Brunette to Blonde: 4 Tips for Dyeing Your Hair Lighter

I've been getting a ton of questions about taking my hair from brunette to blonde. If you have virgin brunette hair and you're thinking about going lighter but don't know where to start, here are 4 tips I used before going lighter. Hopefully it helps you too! 

1. Find Inspiration

I'm always pinning inspiration to my Hairspiration board on Pinterest. When I knew I was ready to commit to dyeing my hair, I started pinning photos of girls with tan skin tones (like me!) with warm brown or blonde balayage. I ended up choosing Desi Perkins as my main hair inspiration because we have the same skin tone and I really love what her stylist did with her hair.

Here are some of the photos I showed my stylist when I went in for my color consultation: 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 (via Desi Perkins Snapchat) / 8

I would suggest showing your stylist more than one photo so he/she can really hone in on your idea and make it come to life for you. 

2. Find the Right Hair Stylist

If you don't already have a hair stylist that you regularly go to, now would be a good time to research. About a year ago I started checking Yelp for salons near me. HMB Salon in Kaimuki popped up and I researched their stylists on Instagram. Two questions I considered while researching were:

  1. What are there strengths? (Based off of the work they posted the most on social media)
  2. What are others saying about them? 

I ended up choosing Maxine, the stylist I have now, because she actively posts her work to Instagram and she was a familiar face (I used to see her when I would get my hair cut at the Paul Mitchell School). Overall, I was confident in the work she put out and others were saying great things about her. 

3. Book a Color Consultation

Aside from finding inspiration and the right hair stylist, booking a color consultation is the most important thing you can do. There have been too many times where i've decided to color my hair on the fly, went to a quick salon and came out unhappy (learn from my mistakes people!

In your consultation you should show your stylist your inspiration photos, tell him/her your concerns, and ask questions. In return, a good stylist should be able to tell you his/her concerns about what you want, make suggestions based off of your hair type, color, etc., and show passion and excitement. 

One of my main concerns was the way the blonde would appear against my virgin brunette hair. I had a bad highlighting experience where the colorist just placed the highlight against my black hair and when it lifted it looked more stark than blended. Maxine understood my concern and suggested we bump my base up a tiny bit. This small suggestion made a huge difference in how my color turned out and i'm so happy with it! 

4. Book Your Appointment

If all goes well in your consultation and you're just as excited as your stylist, go ahead and book your appointment. When booking your appointment you'll want to make sure that you either book on a weekend or on a day that you can take off from work, or after work. My color took about five hours so you'll want to make sure that you have a pretty free schedule. 

I've been getting a ton of questions about taking my hair from brunette to blonde. If you have virgin brunette hair and you're thinking about going lighter, here are 4 tips I used before going on my hair journey. Photos by @maxine_hmb. Click to read more! 

I hope my 4 tips for taking your hair from brunette to blonde will help you in your hair journey. If you have any more questions, please feel free to send them my way via Twitter (@jessmahina) or email ( My next appointment is at the end of August so i'll keep you updated with more hair updates 😘