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HELP – My Hair Came Out Too Red! | How to Fix too Red or Brassy Hair

This is a question I’ve been getting a ton lately, “my hair came out too red, now what do I do?” I have been there! While it’s not what you want to see when you color your hair, it happens and can be fixed.

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.

Below, I tried a new hair 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) and I didn’t feel comfortable trying a bleach bath yet on my own. Below is my exact routine for getting my hair color less red.


Step 1 |  Strip – Clarifying Shampoo

Make sure whichever shampoo you choose actually HAS sulfate in it.  Many color safe shampoos don’t have sulfate, but you want this to help fade the red.  This one is affordable and what I used to strip the color.   

Put it on your hair when your hair is still dryThis is super important, because it 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 a minimum of 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.  

Shop Clarifying Shampoo |

Step 2 |  Tone – Toning Shampoo

Each color on the color wheel has an opposite color.  For red, the opposite shade is green.  For orange (think brassy) the opposite shade is purple or blue.  By putting a toner with the opposite color in your hair, you can neutralize the brassiness or red tones. 

I can not find a good green toning shampoo.  Instead, I put 1-2 drops of high quality green food dye into my color-safe, hydrating shampoo

You can always increase the amount of drops you add the next time you shampoo, but it’s always better to start small and build. 

For hair that is too brassy, use this orange toning shampoo

Shop Toning Shampoo + Drops

Step 3 | Hydrate

Steps 1-2 are 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 focusing on the ends. 

This one with Keratin transforms my hair back to silk when my hair is feeling brittle after coloring (and it’s only $8!)  This other favorite 2 step keratin mask is amazing, quick, and smells incredible. 

For deep conditioning when my hair needs moisture, I love this oil mask from this Brazilian brand and this deep conditioning mask from a favorite Italian hair brand that adds an incredible amount of shine. Both super high quality.

Also, adding a dime size amount of jojoba oil on your ends before you shampoo, when your hair is dry, will help your ends not get too dry.

Shop Deep Conditioners |

This three-step 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, the next time I colored, I did this formula and from then on, it’s been my go-to Strawberry Blonde color formula!

Related Post | My Favorite Strawberry Blonde Hair Color Formula

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

help my hair came out too red how to fade brassiness bright
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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Saturday 29th of January 2022

HI, I have naturally red hair but it get lighter as I'm getting older. My hair is a shade or two light than yours. I tried a new red at home hair color and it was a terrible experience. I have brassy red tones in my hair that won't budge and they are not even. I tried clarifying shampoo and purple shampoo and it won't fade.

What else can I do? I feel uncomfortable, like I've ruined my hair. Please help!!!!

With Gratitude,



Monday 13th of December 2021

hi My hair is too red. Would you suggest putting a semi-permanent brown colour on it? the hairdresser has said I can go back and they will put a toner on top which will cost me more money. Otherwise, I will try your advice. thanks

Grace Geiger

Monday 21st of January 2019

Thank you for putting this together- your experience and advice is invaluable! I recently took your picture to a hair salon (I’m to chicken to try on my own) and they dyed my hair a very bright, un-natural shade of red. Fortunately my aunt is a hair stylist, so I made a 3 hour trip to have her correct it. My base is blonde 7 or 8 and she bleached subtle highlights into my red dyed hair then added an Ivy (green) toner:

It came out a more natural shade of red this time, so much better.

Kersten Parrella

Thursday 29th of March 2018

My hair is naturally medium to dark blonde. A couple weeks ago I tried box dying it lighter blonde because in the winter my natural lighter highlights fade and it looked more brown than blonde. Anyways this golden blonde L'Oreal box dye turned my lighter blonde hair orange, and my darker blonde hair red. I went to an Aveda salon and asked for them to fix the red/orange and I wanted a natural blonde look with highlights and lowlights. They told me they couldn't fix the orange/red immediately, and they did this: -they highlighted my hair (to break up the red) -and then toned/added a gloss for about 8 minutes to counteract the red

One thing I noticed was the stylists said my hair "took" really well to the highlight and it brought some neutral blonde tones, which I like. However, other than that, my hair is still orange/red.

What I would like to know is: 1. Did the salon do the best they could to remove the red/orange, or were they being too conservative with my hair? If so, what should I ask to be done at another salon to achieve the best and quickest results possbile? 2. I tried buying purple shampoos and toners and nothing seems to be working on my hair! Should I try using a color stripping treatment like Pravana? Given my situation, would that only make my hair more orange/red, or would it help to remove that artificial color to my natural dark blonde?

Anissa Coleman

Sunday 11th of February 2018

Thank you for your wisdom! I will attempt to "fix" my too-red hair. And yes... Love me some bend and snap.

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