How to tone down red hair color that is too bright? 2 possible solutions

Woman with bright red hair

There are two options for toning down overly bright red hair:

  • Solution 1: Wait a few days for the color to settle and soften the brightness.
  • Solution 2: Tone down the bright red with a new dye.


If you want to jump to find out the 2 solutions to fade the bright red, click here


Have you dyed your hair red and it’s too shiny?


Don’t worry. You’ll see that it has a solution.

Oh, how I love reds and the women who dare wear them.

 Red doesn’t go unnoticed.  So, if you dye your hair red, you’re very confident and courageous.


But if it’s the first time you dye your hair bright red, it’s normal to feel a bit strange at first.

It’s a very powerful color that stands out and looks very bright.


When you go to a salon, usually   hairdressers explain that the red will be bright before applying the dye. 

This way, we prepare you psychologically to lower the shock after seeing you with such an intense red.


On the other hand, if you apply the dye at home,   you may be shocked when you see the results.  I’ll give you 2 possible solutions to tone down the bright red.


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2 solutions to tone down bright red

worried redhead girl

When you dye your hair,  the color takes a few days to settle.  This happens with any hair color, but with red it’s more evident because the color is very strong.

Therefore, if you’re desperate to see your hair too bright, you have 2 options: wait or reapply hair dye to tone down the first red.

I’ll explain each of them below.


Solution 1: Wait a few days for the color to settle and the red to fade

Red is vibrant and bright, but it’s also one of the shades that wash out the easiest.


This is because the molecules of red hair dye don’t penetrate as deeply into the hair as other colors. So, red washes out much faster.

Even if you find the color too intense,  I advise you to wait a few washes.  Do you want to know what happens?


 When you wash your hair, you’ll notice that the water looks red and that’s good news for you. The bright red will naturally fade.

Also,  waiting a few days to see how the bright red fades with washing is a good option to avoid overspending. 

So, be patient and get your money’s worth for what you spent on getting the red done.

Then, you might want to dip into this guide for touching up red when it fades.


Solution 2: Toning down the bright red with a new dye

Maybe, the option of waiting a few days for the red color to fade naturally with washing isn’t the best for you because you just don’t dare to go out with that bright color. Or, you’ve already washed your hair a couple of times and it’s still too red.


Well, I have 2 pieces of good news.

The first is that you can dye your hair again and the second is that  it won’t be too difficult to tone down the bright red. 

First, you’ll need to decide what color you’d like to have. Perhaps,   it might be best to take it to a darker red  which is probably what you wanted in the first place.  


How to fade bright red by applying darker red dye

Red color hair dye

Sometimes,  when you look at the color chart, you think that the color will look exactly like the box.  But guess what?


The final result depends on your base color.

So,  you’ll have to reapply a new hair dye to tone down the bright red.  But if you were hoping for some magic formula with what you have available at home, unfortunately, it won’t be possible in this case.


 The best would be to go to the salon and show your hairdresser what color you want.  He will know exactly what color dye to apply to avoid another mistake. Maybe you could try a cherry red, which is currently on trend.

But if this isn’t an option for you, I recommend you ask for a lower level hair dye than the red you had done. How?


For example,  if you applied a 6.66 before, then ask for a 5.66 or a 4.66.  The lower the number, the darker the red.

Ask for the color chart to verify this.


Check that the number that changes is only the first one, as the last two represent the undertones.

Let me give you one tip:  always choose the same brand of hair dye,  as each brand has different shades.

Remember that if you choose to dye your hair again to tone down the bright red, you must pamper your hair with moisturizers and nourishments.

5 tips to take care of your hair after coloring again to fade bright red hair

Shampoo, conditioner and hair care mask

  • Use a salt-free shampoo to avoid drying and irritating the scalp. If possible, choose a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid washing out the dye


  • UUse a moisturizing conditioner for daily use to restore the water lost in the process.


  • Apply a keratin mask once a week to restore the health of your hair.


  • Don’t use a flat iron or blow dryer, as they dry out your hair and make it brittle.


  • If you use a hair dryer or flat iron, apply a heat protector.


Finally, as I mentioned at the beginning,  reds wash out very easily, so here are 4 extra tips to keep the color  longer.

  • Don’t expose your hair to the sun for too long.
  • Avoid swimming pools or wear a bathing cap.
  • Avoid shampoos and conditioners with sulfates.
  • Wash your hair as little as possible to make the color last longer.


Conclusion: to tone down the bright red you have 2 solutions: wait or dye again

As we saw in this article, red dye is one of the quickest to wash out. So, if you’ve dyed your hair red and you find it too bright, maybe you should do like Paloma did. She’s one of my clients.

She usually dyes her hair red. Whenever I finish applying her red dye, I ask Paloma the same question: How do you feel?


And she always replies, “A bit strange, but I love it because I know that in a few days the bright red will fade.”

So, you can wait for a few days, like Paloma did.

Alternatively,  get a lower level dye at the store and apply it to get a darker red  and tone down the bright red you’re wearing right now.

I’m sure you’ll look amazing with that red in your hair!

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