If you’ve ever tried a new at-home hair color formula and it’s come out way too red, your first thought was probably “now what do I do?” I have been there! While it’s probably not what you wanted to see when you colored your hair, it happens and can be fixed.
You don’t have to be a redhead to have this issue. Almost every person who has colored their hair has had it come out too brassy or just a little off.
Thankfully, this 3-step method is a fairly easy fix, won’t cause any more chemical damage, and is affordable.
Below is my exact routine for getting my hair color less red. I was so happy with the results, so I hope this method helps you too!
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 will help to strip the color.
Put it on your hair when your hair is still dry. This is super important, because applying the shampoo on dry hair will help pull more of 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, add water, and rinse.
You can do this “shampoo bath” every day or every other day, until you feel like your hair has stripped enough of the red out.
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. So I made my own and loved the results.
To make your own toning shampoo: put 4-6 drops of this high quality green food dye into a hydrating shampoo. Mix thoroughly with a q-tip and apply to your wet hair, leave on for a few minutes, then rinse and condition as normal.
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. I know making your own toning shampoo can be a bit scary the first time, but try and trust the process!
For hair that is too brassy, you can use this orange toning shampoo.
You can see in the photo below, the green shampoo helps tone down the reddish colors and neutralizes the color. In the “after,” there are still some reddish tones, but the brown tone is more visible. The results are really subtle and natural looking, in the best way.
These before-and-after results were only after one round of green shampoo. You can do this green shampoo combo as often as you’d like, but you might only need to do it once or twice.
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 using a protein mask and a hydrating mask on different days after you shampoo.
This one with Keratin transforms my hair back to silk when my hair is feeling brittle after coloring and it’s only $8! I’ve purchased this mask four times for myself and twice for friends.
For deep conditioning, when my hair needs moisture, I use this $12 Japanese hair mask (use only a tiny amount!) and my hair is back in good shape. I’ve purchased this mask twice now. The tub is huge and you really do only need a nickel size amount or less.
Also, when your hair is still dry, add a dime size amount of jojoba oil on your ends before you shampoo. It will help your ends not get too dry from all the added washing.
This three-step combo should fade the red significantly, keep your color from turning brassy, eliminate the need to put dye right back on top of your hair, and hopefully help keep your hair 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.