How To Neutralize Red Tones in Hair at Home: DIY Guide

Got unwanted red tones in your hair? Brassy orange hues can make hair appear dull or unnatural. Thankfully, there are simple home methods to neutralize red tones in hair without damage.

This guide covers everything you need to banish red shades using ingredient masks, toners, and color-correcting shampoos. Read on to restore vibrancy and balance to your hair color easily.

What Causes Red Tones in Hair?

Red or orange looking tones develop in hair for several key reasons:

  • Sun exposure fading dye pigments
  • Mineral buildup from hard water
  • Heat damage causing underlying warmth to show through
  • Prior color lifting unevenly due to misfilled undertones

These all lead to issues like brassiness in blonde hair or unwanted red hues in brunette locks.

Cool-toned hair lacks sufficient violet and blue pigments to neutralize this warmth. So orange, fire engine red, or carrot shades pop through giving hair an unnatural cast.

The good news? You can rectify this easily at home using simple color correction methods.

Best Ways to Neutralize Red Tones in Hair

Here are easy methods to cancel red tones in your hair:

Use a Blue or Violet Toning Shampoo

Toning shampoos infuse hair with blue or violet pigments to counteract warmth. The longer you leave them on, the more cool tones develop.

How to use:

  1. Lather toning shampoo thoroughly into clean, towel-dried hair
  2. Allow to process for 5-10 minutes
  3. Rinse well

Repeat 1-2 times weekly to keep brassiness at bay.

Choose violet shampoos for blonde hair and blue formulas for brunettes.

Apply a Color-Correcting Hair Mask

For deeper toning, apply a mask made with neutralizing ingredients. Blue and violet food coloring or dye work great to stain hair.

Try this highly pigmented mask:


  • 1 tsp hair dye or food coloring (blue or violet)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg

How to apply:

  1. Mix ingredients together
  2. Work evenly through dry hair with an applicator brush
  3. Cover hair with plastic wrap
  4. Allow to process for 30-60 minutes
  5. Rinse thoroughly

For best results, follow with a glossing serum to seal in color.

Use Toner Before Dyeing

Removing red tones before coloring hair is key for achieving true shades.

Prep by applying toner evenly first:

  1. Mix equal parts toner and 20 volume peroxide
  2. Section hair and use applicator brush to coat
  3. Process until desired tone is reached
  4. Rinse thoroughly
  5. Style as usual before applying color

This pre-toning allows pigments to grab properly for even saturation.

Switch Up Hair Products

Using products without color-stripping or dulling ingredients also minimizes brassiness between washes.

Choose options with:

  • Ultraviolet light protectors
  • Pearl pigments to boost shine/coolness
  • Ceramides to smooth the cuticle
  • No sulfates, parabens, phthalates or drying alcohols

With routine TLC, you can keep red tones from returning between toning sessions!

Expert Tips for Neutralizing Red Hair at Home

To get salon-worthy results, follow these pro tips:

  • Focus on mids to ends – these areas lighten first and show the most brassiness
  • Use a clarifying prep – chelating shampoos remove buildup for max toning
  • Don’t shampoo post-toning – skip lathering for 2+ days so color can set
  • Enhance shine – finish with a conditioning treatment to smooth and close cuticles
  • Prevent fading – always wear a UV protecting hat in sunlight

Using these methods creates flawless, fashion-model style hair minus the orange!

What About Red Hair Dye Removal?

If your goal is to remove permanent red hair color rather than just tone it, try these tips:

  • Perform clarifying washes to lift artificial pigment
  • Use a color remover solution to strip dye from strands
  • Lighten with vitamin C powder mixed into a remover
  • Bleach using professional products, not box kit bleach
  • Dye hair close to your natural shade if still seeing red hues

For tough cases, seek help at a salon. Stylists have professional grade lighteners better equipped for drastic removal jobs.

Common Concerns with Red Hair Toners

While home toning is low risk, possible issues include:

Over-toning – Monitor hair closely so you don’t create off-putting grey shades. Rinse promptly once your preferred tone develops.

Uneven results – Ensure toners and masks saturate all sections evenly by mirror-checking your application.

Dryness – Hydrate hair with a deep conditioner after rinsing toners to avoid brittle, porous strands prone to snapping and tangling.

Using smart practices minimizes risks of complications. Test products first and avoid over-processing.

Summary – Controlling Red Hair at Home

Unwanted red tones can make hair appear brassy and fake. Thankfully, you can easily neutralize red warmth using home toners like:

  • Violet shampoos
  • DIY color-correcting masks
  • Pre-color toners

With the right mix of products in your routine, you can get hair dye-worthy cool tones minus the salon price tag!

Say goodbye to orange and embrace natural-looking luminosity.

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