How to tone down hair color that is too light?

  • To tone down bleached hair that’s too light, you should use a dye that’s two colors darker than your current shade. And you should always do so at least three days after you bleached it. I’ll explain why in a moment.
  • If what you’re looking to do is tone down your hair because it’s dyed too light of a color, you should choose a color two or three shades darker.


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darken it two shades

It doesn’t matter if you bleached your hair and it ended up too light or if you used a too-blonde dye and that’s why you feel like it’s too light.

 The solution is always the same: You need to use a darker dye on your hair to tone down the color.  


Toning hair color down is one of the easiest procedures out there in the world of colorimetry. The hardest is always lightening your hair because dye on dye doesn’t lighten it.

But, if you’re looking to darken your hair, the path is simple, and you could even say, less thorny.


Although it is a pretty straight path, it’s important to pay attention to certain signals or warnings to choose the dark color for you best and not regret it later.

So, if you want to tone down your hair a few shades, stick around because I’ll tell you:

  • How to tone down bleached hair
  • How to choose the right color to tone down your hair color


Once you’ve decided to have darker hair, the next most important decision you need to make is choosing the right color for you. And that’s what you’re going to learn how to do today.


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How to evaluate if your hair is healthy enough to tone it down without completely damaging it

from blonde to brown

Like I told you at the beginning, if you bleached your hair and it ended up too light, all you need to do is use a dye that’s two shades darker than the color that your hair is right now.

It sounds easy, and it is. But, you need to keep in mind a few things because if you don’t, what will be dark is the outlook for your hair’s health. Why do I say that?


Because you just finished up with a very aggressive process for your hair: bleaching it. And even if your hair seems like it’s okay, it always suffers from some collateral damage after bleaching it.

Take a close look at your hair, going beyond that color that you don’t like to tell me the cross-your heart-hope-to-die truth:

  • Does it feel as soft as it did before you bleached it?
  • Do you have split ends?
  • Does it feel fragile or prone to breaking?

If so, before you use a darker dye on your hair to tone it down, you need to repair your hair.


Because bleaching your hair is a very aggressive process, you’ll need to moisturize to help it recuperate and be able to handle a much more vibrant, new dark color.

 So, you’ll need to respect the golden rule: once you’ve bleached your hair, you must wait at least 3 days before dyeing it.  

What are three days in a person’s life?


Nothing, but in terms of your hair’s health, they will make a big difference.

Because in those three days, you’ll repair your hair by taking the following measures:

  • You’ll use a few drops of coconut oil or argan oil on it, from the middle of your hair through the ends, leaving them in for 2 hours.
  • You’ll use a moisturizing mask at least once with keratin in it to strengthen your hair fiber.
  • You’ll also give your ends a little love by using some silicon oil on them to lubricate them.


After taking care of your hair in this meticulous way for three days, the moment you’ve been waiting for, the time to tone down your bleached hair will come. But, before it does, take another close look at your hair.

  • If it’s hard to comb through…
  • If you have a lot of frizz…
  • If your hair looks faded or is rough to the touch…
  • If your ends break easily…


Then, unfortunately, it still hasn’t recovered from the effects of the bleach. The good news is that you can repeat the three-day routine that we just went over to heal your hair fully.

If your hair doesn’t have any of the characteristics I just mentioned, then you can go ahead and use the dye right away.


Now, all you need to do is choose the new color you want, which should be a shade that’s lighter than your current color.

But, what is the ideal color for darkening your hair? That’s exactly what I’m going to tell you about in a second.


How to choose the right color for darkening your hair

hair color kits different brands

Don’t tone down your hair more than two or three shades at once.

  • If you have bleached hair, then up to two shades is ideal.
  • If your hair is dyed a color you’re not happy with, then you could do two or three shades darker.


For example:

  • If your hair is dyed a level 9 color, you can use a 7 because anything lower than that will be too dark.

Remember that blonde goes from level 7 dark blonde to level 10 platinum blonde.

If your base color is a level 9 and you decide to use a 5, you wouldn’t be in the range of blonde colors anymore because 6, 5, 4, and 3 are all browns.


 That’s why I don’t recommend toning down many tones at once. 

It’s basically for two main reasons:

  • If you’re not happy with the dark color you end up with, then you’d have to bleach your hair at least two times to lighten your hair all over again.
  • The change from blonde to brown will be so much that it’ll take at least a few days to get used to if you ever do even get used to it.


 So, my advice would always be to follow the two-shade rule. All you need to do to follow the rule is subtract two from your current level.  

You don’t know what your current color’s number is?


Don’t worry too much. When you go to a haircare store or a pharmacy, look for their swatch book, and you’ll find your color. You can also take a look at the photos on the boxes of dye.

You’ll then know what color your hair is, and you can choose a color two shades darker.



As you can see, toning down your hair isn’t very hard to do. The opposite is always more difficult, by which I mean lightening your hair.

  • So, if you bleached your hair, wait three days after you bleach your hair, moisturizing it, and repairing it in the meantime, and only then you can use a dye that’s up to two shades darker than your current color.
  • If you don’t like your current color and you want to darken it, it’s a good idea to choose a color a maximum of two shades darker than your current color so you can get used to the new color little by little.


There will always be the time to tone your hair down, but to lighten it, you’ll have to bleach it.

What color will you choose to tone your hair color down?

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