How to tone down hair color that is too bright?

how to darken hair

Are you sure your hair is too bright? Appearances can be deceiving and there may be other things going on with your hair.


Many clients come to the salon because they think their hair is too bright and they want to tone it down.

However, it’s not an issue of shine but, rather, that their hair is actually very dark.

Or maybe too light.


So, as a first step, it’s important that we find out together what you don’t like about your hair color because, actually, shine is never a real problem.

  • If you notice that your color looks too bright because the tone is too light, you can have a hair color rinse. Here’s how to do it like a real pro.
  • If you notice that your color looks too bright, because the tone is too dark, you will have to do light highlight of one or two lighter tones. In this case, it’s best to go to a stylist. I’ ll tell you why.


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At least three or four times a week, I receive in my salon the visit of clients complaining about the brightness or shine of their hair. Some have tried to make some highlights in their hair and, by making more than the recommended amount, their hair seems to be the sun shining every morning.

Others decided to change their look, darkened their hair, and it turns out that the new color looks as shiny as if they had just polished it.


But what actually happens is not that their hair is suddenly brighter. Instead, that the new tone is lighter or darker than it should be.

So, we’re not talking about shine but, rather, that you should look for the right tone according to your preferences.

Do you suddenly look too blonde and feel like you’re carrying the sun around with you? Does your new dark shade reflect the light in an awkward way?


Then stay with me, because I’ll tell you:

  • How to tone down light hair to make it less shiny
  • The best way to tone down dark hair

From now on, the only thing that will shine and won’t bother you is your smile.

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How to tone down light hair to make it less shiny

There´s no accounting for taste, so if you have found the tone that fascinates you, that makes you feel much more beautiful and satisfied with your image, you should not give it up.

But, what if you’ve colored your hair and it turns out that the tone is lighter and brighter than you wanted?


 Before you make any changes, what you should do is wait 48-72 hours after coloring, since the pigments in the dye will be enhanced in that time.  

If after that time, the color still seems too bright and clear, the solution has a name, and that is “hair color rinse”.

Do you want to know how to correctly make a color rinse to lower a tone that is too light?


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.


How to select the right color for a color rinse to tone down the color

  • At a beauty shop, ask for a color chart and compare a strand of your hair, to find the same shade.
  • Once you have identified it, you will have to choose a color that is one or two shades darker than the one you currently have.
  • It should always be a base color, numbered 5 or 4, for example.

Once you have the dye, it’s time to get started.


Applying the color rinse to tone down the color

  • Mix the dye pack with the developer in a plastic container.
  • It is very important that you use only half of the dye bottle and a little less than half of the peroxide.
  • Mix the two elements until you get a homogeneous cream without any lumps.
  • Once this consistency is achieved, add a good amount of your usual shampoo and mix again.
  • Wet your hair thoroughly and apply the mixture to all of your hair, as if it were your shampoo. You’ll see that it even creates a lot of foam.
  • Leave on for 15 minutes, rinse and then proceed to apply your conditioner and rinse again.


Once your hair is dry, look at it carefully and tell me: was it a problem of shine or tone?

 That’s what I figured. What you were really looking for was a tone that was a little darker than what you had, not that your hair would be less shiny.  


But what if your tone is so dark that it glows like a cat’s eye in the dark?

Don’t worry, the glow is not the problem. What you should do is choose a lighter color tone. What’s the bad news? You’ll have to get professional help, and I’ll tell you why.


How to lighten dark hair so it doesn’t shine so much

If your color got too dark, it’s not a matter of brightness, it’s a matter of tone. And to fix it, you’ll have to remove the color.

Unfortunately, one dye doesn’t have the power to lighten another dye. Removing color is a very complex matter, which should only be done by professionals. Professionals will be able to remove the color and then apply one or two lighter tones than your current color.


 This will help your color look a little lighter and you won’t see that reflection as bright as you did before. 

Lighting isn’t something you can do on your own. You’ll need the expertise of professional stylists to achieve the shade you want without risking your hair’s health.



As you can see, it’s not that the hair is too shiny. However, it has to do with a wrong choice of tone.

  • If you’ve applied a color that’s too light, you’ll feel that your hair is shinier than it should be or you’d like it to be. So, you can always fix it by applying a color that is one or two tones darker.
  • Now, if you’ve applied a dark tone and you don’t like it because you think it’s too shiny, what you need to do is go to a professional to have the color lightened.


Since this is a process that involves the correct use of certain chemicals, you should ask for professional for advice because the health of your hair will be at risk.

Now tell me, what was really wrong with your hair? Was the tone too light or too dark?

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