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.
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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.

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January 13, 2017 Flag

I have been experimenting with the DIY boxed hair colors. I did the 5.29 red Schwarzkopf color and loved it! But I wanted a little more red to show so I went big and got the Splat raspberry red, which I should've known was going to come out crazy red. But I did it, it required me to bleach before coloring. Now my hair is like super bright, almost hot pink red! How do I tone it like way down to a nice dark red, without having to go to a salon? Please help!

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

I suggest that you contact a beauty school that teaches cosmetology. Make sure that they teach color, and the combination of chemicals on the hair. The students could learn from your situation and they may not charge you a fee for repairing your hair

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

Just go to Sally's and get a deposit only, no ammonia Demi permanent hair color and apply for 10-20 minutes. It will cover and there will be no damage . It is deposit only. I like the Ion brand or Clairol. Mix with 10 volume developer.

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July 18, 2016 Flag

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
Best Answer

Wash your hair everyday with a clarifying shampoo, or any shampoo that is not for colored hair.

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January 13, 20170 found this helpful

Shampoo and condition well. Several hair dressers have told me that dry damaged hair holds on to color more and more brassy as it is more porous.

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September 14, 2015 Flag

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, 20151 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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September 20, 20150 found this helpful

To correct this at home takes forever. The only way I know how to correct this is pay the bucks at a salon, where they STRIP your hair and then re-color it the desired shade.

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February 6, 2015 Flag

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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April 13, 2010 Flag

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
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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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April 8, 2016 Flag

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

Correction

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

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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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November 9, 2011 Flag

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

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November 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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November 10, 20110 found this helpful

I got my grey hair low lighted (guess that's what you call it). My hairdresser and I have been typing different shades to find the one I like. She uses two different colors. The last one I do not like and rather than have her do it over. I shampooed 3 days with a clarifying shampoo and it has toned down the gold a lot. Give it a try. The brand I used is ion"; I got at Sally's beauty supply but you can use any if it stats "clarifying".

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January 17, 2015 Flag

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

By Marge from Brandon, FL

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January 17, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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September 13, 2016 Flag

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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March 22, 2010 Flag

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

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March 25, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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March 24, 20100 found this helpful

That happened to me once and I found that washing the hair with baking soda toned it down quite nicely! Good luck!

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June 30, 2011 Flag

I recently colored my gray hair with Just For Men and it came out a little too dark. What is the simplest way to now lighten it a little?

By Bob

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

I suspect that frequent shampooing will soften up the color. It does with the colors I use, and I suspect it will with the Just for Men formula as well. I agree with OliveOyl, a dandruff shampoo will likely fade the color faster.

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July 5, 20110 found this helpful

When I want to lift color I use Neutrogena shampoo. It takes off extra hair conditioner etc. so it works good to remove extra color. Just use it once or twice. It is more gentle on the hair so it won't affect the hair texture or make it dry or straw like. A little goes a long way and it will last a long time for you. Good luck. Linda

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August 17, 2016 Flag

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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December 2, 2014 Flag

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

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December 4, 20140 found this helpful

My hair is auburn naturally so this is what I do for light auburn:

There are 5 Tbsp. in the color bottle, so I use the following ...

3 1/2 Tbsp of Nice N Easy #103

1 1/2 Tbsp of Nice N Easy #110 and its the color that I want. If I want a little lighter I add a bit more of the 103 & a little less of 110 in the activator. This is what the people at Clairol told me to do. Good Luck

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December 4, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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March 7, 2015 Flag

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

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March 7, 20151 found this helpful

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.

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March 4, 2015 Flag

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

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March 5, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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February 23, 2015 Flag

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.

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