How to Get Rid of Orange Red in Hair Color

Apply tinted shampoo to neutralize orange-red tones in your hair color.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Dark hair travels through color routes of orange and red on the path to a lighter shade, especially for those journeying all the way to blond. The trick is to keep your hair from making an unexpected stop on this unattractive color. Even perfect hair color can fade to an orange red because of sunlight, harsh shampoos or minerals that lurk in your water. Fast action is needed to lift the unwanted color out of your hair and to keep it from making a return appearance on your colored tresses.


Wash your hair in a violet-, blue- or green- tinted shampoo. "The best way to correct a color 'oops' is to neutralize it with another color on the opposite end of the color wheel," advises Phoenix master stylist Deserae Blackman. "Color-depositing shampoos are a safe way to get rid of orange-red hues without putting your hair through another coloring process." One wash will make a big difference on your strands and repeated use every two to three weeks will block the return of the unwanted shade.


Deep-condition your hair with a moisturizing protein-based conditioner before adding additional color. Color bonds best to a healthy hair shaft, according to New York City stylist Vincent Roppatte. Make it a habit to repeat this step every couple of weeks to keep your hair sizzilicious, strong and oh-so-healthy.


Apply an ash toner to counteract the orange-red color. (See Reference 1) "Another option is to apply a color correcting demi-permanent hair color in a green-based shade to neutralize the unwanted tones in your tresses," says Blackman. "This deposits more color than the shampoo on the hair shaft but still doesn't penetrate with a harsh chemical like the permanent hair color process." Be sure to set your timer for the minimum time recommended by the manufacturer. Check the color when the timer sounds and rinse out the mixture if your hair is your desired shade. If more time is needed, recheck the color every five minutes or until you've reached the maximum recommended processing time. Both of these color options are temporary fixes that you repeat in six to eight weeks.


Wash and condition your hair with a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner. Allow your hair the opportunity to air-dry, or blow-dry into your favorite rocking style. Slip on out the door and enjoy being the hottest chick in town again.

Things You'll Need


1.Tinted shampoo

3.Ash toner


7.Color-protecting conditioner

2.Deep conditioner

4.Demi-permanent hair color

6.Color-protecting shampoo

8.Blow dryer (optional)


Tips & Tricks


Wash your hair only twice a week to reduce the risk of fading caused by minerals in your water. Or use pure bottled water as your final rinse after conditioning.


Related Videos




Allure: The Ten Commandments of Gorgeous Hair Color
Deserae Blackman; Master stylist, JC Penney Salon; Phoenix, AZ "Cool Hair"; Vincent Roppatte and Sherry Suib Cohen; 2003

Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Hair Type
or Register
Daily Look


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account