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How to Go From Black to Brown Hair at Home

Get the lighter strands you dream of — no salon required.
December 07, 2023

If you have naturally dark hair, you may have lusted after lighter brown or even blonde strands at some point, because we always want what we don’t have. Fortunately, there are a few options you can take advantage of when it comes to lightening your dark strands, but it’s important to stay patient because it’s not an easy or quick task to lighten dark hair. 

While you may not get to platinum blonde in a single sitting, it’s possible to lighten dark hair, or even go from black to brown hair at home. Keep reading to learn how to lighten dark brown hair with the help of a few drugstore hair coloring products, so you can have the hair color of your dreams.

How to Go from Black to Brown Hair 

Changing up your hair color can be an exciting process and there are several methods you can use to do so — ranging from hair bleach, dye, hair gloss and more. If you prefer to stay away from bleach and hair dye, opt for natural hair lightening methods instead. For example, henna is a plant-based hair dye that can color your hair without using traditional dyes or bleaches because the pigment attached to the hair shaft.

No matter what method you choose though, you want to get it right the first time to avoid hair damage and just an overall bad look. Check out our tips below to help you determine the best way to lighten your brunette strands. 

1. Choose the Right Shade

When going from black to brown hair, you’ll want to take your skin’s undertones into consideration. Choosing a hair color that complements your skin tone is much better than picking out a random hue you find appealing. Typically, if you have cool-toned skin, cooler hair colors will complement your features, whereas warmer skin tones will look great with  warmer shades. 

How do you know if you have cool or warm undertones? Flip your wrist over and examine your veins — if they’re blue, you’re cool-toned, if they’re green, you’re warm-toned, if they’re somewhere in the middle, you’re neutral, which means you can sport a warm or cool-toned shade.  

Editor’s tip: There are many gorgeous hues to choose from, making it tough to decide on one color. Luckily, the L’Oréal Paris Hair Color Concierge is here to help you with all your hair color needs. Use it to consult with an expert colorist, check out video tutorials, learn hair coloring tips and more.  

2. Color Your Hair Gradually

To go from brown to blonde hair and to lighten brunette strands in general, you will need to have your base color lifted with bleach. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests choosing a dye within three shades of your natural color to maintain the health of your hair. 

Lightening your hair more than three shades requires higher volumes of peroxide, which can cause more hair damage. This also means you might not be able to dye it as light as you’d like in one application. You should wait at least 14 days between bleaching sessions. If you’re getting your hair lightened at the salon, you should also take your time before booking a follow-up appointment in order to give your hair a chance to recuperate between sessions.

Editor’s tip: To bleach your hair at home, try L’Oréal Paris Feria Hyper Platinum Advanced Lightening System Bleach, which can lighten hair several levels at home, making it ideal for anyone starting with a darker base color. This kit even includes an anti-brass conditioner, formulated with purple pigments to neutralize brass while conditioning and strengthening the hair. 

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How to Maintain Bleached Dark Brown Hair

Once you’ve gone lighter, you should consider switching up your hair care routine to one that’s catered to color-treated and bleached hair. The following three tips are worth adding to your beauty arsenal. 

1. Use Products Safe for Color-Treated Hair

Bleach is very damaging on the hair so it’s best to use reparative and nourishing hair care products to preserve the integrity of your strands. Reach for L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Strengthening Pre-Shampoo Treatment, L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Conditioner. This trio is a three part bonding treatment that works to strengthen weak, color-treated hair from the inside out. Start with the pre-shampoo treatment, leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse before washing with the shampoo and conditioner as usual. 

2. Cut Down on Heat Styling

As much as you may love the hairstyles that hot tools can create, repeated exposure to heat can seriously damage your strands. Instead of skipping out on gorgeous looks, try creating no-heat hairstyles, like heatless beach waves. 

If you must use heat, prime your strands with a heat protectant, like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Leave In, which protects hair from up to 450 degrees of heat.

3. Use a Hair Gloss

Enhance your new hair color by adding L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss to your hair care routine. This at-home treatment works to brighten and tone your hair color while also deeply conditioning your strands. It’s formulated with a coconut oil-infused deep-conditioning base and can be used on all hair types and textures.  

While hair toning gloss is typically thought of as an in-salon treatment, this product can be used in just 15 minutes at home. There’s no mixing involved — you can just add it to your wash day routine for enhanced color and extra shine. 

Next: 17 Gorgeous Hair Color Ideas to Complement Pale Skin

Photo Credit: iStock

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