Achieving a beautiful light brown hair color can seem challenging. With so many options like highlights, balayage, all-over color, toners, and glazes, it’s hard to know where to start. But have no fear – this guide will walk you through how to get gorgeous light brown locks tailored to your unique hair type and complexion. We’ll go over the key factors for choosing the right shade and technique, from starting level and tone to maintenance. You’ll learn expert tips to get salon-quality results whether you DIY or visit the stylist. Let’s dive in and find your perfect light brown hair!
What Level to Start With
When going lighter, you’ll need to pre-lighten your hair first to create a blank canvas. This means removing your natural underlying pigment. The level system measures the darkness or lightness of hair color, with 10 being the lightest blonde and 1 being black.
|9||Very light blonde|
To achieve a beautiful light brown shade, you’ll want to pre-lighten to a level 7 or 8. This pale yellow base provides the perfect canvas for the brown tone. Going too light risks brassiness, while too dark will mute the vibrancy of the brown.
If your hair is darker than a level 7, use a high-volume lightener to lift up the levels. Apply it only to new growth if touching up roots. Process until the hair reaches the inside of a banana peel in level. Rinse, tone, and then apply your light brown color.
Choosing the Right Light Brown Tone
Once you’ve pre-lightened to the proper underlying pigment, it’s time to tone and gloss to your desired shade of light brown. Hair color is made up of undertones that create dimension and richness. Light brown hues can take on undertones spanning from:
– Ash – Adds a cool, silvery tone to counteract brassiness. The most common tone used for light brown.
– Beige – A warm, golden shade that adds vibrancy.
– Neutral – A balanced, versatile tone between warm and cool.
– Gold – A bright, golden undertone perfect for bronde looks.
– Red – A vibrant auburn or coppery tone.
The shade that flatters you best depends on your complexion. Cooler skin with pink or blue undertones looks beautiful in ash or neutral light browns. Those with warm yellow, peach, or olive complexions glow with beige, gold, or red-toned light browns.
To help determine your most flattering tone, look at your veins. Bluish veins indicate a cool complexion, while greenish veins mean warm. You can also drape hair swatches with different tones near your face and see which complements your skin.
Ask your colorist for their expert recommendation on finding your ideal light brown shade. They should formulate the color specifically for your hair and complexion needs.
To get natural-looking light brown hair, blending is key. Here are some application techniques to consider:
– All-over color – Provides an even base shade all over.
– Highlights or babylights – Face-framing highlights brighten complexion. Babylights (subtle, fine highlights) create dimension.
– Balayage – Hand-painted highlights look beachy and sun-kissed. Great for low maintenance.
– Ombré – Darker roots that gradually fade into light brown ends.
– Sombre – Like ombré, but with a soft, blended look.
– Root shadow – Leaving roots slightly darker adds depth at the regrowth.
Work with your stylist to determine the right technique for you. Factors like how much gray coverage you need, your desired maintenance level, face shape and hair texture help decide which application method is best.
Show off pictures of light brown hair you admire on celebrity hair inspiration boards like Pinterest. This helps communicate the highlights, dimension, and tone you’re looking for.
DIY vs Salon Light Brown
Should you DIY or visit the salon? Here are some pros and cons of each option:
– More affordable. Box dyes range from $8-$35.
– Convenient at home.
– Can be challenging to self-apply all-over color evenly.
– Tricky to touch up roots seamlessly.
– Limited on highlighting/lowlighting options.
– Damage risk if lightening improperly.
– Professional application for even, seamless color.
– Exacting control over every shade and technique.
– Expert color correction ability.
– Fully customized for your hair’s needs.
– More expensive than box dye. Can range from $65-$300 per session.
– Must schedule appointments.
If you have virgin or minimally colored hair, DIY light brown dye may work well. But for anyone with previously treated hair, a salon is best to avoid complications like overlapping previous color or uneven results. Stylists also expertly weave highlights and lowlights to perfectly frame your face.
Light brown hair requires regular toning and glossing to keep the color true. Cool ash tones are prone to warming up over time, while warm gold tones can fade.
To maintain salon light brown hair at home:
– Use blue or purple shampoo 1-2x a week. This neutralizes brassiness and keeps ash tones icy.
– Opt for color-safe, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Limit washing to 2-3 times per week.
– Rinse with cool water instead of hot to preserve color.
– Use leave-in conditioning treatments and hair masks to keep locks hydrated and shiny.
– Get a toner or gloss every 4-6 weeks. Redken Shades EQ is a great professional option.
– Only use heat tools like blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners on low settings. Always use a heat protectant.
– Layer with leave-in sunscreen before going outside. UV rays degrade hair color.
– Get a trim every 8-12 weeks to remove faded ends and maintain condition.
Following a diligent maintenance routine keeps your light brown hair looking salon-fresh longer between appointments. Be sure to book touch ups around the 6-8 week mark to cover regrowth before it becomes too visible. Going too long between appointments makes it harder for the new growth to blend seamlessly.
Achieving beautiful, natural-looking light brown hair involves considering your starting level, ideal undertones, and application technique. Tailor the color to your complexion for the most flattering look. Maintain your locks by toning on schedule, limiting washing and heat styling, and using color-safe products. With the right approach, you can get gorgeous, dimensional light brown hair with ease. The information in this guide equips you to have the knowledge for salon-quality results. Show it off and shine bright!