The wonderful thing about dark brown hair is that it’s really easy to achieve at home. You can often dye your hair dark brown even if you’re starting out with dyed or bleached hair, although you might need to do some color correction first to neutralize really persistent tones. In this article, we’ve included a step-by-step guide for how to actually dye your own hair dark brown. Finally, we’ve got some must-know tips for brunettes, including hair color maintenance, makeup tips, and fashion advice!
In this article:
- How to Dye Hair Dark Brown at Home
- Maintaining Your Dark Brown Hair Color
- Makeup Guide for Dark Brown Hair
- Fashion Tips for Dark Brown Hair
How to Dye Hair Dark Brown at Home
One thing to remember when going dark brown is that once you dye your hair such a dark color, it is very difficult to remove. If you’re going to make this change, be ready to have to commit to it for a long time since stripping the hair to try to dye it a lighter color is a process that takes a very long time and can seriously damage your locks.
You Will Need
- A dark brown hair dye box (or two if you have very long hair)
- A pair of plastic gloves
- Hair dye brush
- Hair clips
- A shower cap
- An old loose shirt
The Hair Dyeing Process
- First, get yourself ready by brushing your hair, putting on your old shirt and some gloves.
- The next step is to separate your hair into sections and clip it up – the sharp end of your hair dye brush will help. You can separate into as few or as many sections as you need, depending on the thickness and length of your hair.
- Next, prepare your dark brown hair dye. Most hair dye kits come with one bottle of color and another of developer that you must mix together – hopefully in an applicator bottle to keep things easy. Read the instructions since some boxes also come with additional mixers.
- Now, unclip the section you’ll be starting with and from it separate out an even small section that you can easily saturate with dye. Apply a dollop of hair dye near the top, and with the hair dye brush or your gloved fingers drag it up towards the roots and then down towards the ends. If you have long hair, you might need to add another dollop or two to cover the hair completely.
- Massage that section of hair a little bit to make sure each strand is totally covered in dye from all directions.
- Next, grab another small chunk of hair from your unclipped section and cover it in the dye. Continue doing this until that entire section is thoroughly covered and then clip it up and move on to the next section, repeating the same dyeing process.
- You might need a second mirror or the help of a friend to get the sections of hair towards the back of your head.
- Once your entire head is covered, pay special attention to your roots. Add more dye and massage it in a little bit, especially ensuring that you aren’t missing any sections along your part.
- Once your entire head is covered, pop on a shower cap and wait between 25-45 minutes for the color to take hold. Make sure not to throw out any leftover dark brown hair dye!
- Once the time has elapsed, you can jump in the shower to wash out the dye. Don’t shampoo your hair, but you may condition it if you’d like it to be extra soft and shiny once you’re done.
- Let your hair dye and then check it over to see if you managed to dye it all over evenly. If you see any missing spots, apply a little bit more dark brown hair dye to correct them and do the whole waiting and washing thing a second time.
- Finally, you can lightly blow-dry your hair or let it air-dry and enjoy your new life as a brunette!
A Note for Natural and Bleach Blondes
While you can absolutely use a box of dark brown hair dye on blonde hair, bleached or otherwise, the final result is very difficult to predict, and you will probably end up with a light or medium brown instead of a dark one, at least for your first session. Going dark brown can be a process that takes multiple dyeing sessions, especially if you want the color to really stick.
If you’d like to avoid excessive maintenance, it’s better to choose a dark brown hair color that has the same undertone as your natural color. For more blondes, this means a more golden brown, although, for some, it might be a reddish-brown.
If you don’t think this shade of brown will work with your skin tone, then it’s better to schedule a hair salon appointment. It’ll be pricier, but a professional will be able to help you achieve the exact shade you want.
A Note for Those with Dyed Hair
If your hair has been dyed a more intense fashion color or a red-based color, it’s really important that you strip the color first with a remover like L’Oreal Effasol Color Remover from Amazon. Otherwise, while the dark brown hair dye will cover the color at first, within a few weeks, it will fade, so you’ll end up with a muddy and difficult-to-fix combination of brown and whatever color you had before.
A Note for Those with Grown-out Roots
If you have grown-out roots, you’ll need to focus your application on them when dyeing your hair. If you have gray roots, then in addition to buying a hair dye that’s made to cover grays, you also want to give the roots a little more time to process since grays take longer to dye.
We recommend that you apply hair dye to the roots first (before clipping up your hair) so that they have more time to develop. Just start at your part, apply the dye to the first inch of hair and then create a new part a little to the side and flip the hair over to apply dye to another section of roots. Keep doing this until all of your roots are covered and then move on to dyeing the rest of the hair.
Maintaining Your Dark Brown Hair Color
While dark brown hair dye usually sticks in place really well, it’s still important that you follow our maintenance tips in order for the color to retain its dimension, shine, and richness.
- The most important part is to limit how often you wash your hair. The less often you shampoo it, the better, and you should definitely avoid shampooing for at least a day or two after dyeing your hair.
- When you do wash your hair, choose a shampoo and conditioner set made specifically for dyed hair and that is free of stripping sulfates. We’re big fans of Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo for Color Treated Hair from Ulta, though you can also choose a purple or blue shampoo if you’d like to cancel out brassiness, a red shampoo if you opted for a dark auburn brown or a golden shampoo for gold-based dark brown hair.
- Heat can damage the hair cuticle and leach color out, so make sure to wash your hair in lukewarm water and avoid excessive heat styling.
- Air- or towel-drying your hair will be best, but if you have to heat-style it, a blow drier on a very low setting is the safest option.
- Since you should be taking your sweet time between shampooing sessions, you might find your hair looking greasy after two or three days. You can counter that with a dry shampoo, in which case we recommend Batiste’s Dry Shampoo in Divine Dark that is available on Amazon. It takes away that greasiness, gives the hair some volume, and it can even help blend your roots if they’re starting to peek through since it’s tinted brown.
- The sun is known for its ability to lighten hair and fade darker colors, so use a UV-protecting hair spray (Sun Bum makes a great one) or wear a hat when you go outside.
- Chlorinated pools can alter the color of your hair, but if you’re a swimmer they’re hard to avoid. If you can’t find a saltwater pool in your area, then make sure to saturate your hair with water before getting in the pool, wear a swim cap, and then immediately rinse your hair and condition it once you’re out of the water.
Makeup Guide for Those with Dark Brown Hair
If you love makeup, then you can get very creative with dark brown hair! Here are a few of our tips to get you started.
Complexion Makeup for Dark Brown Hair
- If you’ve gone from light to dark brown hair, you may want to slightly amp up your complexion makeup routine since dark hair can wash out the skin.
- You can introduce a slightly higher-coverage foundation or stick to what you’ve always used but also add some concealer.
- You will definitely want to add a bit more color and dimension to your complexion, either with the help of a bronzer, a contour shade, or a blush.
Blush and Lipstick for Dark Brown Hair
- The best blush and lip shades for you will depend on your skin’s undertones as well as the undertones of your hair. The more neutral or gold-leaning the shade of your hair, the more blush or lipstick shades you can try.
- On the other hand, if your hair is a cool brown, you will want more cool, berry-leaning blushes and lipsticks, while if it is warm and a little coppery, then you will want peachy or coppery blush and lipstick shades.
Eye Makeup for Dark Brown Hair
- Dark brown hair can give you the chance to go a little darker with your eye makeup! A lot of makeup looks that appear too extreme on blondes can actually appear very balanced now.
- Dark brown hair is also great if you like to play with color. Even when it has a strong undertone, brown hair is still mostly neutral, so vivid eye makeup colors won’t clash with it, although, it’s important that the shades you choose still suit your eye color and skin tone.
- When it comes to mascara, we’d recommend sticking to black mascara rather than opting for brown. Brown mascara is okay, but the black will really help your eyes pop against your dark hair.
- You might need to step up your eyebrow game a little bit. Make sure to choose a brown brow pencil or pomade that has the same undertone as your hair color. It doesn’t have to be the same level of darkness – in fact, choosing a shade lighter than your hair can end up looking softer and more natural.
Fashion Tips for Dark Brown Hair
Fashion is another sphere where dark brown hair color gives you a ton of choices!
- As always, remember that your outfit should have a coherent color story that will work with both your hair and skin tone.
- Having a contrast between your hair and your outfit is always going to be flattering, and since dark brown hair is so dark, a ton of colors will create a contrast. You can rock bright, vivid shades or pastels and never feel washed out.
- If you want to feel like a bombshell, then a true red is the way to go, of course. If your brown hair leans towards cool, then choose a blue-based red, while if it’s warmer, then opt for a warm orange-red.
- If you do want to wear darker shades, make sure they are saturated enough to still suit your hair. This means that while deep grays can look drab, a rich jewel blue or purple will look amazing.
- Black is the exception, of course, because it looks good with everything.
- If you have a bit of a hippie streak, you can make earth tones work as long as you are careful to keep the color story dynamic. For example, if you want to wear brown, make sure to weave into your look some beiges, burnt oranges, and olives as well.
Photos via @ryabchik.moscow, Instagram