How to fix red hair color gone wrong (straight from a hair colorist)

doesn't like how the color look like

Did you want to dye your hair red and something went wrong?

You don’t like how your hair ended up?


Welcome to the club! Don’t freak out; this happens to lots of women all the time.


  • Maybe you were going for a burgundy color you saw on Instagram and you ended up with a dull, lifeless red.
  • Or maybe you wanted a subtle red and you ended up with a horrible pumpkin orange color.


Whatever the case is, don’t worry, there is a solution for everything.

Fixing your hair is possible and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

I promise, in two minutes, you’ll know how to fix your hair.


The first step is to understand why the dye went wrong and what it is that you don’t like.

Your hair didn’t end up the red color you wanted?


  • If your hair didn’t end up the red color you wanted,  the first thing I’d tell you is to let two weeks go by to allow the color to finish settling in. 

Your hair takes a few days to expel the leftover pigments, especially with red dyes like in your case.


After those two weeks go by, you’ll know what your final color is and then you can make a decision.

Is your hair too light or dark?

Is the red too dull or too bright?


  • In general, these kinds of problems come from CHOOSING THE WRONG DYE.

Hair colorimetry has rules. There are colors that go well with certain skin tones and others don’t do go well. That’s why you might have ended up with a red color that you don’t like.

Is there a solution?

Yes, of course!


  • For example, if your hair ended up a light red, too light for your taste, then you can apply a darker red dye over it.

Now, if your hair is too dark red, then the story is a little bit different. If that’s the case, you’ll need to use clarifying shampoo or bleach it.


  • What happens if your color ended up too dull or too bright?

There’s also an answer and it comes in the form of shampoo, but you shouldn’t just use any shampoo.

I’ll tell you which shampoo to use depending on if your hair is dull or bright.


  • Up until now, we’ve only talked about possible problems or issues with the dyes.

But you probably didn’t think about everything that you do after you dye your hair will also have an effect on its color.

Yep, that’s right. The shampoo or conditioner that you use or don’t use and the heat tools you use, etc. will all have an effect on your new hair color.


 Many women leave the salon with a vibrant red color and then after just 15 days they return with their hair darker and lifeless. 

Why does that happen?


Because they wash their recently-dyed hair with the same products that they always do. Those products usually contain a ton of sulfates and other chemicals that affect your color. So, that’s what makes it so within just a few days, perfect red hair turns into a nightmare.

If that’s what happened to you, then your best option is to go back to the salon where they dyed your hair to have them dye it again.


Now that you have a better idea about what the solutions for your hair might be, let’s take a closer look at each one of your options.

  • First, I’m going to tell you how to darken your hair if it ended up too light (this is relatively simple)
  • Then, I’ll tell you about how to lighten your hair if it ended up too dark (this isn’t so easy)
  • And lastly, I’m going to tell you how to fix dull or bright hair
  • As a bonus, I also want to tell you have to choose the right red tone depending on your skin color.


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Did your red hair end up too light? The solution is simple

does not need bleaching

If your red hair ended up too light, don’t worry. You are lucky because the solution to this problem is pretty easy.


 All you have to do is apply a new, darker dye and that’s it, problem solved.  

For example, if you applied a pure 6.0 red, you can apply a 6.6 burgundy red or a 6.67 violet red.


It’s kind of like cooking. If your food doesn’t have enough salt, you can add a little more.

The real problem is if you put too much salt in your food!


Your hair is the same; it’s much harder to go from dark to light than light to dark, since lightening your hair means bleaching it.

We’ll look at how that works soon.


Did your hair end up a dark red color that you’re not happy with? I’ll tell you how to lighten it

First thing’s first, you should know that red dye is one of the most permanent kinds of dye for your hair fibers.

That means that if you want to lighten your red hair, you’re going to first need to take away the previous color.

If you don’t do that, you might end up with two-toned hair.


There are two ways to do it:

  • With clarifying shampoo, which you use several times in a row until you can no longer see the red color that you’re trying to change.
  • Do a color reset by applying a bleach mix from root to tip.


IMPORTANT: don’t do the color reset on your own, especially not if your hair has been through several color processes.


Once you don’t have the red color that you want to get rid of, then you can apply a lighter color.

If you’re not sure how to do it, go to a salon.


Did your hair end up dull or too bright?

  • If your hair ended up too dull, don’t worry.

You can use a pure red toning shampoo to give it more life and make it shine stronger.


  • On the other hand, if your red hair ended up too bright, you can use a burgundy or red-violet toning shampoo too turn down that brightness.


Red shades are beautiful, but they also lose their pigmentation quickly.

 That is primarily because of the chemicals that shampoos and other hair products have, like hair masks and conditioner. 

But you don’t have to worry too much or make any rash decisions, you just need to get a red toning shampoo, like I said before.


Just replace your normal shampoo with the corresponding toning shampoo and you’ll be able to keep your red hair for longer, without needing to touch it up every three weeks.


How to choose the right red color for your skin tone

Coppery red are best for pale women or women with freckles.

They’re also known as orange reds.


For darker-skinned women, pure red or red violet shades are better, since they make both your hair and your skin seem brighter because of the contrast.

Red looks good with all skin tones.

 But, there are as many reds out there as there are skin tones, so my recommendations are very, very general, but can work as a starting place. 


  • For women with very light skin or with lots of freckles, orangey red tones are best.

The number for orange red dye is 6.54 or 6.64.

Remember that every brand has their own special line of red dyes with many, many different shades.


  • For olive toned skin or darker skin, pure reds or red violets are ideal.

The number for pure red is 6.0.

The number for burgundy and red violet is 6.6 or 6.67.


I’m going to repeat myself: every brand has their own special line for red dye, which is why you can find red tones with numbers like 4.426 or 3.65.

That’s because of the mix of pigments that they use to achieve the ideal shade.


In all hair care stores and some pharmacies, you can see books with locks of hair in them to show each color of dye from all kinds of brands.

Look for the book and you’ll be able to see many different colors there.

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