How to Neutralize Red Tones in Hair

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how to neutralize red tones in hair

Our hair color is essential to us, and thankfully we live in an age where we have more control over our hair color than ever. And nothing boosts your confidence more than having the lusciously colored locks you have always wanted. 

Did you know that everyone has red color in the hair? Yes, everyone, including blondes! But not everyone likes this. So if you find that you are haunted by pesky red tones in your hair, we’ve got just what you need in this guide.

We will show you just how to neutralize red and orange tones in your hair, which products we love the most, and tell you step-by-step how to do this at home (even if you’re a first-timer) so you can save the expense and time of the salon.  

How to Neutralize Red Tones in Your Hair?

Unwanted tones in the hair are often a product of the sun, pollution, previous dye jobs, cheap color products, chlorine, just your natural hair color, and much much more. Red tones are the product of oxidation effects from all of these sources.

Fortunately, there are many solutions for these red streaks or tones, no matter how dark or light. This includes other colors, such as orange, red, and brassy tones. Here are some of the best products we recommend to help you keep the hue you want without damaging your hair:

Green or Blue Toning Shampoo

AVEDA by Aveda: Blue Malva Color Shampoo 33.8 OZ

Just what the heck is a toning shampoo? The solution to your red tone problems, that’s what. Using a green/blue toning shampoo is the best way to neutralize red tones in your hair by depositing color to correct the tone. 

These toning shampoos work by targeting the red undertones while cleansing the hair at the same time. Your hair will look more balanced, and you’ll keep the color your heart desires. This is hands down the best way to treat your hair, as it involves the least amount of chemicals.  

One of the best toning shampoos available online is available (here). Aveda’s malva color shampoo is unbeatable. This plant-based product gently cleanses your hair while working to neutralize the red tones. It contains natural ingredients your body craves like organic ylang-ylang, lemon, eucalyptus, and other flower and plant extracts with exotic smells that will transfer your mind to exotic lands. 

It also repairs your hair as it works to correct the color. Perfect for blonde, brunette, and grey hair, it can be used daily and in conjunction with standard conditioner or Aveda’s malva conditioner (see above link for purchase). 

Ammonia-Free Dye to Remove the Red Color

Garnier Olia Ammonia Free Permanent Hair Color, 100 Percent Gray Coverage (Packaging May Vary), 4.0 Dark Brown Hair Dye, Pack of 1

Ammonia is a very harsh chemical. It is horrible for our hair and our health! By choosing an ammonia-free dye to correct your color, you are making an excellent choice for the health of your hair for both the present and the future. 

Ammonia-free products are excellent choices for people with sensitive skin and respiratory issues. These products have the same effects as ammonia-laden products but can help keep the red tones away for longer.

Give it a try and see if it works for you! Garnier makes a heavenly hair dye that can hide your hedonistic hues. Be sure to follow the proper directions to achieve the best results. This may work best when used after a color remover. 

Color Remover 

Joico Color Intensity Eraser 6 Fl Oz

Color removers are great choices when it comes to a quick and easy way to get rid of unwanted color, although they should be a last resort since they can be harsh on the hair. It’s much like bleaching, but with less destruction. It works by entering the hair shaft and breaking down the color molecules within it. The molecules are then washed out of the hair. 

Color remover is especially useful if you tried to color your hair to get rid of red tones, and it didn’t turn out the way you wanted. You should opt for one step-removers like Joico Color Intensity Eraser, which allows you to get the job done faster and easier.

Color removers are applied just like box hair dye, and equal caution needs to be taken. When finished, you can re-color the hair to your desire or keep it; however, it turns out. Follow the directions carefully as you do not want to leave this on too long! 

Get Glossy 

You can always try a demi-permanent gloss treatment. This can possibly help combat the red tones. Gloss beauty treatments also help make your hair healthier and give it more shine! A gloss is a pigment mixed with a developer and can be used as an alternative to dye. Treatment only takes 5-30 minutes, and the results last up to a month. 

Redken is a well-loved gloss product that you can use at home and get impeccable results. Follow the directions of the product when shampooing and styling to get the best and longest-lasting results. Happy glossing!  

3 Easy Home Remedies to Neutralize Red Tones In Hair

Below is a step by step guide on to how to rid yourself of red tones by using four different easy and safe home remedies that you can find in your own kitchen! 

Remember– Green toning shampoo is perfect for toning red tones in dark or brown hair, You can use blue toning shampoo if your tones are more orange then red. Purple shampoo is ideal to neutralize orange tones from blonde hair.

1. Green Food Dye

It may sound a little crazy to use green food coloring in your shampoo and conditioner bottles, but you are creating your own do-it-yourself color depositing shampoo. Since green is the opposite color of red on the color spectrum, it will help to cancel out those red tones. This is a much cheaper option than opting for a $50 bottle of shampoo. This option is best for brown or dark hair to get rid of red or orange tones. To do this, you must:

  1. Add two drops of green food dye to your conditioner. You can add in 1 drop of blue if your tones are more orange than red.
  2. Don gloves
  3. Shampoo as usual, but leave the conditioner on for 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Rinse with cool water, then enjoy your enhanced color. 

Tip: It can be a bit messy, don’t forget to use gloves

If your hair color is blonde with orange undertones in it you can mix your conditioner with 2 drops of purple food dye instead. 

2. Virgin olive oil

Olive oil is an amazing and nutritious substance for the body. The fats in olive oil are excellent for taking care of our skin and hair. It increases hair growth, prevents/repairs damage, and enhances hair color. And if you’re a brunette, we have the perfect Saturday routine to help you neutralize brassy tones.

Start by:

  1. Pour some olive oil in a glass bowl (using more for longer hair)
  2. Heat it until warm in the microwave (20-30 seconds)
  3. Massage the warm oil into your hair and relax while you leave it in for 60-90 minutes
  4. Rinse with a sulfate-free shampoo

Olive oil will not leave your hair feeling silky, but if you’re using a high-quality oil, it will also leave it with a pleasant, earthy smell. Inhale and enjoy it!

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar or ACV is known as a cure-all in the health community. It is known to do many wonders for the body, and also the hair! ACV is mildly acidic, and it can help restore tired-looking tresses by helping to restore the ph balance to the hair.

This product is perfect to use to get rid of orange tones. ACV will also help deeply cleanse your hair of build-up and other debris. Begin by:

  1. Add two tablespoons of water and four tablespoons of organic ACV to a jug
  2. Shake well, then lean head over the sink and pour the mixture through your hair
  3. Massage hair slightly, then leave in for 15-20 minutes
  4. Rinse with cool water

While you are going to love your results, remember not to use this treatment more than twice a month, as ACV can dry out and weaken the hair if used too often. 

Why These Treatments Are so Great

Unlike when you go to the salon, with these home remedies, you know exactly what is going into your hair. When we use products with strong chemicals, the results may look great temporarily.

Still, often we are paying for damage to the hair in the long term, and we are continually trying to correct the imbalances. Food dye, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and olive oil are all substances that are easy on the hair, scalp, integumentary system, and the body overall. 

When we put harsh chemicals into our scalps, some of them get absorbed into our bodies, which is not good for our detox-elimination system, as they already work hard enough!

These products work with your body instead of against it to produce results. Although the effects may be subtler than ones you can get at the salon, in the long run, your body will thank you. A little patience is all it takes! 

Looking for More Tips to Keep the Red Away? 

red brassy hair

Use Special Shampoo/Conditioner

In between using your toning shampoo and conditioner, you can use ones that are specifically for color-treated hair. This will help keep your color locked in. The best ones, as you know, are sulfate-free.

Sulfate-free products for color-treated hair may be a little more challenging to find, but they are worth seeking out. Invest in your tresses!

Cover up from the elements 

The sun and pollution could very well be a reason you are battling the red tones. Try to limit UV exposure (including tanning beds). Wear a hat or bandana when you go outside and especially when you are in the polluted city air.

Salty ocean water and pool water are no friend to your color efforts either. Avoid all of these, and you will start noticing a difference immediately. 

The less heat, the better

Try to limit time under the blow dryer, straightener, and curling iron. These weaken the hairs, which weaken the hues, and…you get the point by now. Less heat, more color! 

Always read carefully and follow directions on each product 

Indeed, we all don’t have as much time as we would like. But if you skip reviewing and understanding the directions, chances are you will not get the results you were expecting.

Take the extra few minutes to read and pay attention to the details, so you don’t ruin your hair and have to spend even more time and money. 

Remember—safety first!

If you are trying a new hair product for the first time, we advise you to do the 24-hour skin patch test to ensure you will not react to the product. This is especially important if you know you have sensitive skin. Better safe than sorry! 

Although there are no permanent ways for keeping the red tones out of your hair, these products and tips will help you safely and efficiently get the color you deserve, helping you feel your very best.

Not only will your hair shine, but your face will too as you step out the door every day with confidence, knowing you’re looking your best, 

Thanks for stopping by!

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