How to Tone Down Hair Color That's Too Red

Brown hair naturally takes on a reddish cast as it lightens.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Thanks to your latest hair-color adventure, that red on your head is bolder than you expected, huh? Well, shrieking and crying may help restore your inner calm, but it won't take the spice out of that hair color. You need a color intervention, and you need one fast. Lucky for you, you can tone down that red easily with a quick, deposit-only color application. Pick a color that is the same level of darkness as your red hair or darker. Trying to lighten your hair at this point may result in more intense red tones. So slap some color on that head, Ginger!


Empty the contents of the color into the color bottle. Add an equal amount of color developer. Screw on the lid to the color bottle, place your finger over the hole on the lid and shake vigorously until well blended.


Put on a pair of plastic or vinyl gloves to keep the color from staining your skin and nails.


Apply the color to your clean, dry hair from roots to tips. Use small sections so that the color will coat all of the hair. For quick application, use the tip of the color bottle to section off 1/2-inch sections of hair, squirt the color onto the section of hair and work it in with your fingertips. Continue applying color until all of the hair appears wet.


Set a timer for 20 minutes. When it rings, get back to work.


Rinse your hair with warm water until the water runs clear. Shampoo twice to remove any leftover color. Slather some conditioner on it, wait five minutes and rinse with cool water. Towel dry and style.

Things You'll Need


1.Color bottle

3.10-volume (strength) color developer



2.Green- or blue-based hair color





Tips & Tricks


When shopping for color, look for green- and blue-based hair color. Some words to look for on the packaging include ash, beige and cool. Natural colors also could work if the red is not too intense. Natural colors have an equal amount of all of the color bases and do not fall into any particular base color.


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