highlights. 

Many women come to the salon and sit in the chair without saying a word. They think hair stylists can read minds or have the power to guess what you want to do to your hair.


No, we can’t read minds. So, you should talk to your stylist and explain to them what you want.

Are your highlights too light?

Do you want to darken them?


Good, then explain exactly that to your stylist.

Ask them if they can show you pictures of how they think your highlights might look after darkening them.


If you decide to darken your highlights on your own at home, I’d recommend that you go to a specialized hair care store to buy the supplies. They’ll be able to help you decide what is best for your hair there.

That said, I do want to give you a few basic ideas of how to choose the right dye for your highlights.


  • If your highlights are extra light blonde (10), then I’d recommend using light blonde (8) or lighter.
  • If your highlights are very light blonde (9), then I’d recommend using medium blonde (7) or lighter.
  • If your highlights are light blonde (8), then I’d recommend using medium blonde (7) or lighter.
  • If you go any lighter, you’ll be into the spectrum of light brown and you’ll lose the effect of the highlights.


Another thing to keep in mind when you’re darkening your highlights are grey hairs.

If you have a lot of grey hair, then I’d recommend keeping a shade lighter than light blonde (8). If you don’t, your grey hair will stand out more.


 Highlights are the most-used technique for women with a lot of grey hair, since thanks to the blonde shades, the grey hairs are perfectly hidden.  

You should return to the salon every 40 days to touch up your highlights, so that’s why if you have a lot of grey hair, I’d recommend not choosing a shade lighter than 8 to keep them hidden until your maintenance.


Now that you have a better idea of what color to choose for your highlights, it’s time to get the materials you need.



Like I said in the beginning, this is an affordable technique because it doesn’t require a lot of materials.


Once you’ve chosen the shade, you can go to the hair care store or pharmacy to get everything you need.

You can buy the kit dye, as long as you make sure that the peroxide it includes is 20-volume and no stronger.

Don’t apply anything stronger!


You can also buy the materials separately.

The tube of dye and the 20-volume peroxide.

Don’t forget latex gloves to apply the dye. If you apply the dye with your bare hands, they’ll be stained for days.


How to darken your highlights step-by-step

Once you have everything you need, you should start to prepare your hair.


Step 1

Brush your hair, completely detangling it. Make sure that there are no knots left.


Step 2

Dampen your hair.

Does it seem weird to apply dye to damp hair?


 Like I told you in the beginning, this technique is different from normal color application. Remember that we’re not looking to dye all of your hair, just darken the highlights. For this technique to work, you need to apply the mix to damp hair. 


Step 3

Prepare the mixture.

Mix the entire tube of dye and 20-volume peroxide in a plastic container.

Mix until well-combined.


Step 4

Apply the dye to all of your hair from root to tips.

You can do it with a dye brush or with your hands like it’s a hair mask (with gloves on, of course).

Be very careful to apply it to all of your hair, don’t leave any part uncovered.


Step 5

Let the mix sit for 20 minutes.


If you want, you can check on the color every 5 minutes to see if your highlights’ color is changing how you expect it to.


Step 6

When the time is up, rinse with lukewarm water and wash your hair with your normal shampoo.

Dry with a blow dryer on medium heat and apply a few drops of anti-frizz serum.


That’s it! Your highlights are already darkened without having to further damage your hair in any extreme way.


5 keys for not ruining your highlights

I want us to go over the key aspects for this technique to make sure your highlights end up looking perfect.

Remember that any error in your choosing of the materials or in during the application process could influence the results.

Here are the 5 keys for this technique


  • Choose the correct dye
 Don’t darken your hair more than two shades. If you do, you’ll lose the effect of your highlights. 


  • Use 20-volume peroxide

If you use a higher volume peroxide, you’ll ruin your highlights.


  • Apply the mixture to damp hair


  • Let the mixture sit for no more than 20 minutes.


  • Wash your hair with shampoo to get the mixture out.

It’s very important to wash your hair in the process because that is what cuts off the peroxide’s chemical reaction.


And there you have it.

If you followed these steps correctly, your highlights that were too light should now be darker.

What do you think? Do you have any questions?

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