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Fixing a Hair Dye Disaster

Category Hair Tips
Sometimes when you get your hair dyed, it just doesn't come out the way you expected. When this happens, getting your hair back to a color you are happy with is a major priority. This is a guide about fixing a hair dye disaster.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
April 20, 2017

I bleached my hair and then dyed it golden brown, but my roots stayed blond and my ends are golden brown. What can I do to repair it?

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April 20, 20170 found this helpful

Add a semi permanent brown to the blond and deep condition.

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April 20, 20170 found this helpful

You need to lift the blond out and apply the darker color. The lower part of your hair is more porous, and accepted the dye. I would go to a beauty school or professional to get it right this time.

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April 21, 20170 found this helpful

It would be helpful to know if there had been any other chemical treatments done to the hair prior to this bleach and tone.

Virgin hair is naturally more porous along the shaft and ends due to age and exposure to the elements. The hair at the scalp is the least porous. However, the body heat from the scalp can cause the bleach to work faster, there. All these things should be taken into consideration. Hair coloring is nor a simple procedure. I'm assuming you did not use a heat cap nor wrap the hair and sit under a hot dryer. I'm also assuming you applied the bleach to the entire head all at once. If you did, the results you got are exactly what would be expected.

If you plan to correct this color yourself, I suggest you enlist the help of a friend.

First, more bleach needs to be applied to the less porous root area. The friend should be able to determine where the blond ends and the golden brown begins. You cannot do this yourself. The bleach should not be allowed to overlap into the golden brown area.

I don't know what type or brand bleach you used. I assume it was a full strength bleach. Do NOT use this same bleach to do your color correction! You could end up with much breakage.

Instead, use a mild oil bleach. It will be more gentle and will work more slowly. This will give you more control over the bleach. Do not use a developer stronger than 20 volume peroxide.

Without seeing the hair, no one could say how long the bleach should remain on the hair. I will estimate one half hour. Then the hair should be thoroughly rinsed (not washed), and then gently towel dried til only slightly damp.

Next, the same golden brown color should be applied to the re bleached area only. If the full development time of the color is 45 minutes, then after the color has been on the re bleached hair for half an hour, it should then be combed through to the shaft and ends for the remaining 15 minutes.

All these suggestions are not concrete. There are variables. For example, you may not need to leave the golden brown on the scalp area for an initial 30 minutes. A professional colorist would periodically towel dry a strand of the hair to see if the developing color at the scalp is approaching that color on the shaft and ends. The color might need to remain at the scalp for as little as 20 minutes and the shaft and ends for an additional 5 minutes.

I wish you luck and a good friend to help.

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0 found this helpful
March 21, 2017

I tried dyeing my hair ash blonde. I had black/dark brown hair. It didn't come out right. Only at my roots is it a honey blonde. The rest of my hair is dark brown and the bottoms are green. Should I go back to black? or will a dark auburn work?

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March 21, 20170 found this helpful

You cannot go so light without a 2-step process. The first step lifts the color off and the second step puts the new color on. Try to trim off the bottom and put a semi-permanent dye in your original color over the entire head.

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March 21, 20170 found this helpful

That happened to me in high school. I kept dying my hair black and thought I could go blonde easily but it only took where my roots were fresh. Just play with semi permanent on the roots to match the rest or have a pro strip the colour for you.

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March 21, 20170 found this helpful

The beauty salon that sells hair dyes could properly help you. If the bottom is green, can you get a trim then dye your hair again with a darker shade?

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March 22, 20170 found this helpful

actually i used a medium brown and a light auburn to cancel out the green it worked well now im just going to wait a few weeks to try again probably might bleach my hair

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0 found this helpful
January 11, 2017

I colored my hair and the outcome is dark roots with light ends. Help please.

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

I would consult with a colorist in a beauty salon 2 correct your color. They would know how to rid your hair of the color and also they are trying to know what chemicals to use to mix to achieve the color you desire and to keep your hair healthy

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

You could put a semi-permanent dye on the lighter part of your hair. It would even it out and not cause further damage.

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

You can use a deposit only Demi color such as Ion found at the beauty supply store with 10 volume developer. It will cover and no damage will result.

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August 22, 20120 found this helpful

I have been dyeing my hair this reddish brown for the past year and when I went to visit my mother we decided to dye our hair together. Just to have a change I decided to go back to blonde. It was a big mistake and now my roots are blonder then the rest of my hair.


I went to the hair dresser thinking if I got streaks it would hide my roots, but I had a very inexperienced hairdresser and after spending 100 bucks to get highlights my roots are now a bleach blonde and the rest of my hair is more of a cool blonde. Any at home remedies for this problem or am I to go back and spend more money on my hair?

By Anita from Toronto, Ontario

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August 29, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would go into a place like CVS and get one of the root touch up kits. It isn't going to cost more than $8 or $9 and you might even pick up two of them if you have thick hair since they don't put a lot of the color in for just a root touch up. I recently totally crapped out my hair by having the desire for blond hair. I bought one of the bleach colors and it just mutilated my hair. It was half dark growing in and the ends were horribly dry and totally platinum blond.

I decided to go to find only one person to do my hair until it got better. I am happy to say that it has worked and I stayed with one hair stylist for a year and now I have nice soft non dry hair and it is a really pretty lighter sandy blond color with highlights that are even a prettier golden blond.

If I were you I would first try to get the root touch up and go and get a good haircut and have them cut off as much as they can. I mean it will grow back and yeah it sucks and you may have shorter hair than you would like but it will start to get better around the 6 month period. You have to remember that even the hair stylists out there just get taught certain things and good luck finding someone who can totally fix what was done!

So try it out and see what happens, in the mean time call different places and see if they have experienced hair color specialists in house (only people who have experience with color 20-25 years) that way you can hopefully find someone cool who would be able to help you out! And be sure to stay away from any of the places who have spa in their titles. I find going to a Super Cuts or Fantastic Sam's you can really get lucky! That is just what I did. Good luck and I wish for you to have a quick hair recovery period!


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September 12, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am a retired hair stylist. I would suggest you buy a bottle of temporary hair colour from your hair salon and apply it to your roots only, every few shampoos. It washes out gradually and is gentler than the permanent hair colours. Keep using this until your bad colour has grown out. Then get a good haircut and start over. A light colour, like blonde, will not cover a dark colour like reddish brown. You just have to let it grow out. And use a good conditioner, like "balsam".

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August 23, 20121 found this helpful

Stop messing with your hair as now it's damaged and it will only get worse. Go to a qualified beautician and go to her more than once as you're dealing with chemicals and sometimes the outcome isn't to your liking the first time. With all the crazy hair styles and colors I wouldn't worry too much, it really doesn't sound that bad. We all tend to experiment with hair color and believe me we all survive! Another suggestion - condition, condition and condition! Good luck!

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August 23, 20120 found this helpful

Don't pay for sub-par work - ask for your money back!

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0 found this helpful
April 18, 2011

Oh help. I recently decided to dye my hair dark brown, my natural hair color, before the gray came. I have been blonde for years. The gray mixes right in a whole lot easier. Anyways, I now look like an Easter Egg.

I did go to a shop and got blonde highlights put it, it looked good, but the gray came in quickly. So I went back, and wanted more blonde. It came out looking like I had a calico cat sitting on my head.

I immediately went and bought a Revlon blonde bleaching kit. My hair came out very light blonde at the roots, with all the rest a reddish blonde with lighter blonde highlights. It looked like nothing I've ever seen in nature.

So I went back to the beauty shop and the tech applied a soap cap, which I guess is diluted bleach, unsure, and my hair did come out very light, but the reddish blonde is now yellow.

Short of shaving my head or wearing a babushka, I'm not sure what to do now. Should I just wait and keep getting it cut (I wear it short anyways)? I have strong hair, but I'm not sure how much more abuse I can hit it with and still have any left.

By Peep from Rochester, NY

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April 22, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Call the help center number in the directions. I have had to call before and they will tell you what to do to fix your hair color.

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April 18, 20110 found this helpful

From the hairdresser:

hello. I guess you sure do have a problem. please remember that when you use a store brand hair dye, use one or 2 colors lighter. remove 2 tablespoons of developer, the peroxide and then mix color. this will prevent reds from showing up.This only works for light browns to black. if you would like more information, please contact me

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April 30, 20110 found this helpful

I'm so sorry that women insist on dyeing/bleaching their hair. Why bother? Live with the color you have, be it brown, black, gray, etc.

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0 found this helpful
January 4, 2010

My hair stylist messed up my hair on retouch. From blonde she went to reddish brown. To fix it, she made it either blonde or white streaks to cover it up. I want to go blonde again. Please help.

By Nelushka from FL

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January 5, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it were me, I'd demand that my stylist refund my money or fix my hair the way I want it. If she cannot fix it, then she should refund your money so you can go to someone who can fix it. I know it's hard to confront people and especially if you've been seeing your stylist for awhile but if he or she is reputable, they will want to make sure their clients are happy and especially if it was her mistake to begin with.

Once I had a stylist "burn" my hair with a perm. I went from hair down to the middle of my butt to hair that barely brushed my shoulders and the hair I had left was like straw. It was frizzy and broke off at my scalp. Horrible! The stylist worked with me for 6 months for free with free moisturizing treatments, free shampoo and free hair cuts until my hair looked good again. She could not give me back my long hair but she worked hard to rectify her mistake.

If you cannot bring yourself to do the above, then you might ask another stylist what your options are or if you just have to wait a few weeks to have a re-do so you don't totally damage your hair.

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April 18, 20110 found this helpful

My friend is supposed to be a hairdresser. I asked her to put a home hair coloring kit in my hair. I paid about $10 for the hair color and I looked forward to the new color. She sectioned my hair and began in the back.

I do not like the results and am upset with her for not doing it correctly. I now have streaks and lots of places in the front that look like it wasn't dyed.

It's a wine-red color and my hair is naturally dark brown. So now my hair is wine-red with what looks to be brown roots and chunks of brown throughout. Never again will I ask her to do my hair! Any suggestions to correct without spending big bucks at a salon? Please help.

By Mdmt_39 from NC


Hair Dye Disaster!

Wow. I can't even imagine how she could screw up something so easy to do.
I wouldn't do anything experimental, like trying to remove the hair color. That should be left to professionals.

I would just get a new box of the same color, and do it yourself on the sections that are missing color. That may be hard to do (skipping sections of hair), so it would probably be alright to just do a complete coverage and just try to avoid the already-colored sections. If it's the same color, and you get good complete coverage, it should end up pretty ok.

And remember, it'll fade over time.

By joanne

Hair Dye Disaster!

Just buy any box of a good brand hair color that is either darker of lighter than your hair, and dye your whole head that color. You might need 2 depending on how much hair you have. It should make it blend in a lot better. (09/20/2010)

By xintexas

Hair Dye Disaster!

You can do this yourself. Get another box of the same color. Follow instructions for complete coverage. Be sure to mix everything well, apply all over your hair while wearing the enclosed gloves, then use your gloved fingers to also work the color around on your head. Pretend like you're shampooing your hair with it. Let sit piled loosely on top of your head for recommended time. There is usually a phone number on the directions or box if you need more advice.
Calm down, re-do, and forgive your friend. (09/20/2010)

By garnetgirl9

Hair Dye Disaster!

Someone told me that Prell shampoo will strip the dye from your hair. If you don't want to try coloring again you could try that. It won't work on the first shampoo but it might blend it a little better. Good Luck! (09/22/2010)

By dwutz

Hair Dye Disaster!

My best friend, "a beautician", cut my hair once and I looked like Moe from the three stooges. I was embarrassed, sure, but she meant more to me, so we had a good laugh. She went with me when I had it "fixed" and to this day we are best of friends, so my biggest tip would be to quit blaming her for something you asked her to do, do things for yourself from now on and leave your friends out of it, and quit whining and accept the fact it did not turn out with the glorious expectation you had. Remember it is "Just" hair. Its usually fixable, or it grows back good friends not so much. (09/22/2010)

By Jron7667

Hair Dye Disaster!

I second what Jron7667 says and also what others say about simply redoing it yourself. I was a hairstylist for 35 years and I suggest you purchase two packages of the same color this time because the reason for the streaking you explained here is because there wasn't enough color for complete and even coverage from scalp to ends supplied by you to your friend to apply in the first place! Follow garnetgirl9's application directions and you'll be just fine! (09/22/2010)

By Deeli

Hair Dye Disaster!

I agree with Jron7667 "Remember it is "Just" hair. Its usually fixable, or it grows back, good friends not so much." Do what you have to do to fix it and move on. Then go to anyone else who's not your friend for your hair stuff. Good luck! (09/22/2010)

By yoder178

Hair Dye Disaster!

Smack your "friend" and get a bottle of good ole Head and Shoulders shampoo and then shampoo repeatedly till the color is out then redye. Your color will have been altered, but you can dye it and then be very kind to your hair with oil treatments and gentle kindness. (09/22/2010)

By Flomerch

Hair Dye Disaster!

It sounds to me like your friend tried to, and accomplished, streaks in your hair rather than overall coverage. If that wasn't what you wanted, you should have said so when the process was being done. Or perhaps, if you have very long hair, there simply wasn't enough in one package to do your hair. Really, this is no one's fault but your own. You are the one who chose the hair color, so if you aren't happy with it, you can't really blame your friend. And besides, dying someone's hair is not all that much fun. Your friend was doing you a favor. If it didn't turn out the way you liked, I guess you got what you paid for, didn't you.

Re-dye your own hair again, with the same stuff. (09/23/2010)

By louel53

Hair Dye Disaster!

There is a product called Oops and it is in the drug store. It will remove the dye and then you can start all over from scratch. I have used it and it really works. (09/23/2010)

By mypinkrainbow

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September 19, 20100 found this helpful

I got my hair dyed at a salon today, but it looks awful. Can I go and get it re-dyed a different color tomorrow or will that totally damage my hair?

Angela from Bradenton, FL


Hair Dye Disaster!

Go straight back to that salon and demand that they fix it. If you go somewhere else, they will deem it a "corrective color" and charge you through the nose. Speak to the manager. They can do something called a "soap cap" on you and re-dye it. You'll probably need a deep conditioning treatment, too, but demand that you get what you paid for! (12/06/2006)

By StacyA

Hair Dye Disaster!

I recommend Pantne Pro-V Time Renewable for damaged hair. (12/08/2006)

By Natalie

Hair Dye Disaster!

Best Advice: As an older hairdresser, I'd recommend that you complain again, calmly, to the original colorists, stating the exact reason you don't like it,
For example: "The color is way darker than I expected or discussed!" "The condition is terrible" or "I need for you to adjust this color to _______, because it is totally unsatisfactory." Do not try to tell them what to do, only what you don't like about it, as carefully as possible, such as, "it's too gold, too black, too reddish, etc." Understanding that even "they" might damage it further if:

  • You originally came to them with damaged, bleached, colored, or permed hair and you insisted that they "recolor" it against their better judgment.

  • You described to them that you wanted the color they gave you, but then changed your mind later on after you left. This is often the case, not the colorist's fault. She/he usually colors according to what the patron describes/requests/shows from a picture. Also, they cannot be responsible if a patron is taking RX meds that grew into the hair and counteract the dyes. Heavy vitamin/minerals can alter dye absorption, changing the color significantly. If none of these applies to you, then it may be an old expired product or wrong formula mix.

  • You have tried to do anything to help your hair on your own after you left them, adjusting the chemical makeup of your hair, and not telling them upon return.

  • You do not know exactly what you don't like about what they did, and leave it up to them to "read your mind". You must be able to describe your feelings.

    In other words, they only know what you tell them and what they observed your hair to be like before and after they did anything to it, according to their understanding of your request.

    You can request of them to write down exactly what they did, they should have kept a record of it, and how long they left it on, and what kind of shampoo and/or conditioners they used afterwards.

    Make certain you get all full names and license numbers, if at all possible, (they are supposed to willingly give them to you and they are required to post them somewhere in plain sight), associated with your treatment from the minute you came into the salon, including the second time workers.

    Try to journal the entire experience before you go in and after you leave the second time, listing anything you observed or heard, or thought was "odd", getting/keeping an itemized list of fees for all services.

    If they are professional, they will know exactly what they did, what to do to please you, if anything can be done, and how to correct it so that you are at least happier, if not totally satisfied, and at no additional cost. If they recommend waiting a few weeks, take their advice, but request that they help you "live with it: in the interim. Then make certain that you keep the appointment to get it corrected.

    Now, if after allowing them the chance to correct it, you are still unhappy, you can write to the State of _______ Board of Hairdressing and Cosmetology, at the capitol of your state and give them a copy of your complete experience. They will be able to determine who is at fault and will take action.

    God bless you, and good luck.

    By Lynda

    Hair Dye Disaster!

    First of all dish washing liquid may help lighten that black color. Color removers will make your hair florescent orange or red. Then you will have to color over that and you will have a red or orange brassy undertone. Your hair should not be damaged if you have only had permanent color one time. Conditioning will not hurt, but I doubt you have damage. Unless you have bleached and colored over and over, your hair should be in good condition. I would suggest that you see someone, if not the original stylist, but someone in that salon. You shouldn't have to pay again to have this corrected. Good luck.

    Oh, and by the way, hairdressers learn by mistakes. It doesn't mean they need to be reported for this. Mistakes can happen, but they should make every effort to correct it. (08/17/2008)

    By darleneg

    Hair Dye Disaster!

    I was just reading yesterday about someone wanting to get red out of blond hair. I'm sorry I didn't save links, but I can give you directions. I think this might work for you also and it won't do any damage. You take vitamin C tablets and use 5 or 6 of the 500mg or equal to that and crush them finely. It might take a hammer wrapping them in a towel to do this. Then you mix the powder with any of your less expensive shampoo, a couple tablespoons full or enough to work a lather. Distribute through your hair, I think dry.

    Leave this on your hair for about 45 mins. and then add water and wash hair as usual. This should remove most of the color. You might be left with some highlights, or in your case lowlights, but enough should be lightened you can live with it! I hope this works for you and hope you post your results. If you are curious about more info you could Google removing hair color with vitamin C and you might find the article. (02/06/2009)

    By Bobbie

    Hair Dye Disaster!

    A salon will not dye or perm damaged hair. They could get sued if your hair falls out. Go to a salon and ask them if they will. Personally, I think it's OK to color your hair twice, but I have very strong hair. If you know your hair then you can answer this question yourself. It will be dry and have to be treated with a good conditioning balm. Also, it depends on the color you are asking for. If your hair is dark and you want it lighter then a color remover will have to be used or a shampoo cocktail made with bleach. Color will not lighten color. (08/04/2009)

    By Lorraina

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    December 4, 20060 found this helpful
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