HELP – My Hair Came Out Too Red!

This is a question I’ve been getting a ton lately.  My hair came out too red, now what do I do??

Since I’ve been getting so many questions on it, I thought it would be helpful to do a full post.  Because…

Girl, I have been there.  And you don’t have to be a redhead to have this issue.  Almost every woman who has colored her hair has had it come out too brassy, too dark, too light, just not the right shade.

I also had this problem this year, when I tried a new color combo and it came out flaming red.  I don’t even have pictures of it until 3 weeks after coloring, when I’d been fading it with every wash.  I debated coloring again right away but two things: Color can’t lift color (make it lighter) so I’d have to go get it bleached then recolored, which makes my hair feel dry just thinking about it.  You could go over it and dye again with a shade like Wella’s Light Golden Blonde to add some natural tones, but… Second, hair that has too much color can get over-proteined.  Hair that is over proteined will feel dirty even right after you wash it and has a limp and heavy look.  Sexy, right?

Right amount of protein = healthy hair.  Too much protein = the worst.

Bottom line:  try not to recolor right away if possible.

What should you do then?  Strip and Tone!  It’s the hair version of the Bend and Snap!  Side note: does anyone else still love Legally Blonde as much as I do?

Each color on the color wheel has an opposite color.  For red, the opposite shade is green and for orange (think brassy) the opposite shade is purple.  So by putting a toner with the opposite color in your hair, you can really tone down and neutralize the brassiness or red tones.  I can not find a green toning shampoo.  You could, in theory, put a drop of high quality green food dye into your shampoo, but I have never actually tried this.  Instead, I did this two step process:

Step 1.  Strip – Clarifying Shampoo.  I like this Ion one from Sally’s and it’s less than $7.  Put it on your hair when your hair is still dry.  What?  Yes, dry.  This will help pull the fresh color from your hair.  Rub it in just as if you were in the shower and make sure you bring it evenly from roots to ends.  Leave it on for about five minutes, then hop in the shower and rinse.  I did this every other day in the first two weeks after my Big Red Disaster and by week three I was just using the toning shampoo on it’s own.  Putting the shampoo on while you hair is still dry will pull so much of the color out.

Step 2.  Tone – Toning Shampoo.  This is another gem from Sally’s that’s less than $9.  After you’ve rinsed out the clarifying shampoo and taken a deep breath, wash your hair, wet, with a violet based toning shampoo.  This will help keep any brassiness at bay, so at least the shade will look good as it fades.

Step 3.  Hydrate – This combo is drying because of all the shampooing (but still not as drying as highlights or bleaching) so I do recommend getting an amazing deep conditioner on your hair twice a week.  Especially the ends.  I like this one from Briogeo for weekly deep conditioning, because it’s all natural and doesn’t weigh my hair down, but makes it so healthy. I like this one from Ojon when my hair is super fried, because it is legit a hair miracle and will save your hair when you think the only solution is cutting it all off.

I like to do an in-shower cocktail of regular, moisturizing conditioner on the top and middle of my hair, then the deep conditioner from the middle down to the ends.  This way my hair doesn’t get too heavy while I’m deep conditioning it twice a week.  Also, a dime size amount of coconut oil on your ends when your hair is dry, will ensure that your hair won’t be fried looking while you’re getting the color right.

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This combo should fade the red significantly, keep the color from turning brassy, eliminate the need to put dye right back on top of you hair, and hopefully help keep it healthy!  In about 3 to 4 weeks after my too-red color, I went back in and did just Titian Red Blonde on my roots and pulled the color through for the last ten minutes.  It still came out a bit too red for my taste, but my roots did blend nicely with the rest of my hair.  Then, then next time I colored, I did Titian Blonde mixed with Light Golden Blonde and from that point it’s been gravy.

Is my hair color perfect?  Nope.  But is it a naturally occurring color on this earth and not crazy red?  Yep.

Is my hair color perfect? Nope. But is it a naturally occurring color on this earth and not crazy red? Yep.

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I really hope this helps because I know that “OH NO” feeling when your color doesn’t come out quite right!

Thank you for reading and as always, feel free to share this post on your Facebook and Pinterest!  Share all the secrets!!  Follow @girlgetglamorous on Instagram for daily beauty pics.

Go Get Glam!

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31 Comments
  • TKG
    September 4, 2014

    Thank you for the detailed explanation of each step! I thought the “too red” version was beautiful, but seeing the final results after you corrected the color was my Ah ha moment. Gorgeous, natural looking results.

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      September 4, 2014

      I’m so glad it helped and thank you!!

  • Kate
    September 6, 2014

    Yay!!! Thanks for this post – I e-mailed you a couple weeks ago and your advice is spot-on. It’s a work in progress, but I’m already much closer to strawberry than I was. I’m going to stick with your Wella formulation in the future for sure.

  • Helen
    September 14, 2014

    Iv been trying to keep my hair strawberry blonde for about a year and the red fades within 2 weeks and then its back to blonde thats underneath which often fades yellowly. I find even at the hairdressers they cant keep in the red either. They make it look browny dark blonde. The box dies out there are rubbish in england sometimes I buy them online but its never the colour I want! Iv just brought a red shampoo/conditioner thats supposed to inhance red! Im determined to get to a point where when the red does fade it completely go!

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      September 14, 2014

      Are you able to purchase the Wella Color Charm line in England? I find that it’s been the best for my red color not fading. But red-enhancing shampoos and conditioners are also a great pick to help stop fading!

  • Laura
    October 26, 2014

    I love your hair colour but like previous comments my copper gold hair fades terrible after two weeks I think I need to invest in the same brand you use although I don’t know if I can get that in Britain. How often do you colour yours?

    Laura//libertylovesmakeup.blogspot.com

  • Emily
    March 13, 2015

    Do you have to use the ION? Why not just the shimmering lights?

  • lisaburkhart
    May 21, 2015

    I love your blog. I am a blogger and I read yours. I had natural strawberry blonde hair. I only got my color right when you recommended that i use the 3/4 Wella 8 blonde and 1/4 Wella 8 Titian. I have the perfect color that doesn’t show roots! Thank you Molly!

  • Amber LaMonte
    August 23, 2015

    Thrilled to have discovered the Titan red/gold mix! I love it & I am getting ready to do a root touch-up. I’m about half grey/ half dark brown. Should I bleach & then color my roots (I bleached & then colored to originally obtain a rose gold) or just use a higher volume developer with the roots? Any experience?

  • monica
    September 20, 2015

    Thank you for taking the tome to write this. My daughter had a terrible red hair disaster at a very expensive salon. We are trying to fix the color now. Your advice has been invaluable.

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      October 1, 2015

      Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m really glad the tips are helping!

  • Lauren
    November 13, 2015

    I had a red hair dye disaster yesterday. First it looked like she had taken red sharpie through chunks and left other huge chunks of mymousy strawberry blonde alone. She then attempted to fix by adding blonde highlights. It was better than the first try but is still blotchy, too light in some areas and too brassy and orange overall. Will the purple shampoo help tone it down until I can get it redone next month? I’ve never had this horrible of a dye job!

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      November 13, 2015

      Oh no, girl, I am SO sorry to hear that. How disappointing. The violet shampoo should definitely help tone things down a bit for the too bright reds and oranges. Good luck and please let me know how it all works out!! xo – Molly

  • Jacqueline Du Toit
    December 30, 2015

    I have natural light Auburn hair. Similar to your photo ‘after 3 weeks’. For 2 years now I have been using Garnier Intense Copper Red, which came out fabulous everytime. I do however wish to go back to my natural (or close) haircolor, as I do find my skin looks much paler lately. I love love love the vibrant color, but think I’m at a tipping point where it’s more harsh than complimentary to my complexion. Any at home advice, without an expensive trip to the salon?

  • Mary
    January 1, 2016

    I love your hair color

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      January 6, 2016

      Thank you, Mary! That is so sweet of you and a nice comment to see 🙂 xo – Molly

  • Fiammetta
    January 4, 2016

    Hi! Thanks for this post! I had a nice (dyed) strawberry blonde and I decided to back to a red I had in the past but I hate it. It’s a 7.64 so a medium red copper…..do you think I have hope?
    You’re great Molly, I follow you from Italy xx

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      January 6, 2016

      Hi Fiammetta,

      Thank you for the love from Italy! I think if you let the red copper fade enough using these tricks that eventually you can get it back to Strawberry Blonde. I would use the Wella Color Charm formula for the next few times you color, of 1 tube Golden Blonde and either 3/4 or 1/2 a tube of Titian Red Blonde. Maybe 3/4 a tube of the Titian with a full tube of Golden Blonde for the first time, so your roots aren’t WAY lighter than the rest. Then the next time you color, you can do a little less of the Titian Blonde if you want your results to be more blonde. I hope this helps! Please let me know 🙂

      Molly

      • Fiammetta
        January 6, 2016

        Thank you so much for your reply 🙂
        I am in the middle of this fading process right now and it’s working…only the roots are still very red, especially the hairline. Did it happen to you as well? I’m concerned about this, thinking I’ll have to bleach them? Maybe I’ll try and shampoo just the roots.
        Kisses bella xxx

  • Emily
    July 12, 2016

    I’m going to try strip my hair when I get off work today. I dyed my hair with Feria box dye the power red r68 and it turned out like a bright maroon red. I wasn’t very happy! Thought my work would be mad for it looked like a very unnatural hair color. My natural hair color before that was a strawberry blonde/blonde ombré and now my ends have faded to a peach orange (because of the light ombre) and the top is still pretty red. I hope this saves my hair. Any other advise ??

  • Samantha
    July 29, 2016

    I Just came back from a salon today where I paid $90 for an absolute nightmare. All I had wanted them to do was match my roots to my tips which was a nice strawberry blonde that I had spent 4 months fading into from my last dye.
    What do they do instead? I get brass roots and copper penny to the rest. I left weeping. The worst thing is that my wedding is in 2 weeks. I am completely inconsolable at the moment. The only thing they told me to do was to keep washing it or put highlights in, which I really don’t want to do.
    I don’t want to dry my hair out too bad either, because like I said, wedding is 2 weeks away! If I had know they were going to butcher my hair so I would have walked down the aisle with my roots. I just don’t know what I’m going to do in such a short time

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      July 30, 2016

      Oh no, my heart hurts for you!! Weddings are so special and I totally understand how stressed out you must be. Try these tips and even though it’s hard, I know, it’ll be ok. You can get a lot of red out of your hair within a week using these tips. If you still aren’t happy with the color after washing it everyday like this for a week, then try going all over your hair with Wella color charm 8 Golden Blonde only. Don’t add any red to the formula, just the blonde. This should take it down a notch to Strawberry Blonde. But it can dry your hair out even more to color so close after having it dyed, so I’d try the other tips first. Do you know what brand of color the stylist used?

      Here is the wella color 8G Light Golden Blonde: http://rstyle.me/n/bv5hrdbb7df

  • Teri
    September 17, 2016

    Hi,

    Ok, went to the salon to give red a first-time try. I have naturally brunette hair…medium brown-dark underneath, more medium brown at the roots and I had highlights on the top & sides. I went armed with photos from Pinterest of hair that was labelled as having “Natural Red balayage with rose gold accents”. A pretty and natural looking shade just a bit darker than your hair is in the photo titled Titian Red Blonde + Red.
    I told my stylist that I preferred the more natural shades and that I didn’t want the dark reds that look burgundy and that I didn’t want super light highlights. Just a nice, natural looking light-medium auburn with some very light brown mixed in. She loved the hair in the photo and said it would be no problem.

    She put a brown in foils and then put the red on the rest of my hair. Unfortunately, it turned out a really dark brown with very bold, vibrant red….like, burgundy red. WAY darker than I had wanted. I didn’t freak out…just thought I’d wait and see if it grew on me. I don’t think it looks terrible but it’s definitely dark brown and the red is a deep auburn, almost burgundy.

    Will simple washing my hair with shampoo that’s not intended for use on colored hair and then conditioning well fix this or should I do something else? I’m afraid to go to the salon to get it fixed b/c I’m terrified they’ll want to add highlights to it that I don’t think will make it look more natural:)

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      September 23, 2016

      Hi Teri!

      Thanks for the comment and sorry to hear that happened! I would call the salon and ask the stylist for the shade numbers and brand she used. They should have everything written down on a card with your name on it. If she went really dark, level 6 or above, the shampoo alone might not help. You might have to go back in and have a color correction. The shampoo containing sulfates is a good start though. Let me know how it goes for you!

      xo Molly

  • Katey
    September 18, 2016

    I am reading your tips and would like to try but am a little nervous. I left the salon yesterday with a complete mess and head full of red hair with blonde highlights. I had dark brown hair before. Instead of putting in red and blond highlights to a brown base, she made my base red with blonde highlights. If I try these tips will my color turn orange as it is fading? I don’t want it orange either although it is close to that now. I want to start this today as I have to go to work tomorrow and I will get strange looks because of how red my hair is. I want this gone and am stressed about this 🙁

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      September 22, 2016

      Oh no! What brand and shades did she use? I’d try to shampoo your hair while dry and shampoo again in shower with a product containing sulfates (will strip red) and then if it’s still very bright, you could go over everything with JUST Wella 8G Light Golden Blonde on it’s own to try and soften the red and blend the highlights. Let me know how it goes.

      xo Molly

  • Melanie
    December 12, 2016

    Ugh i hope this works! I asked for light isla fisher red and i get roweba from superbatural red!

    • Girl Get Glamorous
      December 13, 2016

      Oh no! I hope it works for you too!! xo Molly

  • Laura Keenan
    January 25, 2017

    Hi, I colored my hair a week ago, hubby choice, ugh, lol. They don’t make my fave honey golden blonde with reddish tones,anymore. So we did this thin together, I have fairly thick, mostly in back long hair, mid back. Hubby loves the length. Anyway it’s a dark dark plum red In the house, but outside a bright dark Coppery plum red, bery brassy. I dont want orange. I dont want hilights either. Help Molly!! Hubby just says wash it 3 x a week instead of my usual 1 or 2x a week use sulfate shampoo, baby shampoo? I normally use sulfate free color protecting shampoo. I use coconut oils on it afterwards overnight, leave it on, sleep in it. Can I use clarion shimmerlights on it, afraid of orange or white. I’m 55 & pretty grey white now naturally, about 50%. What should I do? I’m totally fine with strawberry blonde like yours, my natural when I was in my teen’s and 20’s. Had my son n it went mousey dark blonde. Now I want your color. PLEASE help, Laura

  • Kat
    February 26, 2017

    Hello Girl Get Glamorous,

    I would like your help please. I have curly hair and I went to my trusted hair stylist. She had been giving me fantistic Deva Curl cuts for years and I love her dearly. I wanted to shake things up so I went to her to dye my hair light orange strawberry blond. She is a Redkin color specialist too, so I was hoping she would give me what I wanted. Unfortunately, she convinced me that lightening my hair too much would be too damaging on my healthy natural brunette curls. She convinced me to do a copper red-orange. I loved it at first, but the more I lived with it, the more I realized it was way too red, and not exactly what I wanted. I wanted to have light orange strawberry blond hair for so long! I had never gotten my hair permanently dyed professionally, so I felt very vulnerable while at the salon. After reading this article I have regained hope that there is something I can do. To tone down the red, should I use green food coloring? I never use sls shampoo on my hair, so should I put the green in my devacurl no-poo, lo-poo, and co-wash? Thank you for your time.

  • thebayingwife
    May 20, 2017

    Hey there! I actually really like your Titian Red only pics, that’s what Im looking for myself. I am naturally a darkish blonde colour (we call it dishwater blonde in UK :-/) with a red tone to it and some grown-out highlights which look like I have balayage, I want to look like a natural red head and the colour you go for looks about what I want (although i might go little more copper if i can) I wanted to try your combo at home but i simply cannot find the corresponding colours here in the UK! we seem to have completely different colour names and codes here within the same companies and on the box dyes from the pharmacy too, I don’t know if you have any idea how I can translate this all but I really wanna try one of your formulas and just can’t figure out how in the UK! Would love to know if you have any ideas! xxx Caroline

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