Can I mix two colors of hair dye? Will it ruin my hair?

two different shades

Today I woke up wanting to play.

So, guess…

What do think? Can you mix two hair dyes of different colors?


I’ll give you three options.

  • Yes, you can mix two dyes and the results are spectacular
  • You can mix them only when the dyes are of the same brand
  • No you can’t. Mixing two dyes would result in a hair tragedy


And, what do you say?

Do you know the answer?


I loved these kinds of questions in school.

And I still love them.

Because they make me curious.


And also, they challenge me.

I’m sure that you want the answer, right?


If you want me to be completely honest, the correct answer is C.

If you don’t have any experience manipulating dyes and you have no idea about color theory, mixing two dyes can result in a hair tragedy. 


Yes, just as you read it.

I know of cases that women wanted to dye their hair red and it ended up black.

Or women that wanted a classic ashy blonde and they ended up with a horrible green tone.

Do you see why I say it’s not a good idea to mix dyes without knowing how?

Do you still not believe me?


 So that you understand why mixing two dyes could end up in a disaster for your hair, it’s necessary to talk to about colorimetry. 

That is, color theory.


So, I’ll explain to you:

  • In what cases mixing two dyes works and it which ones it doesn’t
  • These 3 people mixed two colors of dye and the results were terrible
  • How to choose the best hair color for the tone of your skin and eyes

Should we start?


Tabla de Contenidos


In what cases does it work to mix colors and in which ones does it not?

different tones

Have you ever stood staring at those samples that they have in salons or in specialty stores with a ton of little chunks of hair of different colors?

Have you every felt the need for color of those little chunks that you want for your hair to magically fall into your hands?


Well, the truth is that anyone that wants to be a professional colorist always has to keep in mind three things:


  •  There are three primary colors that you can’t create by mixing colors, but that are the basis of all the other colors.   

And they are yellow, blue, and red.


  • Three secondary colors are created when two primary colors are mixed in equal parts.

Green: yellow and blue

Violet: blue and red

Orange: red and yellow


  • Six tertiary colors are created when a primary color and a secondary color are mixed in equal parts.







Understanding these principles are what allow colorists to find a personalized color tone.

Because that is what we are talking about when we think about mixing colors.


Getting a unique, personalized hair color that keeps in mind not just the color of the dye but also the tone of your skin and the color of your eyes, among other things.


When one of my clients comes to the salon looking for a unique hair color, I analyze her hair.

I look it over carefully.

And I keep in mind a few considerations, like:


  • Height or level of tone

This system measures the natural level of luminosity and darkness o the hair and it is divided into ten levels:

  • Level 1: black
  • Level 2: brownish-black
  • Level 3: dark brown
  • Level 4: medium brown
  • Level 5: light brown
  • Level 6: Dark blonde
  • Level 7: Medium blonde
  • Level 8: Light blonde
  • Level 9: Very light blonde
  • Level 10: Platinum blonde


An underlying pigment exists that’s associated with each level of luminosity and darkness in hair

The underlying pigment is what is revealed once you bleach your hair or when we have lightened the natural color even just one or two tones.

It’s always easier to associated each level with its place on the color wheel.


Let’s see then which underlying pigment exists for each one of the levels that we saw recently.

  • Level 1: Blue
  • Level 2: Blue-Violet
  • Level 3: Violet
  • Level 4: Red-Violet
  • Level 5: Red
  • Level 6: Red-orange
  • Level 7: Orange
  • Level 8: Orange-yellow
  • Level 9: Yellow
  • Level 10: Pale Yellow


Now, if I want to, for example, accentuate the tone and really get a color that appears in natural level 7, for example, I would add an underlying pigment that would be yellow-orange or red-orange.

Now, if I would want to neutralize the underlying orange pigment in a natural level 7, I would add blue to the mixture, since that is a complementary tone on the color wheel.


Very well, now we’ve seen the colors, the height of the tones and the underlying pigments.

Now, let’s move on to the next step.


The highlights that are located behind the number that identifies the height of the tones, and they are what ultimately tones the color.


There are seven:

  • Blue: ashy
  • Violet: pearly, iridescent
  • Yellow: gold
  • Orange: copper
  • Auburn: auburn
  • Red: reddish
  • Green: green


I’m sure you are asking where I’m getting at with all this information.

What I’m getting at is that coloring hair is a science.


And to get a natural and unique hair color, it doesn’t work to simply mix two coloring kits.

Even though you can do it.

But the results will never be the same as what professional colorists can get.


These 3 people mixed two hair dyes and the results were horrible

A lot of people tend to come to my salon looking to fix a disaster that they did to their hair due to experimenting without knowing about different dyes.

And sometimes it’s difficult to do it.


 When you want to explore your artistic abilities on a piece of paper, if you don’t like the results, nothing happens. 

You can just throw away the paper.


But with your hair, that’s another thing.

It gets damaged, it gets harmed, it breaks.

And to fix a bad coloring, you need to do another coloring.

Which means continuing to add chemical products.

My advice?


Leave the dye experimenting to the experts.

Even so, let me tell you three examples of people that mixed two different dyes.


Case 1- In search of the perfect black

Elena came to the salon desperate.

She dreamed about having a reddish black in her hair.

Reddish black?


My eyes opened wide like plates.

There is no such thing as reddish black. There’s bluish black or reddish brown.

Or burgundy, but reddish black?

The results?


She decided to mix a black dye with a red dye. And her hair ended up completely black.

Which isn’t want she wanted.

And now she wanted me to get rid of the color.

Bad news for Elena.


Black is one of the hardest pigments to get out.

Either you wait patiently for it to fade, or you should bleach your hair, so that after you can apply a new color.

In this case, I would advise you to let the time pass.


Her hair was fine and broken and it wouldn’t resist a bleaching.

So, now you know.

No color takes away pigment from black.


Case 2- Neutralizing the orange chunks

Sonia almost always colored her hair a dark brown.

She came to the salon because she was tired of after a few washes, some pretty unpleasant orange highlights appearing in her hair.

According to what we saw before, how would you solve this problem?

Do you have it?



I applied a brown color with ashy highlights which are what neutralize those orange or red chunks of hair.


Case 3- In search of Jennifer Aniston hair

Alejandra came to the salon with a photo of Jennifer Aniston in her hand.

She tried to get the same result mixing two tones: a light brown, or a 5, with a tone 9, very light blonde.

Guess what color ended up in her hair?


A tone 7, meaning a medium blonde.

When in reality, she wanted a chocolate.

 Every time someone comes into the salon with a photograph of a star on their cellphone and they say, “I want this in my hair!” I start to silently pray.  

Because I will tell you one thing.


Photoshop today can do everything.

Erase wrinkles, extra kilos, years.

And it can even change the tone of your hair that you can see in the photo.


It’s very difficult for a colorist to get the same result as the one a client can show in a photograph.

Because in addition, it will also depend on the natural tone the famous star had in her hair before coloring.

It’s true. The photo showed an Aniston with what Alejandra defined as chocolate with gold highlights, ultimately.


I took the photo and looked at it closely.

I explained that from what I could see in the photo, the actress’s hair was highlighted from the roots with very, very, fine highlights, so it didn’t look like it was a uniform color.

I don’t think she liked my explanation.

But I’m a hair stylist, not a miracle worker.


How to choose the best dye according to the color of your skin and eyes

First off, I recommend that you choose a room with good lighting.

Look at your skin against green and blue colors and red and yellow colors.


For this, you can take a green or blue t-shirt and put it next to your skin.

If your skin looks good, your skin is a cold tone.

If you use a red or yellow t-shirt and you feel it looks better, then your skin has a warm tone.


 But if you’re still not sure what tone your skin has, it’s time to look at your veins. 

Skin with cold tones has blue or purple veins.

While warm tones have green veins.


Now that you know what tone of skin you have, we can know what color hair dye will look best on you.


Dyes for Warm-toned skin

The ideal is to choose a cold dye to complement.

For women with lighter skin that want to change to blonde, the best would be to look for a champagne color.

Now, if you decide to darken your hair, the best would be to go for a dark brown or reddish and even a reddish brown.


Colors for cold-toned skin

To complement, you should choose a warm tone.

For those that want to darken their hair, avoid black and welcome chocolate colors.

For those that want to lighten their hair, the best would be to go for an almond or golden blonde.



dye peroxide and brush

Colorimetry is a science.

That you can’t master from once day to another.

If you want to get an authentic, personal color without making your hair fragile and dry, the best think to do is go to a professional.


Now, if you don’t have the time or the money, my advise before mixing different colors is that you choose a color keeping in mind your skin tone like I explained before.

This way, you can’t go wrong.


Have you mixed different hair dyes before?

What results did you have? 

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