How to go From Highlights to All-Over Color in 7 Steps

at a hair salon

Do you want to leave your highlights behind and go back to one even color?


First things first, covering highlights takes more than buying some hair dye and applying it to your hair. That simply won’t work.

Covering highlights is a bit more difficult than that. If you don’t cover them correctly, you run the risk of the highlights reappearing after a month or so.

  • To go from highlights to all-over color, you should first pre-pigment your hair using hair dye without developer on the highlighted strands. We’ll go over how a bit later in the article.
  • Once the strands have been pre-pigmented, it’s time to dye your hair, this time with developer, and applying the product to all of your hair.
  • It’s also important to choose a new color carefully. The closer it is to your natural color, the better.


 You can leave the highlights behind and go back to hair that’s one even color. But to get there you need a bit of patience and perseverance. If you can’t do that, it’s best to go to a professional. 

It’s a lengthy process that requires precise steps, and one mistake could spell disaster. But that’s not all.


It’s also important to think carefully if you really want to get rid of your highlights. It’s going to be a drastic change in your look.

Think of all you’ve done, all the bleach and salon visits to get those highlights. Think of all the money you invested in those sun-kissed strands.

Why should you think of all that?


When you cover the highlights, the color adheres to the deepest part of your hair fiber.

 If you change your mind, there’s no going back. To get the highlights back you’ll have to bleach, dye, and tone it all over again. 

Have you thought it over?


Take a few minutes, and while you’re thinking it over, consider the story of a client, Erica.


She walked into the salon three months ago because she wanted to cover up her highlights.

She had butter-yellow highlights with beautiful ash tones that were the envy of all her friends.


 But, since she was sure she wanted a change, I covered her highlight and dyed her hair one uniform color. 

You can imagine my surprise when she was back in the salon two days later, begging for me to redo her highlights. The problem wasn’t that she changed her mind.

After all, variety is the spice of life. But, when comes to hair, things can’t be changed so quickly.


I’ll never forget the look of disappointment on her face when I explained that it would take at least a year of work to get the golden highlights back without damaging her hair.

So, I’ll ask you again: have you thought it over? Are you sure you want to cover your highlights?


If you’re sure, keep reading, because here we’re going to dicuss:

  • A two-stage process to go from highlights to all-over color
  • How to care for your hair after covering the highlights


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A Step-By-Step Guide to Covering Highlights

fixing the color

Covering up highlights takes more than just dye. The hair also needs to be pre-pigmented.

Pre-pigmenting involves applying straight dye -without developer- to your hair, which helps fix the color and make it more durable.

It keeps the hair cuticle from opening too much, which helps your hair retain the color and protects the hair fiber from damage.


  • But before you start pre-pigmenting, you have to choose the right color.  Try to choose a shade that is as close as possible to your natural color. 

This will prevent a noticeable difference in color when your roots grow out.


  • Another factor to keep in mind is how much dye you’ll need.

To buy the correct amount of dye, remember that you'll need at least half a bottle of dye to pre-pigment your highlighted hair.

On to of that, you’ll need enough dye to color all of your hair. So, if you have very thick or long hair, it's best to buy two or three containers of dye, to make sure you don't run out of product when you're dying your hair.

And now the moment of truth has come.


Let's start pre-pigmenting!

  1. Get all of your materials ready: gloves, brush, comb, body or hand cream, a hair clip, a plastic container, one tablespoon of water, and hair dye.
  2. Detangle your hair with the brush, and apply hand or body cream to the edges of your face and any areas that you don't want the dye to stain.
  3. Pour half a bottle of dye into the plastic container, add a tablespoon of water, and mix well.
  4. Then pull up most of your hair in the hair clip, leaving a layer at the nape of your neck.
  5. Apply the dye to the lightened strands only. At this point, it's important to be precise and only apply the dye to the highlights. Use the comb to make sure the hair is evenly saturated with dye. Then repeat the process on all layers of your hair that have highlights.
  6. Once you've covered all the highlights, let it sit for ten minutes.


Once your hair is pre-pigmented, apply the dye as usual

  1. First, thoroughly mix the dye and developer. Then apply the dye to all your hair, including the highlights, let it process for forty minutes, and rinse.

Once your dry your hair, your highlights will have disappeared, and you'll be left with one even color.

But there's one question left to answer: how should you care for your hair now? Keep reading to find out.


How to Take Care of Your Hair After Covering the Highlights

The right hair care routine is vital to keep the highlights from reappearing.


  • First of all, don’t wash your hair for at least three days after dying, so the pigments can better adhere to the hair fiber.
  • To help the hair dye last as long as possible it’s best to wash your hair every other day. This also gives the natural oils in your scalp a chance to nourish your hair.
  • Along the same lines, use hair products designed for dyed hair, such as sulfate and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners, and use a conditioning mask once a week to help seal the cuticle and prevent the pigment from fading.



Once you've decided to cover your highlights, it's important to do so correctly.

  • It's essential to first pre-pigment the highlighted strands for ten minutes with dye (but not developer) and then apply dye mixed with developer to all of your hair.
  • Once you've achieved your monochromatic look, it's important to wait three days before washing your hair, and then use products designed for dyed hair.


What color would you choose to cover your highlights?

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