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


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April 13, 20101 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 13, 20101 found this helpful

I am a hairdresser and here is an old secret. Give yourself a hot oil treatment (about 20 min) then shampoo with either Dandruff or Baby Shampoo (despite popular believe, Baby shampoo is very harsh) even Prell is good.


That will lift A lot of the color... Good luck!

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

I see you already posted the same trick. See, Marion. It works! ;)

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April 15, 20100 found this helpful

This happened to me once and I called a beautician friend who told me to wash my hair with laundry detergent. I used ALL 2x concentrated detergent and washed my hair twice with it. It helped some and then I bought a bottle of the "Fanci-Ful" temporary hair color in a brown shade. When I washed my hair from then on I used the Fanci-Ful as a setting lotion - it tamed down the color.

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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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October 12, 20160 found this helpful

Bleached my henna colored hair. And dyed it grey
Turned red! How to tone down red

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