How to Fix Ash Hair Color

Red dye counteracts green or ash undertones in hair.

Photo: Hemera Technologies/ Images

All hair has natural undertones consisting of the three primary colors: red, blue and green. When the undertone is green, the color is considered ash. Hair dyes try to mimic these natural undertones, but sometimes they go overboard. If you're looking a little green, you have too much ash in your hair -- you can thank your dye for that. Luckily, changing the tone of your hair is not rocket science. You just have to put a bit of red in it -- red is opposite green on the color wheel and counteracts it. You have three options.


Counteract the ash with hair color. Pick a red-based hair color that is the same level of darkness or lightness as your hair. Mix up equal parts color and 10-volume color developer in a color bottle. Coat your hair with it and wait 25 minutes. Shampoo and condition.


Change the tone gradually with red color-enhancing shampoo and conditioner. These products infuse a bit of color into your hair each time you use them. Lather up with the shampoo each time you shampoo. Use the conditioner -- leave it on five minutes -- until you achieve the color you want. Then use it whenever you start seeing the green poking back through.


Blend the ash away with strawberry-blond highlights. Put a highlighting cap on your head and pull hair through each hole with a highlighting needle. Slap red-based lightener mixed with 20-volume color developer on it and cover with a plastic cap. Wait 35 to 45 minutes until you achieve a strawberry blond color. Rinse, pull the cap off, shampoo and condition.

Things You'll Need


1.Red hair color

3.Color bottle

5.Color-enhancing conditioner

7.Highlighting needle

9.20-volume color developer


2.10-volume color developer

4.Color-enhancing shampoo

6.Highlighting cap

8.Red-based hair lightener

10.Plastic cap


Tips & Tricks


The method you choose depends on the look you want to achieve and how damaged your hair is. If you already have a lot of damage, go with the shampoo option.


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"Milady's Standard Textbook of Cosmetology"; Milady, et al.; 2008

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