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How to Get Blonde Highlights With Light Brown Hair

I enjoy giving tips on how to get the best look out of your hair.

Light brown hair with striped blonde highlights

Light brown hair with striped blonde highlights

Having light brown hair with blonde highlights is a way to look all-over blonde without actually being entirely blonde. As a result, your hair will have less drying than someone who color-processes their entire mane.

Let's take a look at some pictures of this sun-kissed look to give you color inspiration and show you what techniques will produce the look you desire. Some of these looks can be achieved at home as a DIY, and some are best achieved at a salon.

Striping Technique

As you can see from Carmen Electra's photo above, she chose the most popular blonde highlighting technique, which is called striping. This look can be seen all over beaches and colleges as late spring and summer approach.

It used to be that you would have to sit for many hours in a salon chair to pay for an expensive coloring process to get the look. Or you could have done this at home with a longer pull-through cap process.

A lot of times this cap process can result in uneven highlights, pain in the wrists, and wasted product.

But what I have found to be the easiest, most foolproof, and cheapest way to get highlights is with the Touch-On Highlights kit by L'Oréal, which you can use to achieve the striped highlight look at home. And you don't need someone to help you do it. It is not available in many stores yet.

This kit uses a control-touch rubber fingertip applicator that you slide up and down the hair pieces you want highlighted. You can place the highlights anywhere you want. You can maximize the blonding by concentrating the highlights in the strands right around your face, just like Carmen did.

If you are a teenager and your parents do not want you to dye your hair, you might succeed with asking for this kit because it is not only cheaper than traditional highlighting at a salon, but the chemical dyes mostly stay on the outer surface of your hair without touching your skin.

A lot of girls and women try blonde striping out when summer comes around, and keep it just for the season. Others try it once and then keep it for good. With this kit, you can have your way!

Chunky or bunched blonde highlights on light blonde hair

Chunky or bunched blonde highlights on light blonde hair

Bunched Highlights

Bunching highlights involves highlighting large pieces of hair either in trendy chunks or molding them to the style you most frequently wear your hair in.

For example, the model above has blonde highlights over the curve of her bangs and on the front angles of the large curls on the side of her head. This technique makes highlights look like they are a part of your natural coloring. Contoured highlights such as these are best achieved at a salon.

Blonde hair on top with light brown hair underneath

Blonde hair on top with light brown hair underneath

Top Highlights

Putting top highlights in your hair means focusing the color mostly on the top of the mane and letting your natural hair color peek through the bottom. This technique is often used by women who want to show off a more dramatic difference between their naturally light brown hair and their blonde highlights.

The quick way to get these highlights is to use a home conventional boxed dye that comes with its own applicator comb, such as L'Oréal Excellence Creme, and combing the color over the selected areas of hair you want to highlight. If you have light brown hair, you can try colors 8BB—Medium Beige Blonde, or 8G—Golden Blonde.

This model has pin-stripe thin highlights all over her hair

This model has pin-stripe thin highlights all over her hair

Subtle Ultra-Fine Highlights All-Over

The model above has highlights that are woven so well into her hair, you would be hard-pressed to tell her color wasn't natural. She has pin-stripe thin highlights that are much finer than the conventional striped highlights noted above. It is advised to go to a professional colorist to get this type of highlighting in the hair.

If you do not want to pay salon prices to have this kind of effect and you like the model's color above, the next best thing is to use a box dye over your entire head in a shade like L'Oréal Superior Preference in 9GR—Light Reddish Blonde.

If you feel that this color might be more coppery than you want to go, you can also look out for boxed dyes with color labels on them with the terms "gold" or "golden." Since you are going from light brown to a blonder look, you can safely do an all-over color without fearing making a big mistake.


  • Always perform strand tests before a full application. You should see if the product will give you your desired color and see if you are allergic to the product. Hair color allergies are especially important to test if you have never used dye on your hair before.
  • If you decide after a full application that you do not like your highlights, you can always dye your hair back to your own natural shade. It is relatively easy to go darker again.
  • Blonde highlights are best achieved at home on light brown to medium brown hair. Women with hair that is naturally darker than this are best advised to consult a professional colorist.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Stove And Home (author) on January 09, 2014:

Amie, I hope you get the look you are searching for! Glad it helped you.

Amie Butchko from Warwick, NY on January 09, 2014:

If you could have constructed an article just for me, this would be it! I have been trying to do this myself for years. I will certainly benefit from your tips! Thanks!