Oops! You thought full highlights would be exactly the look you wanted, but now, you can’t stand the golden streaks you added to your hair. Suddenly you miss your natural hair color, and you are looking for the best way to get it back.
Or you loved that beautiful bang your stylist gave you, but after a year, it’s super old and boring; Are you ready to go a little darker? Don’t worry, there are several ways to do this cover or remove highlights from your hair!
We’ll go over the best methods used to remove highlights and even give you the steps, so you can get back to the hair you’re missing.
How to get rid of hair highlights
Method #1: Hair color with the color closest to your natural
If your hair is highlighted just a shade or two lighter than your natural, this could be a great option for you.
A toner is a semi-permanent hair color used to correct unwanted tones or lightness in the hair. It can deepen lightened hair, make your highlights darker and leave you with beautiful hair color and dimension.
Another great thing about toner, it’s relatively easy to apply at home, or if you prefer to see your stylist, it’s a quick service that usually takes an hour or less. Since semi-permanent toners do wash out of the hair over time, you will need to repeat this process every two months.
Steps to tone hair at home:
- Choose a shade that is close to your natural hair color. For example, if your hair is naturally level 6 (the lightest brown) choose a level 6 toner. You will also need to purchase a developer, which is usually sold separately. Toners use a low key, such as volume 5 or 7.
- Mix toner in a conductive bottle or bowl with a brush. Toners are usually mixed in a 1:2 ratio but be sure to follow the instructions that come with the paint.
- Apply the toner to clean, towel-dried hair (be sure to remove as much moisture as possible from the hair before applying), and work in sections to make sure the hair is saturated. It can get messy, so be careful!
- Allow the toner to process for the recommended time, usually about 10 minutes.
- Wash your hair thoroughly and use a color-safe conditioner. Dry to see your highlights are no longer noticeable, and you’re back to being natural!
- Repeat every 2-3 months or when the highlights start to reappear.
Method #2: Hair color with semi-permanent or permanent hair color
If your hair is a few shades lighter than your natural or you know you don’t want to lighten again for at least a year, this could be the route you want to take.
When the highlights in your hair are much lighter than your natural, a toner may not be enough to hide them completely. In this case, you’ll want to do an all-over color with semi-permanent or permanent hair color.
Doing an all-over color is different from a toner because you’ll be applying the color to dry hair, and toners don’t have a permanent option.
If you choose a permanent hair color (this will give you the least amount of fading), make sure you are willing to commit to the dark color for at least a year as highlighting with a dark permanent color can be nearly impossible in some cases and/or damage the hair. If you’re not sure, see a stylist to decide what type of color is right for you.
Steps for color include:
Level 1: Choose a shade that is the same as your natural shade or darker, depending on the look you want. For example, if you are naturally level 7, choose level 7 or darker. Also, decide if you need semi-permanent or permanent hair color.
If you want a lower amount of fading and a longer transition between dyeing, choose permanent colors. If you’re not sure if you want to keep your hair darker for a year or more and don’t mind a little more maintenance to hide the highlights, go for semi-permanent.
Make sure you also have a key, for each excess color you will need 10 or 20 volume (the instructions on the hair color will tell you what to use).
Pro tip: Be sure to consider if your hair feels dry or damaged, a semi-permanent will be the more moisturizing and gentle option in these cases.
level2: mix the Paint in a bowl with a brush. Follow the directions for your specific hair color, but hair color is usually a 1:1 ratio of color to key.
Step 3: Divide dry hair into four quarters using clips to make color application simple. Work back to the front with the color brush to fully saturate all hair.
Pro tip: Use gloved hands to work color into hair after coloring each section. This will ensure proper saturation. Proper saturation is key if you want those highlights to disappear!
Step 4: Let the color work. Processing time is usually about 30 minutes, follow the attached instructions.
Step 5: Rinse the hair color thoroughly and continue with a color safe shampoo and conditioner. Dry to see the results!
Method #3: Get the right haircut
If your highlights are very oversized, and you’re ready for a shorter look or even just a big cut, this can be an amazing choice.
A haircut is the only way to 100% remove highlights from your hair. Although you can hide your highlights with darker colors, they are still underneath the hair and can be seen again when the hair color fades.
If you want to go back to being natural without having to dye your hair, a haircut is an amazing choice! The amount of hair you will need to remove depends on how much your hair grows.
If they’re very grown out, you might only need a few inches, but if the highlights are higher up, you might consider a bob or even a cute pixie!
Steps to get the perfect haircut:
- Find a hairstylist you trust!
- On the day of your appointment, prepare with lots of inspiration photos, and make sure you know how much hair you feel comfortable cutting.
- Let your stylist know that you want a haircut that will remove the old highlights.
- Sit back, enjoy your haircut and leave the salon ready to show the world your new look!
Important things to remember:
- Toner can be an excellent solution for light highlights to cover.
- Toners need to be treated quite often, but are the gentlest and easiest option.
- For highlights that are harder to cover, use semi-permanent or permanent hair color for full coloring.
- All-over color needs fewer touch-ups, especially permanent hair color, but can be a bigger commitment if you want to change hair color often.
- To permanently remove highlights from your hair, you will need to get a haircut.