Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.
If you want to go brown, you need to do it in 2 stages. First, you need to bring them down to a dark blonde or light brown (about a 700 or "7" in the colour charts if numbers mean anything to you) but with a bit of warm gold tones to it. This is because if you put a brown colour on top of highlights you can go a bit green - even if its not a particularly ashy shade.
So you could use This which would go fairly gold on your hair - a bit orangey, probably, depending how light you are.
If you then want to go brown, you can choose your shade of brown, including the ash shades if you so wish.
If you are simply wanting to cover highlights and go back to a natural blonde, I would choose a shade that you think matches your pre-highlighted colour and do a strand test (snip off a small section of hair, put a label or sticky tape round it, paint the dye on, fold up in some foil and rinse after the development time) and see if it is a good match. If in doubt, choose a shade lighter than you think you need.
medium brown is my natural colour. i hate the roots on show really. was never going to go the whole hog! don't want to do roots as i will never get rid of the blonde! Sounds very complicated for a colouring novice!
Shit - I've just realised my links don't take you to the exact product just the chart. That fucks my other response to the other thread tonight about hair dying!
<<Back to sort that out in a minute>>
I would use 106B Natural Dark Champagne Blonde to cover over your highlights. This will go quite gold (or slightly orange) but don't worry. It might also lighten your natural medium brown that remains (the unhighlighted bit) up to quite a scary rust colour too. Don't worry about that. You need that as a "base" to your next colour.
If your hair is very neutral in tone naturally (not much gold or red or warmth to it) I would use 114 Natural Light Ash Brown. This should come out similar to your medium brown roots as it will kill off the orange and just appear a medium brown. Don't be tempted to use something labelled medium brown - it is likely to come out more like a dark brown (though may fade well). Its easy to layer on more colour, but hard to take it away.
If you are naturally quite warm in your medium brown shade naturally, you could use the 116 Natural Light Brown or even 116A Natural Light Golden Brown, depending how "warm" the base colour comes out once you've done the Dark Champagne Blonde.
Ideally, you would do a strand test on your covered-over-highlights hair after using the Champagne blonde, and you would test the ash brown and the natural light brown and decide which shade matches your roots best.
I'm going to put a couple of photos up on my profile page (for a short time only!) that illustrates how well the 116 Light Ash Blonde kills off warm tones - I used it after stripping a lot of reds out my hair, but a lot of "pink" remained. That is photo 1. Then photo 2 is after dying it with 116 Light Ash Brown - you will see how it has come out a really normal looking medium brown!
I have blonde hi lites put in and a brown base at the hairdressers, then when the brown base starts to fade or grey comes through at the roots i just put medium brown semi on, it fades and looks very natural.