Dark Blonde vs Light Brown: Which One for Hair Color Change?

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The “dark blonde vs light brown” debate often comes up when it’s time to try a hair color change. And that’s when you intend to do it yourself.

So, you can’t decide whether it’s a light brown or dark blonde. This can prove to be a challenge since if you don’t know the natural color, how can you change to another?

But the truth is that you shouldn’t worry too much about the color. Whether it’s light brown or dark blonde shouldn’t be your concern.

What you should be more concerned about is the LEVEL of the color according to the International hair color level system.

However, there are some inherent advantages to each one so let’s go over that…

Dark Blonde vs Light Brown Hair Color: A Strand-by-Strand Analysis

Dark Blonde:

The border between blonde and brown is where the dark blonde hue situates itself. This color often possesses hints of golden or ashy undertones.

In the vast spectrum of hair colors, dark blonde is lighter than brown yet deeper than the typical sunny blondes. It’s a hue that can, at times, be mistaken for brown in specific lighting conditions.

Light Brown:

On the flip side, light brown hair is the softest shade of brown before transitioning to the blonde spectrum.

It often displays warmer undertones, such as caramel or toffee, but can also lean towards cooler shades like mocha.

While it’s unmistakably brown, light brown hair color carries a luminosity that its deeper brown counterparts might lack.


Dark blonde hair offers a certain adaptability. For those seeking to go lighter or transition to a full-blown blonde, starting with a dark blonde base can be strategic.

Its mid-level shade provides an easier foundation for highlights, balayage, or ombre styles.

Furthermore, for individuals with naturally lighter hair, maintaining dark blonde might require fewer touch-ups and chemical treatments, ensuring less potential damage over time.

Light brown, meanwhile, is a classic and versatile hue.

For those with medium to dark complexions or with olive undertones, this shade can complement the skin beautifully without appearing too stark or contrasting.

Its understated elegance also serves as an excellent base for various hair treatments, from sun-kissed highlights to more dramatic color contrasts.

Maintenance and Longevity

Hair colors that lean towards the blonde spectrum might often face issues related to brassiness, especially if the water quality is hard or if exposed frequently to the sun.

Specific shampoos, like purple shampoos, become crucial for dark blondes to keep the color from turning too yellow or orange.

Furthermore, depending on the natural base color, the re-growth can be evident, necessitating regular touch-ups.

Light brown hair, by nature of its depth, might resist brassiness slightly better than its blonde counterparts.

Its fade, when it occurs, is less noticeable than that of more vibrant colors.

Light brown also tends to blend more seamlessly with natural root regrowth, particularly for those who naturally have medium-toned hair.

This results in a somewhat more extended grace period between salon visits.

Is My Hair Blonde or Brown? Deciding

How people describe hair color doesn’t really matter. Instead, what matters is the International Hair Color Level System.

You should consider learning the haircolor chart and closely examining your hair with it.

This should reveal to you what area your hair color falls and that should be used for coloring your hair. A level 7, for example, in the above chart has a yellow/orange underlying pigment.

So, if you determine that your hair color is level 7, you’ll be able to decide which haircolor you might want to dye your hair.

If someone were to have dark blonde hair at a level of 7 but wanted to change it, warm highlights like honey, caramel, or toffee would be the most suitable.


Another thing to consider is your natural hair color. Some hair colors are classy, elegant, and sweet to look at but very difficult to replicate.

So, if you have one of those, it might be better to keep it. You can just style it or play it up with a few highlights one/two levels up.

It’s important not to do anything dramatic to such nice coloring hair if all you’re looking for is a great look, which you already have.

Image source: Quora, Facebook…

Conclusion: Dark Blonde or Light Brown?

The choice between dark blonde and light brown often hinges on individual preferences, skin undertones, and maintenance willingness.

Both shades hold their unique charm and versatility.

Your decision should align with your lifestyle, desired aesthetic, and haircare routine. Whatever the choice, both these shades offer a realm of possibilities in the world of hair color.

To provide a group discussion, the comment section is open to anyone who wants to contribute. This should bring up different ideas and the best way to go about it.

Comment below:

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