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How to Remove Red Hair Dye

Updated on March 1, 2016
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If you've dyed your hair red and don't like the color, you don't have to put up with it. Contrary to popular belief that red is the most difficult color to remove, it can actually be a relatively easy and quick process. You can remove red hair dye and return to a less fiery color with less hassle than you've been led to believe.

Choosing a new color

Before you even begin to remove red hair dye from your hair, you need to have a new hair color in mind. This is because the process is slightly different depending on which hair color you'd like to achieve. The new shade will fall into one of these three categories:

  • Lighter hair color
  • Darker hair color
  • Same level

In the case of a lighter hair color, you can't just dye over the color in order to remove the red hair dye and lighten your hair. The lightening needs to be performed as a separate step prior to dyeing with the new shade. To achieve a darker hair color however, requires nothing more than the application of a new dye, but the shade chosen needs to be based on correcting the red tone as it darkens to the new color.

What if you don't want to go lighter or darker though? As luck would have it, if you don't want to go lighter or darker and just want to remove the red tone from your hair, this is also achievable. Once you've decided on the color result you'd like to achieve, you can proceed to eliminating the red and transforming the look of your hair.

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Achieving a lighter hair color

If you have red hair and you want to go lighter whilst also eliminating the red, you can't simply apply a new shade of hair dye over the red and hope it will work. Hair that has been dyed can't be lightened with more hair dye, and the hair dye itself won't neutralize the red tone if it's the wrong shade.

The first step towards dyeing red hair lighter is to apply hair dye remover to strip out as much as the artificial color as possible. Hair dye remover breaks the artificial color molecules down into a form that can be washed out of the hair, rinsing out permanent hair color. It can't always remove all of the hair dye, but it will save you hassle down the track by removing as much color as possible without damage and making it easier to lighten it further with other methods later on.

Bleaching your hair

Following the use of hair dye remover, you will notice that the product itself takes out a lot of the red tone and lightens your hair a little. It won't usually be enough to eliminate the red hair dye entirely; nor will it be able to lighten your hair to a much lighter shade like a light blonde though. If your hair is still too dark for your desired color, the next step is to use bleach to lighten it further.

When applying the bleach, you can leave the product for up to an hour whilst it works. A single bleach process on dyed hair will lift around 3 levels, which is enough to take dark brown to dark blonde, or light brown to light blonde. If you want to lighten your hair more than that, you will need to either bleach it twice or choose a color that requires less lightening to achieve.

You also should only bleach your hair if your hair is in good condition and hasn't been damaged by other chemicals like perms or excessive dyeing. If your hair is damaged, you shouldn't be attempting to go lighter. It's not impossible, and it won't ruin your hair in most cases, but it certainly won't do it any favors in terms of how it looks and feels.

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The last step between your old red hair color and your new color is to apply a new hair dye to your hair. You absolutely must use an ash shade here. If you don't use an ash shade, the red will not be corrected and will persist in your final color because it is the green tone in the ash dye that will eliminate the red tone from your hair.

The shade you use should also be at least one level lighter than your current level to avoid over-toning as hair that has been through color removal tends to be porous and will absorb more dye than expected. You are using the dye to tone out the red and achieve a neural color, not to actually dye your hair an ash shade. If you use the exact level, your hair can end up gray to greenish instead of natural.

To apply the dye, section out your hair and apply as with any other hair dye. Working quickly is of the utmost importance here in order to achieve an even result. Following application, this process needs to be watched constantly because toning can be quick. You'll get the best results if you rinse it once the red tone is neutralized and you like how it looks.

If you're aiming for a golden or beige shade, this will mean it is washed out sooner, whilst it will have to be left in longer to achieve a natural or ash shade. You don't have to leave it in for the full development time; simply remove the dye when the red is eliminated and you have a color you're happy with.

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Achieving a darker hair color

If you'd like to get rid of red hair and the new hair color you want is darker than your current color, this is the easiest way to eliminate red hair. In this process, all you will need to do is apply a darker color. It's the choice of shade that will get rid of red hair dye by neutralizing it.

There is one rule to follow when applying this darker color, and that rule is that you need to use a hair dye with cool tones to counteract the red in your hair. If you don't do this, the red will persist in your new color and make it appear warmer than you intended. The darker the dye is, the better it will cover, but that red tone will never completely be removed.

If you can live with a little warmth in your new color as opposed to your previous red color, this won't matter and you can simply use the exact shade you want, or at least a shade that is slightly cooler. If you don't want even a hint of red left in your golden brown, it's best to mix your color with a cooler shade.

To do this, all you need to do is mix your desired shade with the corresponding ash shade. Iif you wanted to go from a light red blonde to a medium natural brown, you wouldn't use the medium natural brown shade by itself as the excess red in your hair will result in your color looking warmer than intended. Mix 1/4 medium ash brown into the shade and you will prevent this from happening.

In most cases, mixing your desired shade with 1/4 of the same ash shade will be enough to take away any excess red. The darker you are transitioning from your starting color, the less you will need to add. If your new color is only slightly darker than you started, you will need to add more ash to counteract the red.

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Tone-on-tone dyeing for a same-level result

If you don't want to go lighter or darker and just want to remove red hair dye from your hair, you might think this is impossible. The popular conception is that red hair can only be removed by bleaching your hair extensively or covering over it with a dark color.

All hair color tones follow the same rules that color theory is based around. Tones opposite to each other on the ubiquitous color wheel neutralize each other, and you can see this process at work in the toning of blonde hair with violet shampoo. The violet tone counteracts a gold tone in blonde hair because the colors themselves, when combined, form a neutral shade.

The red tone is subject this rule of toning too, and by looking at a color wheel you can see that the color directly opposite to red is green. In order to remove red hair dye, you need to add green tone to your hair to correct the red tone. You can do this by using green-based ash hair dye.

Toning dark red hair

Hair color is based around a level system where the first number used to identify the dye allows you to decipher how dark the shade is. These levels range from a level one, which is black, to a level 10, which is the lightest blonde. Red hair fits into one of these levels depending on how dark it is.

If your hair is a bright red color for example, it may be a level 7 in the system, characterizing it as a medium red blonde. For all intents and purposes, this color isn't blonde as most people would understand it. What makes it a medium blonde color is how dark the actual shade is. In this sense, even though it looks like a cherry red color, it sits on one of the blonde levels. If you were to neutralize the red tone in your hair to a natural tone, you would actually be left with a blonde color.

The process of toning red out of your hair is easiest when your hair is in the brown range of levels. Shades from a level 5 to a level 3 correspond to light brown through to dark brown, and the ash dyes available in this level range all contain green pigment which will counteract the red in your hair. All that is required in this case is to apply an ash dye one shade lighter than your current level to neutralize the red tone and take you back to a natural brown.

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Wella Koleston Perfect Permanent Creme Haircolor 1+1 8/2 Light Matt Blonde
Wella Koleston Perfect Permanent Creme Haircolor 1+1 8/2 Light Matt Blonde

Wella Koleston 8/2 Light Matte Blonde dye can be used to eliminate the red from red hair that is a level 7, toning it to a natural medium blonde.

 

Toning bright red hair

If your hair is a brighter red color in the blonde range of levels, you'll find that ash dyes in this level range no longer contain green pigment. Once you reach the blonde range, ash dyes have switched to a blue primary tone, and then to a violet-blue tone as you get lighter towards level 10 lightest blonde .

Some brands, like Wella Koleston, produce a separate ash blonde line containing green tone, which is actually designed to neutralize red tones in blonde hair when lightening natural hair or performing a color correcton on dyed hair. These dyes shouldn't be used on most blonde hair, but for eliminating red and toning your hair back to a natural blonde color, they are perfect.

If you don't know what dyes to look for to tone out the red from your hair, you can use the table below. To use this table, match your bright red hair to the red color on the left and then choose one of the hair dyes listed that can be used to tone the red out of your hair. For the best results, use a shade that is one level lighter than your current level to avoid over-toning your hair. These ash dyes are intense in pigment and you don't need to use the same level as your hair to tone with them.

Choosing a toner

Red color
Redken dye
Wella dye
Iso I.Color dye
6 Dark red blonde
7ag Medium blonde
7/2 Medium blonde
7AA Medium blonde
7 Medium red blonde
8ag Light blonde
8/2 Light blonde
8AA Light blonde
8 Light red blonde
9ag Very light blonde
9/2 Very light blonde
9AA Very light blonde

Once you've eliminated your red hair, it's important to look after your color. All hair dyes fade, including permanent colors, and your new color will look best when it's properly maintained. If at any point your color fades substantially over time, you can use color refresher shampoos to return it to a more vibrant appearance. By looking after your hair and caring for your color, you will guarantee that your hair looks great now and well into the future.

Do you have a question about removing red hair dye? Need help to eliminate the red from your hair? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.

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    • profile image

      Olivia 6 hours ago

      Hi! I'm looking to go from a redish orange to a rose gold! I have the rose gold colour I want...do I just throw it overtop and see what happens? What kind of colour would I get??? Thanks!

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      Latonya 3 weeks ago

      I have a red ash rinse on my hair.... I'm trying to go blonde what do I need to do

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      Olivia 5 weeks ago

      I had bleached my hair then put on an intense red blonde dye. As my natural hair grows out, I continue to use the same color dye. Obviously, as the red fades, the bleached portion of hair fades much faster than the parts that are brown hair dyed red. My plan is to go a deep red brown but I'm concerned that the bleached parts won't hold onto the brown dye. What would you suggest I do when I go about dying it? Aside from chopping off the bleached part since that's still 80% of my hair!

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      Gina 6 weeks ago

      Use a colour corrector. I use colour b4 and its always worked. It's worth trying this before bleach . It won't work as well if your hair is pre bleached. Bleach after if you need to, it will be a light ginger after.

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      Terri 2 months ago

      I have lightened my hair from dark brown to ginger / copper / honey blonde. The hair on top is a darker copper than the hair underneath. Is there a way to tone down the copper tones without turning my hair a light dirty shade of green ? I want to use as few chemicals as possible to improve the condition of my hair.

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      Jerri Allen 2 months ago

      How do I get red tint out of to of my root. Please help! Thanks,

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      Jordan 2 months ago

      I naturally have dirty blonde/ brown hair and want to get rid of my red! I read the article and the comments below but still don't know how to get rid of my red and i don't want to bleach it

    • profile image

      Kirstinn Edmond 2 months ago

      Hi i put a vilolet vixan colour over my blonde and i want to go back to my ash blonde how do i do this easy what blonde can i pt straight on

    • profile image

      Lynnie 2 months ago

      A friend retouched her hair up and a little to much RV, to dark. She wants it lighter. What would she do to lighten?

      She's in the level 7 reds

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      Charley 2 months ago

      Hi my hair is really damaged coz I have bin bleaching it for many years I dyed it red a few days ago an i hate it is there any way i can change the colour without my hair fallen out

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      Noella Kucheran 2 months ago

      My hair turned out to be apple red and I wanted a nice warm cinnamon brown. Help. It was a kind of washed out looking copper brown and I put a medium auburn dye on it and yikes candy apple red. Help

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      Monique 3 months ago

      I filled with colorful protein in warm brown over bleached hair that had dyed butmeg but didn't take on ends. Thenput medium copper brown o and it's now really red!!?? Help she wants medium brown with some copper highlights, but this is just crazy red!!!

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      Tara 3 months ago

      I used to have dark brown hair but I bleached it and colored it a deep red. Now I want to color it back to the dark brown without having any red tones afterwards. What do I do?

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      Nidal zeitouni 4 months ago

      I have medium red hair ,I want it to be light brown , I did highlight but it turned orange , so I end up having red hair with orange highlights, and after three days I dyed it dark blonde but the result was worse ,how can I turn my hair to light brown or brownies .

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      Angela 4 months ago

      VANISH color corrector is the ONLY one that seems to work for most people. I have used it 2 times (5 boxes the first time 3 years ago) I have just purchased 4 boxes this week. IT WORKS....but it may take several boxes to get it all out. I Love it!! Amazon sells it and also HairCrazy.com.

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      Crystal 5 months ago

      I put a temporary red in my hair and I don't like it I want my hair brown maybe a little red

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      Carmen 5 months ago

      Can you please help me I was a Red before but putting a black cherry in my hair toned it down lastnight I dye my whole hair my roots are black cherry but the bottom of hair is like a brown what color can I dye my roots? Please help event at 6 thank you

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      Monica 5 months ago

      hello, I need some advice on how to change colored red hair to a golden brown without bleach. Is it possible ?

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      Marry frank 5 months ago

      Hi, this article is very helpful!!!!

      I dyed my hair burgandy 2 months ago, I want to make it lighter, thinking of dying it ash blonde now, or may be goldenish blonde but im scared as to which color will I achieve after this....would it work???

      My natural color is dark brown, I've dyed my hair color 3 times or so...please help!!!

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      Kay 5 months ago

      Hi! I used garnier plus 6.66 to dye my hair 'garnet red'. To get back to a natural light brown colour would I be right in thinking I could use the garnier olia dark blonde 7?

      Thank you

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      Keristan 6 months ago

      I have red hair and want to go back to my dark brown. How do I need to go about it without spending a ton of money an ruining my hair?

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      lebeast 6 months ago

      Hey! For someone with bright red and orange hair that are semi permanent colors, would a color stripper be my best bet? I'm trying to go lavender, my natural hair color is dark brown but have been bleaching it for like 4 years. Any tips would be Mega helpful! Thx!

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      lebeast 6 months ago

      hey! Thx for this article!! Just wanted your expertise on my hair. My hair is naturally dark brown, but I've been bleaching and using semi permanent dyes on it for like 4 years. Currently it's bright red, and I wanna change it to a lavender violet color, will a color stripper work? Or do I have to bleach?

      Thx again!

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      Bianca 6 months ago

      Used ion color brilliance on blonde hair turned like a reddish want to remove without bleach what to do

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      Michelle 7 months ago

      I'm naturally red but as I've got older it's got darker I've put an intense red on and its far to bright what colour can i put on to make it more like my own

    • profile image

      alex 7 months ago

      Hey i had a very vibrant red colour in my hair that has faded to a orange/fairy floss colour, would dying my hair a darker colour with cool tones still work?

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      Kiek 7 months ago

      I dyed my hair using Loreal Feria R57 POWER REDS - INTENSE MEDIUM AUBURN / CHERRY CRUSH. I rushed and half assed it and missed some roots at the top of my forehead. I tried to fix it about week later (Probably shouldn't have waited so long.) and the color still didn't take to the roots at my forehead and now I have bright cherry red on the top of my hair and it fades to a dull auburn an inch or two from the roots. The color at my forehead is a light auburn.

      My hair is currently 3 different shades of red. How do I even this out?

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      Lisa 8 months ago

      Hi, I've got bright red hair can I dye it with a black / blue LIVE colour.

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      Sandy 8 months ago

      I am a hairdresser . I did a client who I've been doing for years. This time I added a drop of cherry cola (shades) to my formula of 6.0 and 6.68 (schwartzkoff) the color came out red. I tried straight moss on her hair. It didn't budge what can I do.

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      ally 8 months ago

      hi, i recently dyed my hair dark brown burgundy its by the ion brand, & i like it a lot my hair is just getting damaged so i was wondering if theres a way for me to just go back to my natural color without causing more damage?

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      Christy 8 months ago

      Hey I have some dark Red parts and other parts brown. I want to dye the parts that are dark red a light copper mahogany brown and the brown parts a dark intense red. Can I dye the dark red parts over or will I have to use a color remover?

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      Kate 8 months ago

      Hi, I have been reading the threads and you are so knowledgeable!

      I am a natural dirty blonde but have been been coloring my hair a Miss Clairol high lift ultra cool blonde with a 30 volume developer for the last 15 years (at home). I recently went a copperish red and I just dont care for it. I had it professionally done and she did a redken color with a gloss on the roots. I am interested in going back to my light blonde hair. Is it possible to do this without bleaching as I have only ever used developer and color on my hair and not bleach?

      If I use a color remover and then the 30 volume developer and my usual hair color, will it lift to that color or will it be a weird red/orangey color. My hair is really really healthy and would prefer to avoid bleach, but will do whatever necessary to get back to my light blonde and feel like myself again.

      Thank you in advance!

      Kate

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      Carolina G. 10 months ago

      Hello,

      I found a green corrective additive for hair dye since i dont have access to any of the other dyes on your list. What would you recommend I add it to if I have a level 7 "blond copper golden" and I want to go for a level 7/8 golden blond? Should I add it to a level 8 ash or natural?

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      Alexandra 10 months ago

      I have ashy golden brown hair. I also have keratin tip extensions in my hair the same color as mine to match. I decided I wanted to have my hair a little redder so I dyed it an auburn red. The color was way darker on the tips then my roots so I then used oops to just get it out. Oops made my hair orange!!! I already dyed my hair 2 times in 2 days but the orange was so gross I didn't want to go out the house. I did research online and then decided the next day to use a medium ash brown to get orange out and just be brown. Well it only worked on my ends again!!! My real hair on the top is still orange! What should I do now? I hate my color. This is very frustrating and tiring.

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      Tina 10 months ago

      Help, my daughter is a natural brunette and she decided to dye her hair red and then figured out is was not for her and wanted to try and go back to her natural color as close as possible or remove the red somehow. We went and bought brown color garnier dye and put it on and it may have toned it down a bit but the red is definitely still there and she is not happy. do you suggest she gets it fixed professionally, though we do not wanted to pay the money or just go to a beauty supply store and they will be able to suggest to us what we can do? if we do it on our own how to you suggest we go about it and what colors should be used.

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      Melissa 11 months ago

      Hi, my natural color is light to medium brown and highlighted most of my life. A few years ago started to box dye it and at one point used an auburn, since then been trying to get it back to my natural color. I was told to use the wella toner dye (nuetral one) but I'm so confused that the wella toner dyes only come in blondes, I did do it once but was told that I had to keep doing it until the red completely is out of my hair than dye it to the closest color to my natural. I used the toner blonde dye once or twice & then kept mistakenly choosing the regular wella browns that were closer to my natural color, only to keep see the red coming thru. What should I do to get the red dye completely out of my hair to go back to my light to medium brown natural color? I just dyed it again tonight & used wella light brown (turned out dark brown, close to auburn b/c of the red).

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      sally 11 months ago

      I am a level 8 copper gold and 7 cooper red. I want to go light brown and put some blonde highlights. what should i do to get it to light brown

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      Crystal 11 months ago

      Hi Maffew ! I am naturally about 75 % grey with the rest a level 5. My hair is short and is currently a 4RV all over . Previous to that i was an ombre ( dark roots - 3N with light beige blonde ends -level 10).

      Because the red/ violet kept fading I have colored it over and over the same tone in about a 1 month span. Once using a semi permanent and the other times using permanent. I want to go back to the ombre ( dark to light) the easiest/gentliest way.

      What would you suggest ?

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      Helena 12 months ago

      Hi Maffew! I've been dyeing my hair red (revlonissimo 55.60) for 5 years now. I now want to dye it to a red violet tone (koleston wella 55/65). Is it possible?? Can I just dye over my current color? I don't really want to go through the process of hair dye remover or even bleach it... :/ Don't know if it's necessary, but my natural hair is dark brown.

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      Rhi 13 months ago

      I'm naturally a 5/6 dark blonde/light brown, for the past year I've been using an 8RG/7G combination with a 20v developer to dye my hair strawberry blonde.

      I love the colour but I'm ready to switch to a lower maintenance style. I'd like to reverse baylayage in a natural coloured root & have the rest of it be a neutral blonde shade - any recommendation for what to cover the red & gold tones with? :)

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      Pauline 13 months ago

      HELP! I'm a brunette, naturally with over half turned silver. I colored my hair yesterday with 5G Medium Golden Brown and its just too red for me. How do I get the red toned down and bring out more brown? My nephews wedding is in 5 days! Thanks for your time & help!

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      Cheryl 13 months ago

      Hello. I have a nightmare for hair! It has been dyed and bleached too many times. So I've been trying to stay away from permanent dyes. So right now I have it dyed with manic panic red and then I put a perminant red on top of that... I know. So bad! Anyway what I'm wondering is if I made a brown using manic panic red and green do you think it would work? Or is there a better way to get rid of the red and achieve a nice brown colour with minimal damage? If I just put a brown dye on top would it work? I'm not sure what level my hair is at. The top is a lot lighter than the ends. So it's a few different levels. Like I said. A nightmare! Help!

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      Daniella 14 months ago

      I originally had darkish chestnut hair, I died a dark red over it and I understand exactly what your saying with nutrulizing the color but I'm a bit nervous what exact hair dye would you recommend that wI'll compleatly eliminate the red in my hair ?

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      JiveBunny73 14 months ago

      Hey Maffew! Hope you're still reading this.

      I have been dying my hair a bold red for years. At the moment, I'm using semi-permanent dye so I can grow out enough virgin hair (eventually) to have a good chance of bleaching it so I can add a bright fashion colour. I will have some permanent red dye in the mid-lengths or at least the ends left - after using colour remover, will bleaching it take care of this?

      Should I just use the Directions violet toner all over afterward, as I'm going over it with a non-natural colour, rather than going for a natural blonde? Or do I need to dye it first as you suggest above? I'm wary of there being too much damage if I bleach twice or bleach then permanent dye. (If I can't easily get the last traces of red out I might just go pillarbox :)

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      Thalia13 16 months ago

      Hiya! I was wondering if you could help me with changing my hair colour. My hair is dark blonde with some gray and now I dye it light copper with using half 9.0 and half 9.4 with 30% peroxide.

      I want to go to light blonde and i was wondering how to do it. Any advice?

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      Deborah 16 months ago

      I am attempting to tone down my hair. My hair is light red and I want take some of the red out and even out my roots. The hair number is 8RN/71RG with 20 standard lift and I use both even volume. I am 75% gray.

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      Kat 16 months ago

      I used a box red on my light brown hair and it was really dark red. I then went to the salon because I didn't like the red and wanted to do an ombré with medium/light brown on top with blonde on bottom. When the girl tried doing this it turned a light brown all over with orange pieces and purple pieces... Didn't like that at all so she colored over everything with a dark chocolate brown. It still has a reddish/purplish warmth to it and is very dark. It's been about 2 months since then and its faded a little bit not much. I still want to achieve the ombré I was talking about but don't know how I should go about doing it.

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      Mandy 16 months ago

      Hi Maffew. These tips are amazing! I have been all over the red/copper spectrum for the past decade. I'm currently wanting a change and hoping to get to a dark blonde with subtle ombre highlights. I've been combining Feria c74 (bright copper) with Feria 82 (medium ash blonde). It's a pretty color, but still has lots of gold/orange. My natural color is an ashy dark blonde/light brown. What would be the best plan of action to get towards a dark blonde with ombre highlights? Would I put in the bleach highlights first and then tone the whole thing with blue/violet? Or would the highlighted hair need a different toner. I don't think I need a lot of lift overall, maybe one level if anything. I asked my hairdresser and she was inclined to bleach the red out, which I don't think is necessary reading your comments. I would love any suggestions you can offer!!

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      Annie 17 months ago

      Hi, thanks so much for your article! I am naturally on the darker side of light brown or maybe a lighter med brown. About a week ago, I dyed my hair "Medium Reddish Brown". It turned out a little darker and way redder than I was expecting. Doesn't look great. I'd like to get back to a more natural brown and do bayalage ie. Jessie James Decker. I'm wondering if I need to do a color remover or can I just correct it with a light ash brown? Thank you!!

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      Tasha 17 months ago

      HELP... I tried Splat ombre fire.. my hair turned hot pink. The next day I tried a very dark red color. Now I look like ariel...they won't let me return to work til it's a natural color. But my hair isn't absorbing any color. And I can't rebleach it (had to bleach it with bleach from splat kit for first hair try) What do I do.........

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      Helen 17 months ago

      Hiya. Lots of fantastic comments. Thank you. My story is for the last god knows how many yeats ive died my hair red. Lots of colour build up. I need to move away from red now as i want to lessen dying my hair. Whats the best way to get to medium dark brown. I was thinking if using a stripper and from what ive read using an ash brown dye. Do you think this will get rid of the red. Thanks in advance.

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      Janeh1 17 months ago

      Hi i have had my hair lightened to go from black to brown at a salon they bleach washed it which left it a brassy red tone then applied ash dyes 6.1 & 7.1 mixed. I have alot brassiness showing through & even more wen in light & sun. what could i use to get rid of the brassiness & for my hair to look more cool natural brown.

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      Nicole 17 months ago

      Hi,

      Ive had a bright red ombre for 2 years now and wanting to go more copper tone throughout the roots and ends without losing all the colour.

      Is their a way i can achieve this?

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      Fabi 17 months ago

      Thank you so much for all of your advice. I actually had virgin hair and got a biolage that turned out very brassy. My hair was bleached 3 times trying to correct this by my stylest only making it worse as far what I wanted initially. My hair looked horrible. I went and bought wella hair dye very dark brown color and my hair turned out black. I hated it , so I did a wash bleach 2 times to get ride of it.My hair turned out a pink color. I went to a different s salon , hoping they fix it and my stylest assured me that ash green and expresso would get rid of the pink and bring me back to my natural brown color. I actually didn't. My hair is a dark , chestnut color with red highlights. All this was done within 1 month. Thank god I have strong hair and it wasn't as damaged. My question is that I truly want my golden blond highlights and a I was wondering how scan I get rid of this red brown color and how soon can I try highlights again.

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      Stefanie 17 months ago

      Oh could send via email stefaniebarkuizen@gmail.com

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      Stefanie 17 months ago

      Hey Maffew. Firstly I want to thank you so much for your very useful tips, advice, warnings etc! Wow I'm studying to become the next big name in hairstylists lol! Well as u know, when starting in the hair industry we do experiment with different styles and colors and u know. I'm naturally a level 7-8( the dull blonde) I've been dark and all! But my hair currently a 5.2 mix 6.66 and as reds fade quickly I also used red color mask on my hair! Mut now it's partly fluffy due to the tinting. I would love to go to a light blonde +-10 with not having no hair left, nor fried beyond. Have you any idea of how I could achieve this goal in one day at our salon? Plz do help!

      PS thanks for inspiring me!

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      Stacey 18 months ago

      hi..I have medium red hair..angled bob..I'm hoping to dye it dark purple..do you have any tips for me? please email me at staceypastrie@gmail.com..

      thanks, I love your articles btw..

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      reefrex 18 months ago

      I need major help! For about a year I was dying my hair a bright ish red (schwartz one) originally my hair was strawberry blonde. I used colour b4 to get rid of some of the red which worked on my roots but not the rest of my hair. So I have my horrible rainbow colours! My roots growing in a light blondey colour, then a strip of orangey Orange then a darkish red but my ends are much lighter. My hair wasn't in the best condition before I used colour b4 and it didn't damage it but I'm frightened that the bleach will literally snap my hair off! Any suggestions how I can go lighter? Not sure if I should get it cut shorter and then just try and leave it to grow about or attempt a bleach ? Thanks!

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      soso 18 months ago

      Hi

      All of the information u have provided is very helpful. I wanted to ask what color I should dye my hair? Last year I dyed it burgundy and then I used henna to make my hair healthy after the dye. Last week I decided to go for a light brown look so I used 8.1 after dying it I got light brown on my roots and copper riddish on my tips. So I got two different color. Brown on top and copper from Half down. My natural color is dark brown. I want a light brown color so what do I do? Thank you so much

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      Maffew James 18 months ago

      Hi Cinthia,

      The most important thing initially will be to address the damage and reverse this as much as possible to keep your hair in better shape. Protein treatments are the best product for this and should decrease the breakage and hair loss after usage for at least 2 weeks. If you'd like a product recommendation or more information about protein treatments, let me know and I'll discuss them further.

      As for the colour, you can correct this back to black, but you won't be able to use anything permanent until your hair is healthy enough to handle it. Whilst the use of permanent dye to go darker only causes very mild damage in most cases, hair that is already breaking off shouldn't be stressed further with this. Until your hair is stronger, I'd recommend using a semi-permanent black dye to get it black. This will gradually rinse out over a few shampoos and will need to be repeated as needed to maintain the colour until you can dye it permanently. There's no issue with using the dye too often because semi-permanent is non-damaging.

      With time and treatment, your hair will become stronger and it is at this point that you can dye it properly using a permanent black dye. In hair that has been heavily damaged like yours you may seen a lot of fading occurring over time, and this should be addressed by using the semi-permanent dye every few weeks to rejuvenate the colour as needed. When your hair gets longer and the damaged areas are eventually trimmed off, there won't be any further fading or need to colour to keep it looking black.

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      Cinthia 18 months ago

      My hair was bleached and extremely damage, I had black hair and got dyed bright red. I have to cut all of my hair because it was falling off. I can't stand the red color it looks horrible and no matter how much it was cut, the hair looks dry and brittle! I want to go back black please help

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      Shereece 18 months ago

      Hi There, My hair is dark red, but what is the easiest process of changing my dark red hair to bright red? any suggestions will be great, as I haven't got a clue.

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      Maffew James 19 months ago

      Hi Hilary,

      You can definitely achieve a dark even red shade from this, but it does depend on how dark the darkest sections of hair are currently. The dye you use will need to be at least 1 level darker than this hair to even it out properly and get a more natural red. Once you know how dark you want the new colour to be, and how dark your hair is currently, you can plan to reach the new shade.

      If the new shade is at least 1 level darker than the current colour, it's fine to use this, and I'd recommend mixing in 25% to 50% natural shade so that it darkens properly. This means, if you're using 4R (medium red brown) as the dark red dye, you should mix one quarter to one half 4N into this. The addition of the natural shade helps even it out and take it all to the same darker level, but it will dilute down the red tone. If the red tone isn't intense enough after colouring, you can go ahead and add more red using a semi-permanent like Fudge or Manic Panic again, or depending on the brand of dye being used, you can add red concentrate to the mix during dyeing.

      If the new colour you want it close to the current level of the darkest section of hair, you can still use the same technique, but you may see more difference in level and tone across your head where the lighter and darker sections of orange and red were present. You can avoid this by bleach bathing the darker areas (if your hair is in good condition), and then dyeing as above. The bleach bath will lighten the darker areas just enough that it is able to cover properly.

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      hillary 19 months ago

      hey! I went to a salon and they gave me pink/orange/blonde hair. it looked fine in the salon but when I went home I was slightly horrified that it was more orange looking. so I put (I know I know I shouldn't have done anything other than go back and ask for a redo) some wildfire manic panic on it and now it's an intense red/orange! bad mistake. is there anyway I can make it look a dark pretty red from this point? how do I achieve that? hoping to do it myself seeing how I've spent a lot at the salon already

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      Allison 19 months ago

      Hi, hope you can help me....my 16 yo daughter has natural medium dark brown hair, and had an ombre. She then chose to dye her hair with a dark red color. She did this with semi-permanent dye at a salon, over the winter it was done three times. She has now decided that she wants to go back to her brown color and add hi lites. She has gone to the salon twice now and has had permanent brown dye done to try and cover up this red color. Both times the red color keeps coming back through. We don't know what else we can do at this point. Any suggestions, would be helpful or ideas ....Thank you

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      Kim 19 months ago

      My natural hair is dark brown on sides with blonde (hi lift color) in the front. I dyed my hair intense red with permanent color and did not like the color so I used a color remover and the sides (originally dark brown) turned a coppery color and the blonde is now pink. Not sure what to do now. Ideally I would like everything back to it's original state prior to dyeing red or create the blonde (hi lift color) all over; whichever is easiest and less damaging. I've never dyed my hair prior to the blonde (hi lift) in the front so there's no issue with layers of color.

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      Maffew James 20 months ago

      Hi 'question for red to brown',

      You won't need to use a colour remover in this case because dark brown will cover over it. The red will actually act as the base tone for dark brown, which is itself a deep red colour. When you lighten dark brown hair, it turns a rusty red-brown and then eventually turns to bright red with further lightening. The reverse process is fine to go from red to dark brown.

      If you want to be extra certain that no red tinge will be present in the final colour, use a dark ash brown as the dye because this will neutralise excess red tone and prevent it from being visible. Otherwise, use a natural dark brown, but don't use anything warm in tone, which may be described as dark golden brown, dark copper brown, dark red brown, warm dark brown, dark mocha brown, or any variation of that.

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      Mary 20 months ago

      Hi I'm a natural dirty blonde with hints of red here and there from my Irish Grammy. I just had it dyed extreme loud red and black highlights underneath. It's only been two weeks and I'm seeing major sections of my blonde already reappearing. So I'm ready to strip it and go back to my natural color. Then put the fun colors in. I'm no stranger to stripping my own hair. So once I do it is kenra 5A and 7N with 20volume developer okay to use to bring my color as close to my natural tone? A stylist I know said 5A would as you've said help due to ash color. Then said to use the medium blonde to fully make my warm and natural cool hair get me as close to my natural tone.

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      Question for Red to Brown 20 months ago

      Hello

      Your article has been the most helpful I have found. I currently have bright red hair (wish I could attach an image). Anyway, I want to go to a dark brown but I don't want any red at all-- I was under the impression I had to use a color remover first. Can you recommend brands to mix the brown with to achieve a dark cool/ash brown? That is my natural hair color but under all this red will be blonde sign the red lifted my hair so much each time I died it...Thoughts?

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      Kmfcoop 20 months ago

      Hi,

      I colored my hair with Hicolor in magenta (my whole head) for about a year, then used a combo of 2 parts 5RR, and 1 part 7IR over it.

      I would love to be a warm chestnut/molasses color, like a 6/6G. Since my hair is so intensely red, i did a homemade strip with dish soap and baking soda. This took some of the intensity out, but im not sure if i should give the strip another go, or if i can get away with just mixing some 7A with 6N (2 parts 6N and 1 part 7A)????

      I do have pictures, but i dont know how to link them on here ;(

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      Jessica! 22 months ago

      Since it appears you answer a lot of questions... Maybe you could help me?

      I am trying to achieve a medium-dark ash blonde to icy blonde balayage. I have mastered bleaching and toning my blonde length and ends, so I'm good there! However, I currently have a darker shade on the roots (was trying to go for a colormelt type look) ended up way too dark (maybe a level 6 or 7) and have this horrible red tone to it. I hate it. It is the bane of my existence. I am more familiar with blonde and using violet toners. I have played around with Manic Panic green in conditioner to act as a semi-permanent toner, but it has not combated the red. I even tried food coloring. I finally broke down and bought Wella light ash brown. It was super olive-y green and it was a level 7. Associate gave me a violet additive to add (which didn't make much sense to me, since violet contains red??). Anyway, nothing happened. My hair literally looks the same. Was it the violet additive that caused the red to stay?

      I should also mention my roots are resistant to color.. This red will not go away. My hairstylist couldn't even remove it. I don't know what else to do. Besides cry! :-)

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      Kiyana 22 months ago

      Hi, I've recently dyed my hair an auburn red color and it's been set and faded for 3 months now but still has a red tone, I want to dye my hair purple, but I'm afraid of how the dye will react with the red tone in my hair and my roots being there natural color brown, what's can i do go get rid of the red and move along to purple without having to dye it a different color then purple, I don't want too much damage done to my hair?

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      jo 22 months ago

      I have naturally brown hair with highlights. About 4 months ago I had blonde streaks put in the ends and a bright red dye put in over the top (diff take on an ombre style), the top half was a dark red/brown. Now its all faded and i have blonde bits, orange/red bits and dark brown on top. I want to go back to the same shade i am naturally all over. Whats the best way to do this?

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      Natalie 2 years ago

      Hi , wanting to go bk to 7.0 +7.3 with highlights through it but got red all over apart from root growth which is a shade 7 , was gonna use colour before then do full head meshe of 3 dark, using 7.0 +7.3 majirel and 1 powder with 20vol do u think this would work ?

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      Drema 2 years ago

      My hair is normal a medium brown.I have a lot of red tones and want to go back brown.What should i do?

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      Angie 2 years ago

      I thanks it's very thoughtful of you to answer all these people back!! My hair is a very orangey red color I got highlights then colored the highlights with a 5RR and a 6CR now my hair is all faded I would like to go back to that highlited it was before I put the red on top it was kinda brassy too but I could tone that easier then this redish color I have now.. What do you think? Than you for your time.

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      Bethany 2 years ago

      Hello!

      My hair is natural a darker brown, around a level 4. I had it bleached out Oct 2014 and after several failed attempts at the salon to get my hair as light as I wanted I opted to cover it with red. Since then I've been coloring it at home with a product from vidal sassoon that is a 6rr. I want to go to a medium brown. I went to a local Sally's and was advised to put a neutral protein filler on my hair and then use a level 7a with 20 developer on my hair. My hair is still pretty red. My roots, I had about 10 weeks of regrowth, are lighter blending a bit more then what they were, but the overall hair still looks very very red. I went back and they suggested I use a product by Advell called Unred and apply that to my hair with a 6 ash color and 10 volume developer.

      I bought the stuff, but haven't used it. Any thoughts and/or suggestions?

      Thanks!

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      ZK 2 years ago

      Hi. I had been using box dyes to die my hair for the past 5 years. By the end my hair colour was at level 3. And I have stubborn greys. Around 30% of my hair is grey. So then I got my hair professionally done and they bleached it and dyed it to a level 7. Instead of a nice blonde or a bronde my hair just has a lot of red and brass to it. I have been using loreal majirel 7 for the blonde. But then to neutralize the red I decided to use 7.1. But it still didn't work. My hair is a deeper more intense brown-red. And the greys weren't covered either. Can you suggest some other colour from the loreal majirel range that might fix the problem? I want my hair to be a nice light golden blonde-brown.

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      wernicke 2 years ago

      Hi, I have been growing out my hair to go gray naturally for 8 months. It is a nice silver gray (top 3 inches). However the previous level 4 copper brown(redken fusion) looks awful the remaining 6 to 8 inches. I want to grow the hair long to pull back so not interested in cutting short. My hairdresser used low lights to avoid a sharp line. I really would love to bleach the ends and dye it gray but have been told this is impossible given the red . help me?

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Natalie,

      If it's still a light red colour, it's likely still a bit dark to be toned to dark blonde, so you'll still need to lift it a little further before toning. Of course, with the red dyes you've used, this can cause it to look red even when it's a lighter colour and would normally be starting to look more golden. If in doubt, compare your hair to 6C (Dark copper blonde), look at how dark the colour is, and if your hair is still darker than this, it needs to be lightened further.

      For the lightening, bleach is best as long as your hair is in good enough condition for its use. A dye won't likely lift too well considering that you've dyed your hair a few times. You only need to bleach it until it's light enough for the level you want to reach, and the colour it turns doesn't matter until you tone it. In this case, for a dark blonde result, which is level 6, you want to lift it to level 6.

      Following that, this is where you now look at what colour it is in order to tone it. If it's still very reddish, use a green-based ash dye to deal with this as nothing else will neutralise it properly. Wella's Koleston dyes have a green-based ash tone available and this is a /2 tone. For other brands, you'll need to find one that has green-based ash available, or an ash additive that can be mixed into a regular ash. It's more likely it'll start to look more coppery after lightening further though, and this is where a standard ash dye is fine to use and will neutralise properly. Whatever you do end up using, use the shade at the level you're aiming at. Eg, for dark blonde, use 6A. Leave in until it neutralises the warmth and then rinse.

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      Lorely 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew

      I currently have copper orange hair that has faded and is ready for some fresh color and I would like to go to more of a rich brown color for fall.. What is the best way of going about it.. Thank you in advannce

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      Natalie 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew

      I stripped my hair and it's taken all the colour out and left it light red, I would now like to go blonde. Can you advise what is the best way to do this? My natural hair colour is a dark blonde. And I have or visually tinted it from dark blonde to ash blonde, to copper red, to dark red and then to dark purple.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Rachel,

      With how dark it turned out, your hair may be a bit porous, and this can lead to dye turning out darker than expected. You may want to compensate for this by using a medium brown shade if necessary so that it doesn't turn out too dark again.

      As for the purple hue, this is most likely the result of dyeing your hair darker, where certain tones (In this case, blue and violet tones), in the darker dye become very dominant on top of your lighter hair. With it looking auburn now, and to avoid it grabbing more purple tone, the easiest fix is to ensure a natural tone is used, as this is balanced and won't turn out overly warm or ashy. You may see a little of that red tone persist in the result because being a neutral shade it doesn't have a lot of cool tone to fully neutralise this, but it will definitely be predominately brown. If you wanted to get a fully neutral brown result, a small amount of ash can be mixed in.

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      RachelSTL 2 years ago

      Hi! I desperately need your help! I had a friend color my hair to dark brown a few weeks ago and it turned out super dark with purply hues. She lightened it on Friday, but now it's a light auburn with hues of orange/brassy in the natural light. I normally wouldn't mind this, but my wedding is this Sat and she is going to fix it to what i wanted to begin with-dark brown. She's not sure how to do so and told me to ask the lady at Sally's. I am going after work, but want to know what your opinion is. I don't mind it being dark brown with hues of red, but just want it to be in the brown family. Please help and asap! Thanks!

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      Rachel 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew!

      Thank you for the reply. It cleared a lot of things up. :-) This should be a very interesting strand test experiment!

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      Alex 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew

      Thanks for the reply. I'll give that a try!

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Rachel,

      I have to stress here that with the use of ash dye, you really want to base your shade selection specifically on how light your hair is. Eg, if your hair is a level 5 and you apply 8A, that will generally do very little. You'd ideally want to use 6A for more of a neutral result, or 5A for a strong ash result. What this means for you is that after you get it as light as you want it, you'll then need to figure out what level it is at, after which you can choose the correct level of ash to tone it properly.

      In terms of lightening, it should be fairly easy to lighten your hair to the blonde level because it's virgin hair and the Manic Panic dye is a semi-permanent dye. Think of it more like a stain than something which actually adds pigment to your hair. When you lighten this, your natural pigment should lift just as effectively as if you'd never dyed it. Only problem here is that the red dye doesn't really come out, so even when you get to the blonde levels, where a level 6 is a dark blonde and your underlying pigment will look golden orange, it will probably look more reddish still.

      This makes it harder to predict what level it's at, and it also means you can't always use a regular ash blonde dye to tone properly. Most ash blonde dyes are beginning to shift to more of a violet-blue base tone at this point, and become more and more violet in tone as they get to lighter levels. Adding one of these won't deal with the red because green tone neutralises this. Blue neutralises orange, and this is important here too. The smaller amount of blue tone in the ash blonde dye won't always be enough to deal with all that copper tone.

      To get around this, the best way is to adjust the tone based on what you're looking at after lightening. If your hair was lightened to a level 7 medium blonde for example, and looked reddish orange, you would know at that point you need green and blue tone to properly neutralise it. To do this, you could use Wella Koleston 8/2 for example, which is a green-based ash blonde dye. This will properly counteract all the red tone. Alternatively, in the same brand, you could use 8/1 for toning, but mix in a little 0/28 concentrate to add green-blue tone to this regular ash.

      Using other brands, you'll need to figure out whether there are green-based ash blondes available to you, as well as what base tones are present in the different shades so that you know how to formulate it to suit your needs. I listed the Wella Koleston shades because they have those green-based ash blonde dyes, and this is really convenient. Many brands don't have these, or don't even have concentrates that are pure tones to mix with their other shades. If you have a particular brand in mind that you want to use, that's definitely fine, but you'll need to be sure they have the shades or additives that you need to modify the colour to suit your purpose.

      As for the regrowth, I'd recommend doing that separately if possible, or at least applying the bleach 10 minutes later into application to this area to prevent hot roots. As for the dye, this will turn out differently here too because your roots will look more golden or yellow at the blonde stage without that red dye to mar the appearance of the base tone. If you apply green-based ash to this hair, the lack of red tone will mean this kind of dye turns your hair a greenish dishwater blonde colour. Easiest way to avoid this is to simply use a regular ash here and only apply anything green-based where red is present.

      Lastly, you want a golden blonde correct? The green ash you use to eliminate red tones won't have as much of an effect on the golden tones in your hair. What happens is that the green and blue tones neutralise the warmth of the dye, and this brings out the colour of your natural pigment, which should look golden at blonde levels. The result can appear more neutral because of the small amount of violet present though (Violet counteracts yellow), and you can deal with this by mixing a small amount of gold shade, or gold concentrate into the ash dye.

      Toning is basically all about adding in tones that neutralise the colours you don't want, or emphasise the colours you do want. Getting it blonde is only getting it light enough, at which point the red colour you don't want can be neutralised. You do not have to bleach all that red tone out, and any salon that thinks that is necessary to remove a red colour probably shouldn't be doing it. If at any point you're finding things too difficult, you'll get good results if you can find a colour correction specialist in your area. These hairdressers have more experience with toning and adjusting dye jobs, and will know how to neutralise the red without attempting to simply strip every last trace of it out of your hair.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Alex,

      Apologies for the late reply. For the roots, use the natural shade by itself. Eg, if you were using 4N and a few of the concentrates for the lengths, you should only be using the 4N by itself for the roots because you won't need any extra cool tone in there for that lighter hair.

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      Rachel 2 years ago

      Hi Maffew!

      I had been dyeing my hair with Manic Panic Vampire Red (pink-based, if that means anything) over my unbleached, virgin dark brown hair for about a year, and then I decided that to go blonde. I went to a salon after 4 months of active fading treatments and had them do did a test strand of bleach. It turned out a bright peachy pink, and I was told if I truly want to be golden, I'm probably going to have to grow it out, or risk destroying my hair. That was 4 months ago, and since then I have kept trying to fade it and grow it out, but it's an extremely stubborn color. I have about 4 inches of virgin regrowth now, and after reading this hub, I got this idea of going to the beauty supply shop and picking up some 20 volume bleach paired with an ash blonde toner, and some high-lift ash blonde dye and doing a few test strands to see if any of those different methods would help. My question is, assuming the ash blonde color would properly neutralize the red on the shaft and ends, would it probably look entirely different on the virgin regrowth, even if the bleach lifted both ends of the hair about the same level? I don't want to go platinum, just a lightish golden.

      Thanks! :-)

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      Alex 2 years ago

      Hi

      Thanks for your reply. If I was using wella what would be the process for fixing my roots?.

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Alex,

      A dark brown colour will look closer to black when it's really ashy, so you may want to consider using a medium brown instead for that prominent ashy tone to show up properly. Shades from medium blonde to light brown will give a truer grey colour if you over-tone them, but that would only be if you wanted an intense grey colour.

      As for the dye to use, for dark brown a dark ash brown dye is fine. Eg, if you were using Matrix SoColor, you could use 4A for this. That ash tone will counteract the red as it darkens up and leave you with a very cool tone.

      If you use a medium ash brown, this is going to get that slight grey tone, but because the dye is lighter, the intense red colour in your hair might not be fully neutralised. You can deal with this with an ash concentrate. Eg, with Matrix SoColor, you can add their blue additive to increase the ash tone.

      As another example, using Wella Koleston,, you could use 3/0 for a dark brown result. This is a natural tone because Wella doesn't have a dark ash brown, but given how dark it is, it will still cover the red properly. You can add 0/28 (Green-blue concentrate), to intensify the ash. With a medium brown shade, you can use 4/0, and again, you can mix in 0/28 for an ashier result if necessary.

      For your hair's condition, you may want to consider using a protein treatment once or twice a week for a few weeks before dyeing it if you feel it's significantly weakened, or just in general to increase the strength and get it back to better condition. With the dye you use, if you're using one of the brands I've mentioned, you'll mix this with 10 vol as the developer and this will cause very little damage. All permanent dyes cause at least a small amount of damage though, so if your hair isn't going to stand up to the process, you're better off dealing with the damage first.

      Finally, for the roots, because these are lighter, you're going to be better off using a natural tone on that area so that it darkens up properly. With your lengths this isn't a problem because they're already a fairly dark red colour and will take the dye properly. For the roots, it means if using an ash shade, mix this half and half as half natural and half ash for use on the roots, and then use the ash by itself on the lengths to get a more even colour.

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      Alex 2 years ago

      Hi

      I have been dying my hair red for the last few years, my natural colour is dark brown. I've been left with about 2 inches of bright red roots with dark red length every time I dye. I'm now looking to change to a very ashy almost grey dark brown. Any advice on process and colour choices? I should mention I made the mistake of using a drugstore box last time and it's left my hair in terrible condition

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Cec,

      How much darker is your natural colour compared to the red colour you have now? If there's only one level difference for example, you will need more ash to properly neutralise the red. The darker you go though, the less ash you need to use because the cool tone in the darker dye will act to neutralise the red without much additional ash tone.

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      Cec 2 years ago

      Hi there!

      So, my natural hair color is probably a 6 with light highlights and I've been dying my hair red for over a year (dark red at the beginning and for over 8 months I've been dying it with a 7.666 tone). I decided that I no longer want red and that I'd like to go back to my natural hair color, and probably a liiittle darker. So, should i just choose the hair color i want and add a quarter or a bit more of the corresponding ash shade?

      I know that that's what you say in the article but I'm sooo afraid I might do something wrong and end up with an awful color, that I have to ask...

      Thanks a lot :)

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Taylor,

      Depends on whether it is light enough for you. If it's light enough, you can go ahead and tone to neutralise the remaining red. Doing so will slightly darken it from what it is though, as toning works by adding a complementary colour which balances out the colour you don't want. Lighten slightly further before toning if you want to keep it at a specific level.

      If it's darker than you want it though, you'll need to continue lightening before you can tone. Well, technically you could go ahead and tone if you wanted, but if you do this it will be toned, but still darker than the colour you actually want.

      When you do get around to toning it, use an ash shade 1 level lighter than your current level for a fairly neutral result, or use ash at the same level for an ashier result. You can control how cool the result becomes by not only doing it like this, but watching it as it tones and removing it once it has reached the exact shade you want. If you over-tone it accidentally, leave it for a few washes and most of the time it will fade out to where you want it. If it remains too ashy for your liking, you can indeed put a warm shade over it, but make sure it's 1 - 2 levels lighter so that the effect is subtle and you don't end up with an overly golden or coppery colour and be back where you started.

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      Taylor 2 years ago

      I should mention it is turning kinda orangey-yellow

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      Taylor 2 years ago

      Hey Matthew!

      My natural hair is a very neutral soft blonde color my mother always lovingly referred to as dish water blonde. However, the moment i step into the sun it turns light golden blonde with platinum highlights.

      For the past couple years I've been dying my hair fiery red but stopped last thanksgiving to go back to my natural color, or something near it. I just don't want the upkeep of red any more and i want to look like me again!

      For the past few weeks I've been using the John freida blonder shampoo and bleaching spray with a lot of success. Much of the bright, vibrant red has faded to copper red with some blonde peeking through, but still not my natural color.

      Should i bleach out the rest, or use an ash based blonde to neutralize the rest of the red? Can i use a warm blonde over the ash, if it does get the red out? To avoid looking too mousy?

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Alison,

      I'm glad you've found it helpful. With the ash blonde, your first step is going to be to get it light enough for the blonde you want, and then take it a little further past that because the amount of pigment that will be required to tone it and also take it to a cooler ash shade from the red tones that will be remaining will darken it slightly when you get to that point.

      For the toning, the use of a standard ash blonde dye at the level you're aiming for is good if you're seeing mostly an orange colour after lightening. If it's more of a reddish tone, the use of a small amount of green-based ash mixed into this ash blonde will help neutralise it more effectively. For anything else, like violet tones that remain, you'd need to adjust accordingly, but you shouldn't see the violet tone persist after lightening.

      If it does, or if you're having any trouble working out what dyes to use for toning, let me know and I can give you a more precise shade or mix of shades to deal with it, but you won't know for sure what you're toning until it has been lightened.

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      Alison T. 2 years ago

      This is the most amazing article! Thank you so much! I'm currently a level 5 red/violet/brown or whatever I am now, lol, and I want to work my way back to an ash blonde. I'm going to follow everything I've read off this article and the one about toning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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      Maffew James 2 years ago

      Hi Jennifer,

      I'll need more information to give you a better idea of what to do, but if the dye you used was permanent and you've only applied it once on top of your dark blonde natural colour, you can remove it with hair dye remover. Dye remover becomes less effective the more times dye has been applied, the darker the dye is, and the longer it has been before using. It only works on permanent dye and won't strip out semi-permanent dye. After using it, you will generally need to tone with ash to neutralise any remaining red tone from the red dye.

      As for more specific guidelines, if you can tell me what type of dye you used (Semi, demi, or permanent), whether your hair was dark blonde prior to dyeing or you had used any other colours, and how many times the dye was used, as well as what shade was used, I will have a better idea. There's no real panacea for every unwanted colour as they need to be treated on a case by case basis depending on what was used and what your hair has been through previously.

      One tip though; if you're using warm brown, chocolate brown, auburn or other similar shades, these can turn orange or red because the red tones in these shades become really dominant if they are applied to blonde hair, and this could explain why you're seeing this happen all the time. An easy way to deal with this is to mix natural/neutral into the shade you want so that the result is more balanced. Eg, if you were using medium chocolate brown, you can mix this as half medium chocolate brown and half medium natural brown and there's far less chance of redness occurring.