How To Fix Hair Color That Is Too Red?

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If you are someone with brown or black hair, you are likely to confront the issue of ‘too much red in the hair”. 

How to fix hair color that is too red? The easiest and probably the healthiest way of doing it is having the patience of sticking to a special ‘color-stripping’ routine for a few weeks.

Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo for two weeks, and start applying a blue or purple toning shampoo in the third week. Read this article to find out why hair turns red after dying and follow the step by step guide to fix the problem. 

Why You Hair Color Comes Out Too Red?

If you are someone that dyes their hair at home, you know that getting to the point where you end up with the color you wanted is always a result of trial and error. 

Hair coming out too red is a common problem, especially for the people that have brown or black hair. 

There are two reasons why your hair color has redder than you would want it to. 

The first reason is that you have probably chosen a lighter color than needed. Or, you have simply picked a hair dye that is too warm. There is a logical explanation behind hair color coming out too red. 

There are orange and red pigments along with dark pigments in brown or black hair. When hair dye is applied to the hair of these shades, the dark pigments get destroyed by the dye easily while the red ones remain as they are much more stubborn.

When you dye your hair with a permanent hair dye, the artificial pigments get rid of the dark pigments in the hair. As they cannot get rid of the red and orange ones, artificial pigments create a layer of them. The result is a hair color with red or orange undertones of different intensity. 

This is exactly the reason why some hair colorists bleach darker hair in two phases in order to dye the hair lighter than the natural color. You may have seen that dark hair turns into an orange brassy color once the bleach is applied to them. 

3 Methods to Fix Hair That Is Too Red

Here are 3 methods you can use to fix red hair, from simply waiting until the color fades out to getting rid of it with a hair dye remover. 

Method 1: Give It Time 

The easiest way to fix hair that is too red is to give it time. If you don’t have an important event coming up and can tolerate the red tones for a little while, the easiest and safest method is to let your hair be. 

All you need to do is giving it daily washes with shampoos that are not meant for colored hair.

Washing your hair with hot water will also contribute to getting rid of the red tones in the hair. However, make sure that the water is not so hot as to damage your scalp. 

After some time, you can color your hair again. But take into consideration that this time you may need to choose a color that is neutral in shade. This way you will balance out the redness that may be left in your hair. 

Method 2: Tone the Red Down with Brown 

If you did want your hair to be red but it came out too red for your liking, there is an easy way to bring the redness down. Apply a brown hair color that is at the same level as the red shade on your hair. 

Don’t keep the dye on your hair for too long. After 10 minutes, check to see the results. If your hair is not toned down to your desired degree, keep for another 5 minutes. Rinse with water. If doing this doesn’t work for your hair, try using a hair color remover. 

Method 3: Use a Hair Dye Remover

An easy way to get rid of too much red in the hair is by using a hair dye remover(link to amazon). This product will remove the artificial red pigments as much as possible leaving you with a better canvas to work on. 

If you have colored your hair red too many times, there may be a significant build-up of these pigments on your hair.

The effect the hair dye remover will have on your hair depends on how many times you have applied a permanent red hair dye. But even the smallest progress toward toning down the red will make it easier to dye your hair another color. 

Also Read: How to Neutralize Red Tones in Hair at Home?

A Step by Step Guide 

If your hair has too much red in it and you don’t like it that way, here is a step by step guide on how you can easily fix it at home. 

Step 1: Clarifying Shampoo

The first step to getting rid of the redness in the hair is stripping it. Use a clarifying shampoo(link to amazon) that has sulfate in it.

If you pick a shampoo that contains no sulfates, it will not work for removing the red from the hair. 

Rub the clarifying shampoo in your hair while it is still dry. This way the shampoo will work more effectively. Make sure to distribute the shampoo evenly so that the final result is not patchy. 

Applying clarifying shampoo to your red hair every other day for two weeks will reduce the redness. 

Step 2: Toning Shampoo

If you are familiar with color theory, you know that colors that are opposite on the color wheel neutralize each other. 

If we take this as a base, to neutralize red and orange tones in the hair blue is needed. Thus, using a blue or purple toning shampoo is the second step. 

Use a toning shampoo(link to amazon) starting from the third week of removing the red from your hair.  

Step 3: Hydrating Hair Mask 

Clarifying and toning shampoos may be drying on the hair, especially when applying them so many times for 2-3 weeks in a row. Thus, it is important to keep your hair hydrated to avoid too much damage to the hair. 

Check this Hydrating Hair Mask on Amazon.

Adding nourishing oils, such as coconut or argan oil on the ends of your hair is also a good way of nourishing them.

Doing this 3-step routine for a few weeks will help you get rid of the intense red tones in your hair. Using hydrating masks and deep conditioners will maintain the health of your hair.

Using clarifying shampoos to strip the color off gradually is healthier for your hair than bleaching. Thus, if you have the patience to be a ‘redhead’ for a few weeks, I highly recommend this routine.

Also Read: 10 Best Haircare Products for Colored Hair

How to Tone Red Hair to Brown?

If you are naturally a redhead or you have colored red hair, toning the color to make it brown requires some knowledge on how shades work with each other. 

To tone your hair brown, you should use a brown hair dye that is darker than the red in your hair. The brown shade should be darker for at least one level to achieve the desired result. 

For example, if your current hair color is cherry red, to make it brown you will need to use not a brown that has medium darkness. But a shade of brunette that is much darker. In the given case, dyeing dark brown on top of the cherry red color will produce the desired effect. 

The red tones will still peek through, making your hair color richer with many hues. 

If you want to eliminate the red from your hair completely, you will need to repeat the dyeing procedures to turn into a brunette with no red undertones. Give your hair time before dyeing it again as the hair coloring process may be drying and damaging to the hair. 

Magda Du Plessis

I am a writer for more than 6 years. A mother of three, and full time writer. I love writing and making sure that everyone has all the beauty tips to be as beautiful as can be.

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