Going From Blonde To Brunette Is Not As Easy As It Seems

I've gone back and forth more times than anyone you know. Here's what I've learned.
Publish date:
June 6, 2014
hair, keratin, hair dye, paul mitchell, blonde, brunette, color

The beauty blogosphere is filled with posts about lightening your hair: how to do it, what the experience is like, what to consider before you do it.

Posts about going brunette? Not so much. I guess people just assume you can dump a vat of dark hair dye on your head and call it a day. But the truth is, going darker can get pretty involved.

I have gone from blonde to brunette to blonde to brunette to blonde to bru... you get the picture. While I prefer blonde, sometimes I need to take a break or "reset" my hair to a more natural color while the damaged hair grows out. Because the condition of my hair has been less than awesome lately, I decided to give brunette another go.

Given that I am the opposite of a good hairdresser, I entrusted my awesome and patient hairstylist, Lindsay, to brunette-ify me. We spent several weeks sending pictures back and forth until I decided on a look that I liked.

What I had to consider, and what you will need to consider, is that skin tone has everything to do with finding your perfect shade. Your skin and natural hair color have the same underlying pigments, so it is advisable to stay within two shades of your natural color. Obviously, this “rule” is pretty lame, but it's something to consider if you want the most natural result, I guess. I personally think any color can be your color if you rock it right.

My tips? 1. Don't go too dark too quick. 2. Don't choose anything too ashy. 3. Pick a color that has some warmth. You can also do a pre-pigmentation process. Since I chose a color very close to both my natural one and to the dark blonde that was in my hair, I didn’t have to worry about the latter. Lindsay helped me choose a medium brown color so that in the future I can either go darker or add more blonde. I'll probably be adding more blonde.

I wanted my hair color to have dimension, so we added a few highlights in foils, concentrating more on the bottom layers. This method allows for the highlights to be visible when my hair is tied up--which is 99 percent of the time.

While the foils were in, Linday applied Paul Mitchell 5NN Light Neutral Neutral Brown mixed with 5NA Light Natural Ash Brown and 20 volume from roots to ends.

What’s cool about Paul Mitchell colors is that they're cruelty-free, the color is very gentle, and their dyes are low in ammonia and have a natural beeswax base. It’s not often that you leave your colorist's chair with softer hair than you came in with.

After my rinse and tone, Lindsay used the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin treatment on me, which made my hair feel brand new again. One quick blow-dry later and I was good to go.

This is probably the happiest I have ever been as a brunette, thanks to Lindsay. And it must be said: I'm having just as much fun as a brunette as I did as a blonde. So we can put that rumor to bed.

Any of you gone from blonde to brunette? Mishaps? Tell me how it went!

Also, what do you think about me going white-blonde in a few months?