How to Correct Hair Color That Is Too Red

If you're not comfortable with locks as red as Ashley Simpson's, there is a way to tone it down.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When it comes to hair color, some like it red hot, while others would prefer to douse the flames. If you have found yourself with a hair color that's a little too spicy for your taste, you can turn down the heat with a little corrective coloring. What you use will depend on just how far you want to dial down the fire factor. When attempting to tone down your hair, buying your color and developer separately, from a beauty supply store, gives you more control over the developer strength than drug store kits offer.


Head to your local beauty supply store and purchase a neutral or ash-based hair color of the same level as the color you have now. The ash-based hair color, with its green base, will completely neutralize the red tones in your hair. A neutral-based hair color will tone down the reds but still leave some warmth.


Mix the hair color and 10-volume developer, according to the product directions, in the color bowl. Make sure you get the color-to-developer ratio right or it won't neutralize that red hue.


Mix the color and developer together with the color brush until the mixture is one color and lump-free. Put on your gloves to keep the color off your pretty hands.


Apply the color to your overly red hair. You'll want to apply the color via the virgin application method. Apply the color 1 inch from the scalp to 2 inches from the ends. Then go back and apply the color to all the roots and ends.


Set a timer for 30 minutes and let that new color calm down or evict the red tones in the first color.


When the timer rings, rinse that color out and apply a conditioner for color-treated hair. Rinse after one minute and go admire your less-fiery tresses.

Things You'll Need


1.Neutral or ash-based hair color

3.Color bowl and brush

5.Old towel or hairdressing cape

2.10-volume developer

4.Latex gloves



Tips & Tricks


To avoid your hair going too red in the first place, try avoiding hair colors that already have a red or warm base to them. Instead, keep it neutral or ash.

The reason for the virgin color application method is to make sure you end up with even results all throughout your hair. The heat of the scalp, and porosity of the ends, will make both process faster than the mid-shaft area. By staggering the application you give the middle a head start.

Your hair color should complement your skin tone. If you have a warm skin tone, stick to hair colors with golds or reds in them. For a cool skin tone, stick to the neutral or ash-based colors.


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