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Why Is My Hair Turning Green When I Dye It? | 3 Reasons

Dyeing your hair is a fun and exciting way to spice up your look. Whether you visit the salon or DIY it, the process is pretty straightforward and you should have a new ‘do within a couple of hours.

But if you find yourself asking, “why is my hair turning green when I dye it,” you’re in the right place. We’ll show you why this is happening and, more importantly, how to fix it. Read on to learn more.

What Is the Reason My Hair Turned Green After Dyeing It?

Green hair isn’t fun unless it’s intentional — and even then, you can run into some pretty unflattering shades. If you can’t figure out why your hair turned green, consider some of the reasons below.

1. No Toner

If you didn’t use a toner after you dyed your hair, you could be sitting there looking like the wicked witch of the west. Hair toner is an extremely important part of the dyeing process.

It works to neutralize any brassy or warm tones. Typically, it’s hard to find or mix a hair dye that will yield the exact color results you want; that’s why a toner is necessary.

Some benefits of using a toner after you dye your hair include:

  • Greater shine
  • Healthy-looking hair
  • Natural-looking color

Another great thing about toner is that you can target it to specific areas to lift or alter the color the way you like.

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2. Using Toner Incorrectly

If you did use a toner but still ended up with green hair, you may not have used it properly. Ensure you use it after you dye your hair, not before, since you won’t know which areas you’ll need to tone.

3. Wrong Hair Dye

Another likely reason for your hair turning green after you dye it, especially if you used toner and did everything else correctly, is that you simply chose the wrong shade. It’s important to consider the hair color you’re dyeing from so you know which colors to pick to achieve your desired results.

Another thing to note is that in addition to the primary colors you see on the box, all hair dye has secondary tones in it. Consult the color wheel or your stylist to see how those tones will affect your current hair color.

How to Get Rid of Green Hair

Woman dyeing her hair at home after asknig why is my hair turning green when I dye it

simona Pilolla 2/Shutterstock

Now that we’ve established why your hair might have turned green after dyeing it, you probably want to know how to fix it. The good news is that you have options. Below are three methods you can use to get rid of the green ‘do, some more dramatic than others.

Clarifying Shampoo

The first option is to use a clarifying shampoo to try and remove or tone down the green tints in your hair. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In the shower or under the faucet, use lukewarm water to wet your hair.
  2. Work a generous amount of clarifying shampoo onto your scalp.
  3. Massage in circular motions to ensure your scalp is fully covered, then work your way down to your tips.
  4. Once your hair is fully covered in the shampoo, put on a plastic cap and let it sit for about ten minutes. (It’ll be more effective if you leave it on closer to 15 or 20 minutes.)
  5. After the time is up, rinse all the product out with warm water and apply a conditioner.

You can repeat this process as much as you want, but keep in mind that washing too often, especially with a product as potent as clarifying shampoo, may dry out your hair.

Read Next: What Does Clarifying Shampoo Do to Colored Hair?


Yes, even if you used a toner the first time, you can use another one to help you out of this green mess. If you’re not quite ready to throw in the towel and dye your hair completely, using a toner is a great alternative.

If you take a look at the color wheel, you can see that red sits opposite green. This means that you’ll need a red, copper, or even a violet color to cancel out the blue. You’ll need to choose a toner that has pink or red tones to cancel out the green.

Once you have your toner and developer, follow these steps:

  1. Double-check the instructions for the ratio of developer to toner. Usually, 2 parts developer with 1 part toner is the move. Mix them together in a plastic bowl.
  2. Wearing gloves, apply the mixture to your hair in sections, and let it sit for 20 to 25 minutes. (Do not exceed 45 minutes.)
  3. When time is up, rinse your hair and wash/condition it as normal.

Hair Dye

If the first two options weren’t enough for you and you simply want to banish the green in your hair entirely, it’s time to return to the salon (preferably a different one if that’s how you ended up with green hair in the first place) or grab a pair of gloves and get ready to work.

Once you have your dye picked out and gloves on, follow the instructions on the package to a T. This will ensure that you don’t damage your hair even more than you already have.

Read Next: What Color Should I Dye My Hair (Quiz)?

How to Prevent Green Hair From Happening Again

Understanding what made your hair turn green after dyeing it and how to correct it is helpful, but how do you prevent this headache from happening in the first place? You can start by ensuring you have the correct shade of hair dye for your hair color right hair and use a toner.

Another way to prevent unwanted shades from creeping into your hair is to use a color filler. This product adds a base pigment to your hair so the dye can bond appropriately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman wondering why her hair is turning green when she dyes it standing outside

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Green hair is exciting and edgy when chosen intentionally. Ending up with green hair by accident is usually an unwelcome surprise. If this is the case, read on for some of the most commonly asked questions about your hair turning green after dyeing it.

Why is my hair turning green when I dye it?

There are a few reasons why your hair turned green, including not using toner, using toner incorrectly, or using the wrong shade of dye.

How do I remove green tones from my hair?

A clarifying shampoo or toner will do the trick to lift the color from your hair or dye it to rid your hair of the green entirely.

Do I have to use toner when I dye my hair?

Yes. You should always use a toner after dyeing your hair to neutralize any brassy tones or even out weird coloring.

Do I need to use a developer with hair dye?

Yes. The developer is what activates the hair dye, so if you don’t mix it together, the dye will just wash out of your hair.

How do I prevent my hair from turning green in the future?

Make sure you consider your current hair color and select the appropriate shade of hair dye, use a color filler if necessary, and follow up with a toner.

So, What Is the Reason For My Hair Turning Green When I Dye It?

If you’ve ended up looking like the ham in the Dr. Seuss book, don’t panic. It’s a totally fixable situation once you understand where you went wrong in your dyeing process.

There’s no need to visit the salon and waste your money if you’re comfortable following the methods above, but there’s also nothing wrong with asking for help if you need it. Good luck!