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How To Tone Down Red Hair? Achieve The Perfect Shade Of Red

How To Tone Down Red Hair? Achieve The Perfect Shade Of Red

Red hair is almost always in and trendy – it’s been like that ever since hair dye came out. Red hair is attractive, and it can look so good on virtually any skin tone.

The issue with it is that it’s oh-so-difficult to maintain the color and the specific shade of red you wish to have. Because of that, you may want to tone it down a bit to make it easier to take care of your hair – and your color. 

But what if you don’t know how to tone down red hair? Are there some tips and tricks to make it easier than it seems at first glance? 

Continue scrolling – and find out!

How To Tone Down Red Hair?

It can be a full-blown hair-coloring mishap or an honest mistake – but your hair could be too red either way. And if it ever happened to you, then you know that too strong of a red tone can seem like a nightmare to get rid of, but it’s not impossible. 

To be quite frank, it’s not all too difficult to do so – and there are several ways to tone down red hair. 

The concept is similar to removing the brassy tones from your blond hair – except that it’s easier to wash out the red. 


Well, the molecules of red hair dye are much larger than any other hair dye out there. Because of that, the red dye doesn’t “stick” to hair as well as other dyes do.

If you want to be a bright redhead, that probably sounds like the worst possible fact you could find out about your new hair color, huh? 

However, if you’re hoping to tone it down, the fact that the red hair color rinses out quicker than any other color could work to your advantage.

On that note, we’ve compiled some of the best methods to tone down red hair. We advise you to read them all – and then decide the best strategy for yourself!

Using A Toning Shampoo

Toning shampoos are a must-have for platinum blondes or highlighted hair. They’re a great way to preserve that ashy tone. That said, blue and purple shampoos aren’t the only ones that can tone your hair.

Using a purple shampoo, for example, could tone down your red hair a bit – but it won’t make a significant difference. Opting for green shampoo, on the other hand, will give you better results reasonably quickly. 

Unfortunately, though, green shampoo is only recommended for darker hair. If you have pretty light hair, this method won’t work.

Finding a green shampoo shouldn’t be all too hard – most drugstores carry them. However, we advise you to stick to the professional brands for hair products, as they won’t damage or dry out your hair, and they will likely do a better job than any drugstore option out there. 

Using green shampoo is perhaps the easiest method. 

Start by taking the appropriate amount according to your hair length and apply it to damp or dry hair. We advise you to section out your hair to make sure that you have covered every strand of your hair with shampoo. 

Check the shampoo bottle for info on how long you have to keep the shampoo on and make sure that you do it on time. 

If you leave the green shampoo on for too long, it could turn your hair green!

Then, use lukewarm water to rinse the shampoo out – and take your time. It could take a few minutes to rinse everything out correctly. 

When you’re done, check the tone of your hair. 

If your hair still seems brassy or too red for your liking, you will need to reapply the shampoo to get the desired results. If your hair seemed only a bit red, you could rinse it out after a minute, but if it still appeared very red, consider leaving it on a bit longer or using more this time. 

When you’re done rinsing, apply some conditioner to fight off the post toning shampoo dryness and style as you usually do.

See Also: What Happens if You Put Blonde Dye on Red Hair?

Using An Ashy Hair Dye

Ashy tones are excellent and in-demand – and for hair that’s too red for your liking, you can use an ashy hair dye as a more permanent fix. 

These dyes will neutralize red or brassy tones – and you can choose between semi-permanent and permanent dyes. 

Permanent colors are harsher, but they provide long-term results. Semi-permanent dyes will be gentle, and they are less likely to dry out your hair, but you will need to apply dye again in about six weeks.

Also, hair dye’s a bit more complicated to use than toning shampoo – but if you follow the steps, it will give you the results you’re looking for here. 

The key to success is applying some petroleum jelly or rich body lotion to your hairline and ears to avoid staining your skin with dye. 

Don’t wear your favorite outfit while you’re dyeing your hair either; wear something old and use gloves, as the dye can be impossible to remove from your hands. 

Now, if you stick to the semi-permanent dye, be sure to wash your hair beforehand and forego the use of the conditioner.

If you wash your hair first, the hair cuticles will be open, absorbing the color better. On the other hand, washing your hair beforehand is not necessary if you use permanent dye. 

Either way, part your hair into at least four sections to ensure you cover everything – and make the process easier for you. Read the instructions carefully and mix the exact ratio of hair dye to the developer

It’s usually a 1:1 ratio, but it can be different. 

Apply to your entire hair, from the roots to the tips, and comb it out to spread the color evenly. Then, wait the recommended time, and rinse it out afterward – again, take your time to ensure you’ve done so properly. 

Use some conditioner afterward, and that’s it – your red tones are gone!

Related Read: How To Fix Green Hair From Ash Dye?

Using A Color Corrector

If dyeing your hair or using a toning shampoo doesn’t sound like the best idea, you could try a color corrector. 

It’s an efficient method, as the color corrector is essentially bleach – but it isn’t as aggressive.

You can also stick to a color corrector if you have tried another method, and it didn’t provide the results you hoped to achieve. 

Using a color corrector is similar to box dye – so make sure to wear an old shirt and use gloves.

Abide by the instructions included in the box, and don’t keep the color corrector on for too long, as it could lighten your hair too much and make the color seem patchy. 

Read More: How To Neutralize Red Tones In Hair At Home?

Tips & Tricks To Toning Down Your Red Hair

We’ve talked about the effective methods for toning down red hair. However, that isn’t all there is to it – there are some tips and tricks you can use to make toning even easier. 

For example, if your hair is freshly colored and it turns out too red, the very first thing you can do is use a strong, clarifying shampoo. Stick to harsh shampoos for this particular DIY trick, as they must have sulfates. 

So, exactly the opposite of what you would usually do. 

Use the clarifying shampoo on your dry hair, and apply it generously, all over. Spread it from the roots to the tips, and leave for at least 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing. It should do a great job of stripping the red tones from your hair.

Whatever method you pick, make sure to give your hair some moisture and TLC afterward. 

Each method will make your hair feel a bit dry, so pick a high-quality conditioner or hair mask to hydrate your hair and give it some shine!

Related Read:

Practices To Avoid

Scouring the Internet, you can find various advice on toning down red hair. 

For example, mixing green food dye with some clarifying shampoo is one of the most common tips found online. 

Now, we have mixed feelings about that one. 

On the one hand, it’s a neat little trick – and it technically works. But on the other, it can provide inconsistent results and may even make your hair green. 

Sure, it’s cheaper than using actual green shampoo, but it can make your hair a disaster if not used properly. 

Also, you can find a recipe for removing red tones is to using apple cider vinegar. Again, there are both pros and cons. You’ll get some results, but it could dry out your hair a lot and make it feel stringy in the process. 

Bottom Line

So, to conclude, there are a few ways to tone down red hair – and each of them can be pretty effective at removing the red tone. If you follow the steps and the instructions on the box, you should have more ashy-looking hair by the time you’re done. 

However, don’t do DIY if you aren’t too confident in your hair-coloring skills. 

Sometimes it’s better to schedule an appointment with your stylist and let them help you get the color you want!