How To Fix Highlights That Are Too Light

With these easy tips and tricks from Jen Hair, you can fix highlights that are too light and bring back your amazing hair colour. Click to see the full article!

Have you ever walked out of the salon feeling a bit disappointed because your highlights seemed to vanish into thin air? Many of us have been there, worrying about how to fix highlights that are too light. While there are many possible causes, you can trust that we have the best solutions for you. If you’re facing the same problem, keep scrolling to discover some superb solutions straight from the experts at Jen Hair. Our goal is to work with you to identify the problems at their core and find the best solutions.

Seeking solutions for uncomfortable overly light highlights? (Source: Getty Images)
Seeking solutions for uncomfortable overly light highlights? (Source: Getty Images)

How to Fix Highlights That Are Too Light: Understanding the Causes

Before we embark on our restorative mission, let’s identify the enemies. Several factors can lead to overly light highlights:

  • Bleaching Technique and Quality: The process and quality of the bleaching agent wield significant influence. Improper application or using low-quality products may result in overly lightened strands.
  • Hair Porosity Impact: Hair porosity, the ability of hair to absorb moisture and color, affects how it reacts to bleaching. High porosity hair may lighten more rapidly, potentially leading to overly light highlights.
  • Starting Hair Color: The natural base color impacts the final result. Darker natural shades might require more bleaching sessions, increasing the risk of excessively light highlights.

Understanding these underlying factors aids in identifying the cause of overly lightened highlights, facilitating the selection of suitable corrective measures.

Identifying the reasons behind overly light highlights is crucial. (Source: Cosmopolitan)
Identifying the reasons behind overly light highlights is crucial. (Source: Cosmopolitan)

How To Fix Highlights That Are Too Light?

Using Hair Toning To Tone Down Over-Lightened Highlights

Toning emerges as a highly effective remedy for overly light highlights. This method involves choosing toners in shades opposite to the excessively lightened areas, effectively counteracting brassiness and restoring a more natural balance to the hair color.

Examples of Toners:

  • Purple Shampoos: These contain violet pigments that neutralize brassy yellow tones in blonde hair. Popular options include Wella Color Charm Toning Shampoo (budget-friendly), Fanola No Yellow Shampoo (strong violet pigments), and Olaplex No. 4P Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo (gentle toning and repair).
  • Blue Toners: Ideal for lightened brown hair, these toners neutralize orange or brassy tones. Consider Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo (neutralizes yellow and adds silver sheen), Redken Shades EQ Gloss in shades 6VV or 7VV (customized blue-violet toning), or Schwarzkopf BlondeMe Ice Blondes Toning (neutralizes orange and brassiness).
  • Ash-Toned Toners: Combat overly warm tones in blondes or light brown hair with these options. Try Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Lumière Shampoo (luxury option with subtle ash toning), John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Cooler Conditioner (gradual ash toning and nourishment), or L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Grey Shampoo (deep ash tones for light blonde).
  • Toning Glosses: Subtly refine overly light highlights with these glosses in shades like champagne, pearl, or cool blonde. Options include Redken Shades EQ Gloss in shades 9P or 10P (champagne and pearl blondes), Joico Lumishine Demi-Permanent Color in shade Beige Pearl (soft, cool blonde), or Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector followed by No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner (improves shine and refines tone).

Pros:

  • Addresses brassiness and excessive lightness.
  • Brings back a natural balance of color.
  • Minimizes damage compared to more drastic measures.

Cons:

  • Requires precision in selecting the right toner.
  • Outcomes can differ depending on different hair textures.

Toning is a technique suitable for both home and salon application. At home, individuals can use carefully selected toners to counteract unwanted tones, while professional colorists can offer a more nuanced approach in a salon setting.

Correct Too-Light Highlights With Color Reviving Gloss

Color reviving gloss stands out as a transformative solution for balancing hair highlights. This treatment not only adds depth and shine but also revitalizes vibrancy without making major alterations to the existing color. It delicately enhances the hair’s natural tones, leaving a refreshed appearance with a glossy finish.

Popular Gloss Examples:

Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss: This cult-favorite comes in 7 shades (plus a clear!) and wins Allure’s Best of Beauty awards for good reason. Whether you want to neutralize brassiness, add warm caramel tones, or enhance cool highlights, Madison Reed has you covered.

dpHUE Gloss+ Semipermanent Hair Color and Deep Conditioner: This 11-shade powerhouse offers 3-20 minutes of customizable color and conditioning in one. Deepen your blonde, add fiery red, or go for a cool smoky bronze – the possibilities are endless!

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Shampoo & Conditioner: This dynamic duo gradually lightens and tones your blonde highlights while adding nourishing moisture. It’s perfect for those who want to go a touch lighter without risking brassiness.

Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Lumière Shampoo: This luxurious shampoo gently tones and illuminates blonde hair, adding a hint of silver sheen. It’s ideal for high-maintenance blondes who crave that salon-fresh radiance.

Pros:

  • Adds depth and shine without drastic changes.
  • Suitable for maintaining a natural look.
  • Works well with various hair textures.

Cons:

  • Outcomes might differ depending on the initial color.
  • Regular application may be needed for prolonged effects.

Color reviving gloss is user-friendly and suitable for at-home application, making it an accessible choice for those looking to enhance their highlights without professional assistance.

How to fix highlights that are too light? Color reviving gloss stands out as a transformative solution.(Source: Madison Reed)
How to fix highlights that are too light? Color reviving gloss stands out as a transformative solution.(Source: Madison Reed)

Rectify Lightened Highlights: Trying Color Melting

Color melting emerges as a seamless corrective technique for highlights that are too light. This technique blends hues to reduce the contrast between overly lightened highlights and the remaining hair. The result is a natural, well-blended transition from light to darker tones.

Pros:

  • Creates a natural, well-blended appearance.
  • Reduces the sharp distinction between light and darkness.
  • Offers versatility in achieving various color transitions.

Cons:

  • Requires a skilled hand for precision.
  • Professional assistance may be beneficial for refined results.

Color melting is a technique best executed by a professional colorist due to its intricate nature. The expertise of a skilled professional ensures a refined outcome that complements the individual’s unique features.

Bonus Method: Using Hair Dye (Proceed with Caution!)

Professional hair dye presents an option for extreme cases of overly lightened highlights. However, caution is paramount in this approach. Seeking expert advice or opting for semi-permanent dyes can minimize risks and potential damage. Strict adherence to application instructions is crucial, prioritizing the health of the hair throughout the process.

  • Pros:
  • Offers a more dramatic color change.
  • Can address severe lightening issues effectively.

Cons:

  • Professional skill is necessary for the best outcomes.
  • Risk of damage if applied improperly.

The use of professional hair dye is strongly recommended under the guidance of an expert colorist. For those seeking less drastic changes, semi-permanent dyes provide a safer, at-home alternative, although caution and adherence to instructions remain essential.

Professional hair dye offers a solution for severe cases. (Source: Pexels)
Professional hair dye offers a solution for severe cases. (Source: Pexels)

What To Do If Highlights Are Too Light In Some Types Of Hair

Every head of hair is unique, and so are its highlights. Here’s how to adapt your rescue mission to specific situations:

Balayage

  • Tone Strategically: If your balayage highlights are too light, toning specific areas can help. Use toners slightly darker than the overly lightened sections to balance the color.
  • Selective Darkening: Target the overly light areas by applying a darker shade of color to achieve a more balanced and natural look.

Traditional Highlight

  • Toning for Harmony: Opt for toning treatments to neutralize excessive lightness in traditional highlights. Choose toners that align with your desired shade to balance the overall look.
  • Blending Technique: Apply a color slightly darker than the overly light highlights to blend and create a more cohesive appearance.

Baby Lights 

  • Precision Toning: Address overly light baby lights with precision toning. Use toners or glazes strategically to adjust the brightness without altering the overall delicacy of baby lights.
  • Subtle Darkening: Apply a slightly darker shade to the overly lightened sections for a subtle adjustment while preserving the delicate nature of baby lights.
How to fix highlights that are too light? If your balayage highlights are too light, toning specific areas can help (Source: ELLE)
How to fix highlights that are too light? If your balayage highlights are too light, toning specific areas can help (Source: ELLE)

How Can You Prevent and Care for Corrected Highlights?

Following the resolution of how to address overly light highlights, ensure proper care for your corrected highlights.

Prevention is Key:

Before your next highlighting adventure, befriend prevention! Here are some wise words:

  • Consult a colorist – Discuss your desired outcome and hair history to ensure a safe and satisfying highlighting experience.
  • Pamper your locks –  Choose shampoos and conditioners designed for colored hair to preserve your highlights’ vibrancy and keep your hair hydrated.
  • Go gradual – Opt for subtle lightening during your first session, especially with darker base colors.

Take care for hair after fixing too-bright highlights:

  • Use sulfate-free, color-safe shampoos to prevent stripping the color from your corrected highlights.
  • Ensure regular deep conditioning sessions to maintain your hair’s hydration levels
  • Protect your hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays by using hats or hair products with UV protection to avoid color fading.
  • Minimize heat styling to maintain the health and vibrancy of your highlights. 
  • Schedule regular touch-ups with a professional to maintain the color’s freshness and correct any lightening issues promptly.

By embracing these preventive measures and integrating suitable care routines, you can prolong the life of your corrected highlights, ensuring they stay vibrant and healthy for longer periods.

Prioritize preventive measures and post-treatment care for your newly fixed hair. (Source: Beauty Hub)
Prioritize preventive measures and post-treatment care for your newly fixed hair. (Source: Beauty Hub)

FAQs

What should I do to select the appropriate hair color for highlights?

You should these steps in alignment with your desired results to proceed accordingly:

  • Neutralizing brassiness: Use toners in opposite shades to counter unwanted tones like purple for brassy yellow or blue for orange.
  • Blending harsh lines: Opt for a gloss or slightly darker dye than your overly light highlights for a seamless transition.
  • Achieving a low-maintenance look: Explore balayage or ombre techniques for a gradual fade from light to dark.
  • Consulting a professional: For significant changes or complex situations, seek advice from a qualified colorist for personalized guidance.

Could the use of toner cause damage to my hair?

No, toner typically doesn’t cause significant damage if used correctly. Consider these factors:

  • High-porosity hair absorbs products rapidly, so use low-volume developers (10 or 20 volume) with toners to prevent over-processing.
  • Deeply condition your hair after toning to restore moisture and prevent dryness.
  • Avoid excessive toning as it can lead to pigment buildup and dullness. Use occasional touch-ups as required.

Can I use purple shampoo to fix too-light highlights?

Yes, purple shampoo is effective for fixing overly light highlights. Purple shampoo can neutralize unwanted yellow tones in blonde highlights, providing a cooler appearance, but it won’t significantly darken them. For noticeable darkening, explore toning or coloring options.

When applied appropriately to healthy hair, toner generally doesn't lead to substantial damage. (Source: Beauty Hub)
When applied appropriately to healthy hair, toner generally doesn’t lead to substantial damage. (Source: Beauty Hub)

Final Thoughts

Correcting overly light highlights might seem overwhelming, but it’s a journey that puts you in control of your hair’s color story.Each method, whether gently toning brassiness or flawlessly blending, aids in addressing the query “How to fix highlights that are too light”.

At Jen Hair, our skilled stylists thrive on personalized consultations and tailored solutions. We’re here to understand your vision and recommend the ideal approach, be it a strategic toner, a vibrant gloss, or a masterful color melt. Contact Jen Hair today for a personalized consultation and discover the expert solutions that’ll bring your hair dreams to life.