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Toning Down Dyed Hair

If the dyed color of your hair is stronger than you expected, you may want to adjust it. This guide is about toning down dyed hair.

Dyed Hair
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July 18, 2016 Flag
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I dyed my hair in the beginning of this month, and I wanna know how long will it take to fade all the way out, or to start fading? Is there any way I can make it start fading myself?

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July 21, 20160 found this helpful
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Wash your hair everyday with a clarifying shampoo, or any shampoo that is not for colored hair.

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July 23, 20160 found this helpful

I agree. I use Head and Shoulders to tone down a brassy dye job. Takes a few washes.

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September 14, 2015 Flag
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I dyed my hair permanent black and it's too dark. I want to dye it to dark brown. What can I do?

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November 7, 20150 found this helpful
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You cannot apply brown hair color to hair previously colored black and get a brown shade. There are warm tones underneath the black tint. You can lift just enough of the black tint to make these warm tones more apparent.

This can be done at home in as little as half an hour and without a lot of expense. All that is required is a professional hair color remover diluted to half the regular strength and left on the hair for half the usual time. There are two musts. You must familiarize yourself with proper usage of the color remover and you absolutely must do a strand test first! Only a strand test will tell you the exact amount of time required to achieve the desired results.

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June 23, 20160 found this helpful

I know this is old...but for future reference, their is a box at the store called "oops" or something like that. It's about $10 - I used it turned my black dyed hair to golden light brown! There ya go 

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February 6, 2015 Flag
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I recently dyed my hair on my own at home and I want it to be somewhat more lighter then it is now. Does anyone know if I went to a salon if they would be able to make it lighter although I just dyed it a few days ago?

By Anna from MO

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February 7, 20150 found this helpful
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You may not know that you can request a consultation with a hair stylist. If you do not know a stylist, a good salon is the best place to start. The stylist will evaluate your hair's current condition and recommend alternatives for you to consider. The stylist may require payment for the service but it would be worth having a trained and qualified specialist's recommendations.

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July 7, 20150 found this helpful

YES, It will have to be bleached to go lighter though.

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September 13, 2016 Flag
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Will Oops restore my old shade after I applied too much Glam highlights from L O'real?
Thank you for your help.

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April 8, 2016 Flag
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My hair is naturally almost black with gray mixed in. I wanted a dark blond to tone down the gray. It turned out dark with a red hue to it. I used a dark blond color, I'm wondering if I highlight my hair using an ash blond will it tone down the red and lighten my hair.

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April 9, 20160 found this helpful

It might help you to know that black hair does not contain only black pigment. If you were to change your hair color from black to near white, bleaching would be required. The bleach would first remove the black pigment, Next the brown pigment, then red brown, then red, then red gold, then gold, then yellow, then pale yellow. After the palest yellow shade was achieved, then a toner such as Clairol's White Beige or Roux's Ultra White Minx would be applied to bring the pale yellow up to the near white/ white color.

As you have just learned, a dark blond color did not give you the desired results. All 'regular' permanent colors, with the exception of black and blue/jet black, have a slight lifting (bleaching) action. This slight lifting action removed some of the near black pigment in your hair, revealing some of the natural dark red brown pigment. I seriously you got any noticeable coverage of the grey hair.

You can probably guess by the above information that highlighting your hair with an ash blond color will not solve your problem. As a matter of fact, it will make it worse. The light ash blond will have, though slight, even more lifting action than the dark blond previously applied. More than likely, you would end up with a strange, and even redder color. Couple that with the fact that ash blond colors have a green base, you more than likely would end up with a strange, dark reddish/ greenish color.

I don't know why you chose a dark blond to tone down your grey, unless perhaps you were thinking the colored grey would appear as highlights. A better choice would have been for you to have applied a color that closest matched you natural hair color.

Assuming that your hair is darkest brown, even a darkest brown 'regular' permanent color will have a very slight lifting action, though you may not see any reddish tones til after several shampoos.

Without seeing your hair, I cannot tell you what would be best in your case. My first suggestion would be to recolor your hair, using a color that closest matches your natural color. BUT, do not use a regular color, because as stated above, they have a slight lifting action. Be sure to use a color that has NO lifting action. Check a Clairol Second Nature color chart to see if you find a color close to your natural color, as this line of color has no lifting action.

1. DO NOT apply an ash blond color to your hair.

2. After you have chosen a no lift color you think best matches your natural color, mix a small amount with developer according to package instructions and apply to a small strand of hair in an inconspicuous area and allow to develop the full required amount of time. This strand test will show what the end results will be when applied to the entire head.

It may be that using the above method will put your hair back to a color that closely resembles your natural color, however, do not expect it to be a perfect match. It could well be though, that the color will be one you really like. Good luck!

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April 9, 20160 found this helpful


I seriously doubt you got any noticeable coverage of the grey hair.


Unless your hair is very resistant, Second nature should provide enough coverage to sufficiently tone down the grey.

Since your hair cuticle has been pre softened by the application of the dark blond color, Second nature may give you complete coverage of the grey.

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August 17, 2016 Flag
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Recently I wanted to dye my hair darker so I used a store bought box and the color turned out way too dark. Because of this I wanted to start over and go back to my normal color so I used a Color Oops and then used a box that was the color my normal hair was. It turned out being way too dark again.

I want to go to a salon to get my hair lightened a little bit, but I don't want to really damage my hair. I was told that my hair would lighten considerably since I'd darkened my hair from a much lighter color. I'm very impatient and want to go to a salon within the next week, but if there is another way to lighten my hair that would be great.

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April 13, 2010 Flag
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I dyed my hair and it turned out too red. How can I tone it down without doing too much damage to my hair?

By Marion from Sioux Lookout, Ontario

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Prell or dandruff shampoo will assist color fading faster. Take some Prell shampoo and apply it throughout out your hair, leave it on for 45 minutes, then rinse it out with warm water. Use a conditioner after you're done rinsing the shampoo out.

Here's another tip: Hot oil treatments will also help to strip chemically.

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April 18, 20100 found this helpful

Suave produces a product called, "Clarifying shampoo" which will remove any sort of buildup from accumulated hairspray to over-processing of color. However, you can take a strand test from behind your ear area of about thirty hairs, and see about how long it takes to remove a significant amt of the color using a folded white paper towel to observe the whole test/time. If you have an accumulated metallic salts from Revlon products, call their help line on the side of their products or get it from the 800 operator.

Remember, too, that the very top of your hair will be much more damaged because it is the part that gets the most damage from the sun, so it will be porous and will "release" easier, needing less time than around the back hairline, behind the ears and over the ears, which will tolerate and need longer testing time.

Coloring hair is a science, the reason for licensing and fears of liability suits, but unless you have way too strong/ wrong tint, you must be patient and realize it may take a few times to reduce it, then to "mask" the red with a bit of blue cheap shampoo(producing more of a brownish red) or with a bit of cheap green shampoo(producing more of an ashy brown). for temporary fix.

Warning: Do NOT use strong detergent, or unknown chemicals unless you want to lose your hair.

If you know what product you used, it's best to call their office with a complaint. Also, consider what color you began with. If it was not a light blonde, you added to the color tint by not starting from a very light shade. Learn from this and remember to consider adding the color of your hair to the color your tint to get the REAL results you can expect.

Adding oil, waxes will only coat and seal the color in, so I'd try the cheap shampoos first after trying to call the mfgr. number on the box for help. They most always have an emergency help line. Remember, too, that once your hair leaves your scalp, it's like a piece of nylon thread, not "alive", and rough as if it were sanded by your brushing.

Don't be fooled by ads that promise to add "life" to your hair, because that's impossible. The only "life" is in the very deeply embedded root follicle inside your scalp. Conditioners often are silicone which also coats or shines, but your goal is to gently lift the rough layers of each hair and gently coax the color out with the least of further damage, right?

Strand test/ watch timing and results desired, as well as the condition of the hair when you pull each strand to see if it is weakened too much. When the strand of hair is dry, it should not break easily, nor over stretch without springing back or coiling up. If you don't over pull it before you test the hair strands, you will know what it was like in it's strength before you tested it, then compare it to the results after testing.

Once you get results from the strand test, and apply the data learned /timing to your whole head of hair and dry it to see if you like the color, if it has reduced significantly, and what worked. Don't keep doing this to your hair once you have gotten to the color you prefer, because every time you shampoo, color will seep out and lighten, especially if it was not "permanent" or real "dye". Always check the expiration date of any coloring product and never buy it from a discount house, even if it's free, because they are usually outdated/ expired there..

If all else fails, try rinsing outdoors with 1/3 cup of sudsy ammonia in same amt. of cool water. It will be smelly, and you don't want to get it in your eyes, so be very careful to use swim googles and a water hose with your eyes/head turned to the side as you try it. Don't leave it on but a couple of minutes, then rinse, dry and test color results. I suggest this because there was the alternative chemical to what was substituted for ammonia years ago.

Beauty Supply can offer other new options in temporary "rinses" from Roux that you can use until you finally get it just right to please you, remembering that hair grows at the average rate of 1/2 " per month. If worse comes to worse, it will grow out by the end of summer and you can begin again with more information/ experience on what not to do, right?

Keep plenty of towels and cool water supply nearby regardless of which you decide to do. Strand test FIRST with whatever you do. Be very observant and have plenty of natural light to see the results, perhaps have a friend to help? Good luck and God bless and help you. : )

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November 9, 2011 Flag
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I know they say to only ever go one or two shades lighter/darker, but I was stupid and wanted dark brown hair. However the store bought hair dye turned out to be practically black! I haven't dyed it for a good 6 months and my roots aren't really showing and the colour is still dark.

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