Can i Dye my Hair Brown then Add Highlights?

When it comes to dying or treating your hair, you get maximum liberty and endless choices. Here our focus of discussion will be to answer the question, can I dye my hair brown then add highlights! And yes, you can definitely do that! You can either complete these steps one by one or precede them at the same time; the choice is up to you.

The answer is definitely YES, you can dye your hair brown then add highlights. However, it is important to keep in mind that the two processes require different levels of commitment and can be difficult to reverse if you’re not happy with the results. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional hairstylist before making any decisions. 

All in all, such a combination of fusing your strands with brown color and then bringing a hint of highlight shade on it, they will look lovely and impressive. Moreover, this combination brings more depth, shine, gloss, and little light to your locks. If you have a brown base color, it is suggested to choose the highlights shade that is three times lighter.

Alongside, it is advised to wait for at least 15 days if you wish to do both dying and adding highlight shade. Both processes can be only be done at the same time if you seek help from a professional. Those girls who have dyed their locks with the brown shade can add highlight shades like dark blonde, honey color or you can even go with the reddish hue.

Your strands should look in perfect balance and harmony and that is only possible if you have carefully selected the based color and highlights color. You can also learn how to Correct Highlights That Look Gray. The rest of the details and important information are written-below:

What Color Highlights Suit Brown Hair?

To all girls who have brown shaded locks; lots of options are available for them when it comes to adding a highlight hue in them. You have to be very careful when choosing the shade for your highlight. Picking the wrong shade will ruin your whole look.

If the base color is brownish and dyed up to level 3, you can pick a light brown 6 hue for your highlights. For those who have dyed their locks up to level 4, their highlight shade can reach up to the level of dark blonde 7. For the base color having level 5 brown, blonde 8 highlight range is preferable. This same ruling is supported by celebs like Taylor Swift. There has to be a difference in the number of levels between the base shade and highlight color.

Thus, if you will follow these rules, your look will stand out and your locks will look impressive for sure. Remember that if your dye is of level 3 and your highlights are of blonde 10 ranges, you will eventually get the zebra look and no less than that! Seven levels of differences are the worst combination and you should not ever make this blunder at all. Just follow the golden 3-level rule, and we are definitely sure that you will not have any issues while dying and highlighting.

Process of Highlighting your Dark Brown Hair

Process of Highlighting your Dark Brown Hair

To highlight your brown strands, there are two techniques that you can choose among and these are recommended by top-notch experts from countries like Canada. You can either go for the cap highlight or foil highlight method and both of these techniques offer similar results if you apply them correctly!

Most importantly, the primary difference existing between the two techniques is that cap highlights look comparatively balanced and neater. The distance between one highlight to another seems to remain in harmony. The foil technique does not look much balanced and neater and after some days it gives the messiest feel.

However, cap highlights processing is a bit more painful. You tend to feel a bit more pain when your locks are going to pass through the cap and you might feel a pulling effect as well. The foil technique is not at all painful; no pulling effect is experienced by the user.

Lastly, the cap highlighting technique is faster to process as compared to the going foil highlighting technique. In the former method, you bleach all your strands and that too at the same time. But in the latter method, you have to bleach and add highlight shade one by one. If you want to know how to get caramel highlights on dark brown hair, the decision is solely up to you whether to go for the cap or foil highlighting technique.

How Long to Wait to Highlight Hair after Coloring It?

We have already told you to wait for 15 days once you have colored your strands and want to highlight them as well. Like, if you have dyed them on 05-01-2022, add highlights after taking a gap of 15 days and no less than that. That is a recommended gap bracket that all of you should follow.

By doing so, both your dye and highlights will stand out. Taking a gap will bring the right amount of softness, shine, gloss, and a lot of hydration and moisturizing effect into your locks. Dying and highlighting at the same time will just damage your hair and desired results will also not come out.

The process of adding highlighting only takes 90 minutes. Once the whole treatment is done, your locks will look more luminous. You should give a touch-up to your highlights after every 5 to 6 weeks.

Can you Use a Regular Hair Dye for Highlights?

Can you Use a Regular Hair Dye for Highlights?

It is highly not advisable to use a regular dye for highlights. Always prefer a high-end brand and choose the dye that is only meant to give professional results in one go. It is better if you perform this step at a top-notch salon because they better know how to dye your locks and add impressive highlights hue in them.

In addition, skip doing this process on DIY terms because you will get zero results. Highlighting any kind of hair needs a lot of skill and expertise and only experts can perform this treatment. Moreover, if you use a cheap and low-quality dye, your whole look will turn out to be yellowish and also spotty looking. Regular dyes simply waste your time and money. They do nothing else! If you are serious to make your strands flattering looking, invest in a premium-quality dye kit.

Can you Dye your Hair and Add Highlights at the Same Time?

Yes, you can do that but we are not 100% sure if you get the best results or not. The recommended approach is if you feel like doing the base color and adding highlights at the same time, go with the foiling method for adding highlights and prefer opting for the color application method.

On using the foils, you will be able to isolate the locks and be able to bring the desired highlighting effect. Make sure to apply the highlights color with the help of a brush. In addition, you should use a separate brush applicator when putting on the base color.

You can have the lifting action color to get the desired and up-to-the-mark highlighting effect. In this regard, it is important for you to choose the color for your highlight that is a few shades lighter. Same way, you have to be wise when picking a base shade. It has to be darker.

As soon as you are done with your highlights and base color application, you will see that the highlight hues are going to become significantly lighter and the overall effect will become jaw-opening. It is only with the help of foils that you can dye and highlight your hair at the same time. This method allows multiple color application processing together and collectively. We hope that now you have got the answer regarding can you do all over color and highlights in the same way? Yes, you can do that through foils!

Ideas for Dark Brown Hair that Comes with Highlights

Ideas for Dark Brown Hair that Comes with Highlights

If you have brown strands and you want to add highlight shade, massive ideas are there that you can follow. Like, you can surround your brown strands with ash tones, warm tones, or with any other color spectrum that you wish to opt for. It is high time to play creatively with your strands.

Life is too short to keep the same style for years and years. So, what to do now? Open up your hairs and see which shade and highlight color will suit them. Take clues and advice from the below-written ideas as well:

Brown Hair and Ombre Highlights

How about surrounding your brown locks with ombre shade, yes you can do that! Such a shade will look lovelier and magical on girls having darker shade strands. In this style, your roots will become darker as compared to the end. The Ombre technique brings a gradual gradation effect on your hair.

Your roots become darker and the ends become lighter, how cool and stunning it will come out to be! If you have brunettes, you should indeed follow this styling technique. This idea will bring a ton of contrast and an impressive vibe to your locks completely from root to tip.

You can even customize the color of your highlight for further flattering and oomph the look of your base color. This respective technique is of super-low maintenance nature. In addition, it is easy to take care of.

Brown Hair and Somber Highlight Hue

The trend of going with somber shade is going higher day by day. To all girls who want to make their brown strands color fresh, they can make them look bolder now. This highlighting effect makes your locks more subtle. In addition, it gives a toned-down version to your hair.

A gradient effect comes on your strands and you get a softer look at the end of the day. If you are interested in getting these kinds of highlights, make sure that you choose a shade that is definitely and certainly a few shades lighter. In the somber shade, the choice is up to you whether to go with the lowlights or highlight hue. For bringing more dimension, depth and shadows, highlight them more

Blonde Highlights and Brown Hair Color

Blonde Highlights and Brown Hair Color

It is high time to bring a more bold and confident vibe into your strands and that seems achievable if you dare to go with a blonde highlight shade. It brings a lot of contrast and a daring vibe to your personality. Moreover, such highlights blend seamlessly into your locks. As you have brown hair, it means you have to pick the highlights shade that comes with the same undertone and matches well with your base color.

Like, if you have got cool-toned effect brown strands, have the blonde highlight shade that comes with cool and ashy undertones. Feel free to share with us if you have ever tried out such a combination. You need to experiment with your hair each time and we hope that on flaunting and embracing unique looks, you will look exceptionally good and a lot more confident

More Ways to Highlight your Brown Hair

Below you can see more ways that tell you how to bring more depth and dimension to your brownish shaded locks.

  • Let us talk about the trend of caramel highlights shade. They bring a warm-toned effect to your strands and look exceptionally great and wow. Most importantly, they look rich, glossy and so much hydrating enough. You can go with this gilded shaded and we are confident that it will not disappoint you. It looks way far flattering on girls who have warm undertone skin. Before embracing this idea, you can even seek advice from some professional colorist.
  • Bronde highlights shade is simply loved by girls who have brown-colored strands. Here you opt for the combination of blonde and the shade of brown. In the end, you get the messy blonde color but that is always loved and backed by girls.
  • In addition, you can customize this look at any time. Those girls who have a warm skin tone can amalgamate their bronde highlights hue with a soft and subtle golden undertone. Or you can pick up the honey or amber undertone. On the other hand, if you have a cool skin tone, oomph this bronde look with an icier hue.
  • One can go on adding a light brown highlighting effect to their strands. There is no need to go completely blonde and instead you can opt for a more natural practice. Those girls having dark brown hair, look double lovely and pretty if they surround their locks with a light brown highlight hue. This idea will add much depth and plenty of gloss and 100% dimension to your whole look. Hence, you get a natural and subtle look!
  • Next, we have a balayage idea that is love to be embraced by girls having brown-colored strands. This technique was introduced back in the time of 70s by a top-notch French colorist and till now, it is so much in demand. It is over the decades that girls love amalgamating and blending their brownish locks with a hint of balayage. This one is a freehand streaking technique. It brings a natural-looking effect. Here you get a darker base and opt for lighter highlights.
  • Lastly, we have a cool-toned balayage effect that you should indeed try out! This one is another version of balayage. It makes use of cool tones. No doubt, it has become the fitting and best choice among girls having brunettes.

Frequently Asked Question And Answers (FAQs)

Question 01: Can you highlight over permanent hair color?

It is better to first apply a base color and then highlight your strands. Directly highlighting your strands without applying a base shade, desired results will not come in your hands. Once you have dyed your hair, wait for 15 days and then add highlight shade onto them.

This is the minimum gap that you have to take. In addition, directly highlighting your locks will make their color fade away in less time and your fibers will get shrink as well. Thus, to get the perfect sun-kissed look, follow a proper process.

Question 02: Should I color my hair before highlights?

Experts have recommended putting on a base color before going with the highlighting technique. If you have applied a proper base color, then the highlight color will remain intact and long-lasting as well. So, our answer is yes! You should go with the base color application as the first step and then add highlights as a second step.

Question 03: How to put blonde highlights in dark brown hair without it turning orange?

If you do not want your blonde highlight shade to turn orange and yellowish, it is suggested to use a blue or purple shampoo. They will keep your base and highlight color intact for the longest time. You will be able to neutralize yellow and orange tones with the usage of blue shampoo. On the other hand, if your strands have been bleached blonde, then using a purple shampoo will definitely work for you.

Those who have lighter brown strands; have to use a good-quality blue-tinted kind of purple shampoo. Thus, this is how you can prevent the presence of brassy tones. With the help of such shampoos, you can naturally balance out yellow tones.


What else do you want to know about the question, can I dye my hair brown then add highlights! No doubt, brownish shaded strands look wow and magical enough. To put the cherry on the top, add a highlighting effect on them.

Some like to dye and highlight their hair together and some follow these techniques separately. However, it is generally advisable to take a gap of 15 days between your dying and highlighting process.  This way, you will get lush and best results and no messy dying vibe will come out.

You can embrace limitless ideas when dying or treating your hair. Like, we have ombre, balayage, a caramel highlight shade, blond and somber shade for your brownish shaded strands. Most importantly, when highlighting your strands, you have to pick up the color that is three levels higher. This is how you can maintain balance and chromatic harmony and end up getting the perfect highlight shade.

Giving you a general idea, girls love to accompany their brown strands with red highlights. Yes, dark brown strands look lovely and massively magical with such a combination. You can pick a cherry red shade or auburn or you can go on having the mahogany shade.

Just play with your hair and we are sure that you will not need professional help or advice from a colorist. No one knows your hair more than you do! Stay tuned as more details on the world of dying, bleaching, and adding highlights are coming up.

Allice Smith

Allice Smith is a hair care lover when she was a teenager. Her major was a beauty when she was in college. She is a makeup artist. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of haircare posts with very actionable tips.

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