How to Fix My Too Bright Red Hair Color

The lighter your natural hair color, the brighter red your colored hair will be.

Photo: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Rob Daly/OJO Images Ltd/Digital Vision/Getty Images

You're not the first person to color her hair a beautiful red shade only to end up with something resembling a stop sign. If your hair color could stop traffic, and you want to tone it down, don't worry, there's a solution. Whether you just want to muffle the red or cancel it out altogether, a better hair color is just a tamer shade away.

A Little Correction


If your hair color is just a little bit too red, you can tone down the excess by simply adding a little brown or dark blonde to your existing color. A nice, neutral shade of brown or dark blonde in your desired level of darkness should do the trick.


Mix up the semi-permanent hair color you chose with a 10-volume developer, making sure to follow the mixing instructions of the brand you chose.


Apply it all over your hair, from root to tip. With gloved hands, gently massage the color into the hair so you don't miss any spots.


Set a timer for 10 minutes and let that color tame your fiery tresses. Once the 10 minutes are up, rub a small section of the hair to remove the hair color and check on your hair's progress. If the color looks more to your liking, you can rinse the semi-permanent color off now. If you're not quite there yet, reapply some color to the section and set the timer for another five to 10 minutes, depending on how far off you are.


Rinse the color from your head once you've got the color you want. Slather on some conditioner to seal the hair and rinse thoroughly. You should now be sporting a tamer, reddish-brown or blonde hair color.

A Lot of Correction


If you've really gone too far with the red, you're going to need a little more help than a simple, neutral hair color can give you. Instead find an ash-brown or ash-blonde semi-permanent hair color in the shade that closely matches what you wanted in the first place.


Mix the color and developer according to the product directions and apply it evenly to all of your hair.


Set a timer for 10 minutes and check a small section of hair by rubbing the color off once the time has elapsed. If the ash color has tamed enough of the red for you, rinse the color. If your hair is still too flame-like, reapply to that spot and give it another five to 10 minutes.


Rinse the color from your hair and apply some conditioner. Let the conditioner sit on your hair for two minutes to moisturize and seal the hair shaft. Rinse and breathe a sigh of relief as you admire your new, tamer hair color.

Things You'll Need


1.Semi permanent hair color

3.Latex gloves


2.10-volume developer




Tips & Tricks


Now, don't panic. Ash colors have a base color of green, but your hair won't end up green. Instead, the green will cancel out the red and leave you with a neutral brown or dark blonde shade. Think of when you mixed finger paints as a kid; if you mixed the red and the green you got brown. It's the same color theory that worked so well in kindergarten.

If the too-red hair color you used was a permanent hair color, it will likely start to show through as the semi-permanent, corrective color fades. Once it becomes too red again, you can reapply the same semi-permanent color to cover up or neutralize the red.

Using a permanent color to correct your red hair color could really dry out your hair. While a semi-permanent hair color will fade in a few weeks, it's gentler nature won't dry out your hair.


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