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Toning Down Dyed Hair

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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.



Here are questions related to Toning Down Dyed Hair.

Question: Lightening Dyed Hair

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


Most Recent Answer

By Ginger C P.07/07/2015

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

Question: Toning Down A Bad Dye Job

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


Most Recent Answer

By lynda [12]04/18/2010

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. : )

Question: Lightening Dyed Hair

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.

So I used Colour B4 which is a hair dye remover. When I first did it, I loved it. It was a nice dark auburn and at least 2 shades lighter than it was. But now a week later it's gone dark again. I have read all about vitamin C tablets mixed with anti-dandruff shampoo to lighten it, so unless there are any better home remedies I will try that.

The box of hair dye remover was 12 pounds a box and I don't want to do it again just to waste 12 pounds. Please help. I do not want to bleach it because I love my luscious wavy thick hair which I am surprised I still have because of all the dying I have done before.

By EmaN

Most Recent Answer

By dph5411/12/2011

I would go to a professional hair stylist for that one!

Question: Lightening Dyed Hair

I recently tried to dye my hair a dark auburn color and it just turned out dark with some red. I want to re dye my hair a lighter auburn. I found a home dye that is a hair lightener for dark hair. How long do I have to wait until I can use it?

By Ashley from CA

Most Recent Answer


Wait a day or two after all the shampoo stripping to allow the cuticle layer of the hair shaft to close back down (or even after coloring in the first place) before coloring again otherwise you could end up right back where you started from with too dark of a color. When the cuticle layer is open the inner hair shaft reacts like a sponge. Also, you might want to choose at least one shade lighter (two would be better) than what you're hoping for because it's going to be 'color on/over color'.

Question: Hair Dye Too Red

I dyed my hair a reddish brown and it turned out more red. How can I lighten it so it's not as red? My natural color is blonde.

By Summer

Most Recent Answer

By Dana O'Neill S.12/04/2014

Wash your hair back to back several times & use dish soap. You will see the color wash down the drain. If thats still not enough try using a color refresher such as John Frieda in brown. It will help to tone down the red. Good luck.

Question: Lightening Dyed Hair With Lemon Juice

I have light brown hair and want to naturally lighten it with lemon juice, but I have highlights already. Will the lemon juice make the highlights disappear?

By Alex from Liverpool, England

Most Recent Answer

By dusty10109/21/2011

So, I'm a (16) yr old guy with short dirty blonde hair, I took 1/2 cup of room temperature water mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of pure bottled lemon juice and 2 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil and mixed it into a bowl and damped my hair and basically just lathered it into my hair. Let it sit for 30 minues to 1 hour, depending on how light you want your hair.

And just saying, it came out fantastic, to a great light caramel color, I didn't think it would work so I tried it. The reason I added olive oil was because I found that lemon juice really dried out my hair and made it unhealthy looking and feeling, and the olive oil really moisturizes your hair and helps sustain the color. Once you sit there for 30 minutes to an hour just rinse with water. I did this in the pm, so in the am I just took a shower using deep conditioner shampoo and my hair looks great and feels great! This is a highly recommended remedy for you!

Question: Dyed Hair Too Bright? Tone It Down Easy at Home

How do I tone down red hair dye? I have gone for a different dye, as my usual one wasn't stocked. Now it is too bright and looks gingery.

By Lisa from England

Most Recent Answer

By Barbara Smith [1]03/25/2010

I always used a medium to dark Auburn, but accidentally purchased light auburn which came out bright Red (At least to me it was too bright). I called Clairol, explained exactly what I used and she suggested a fix for me. Call them or the number on the box of the hair dye you used. They were really helpful.

Question: Fixing a Bad Dye Job

I went to a new hair dresser and I am so so upset. Usually I have highlights. Today she colored my hair first and then did the highlights and I look like I am wearing a yellow wig with an orange tint! How can I wash this out?

By Lisa

Most Recent Answer

By Dinah Ackerson [2]03/07/2015

You should immediately return to the hair stylist/salon with your complaint and request an immediate correction for the problem. They should be able to provide a reasonable solution for you. If they do not help you, you can report them to the Better Business Bureau in your area.

Question: Toning Down Dyed Hair

7 days ago I colored my hair dark brown, it started washing out and getting a red tint to it. The hair dresser stripped it down too much and it turned orange. She said just let it grow out, so I did not pay her. I then went and got a hair color to try and cover the orange, label - Loreal 7 A. Now it's orange, red, and brassy. Can anyone help?

By phillipj from NC

Most Recent Answer

By PENNY K [15]03/05/2015

Something like that happened to me in 1994. That was when I decided to never do anything chemical to my hair again. I have shiny hair with a bit of natural wave (didn't know that before), and like my brown/silver color.

However, the orange... find a product that is basically a rinse, and temporary, and use that until the color sort of normalizes. Avoid any more peroxide based hair color (most) if you can. Keep trimming a bit at a time.

Question: Lightening Dyed Hair

My hair is grey. I have been having the hairdresser do light brown for years. Of recent my current hairdresser was using 6 or 7? My hair gradually was getting darker each time she did my color. I asked to lighten it back up and we ended up with black/greenish.

So the same day she tried to correct or get the green out. It has been several months, with a new attempt every 4 weeks or so to undo or gradually get back to light, not black, and it's not happening. We are both hopeful we can process some options and make a decision what to do next. My hair was thick, short, and very easy to manage. The thickness is gone. She is suggesting bleaching. I'm getting other opinions. I would like anyone's feedback. I'm thinking I might just grow it out and be grey for awhile till it gets some length and we can start over. I would appreciate your help. Thanks for any suggestion. I'm most concerned if the thickness can be restored.

By ETG from HI

Most Recent Answer

By Janet [7]02/24/2015

In my opinion, I would find a new hairdresser. When they stop doing what you want, and mess up with "greenish" hair they are no longer interested.

Question: Fixing Brassy Orange Hair

What can I do to fix my orange/yellow hair?

By Marge from Brandon, FL

Most Recent Answer

By ky mamaw [2]01/17/2015

I have done this a few times and the first thing I did was wash my hair in powdered Tide... several times to lighten the color. Not really good on hair but it will help lighten the color somewhat.

Question: Lightening Too Dark Dyed Hair

My hair dresser dyed my hair way darker than I wanted. I don't want to go back. Can I lighten it at home? I can't stand the sight of myself in the mirror. I just wanted to go a touch warmer than what I'd been doing, a light brown more carmel. What I got was closer to black with no highs and lows.

By Michelle

Most Recent Answer

By mariebitt10/04/2014

Your best bet would be to contact hairdresser for professional help. Perhaps he/she could have you come back in and put some highlights in it or redo the whole thing in a lighter, softer shade.

Question: Hair Colour Advice

I dyed my hair with Garnier deep reddish brown it is very dark and very red. I have reds in my hair because I have used them a few years now, mostly mahogany. I would like a more warm tone as I am getting older and my skin is paler. I do like the warm chestnut browns, but am aware that my reds would show through, but the colour I have used is very dark and red and makes me look pale.

By Pauli

Most Recent Answer

By 2ndsight [4]09/01/2014

Using an "ash" color will help the red not to show through.

Question: Dyed Hair Too Dark

I dyed my hair about a month ago and it came out almost black with reddish highlights. I would like to know what color could I use to get it to more of a light auburn color. Any help would be appreciated.

By Wendy W.

Most Recent Answer

By Tanya [4]11/22/2013

What is your natural color? For dark colored hair, ash colors tend to pull the red out. If your natural color is dark and you don't want the red, opt for a medium brown. If your natural color is a light color, opt for a light brown. I would not recommend a blond color right now, since you pulled red because red and yellow make green. I doubt that you want that.

Question: Removing Blue Tinge from Hair Extensions

I have recently had bonded extensions put in, but the lightest colour extensions were still more yellow the my real hair. My hairdresser suggested using purple shampoo on them to try and lighten them. Unfortunately this has just turned my extensions a very light shade of blue.

I have washed my hair about 6 times with ordinary shampoo and it hasn't budged. I then tried it with washing up liquid which has reduced it a little, but I don't want to use it again as I don't want to damage my £200 extensions. Does anyone have any idea on how I can rid of this ASAP or will I just have to hold out until it fades naturally with more washes?

By Samara

Most Recent Answer

By Relli C.10/09/2014

Dish washing liquid! Wash your hair with dish washing liquid... really rub it in and then use a really good conditioner.

Question: Toning Brassy Orange Hair

I recently tried dyeing my hair ombre with the Loreal kit for dark brown hair (that's the color of my natural hair and the kit was pretty cheap). At first I didn't leave the bleach in long enough so I added some more and left it in for a longer time. Now my hair is this brassy orange color and I can't go to a salon because I don't have the $$ and toners, again no $$. So please, if anybody has some home remedies that they would like to share with me it would really mean a lot. Thank you so much! xoxo

By Selma.P

Most Recent Answer

By Ember P.11/18/2014

I've used lemon juice and heat in the past, or lemon juice and going out in the sun. It does take ages though, and I got too impatient. Vitamin C dissolvable tablets is supposed to work if you crush them and mix them with a little water. do a youtube search on naturally lightening hair, it helped me (:

Question: Hair Dye Too Dark

I have natural red/auburn hair it's beautiful and I thought I would dye my underlayer a dark brown for fun and it turned out basically black. It is permanent Garnier Olvia hair dye. I tried scrubbing it with clarifying shampoo three times last night which kind of helped. I do not want to bleach my hair or go into the salon. What can I do to either fade or bring it back to my natural color?

By Goddesss

Question: Tone Down Red Hair Dye to Copper

I dyed my hair extensions a box dye intense red copper. I want more of a coppery orange color. How do I achieve this?

By Jen

Question: Lightening Accumulation of Non-permanent Hair Color

I hope to go gray someday but not just now. I don't like commitment so I use Natural Instincts and need to touch up roots every 4-6 weeks. The overlap just gets darker and darker. I have very long hair and wear it up a lot. Even though I try to "pull" chunks of color down to the ends, the ends are lighter and I hate the way it looks. Anything I can do to lift the buildup some without using a harsh preparation?

By Renee

Question: Toning Down Hair Color

I put a red in my hair, it looks a little orange. How can I tone it down (darken it) at home?

By Robin

Question: Dyed Hair Extensions Too Bright

I purchased extensions and bleached them blonde with blue tips. I then decided to dye them completely blue and my extensions came out way brighter then my real hair. I love the color my real hair turned and I want my fake hair to match. What can I do to tone down the electric blue extensions?

By Michelle F.

Question: Bleached Hair Too Light

I've bleached my hair and it's far to light. I need to tone it down a few shades. What is your advice on the colour of the toner to use?

By Shirley

Solutions: Toning Down Dyed Hair

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