How to slightly darken bleached hair – The Ultimate Guide

  • To slightly darken your bleached hair, you should opt for a color within the range of browns and dark or medium blondes. Take into account the undertones of the hair dye to neutralize unwanted tones.
  • You should always maintain a two-level difference between the one you choose and the color of your bleached hair.
  • Today I’ll tell you all the secrets to slightly darken your bleached hair considering your bleached base color and your features.


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Did you bleach your hair and want to know how to slightly darken it?


All you have to do is apply a hair dye.

It sounds easy, but you should keep some things in mind.

  • The color palette. It has the colors offered by all the hair dye brands.  They’re universal and are classified by a number in an international color scale. 


to maintain the heat

  • You should also take into account the undertones. What are undertones?

They’re pigments in the hair dye formula that are used to neutralize unwanted tones. How do you identify them? With a number that is also universal.


  • Finally, you must identify the color you got after bleaching your hair.  The difference between the color of the hair dye and the color of your bleached hair should never be more than two tones. 


Are you ready to darken your bleached hair?

Let’s start with the most important thing.

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Choosing the right color to lightly darken bleached hair correctly

underlying tones

You need to know a few things to choose your hair dye color.


First,  don’t be fooled by the fancy names that brands use to name some of their colors. 

The only thing that matters is the international color scale:

  • 1 Black
  • 2 Brown
  • 3 Dark Brown
  • 4 Medium Brown or Chocolate
  • 5 Light Brown
  • 6 Dark Blonde
  • 7 Blonde
  • 8 Light Blonde
  • 9 Very Light Blonde
  • 10 Platinum


Now that you know about it, let’s move on to the second important point.

Which of these shades should you consider to moderately darken your bleached hair?


As a colorist,  I suggest you consider colors between medium brown 4 to light blonde 8. 

Why should you consider only these colors for your final choice?


Because black 1, brown 2, and dark brown 3 will darken your bleached hair too much.

And if you don’t like the color after applying them, you’ll have to bleach your hair again.

Do you get the picture?


 One simple mistake, and you’ll have to put your hair through a very aggressive chemical process again. 

Finally, the very light blonde 9 and platinum 10 are too light. They won’t darken your bleached hair but quite the opposite.


Have you chosen your color to darken your hair after bleaching?

Not so fast. You still have to consider something else.


If you want to slightly darken your bleached hair, you should take into account the color you got during bleaching and the subsequent unwanted tones.

with wella toner

Again, you should be guided by the international color scale. In all coloring kits, there’s a number after the hair dye number. It indicates the undertone or tone of the color.


These numbers are written after a dot and indicate the undertone. For example ash, copper, gold, or reddish, among others.

  • .1 Ash
  • .2 Mauve or Iridescent
  • .3 Gold
  • .4 Copper
  • .5 Mahogany
  • .6 Red


Therefore, if you go for a 5.3, you’ll be buying a light golden brown. Alternatively, if you buy a 5.5, you’ll be choosing light mahogany.


Now, why are the hair color tones important?

from medium blonde to light

Because they’re related to your bleaching level. Again, we’ll help ourselves with the numbers.


The bleaching levels are classified from 1 to 10. 1 corresponds to the darkest level (Black) and 10 corresponds to the lightest one (White).

You should identify your bleaching level and choose your new color based on it because there shouldn’t be more than two levels of difference between one and the other.

  • For example,  if your hair turned a number 8 (Light Blonde) after bleaching, you should apply a hair dye that is two levels darker to darken it slightly. In this case, it should be color number 6 (Dark Blonde). 


You should also consider the unwanted undertones that arise from bleaching. In this case, the hair dye color will help you to get rid of them.

  • For example, if your bleached hair has orange tones, you should use an ash undertone. So, it would be 6.1 (Dark Ash Blonde) in the example above.
  • If your hair has yellowish tones, you should use a Mauve or Iridescent undertone. Therefore, you should apply a Dark Mauve / Iridescent Blonde 6.2.


When you choose the right hair color level and tone, you’ll be able to darken your bleached hair moderately and get rid of unwanted tones.

What if my bleached hair has unwanted green tones?


You may have reached a very light blonde bleached level.

In that case, you can darken your bleached hair with a light brown hair color with auburn or reddish pigments. For example, Dark Auburn Blonde (6.5) or Dark Reddish Blonde (6.6).


I recommend that you opt for a blonde. Alternatively, if you apply a brown, your bleached hair can get too dark, and that’s not what you’re looking for.

If you bleached your hair to a dark blonde or light brown, you should apply a medium or chocolate brown. It’ll help you to even out the bleached base without having to darken your hair too much.


You should also choose the right shade to darken your bleached hair considering your skin tone.

  • If you have light skin and light eyes, I recommend blonde shades; they’ll help you keep your face illuminated.
  • If you have dark eyes and tanned skin, you should choose a color in brown tones. It should be between light brown and medium/chocolate because they’ll bring out your best features.



To slightly darken your bleached hair, you need to identify the color your hair reached during the process. Once you've identified it, choose a hair dye between medium brown 4 and dark blonde 8, and remember to consider the hair dye tones(the number after the dot).


Don’t forget that there should never be a difference of more than two levels between the color you choose and the one your hair reached during bleaching.

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