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How to Get Red Tone Out of Hair | Step-by-Step Guide

Depending on the amount and how you want the final look to be, it can be a struggle to correct the color to the right shade. If you’ve bleached your dark hair and it came out brassy and red, here is how to get red tone out of your hair. 

How to Get Red Tone Out of Hair 5 Ways

Bleaching hair can be a tricky endeavor, especially if you have red undertones in your hair. If you don’t lift enough levels or don’t leave the bleach on long enough, that can culminate in red tones coming through. 

Fortunately, there are ways to color correct the red imbalance to get the desired result in your hair.

Whether you want to tone just a section of hair or all of the hair on your head, you can use toners, color removers, and opposite color dyes to reduce or remove the red tones and get that platinum blonde look to make all your friends jealous.

1. Remove Extra Color With a Clarifying Shampoo

The first and easiest thing you can do to get rid of unwanted red tones is to use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos have sulfates that strip out chemicals and mineral build-up on your scalp and hair follicles, so it’s perfect for getting out color as well.

While it’s tempting to use this product while your hair is wet, it’s actually more beneficial to apply it to dry hair. It may seem counterproductive, but trust us, it will work wonders if left on dry hair for five to ten minutes and then rinsing it out.

2. Take a Quick Look at a Color Chart

We’re jumping back to grade school for this handy tip to get rid of red tones. If you take a look at a color wheel hair chart, you’ll notice that each color lies on the opposite side of another.

This is great for those of us who want to get rid of red tones in hair because it means that opposing colors can cancel out the redness. For red colors, the opposite is the shade of green.

Depending on the level of brassiness your hair contains, you could even opt for purple or blue, especially if the red tones in your hair lean a bit more orange.

Blondes who want more of a platinum or silver look to their hair can benefit by using a purple-colored toner to cancel out the yellow undertones in their hair. Likewise, people who have unwanted red tones in their hair should use a green toner.

3. Tone Your Hair With a Toning Shampoo or Conditioner

Toning shampoos come in green, purple, and blue, so you can create the right formula to neutralize the red tones in your hair.

Create a routine to tone your hair and add the specific toning color you need, leaving it on for two to three minutes. Every time you bleach or dye your hair, it’s a good idea to tone it as part of your overall DIY hair salon treatment.

Some popular toning shampoo and conditioners are:

  • Manic Panic Electric Lizard Semi Permanent Cream Hair Color
  • Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Color-Depositing Green Shampoo
  • Aura Neutralizing Conditioner for Dark Brunette to Black Hair

4. Use Baking Soda or Vitamin C to Strip Red Tones out of Your Hair

If toning doesn’t help reduce the red tones to your liking, you can use a few household essentials to strip the pigment out of the hair follicle. The first thing you can try is baking soda.

Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to a bowl with equal parts warm water and stir to form a paste. Apply the baking soda paste to your hair and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

If you don’t have baking soda handy, check your medicine cabinet for vitamin C tablets. Take a few vitamin C tablets and crush them to a fine powder before adding some warm water and stirring to make another paste.

Apply the vitamin C paste just like the baking soda on all the areas where you want to lift the red tones out of your hair, then let sit for a few minutes and rinse it out. Another great household item you can try to remove red tones from hair is white vinegar.

Mix equal parts white vinegar to warm water, then add to a thick shampoo to create a mask for your hair. Apply to the hair in the shower, letting it settling into your hair for a few minutes before thoroughly rinsing it and following up with conditioner.

Read Next: How to Naturally Lighten Dyed Hair Without Bleach

5. Cover Up the Red Tones With Another Color

If all else fails, you can always cover up the red tones in your hair with another color. This might not be the option you want, but when pushed up against a time crunch, sometimes covering the red tones up is the best avenue.

The best color to cover up red tones include darker colors such as blue, black, brown, and purple. Although you may not want to go darker, you can also try color correcting with a dye that is the opposite color on the color wheel.

So if you want to reduce red tones, start out with a light green hair dye and see if it neutralizes the red tones. This method should be used with caution, however, as depending on the pigment and vibrancy of the dye, it could just dye your hair green.

Some popular green hair dyes you can use to counteract red tones include:

  • Keracolor Emerald Clenditioner Hair Dye
  • Iroiro 113 Forest Green Premium Natural Semi Permanent Hair Color
  • Punky Colour 3-in-1 Color Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner in Greengarious
  • Splat Midnight Jade Semi-Permanent Bleach Free Hair Color

Read Next: How Soon Can You Dye Your Hair to Fix It?

Frequently Asked Questions

For a piece titled How to Get Red Tone Out of Hair, a woman twirling her brown hair in a field


The process of removing red tones from your hair can be relatively easy, but you may still have more questions about how to get red tone out of your hair.

Can I Make My Own Hair Toner?

It may be shocking, but yes, you can make your own hair toner! Use your favorite shampoo or conditioner and add 2 drops of food dye to the bottle.

Remember to utilize the color wheel and opt for the right color for your needs. If you want to neutralize red undertones, use green food dye; if you want to get rid of yellow tones, use purple food coloring.

Does Ash Cancel Out Red Tones in Hair?

An ashy green can cancel out the red tones in your hair, but depending on the vibrancy of your red undertones, you may want to adjust the green hue you used.Darker reds will need to be counter-balanced with teal, forest green, and other darker greens, whereas lighter, orange reds can be counter acted with turquoise, lime, and light to medium green hues. 

Can You Safely Remove Red Tones From Hair?

You can absolutely remove red tones from your hair safely. Most toning shampoo and conditioners have been lab tested and rated from consumers with similar concerns.

Even if you opt not to use toners, household essentials like baking soda and vitamin C can also be used safely in small amounts to strip color from your hair.

Always keep in mind that products like baking soda can be drying so you’ll want to apply a moisturizing hair mask or oil to condition the hair follicle afterward. 

How Long Does Red Tone Take to Fade Out of Hair?

Depending on if the red tone is an after effect of color you deposited on your hair or if it’s the result of bleaching will affect it’s longevity. Bleaching your hair removes the pigment from the hair follicle meaning that any red tones left over are from the natural pigmentation of your hair and won’t fade. 

You will need to tone the hair or do another round of bleaching to remove the red tones. If the red tones are a result of color you’ve added by dying your hair, it can easily fade with routine washing in warm or hot water after a couple of weeks. 

Can I Get Red Tones Out of My Hair Without Bleaching?

There are many ways to remove red tones from hair without having to bleach it, including using a colored toning shampoo or conditioner, a baking soda paste, vitamin C, or even lemon juice or a store bought color remover.

You can even use diluted dish detergent while in the shower to remove red tones from hair. Some products have drying effects on hair, so be sure to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or hair mask to replenish the natural oils in your hair follicles.  

What Happens If You Leave Toner on for Too Long?

Leaving toner on your hair for longer than it suggests will tint your hair that color, so be careful when toning your hair. Red undertones need a green hue to neutralize it so utilize a green toning shampoo or conditioner.

Remember not to leave it on for too long, otherwise it will skip over neutralizing and go into dying your hair a green tint. If you’ve left it on for too long, try one of the methods above for stripping color out of hair.

These include making a paste out of vitamin C, applying a thick layer of it and leaving it on the hair to soak up the extra pigment. Toner can also fade out of your hair after just a few days up to a week. 

So, How Do You Get Red Tone Out of Your Hair?

Red tones in hair can be tricky to get out of hair after bleaching or dying the hair follicle. Thankfully, there are several options you can try to get rid of red tones.

These include using a toning shampoo or conditioner, stripping the color using baking soda or vitamin C as a paste and applying it hair in the shower, or even further bleaching or adding a color-correcting dye to your hair.

Depending on if you bleached your hair or added dye to it, red tones will either need to be toned or bleached, or it will fade after a few weeks and then you can try re-dying it. If you want to strip the color faster, you can try the methods we’ve outlined in this article.

Remember that some of the products may dry out your hair so wait a day or two in between using the harsher lifting agents like baking soda so that your hair has a chance to rest.