Natural Ways to Tone Down Hair Color

Tone down your hair color with easy home remedies.

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Dye jobs gone bad are enough to make you want to chop off all your locks. Put down the scissors, girl, and try some natural methods to tone down the color instead. Sure, it's unsettling to look in the mirror and see a bright red head of hair when you were going for auburn, but at least it's not permanent. Act quickly and you can tone down the color a shade or two.


Throw on your bikini, grab some sun block and head to the beach for a day in the sun. The sunlight is a natural way to lighten your hair color. Exposing your hair to the sun will help to lift out the color. Just be careful not to get burnt in the process. And remember, you really don't have much control on just how much your hair will be lightened.

Baking Soda

The alkaline in baking soda helps to open up the cuticle in your hair, which will allow the dye to wash out easier. Mix about a teaspoon of baking soda with 2 pints of warm water, then pour it onto your hair. Work it into your strands for a few minutes, then rinse. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual. Repeat as many times as needed until you're happy with the hue.


Head to the pool for a swim to help tone down your hair color. The chlorine in the pool will help to lighten it a shade or two. Go swimming for an hour or so a couple times a week until your hair color is a desirable shade. Wait until you've shampooed your hair a few times before jumping in, though. Swimming too soon can cause excessive amounts of color to be lost.

Dish Soap

Grab a bottle of grease-cutting dish soap and hop in the shower to wash your hair. That's right, dish soap helps to tone down your hair color. Mix a few drops of dish soap with the regular amount of shampoo and use it to scrub your strands. Rinse your hair well and follow up with a conditioner. Repeat as necessary to achieve the desired results.


To effectively tone down your hair color, act quickly. With the exception of swimming, any of the other methods should be done within the first 48 to 72 hours after applying the color. Use the hottest water you can tolerate when trying to tone down your hair color. Once you've reached the desired shade, give your hair a deep conditioning treatment to reduce damage and restore moisture lost during the process.

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