How to Fix Hair Color Mistakes: Guide with 10 Mistakes

How to Fix Hair Color Mistakes: Guide with 10 Mistakes

Introduction to the topic

While standing in front of the mirror, you have on plastic gloves, a box of permanent dye, and a list of instructions. What’s the worst that could happen? 

Quite a few things, actually. Even if you’re a seasoned colorist, there’s a good chance you’ve had a hair color fail in the past. You needn’t fret, though. Everything will be fine. Following your post-screaming, swearing-and-crying come to terms with it, it’s time to fix it.

As part of our partnership with Clairol Color Partner Jeremy Tardo, we’ve put together a list of the most common at-home hair color mishaps. Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a way to hide the mess until your next salon appointment, these are our top tips for getting your hair back in shape. 

How to fix an uneven box dye job? 

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Los Angeles hair colorist Guy Tang says that mistakes like this one are common because box dye instructions don’t make it as easy as they appear. He explains, “You can’t just slap it on and go.” “Each section must be completed in order.” 

In order to achieve a more even color, you will need to wait a while before doing anything else to your hair. Tang explains that in order to achieve even tones throughout the hair, you must begin with an even canvas. Wait for the uneven dye spots to fade out, or have it bleached by a professional for a smooth canvas, he says (bleaching already-dyed hair at home is way too risky). 

You can, however, expedite the fading process on your own. According to Tang, you can lessen the visibility of different tones by using a clarifying shampoo on areas where the tone is slightly darker. You can re-dye your hair if your hair is healthy enough and you are able to achieve an even base color. 

It all depends on how healthy your hair is and how much it can handle, Tang explains. “You must wait if your hair becomes more difficult to brush and feels tangled and crispy.” 

When re-doing your hair, Tang advises you to use as much hair dye as possible because too much is better than not enough in Tang’s opinion. It’s not uncommon for people to apply color to very large sections of hair without applying enough to achieve an even saturation, according to him. 

He recommends cutting the hair into “small slices” and coloring it from the roots all the way to the ends, starting at the ends and working your way back up. Make use of the applicator brush you have on hand if you’re using hair dye. You can use the color brush to “really push into the hair to ensure that the color application is saturated and even,” he adds. In spite of how time-consuming it may appear, “the process is what yields the best results.” 

How to fix blonde hair? 

A celebrity hairstylist who works with Gigi Hadid and Lucy Hale tells TZR that “yellow happens when blonde dye is washed out before it’s ready and not finished developing.” Purple shampoo and a hair toner can help. “Hair has to go through three stages before it becomes platinum or pale yellow,” says the stylist. “An orange toner can help.” 

Use Sunbum’s Blonde Tone Enhancer, she says, and let your hair air dry. “This is a great product because it will continue to work on your hair even after you’ve shampooed and styled it. On the color wheel, purple is opposite yellow, so it neutralizes it.” 

What to do if your hair turned out too dark after using box dye? 

For DIY hair coloring, Chadwick advises against trying to remove dye at home, especially if the color is darker than expected. A darker dye job can’t be lightened by simply dying it over with a lighter box dye shade, as is commonly believed. 

As Tang explains, “people think that applying color over already colored hair will make it lighter.” “Color cannot remove hair color.” Despite the fact that colorists like Tang, Chadwick, and others advise against trying to completely remove or color over a too-dark box dye, there is a quick way to soften the pigments for a look that is less intense. 

All you need to do is try to reduce the buildup of hair dye so that your lighter hair color begins to emerge from the darker color,” Chadwick says. All you need is a powerful clarifying shampoo to accomplish this. Kristina Cheeseman, a colorist based in St. Louis, Missouri, always recommends Head & Shoulders Shampoo to her clients who need an immediate fix, but she doesn’t recommend relying on it for long-term color corrections. 

Clarifying shampoo is most effective when washed several times with hot water, as Tang advises. Use a clarifying shampoo, he advises, and work it into your hair thoroughly. Using this method three or four times a week will remove a lot of the hair’s color. Tang advises that you can do this as soon as your dye job is finished if you so desire. However, if your hair is particularly dry and delicate, he advises delaying this step until you can restore it to health. 

To dilute dark box dye, Chadwick suggests using a clarifying shampoo, but he points out the drawbacks. You should use a good conditioner afterward because it will make your hair feel dry. In my opinion, “Davines Ol Conditioner is a great product.” 

What are the mistakes you do with hair color?

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Let’s take a look at the most common hair color mistakes: 

1. You’ve overdone it with the color

The show you’re watching on Netflix is so compelling that you lose track of time. “There is a risk of pigment buildup if you leave your color on for an extended period of time. Tinting your hair too long can’t make it lighter (unless bleaching is involved).

However, leaving a tint color on for too long can make hair darker than intended “Tardo says this. “Using a clarifying shampoo, or even a kitchen soap, remove the top layer of color from the hair. Finally, use a deep conditioner and shampoo twice or three times.” Preventing the pigment from setting in by repeatedly shampooing the hair will allow it to gradually lighten over time. 

2. Your hair has a brassy tinge

Is your skin tone too yellow or orange? This is one of the simplest hair mishaps to fix, so don’t stress.

L’Oreal Paris Everpure Brass Toning Purple Shampoo ($6; is an excellent purple shampoo to tone down unwanted hues. Brassiness can reappear over time as a result of environmental factors such as hard water and sunlight, so be sure to reapply as needed. 

3. Bright orange in hair 

Looking in the mirror and seeing orange-tinted hair, if that was not the intended color, is one of the scariest hair color mistakes. Typically, this is caused by hair bleach not lifting enough of your natural color, or oxidation, where external factors such as pollution or minerals in your water alter your hair color. 

Because orange hair and orange-like tones can be corrected with the right color correction, there are many ways to hide them. You’ll need to start using a purple hair care system immediately. 

4. The color of my hair turned out darker than I had hoped

This is a common hair dye mistake, especially for brunettes, and it’s a little more difficult to fix than if your hair was dyed too dark. But there is still hope. 

Look for a clarifying shampoo instead of a harsh color remover solution that could cause uneven color or even damage your hair. Color and product buildup from dark hair can be removed with a deep cleanse using clarifying shampoos, which are also known as purifying or detox shampoos In order to remove as much of the color as possible from your hair, use a clarifying shampoo that isn’t color safe.

Shampoo the areas that are too dark a few times to get the best results. Following up with a moisturizing conditioner and only increasing the frequency of hair washes for a week or so may speed up the process of fading the dark color, but you’ll want to avoid drying out hair. 

5. You went overboard with the shine

In between dye jobs, gloss can revive a color and add a new sheen to it. However, if a gloss is left on for an extended period of time, it can darken your complexion and make you look paler.

As Tardo points out, glosses are only there for a short time and will fade away with a good shampooing. When it comes to lightening, you don’t have to worry too much about how many times you wash your hair. Don’t treat it like a daily conditioner, just use a light hand. 

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6. You messed up your skin or sink

Dye jobs done in the comfort of one’s own home can be messy and splatter on the face, hands, and sink area. Start by spraying a bleaching agent into the sink and letting it sit there for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it. A cotton pad and some rubbing alcohol can be used to clean your skin. 

7. Your roots are different from the rest of your hair in color and shape

If your roots don’t absorb the color formula as well as the rest of your hair, or if you didn’t coat the roots completely with the dye, you may see this effect. For a long-term solution, we recommend consulting a professional colorist who can help you match the colors of your roots and ends. They have the know-how to do this without damaging your hair by over-processing it. 

8. It appears that your color palette lacks depth

Suppose your color is exactly how you wanted it to be, but the overall look is a little too dull. If you want to create a more multi-tonal illusion, Tardo recommends styling your hair with movement, such as waves or curls.

Ask your hairdresser for a subtle balayage or strobing as a long-term solution. Until you can make it to the salon, Amika’s color sprays ($50; let you highlight, lowlight, and accent your hair temporarily. Use a lighter mist on the crown to reflect light and make your hair appear fuller, or use a darker mist on the ends to create an ombre effect. 

9. Your hair is feeling extremely brittle and crunchy

Deep conditioning is the key. Helps restore hydration that has been lost during the dyeing process by using a solid hair mask The Living Proof Restore Repair Mask, which retails for $38 at, can be applied to your hair after you’ve washed out the dye. If your hair is still lacking in moisture, apply the treatment two to three times per week until you see results. 

10. Fading color

In between colorings, you’ve come to expect some fading of your hair’s color. Your hair is already looking dull and faded, despite the fact that you only applied your box dye a few days ago. Don’t worry if you accidentally used a shampoo that removed too much color too quickly, or if you simply didn’t leave the dye on long enough. 

Try a Color Therapy treatment first before deciding on a permanent hair color, which could make your hair too dark. Smooth, hydrated hair will have a color boost that may allow you to go longer between color treatments. 

How to fix ashy hair color? 

A celebrity hair colorist who has worked with Laverne Cox and Penelope Cruz tells TZR that “if the blonde gets too ashy it’s usually the result of the toner being left on too long, or the underlying hair color being lifted very light, and the toner not having enough yellow to balance it out.” “I recommend using Biolage Clean Reset Shampoo, a clarifying shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils. Otherwise, a salon gloss or correction will be required if this gentle approach fails.” 

Watch How to correct common hair color mistakes | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to How to fix hair color mistakes? 

How to fix a hair color mistake? 

Washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo (not a color-safe shampoo) and hot water on a daily basis will help remove the dye from your hair. You can use a cool-toned gloss to temporarily correct your hair’s color while also adding a stunning sheen to your locks until you’re ready to dye them again. 

If I don’t like the color, how soon can I recolor my hair? 

It’s best to wait at least two weeks before re-dying your hair if it’s already damaged by trichologists (hair scientists). This is particularly true if you’ve used a high-volume developer or permanent hair color (30 or 40 volume). 

Is it possible to undo the damage caused by hair dye? 

Hair dye jobs, hair treatments, or simply not taking care of our locks can result in disastrous outcomes. When people ask, “Can damaged hair be repaired?” the answer is yes. There’s a good chance that damaged hair can be repaired and, in some cases, reversed. 

What should you do if you accidentally overdyed your hair? 

For a long-term solution, apply the hair dye to the exact area where you previously missed. Make sure you place a mirror where you can clearly see it. A professional hair colorist, on the other hand, will be able to fill in any color gaps without overlapping. 

Is it possible to remove dye with clarifying shampoo? 

Surfactants in clarifying shampoos remove a wide range of things from your hair and scalp, from dirt and oil to pollution to dry skin flakes to semi-permanent hair colors. 


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Keep Your Head Up and Color! 

While hair color can go awry, there are even more ways to fix it. Help is available, from clarifying shampoos like Prime for Perfection and hair color removers like Prime for Perfection to glosses that counteract unexpected tones and shampoos that neutralize brassiness. 

Don’t forget to contact or chat with our Color Crew if you require additional assistance. Consult a licensed colorist in a free video consultation to find the perfect new hair color for you. Let a Madison Reed Hair Color Bar handle it all for you. 

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