What Is Hair Color Correction? Tips On How To Fix A Hair Color Gone Wrong

Written by Arshiya Syeda

That beautiful hair color you’ve been dreaming of is finally going to be a reality. Months of waiting and anticipation are going to pay off. This is the attitude you carry while stepping into the salon.

But the moment you are done reading your magazine and lift your eyes to see the color…boom! That’s the sound of your heartbreak. Your dream color has turned into your worst nightmare. This is the time you gather some courage and look for a solution on the internet.

Hey, I’m not here to aggravate your pain. This is the place you’re going to find your solution. So, take a chill pill and keep reading to find out how to fix a hair color gone wrong.

What Happens In A Hair Color Correction Process?

In a hair color correction process, toners and purple shampoos are used to neutralize or change the hair color. Usually, it is done to lighten a dark shade or vice versa. In some cases, it is used to remove the brassiness from blonde hair color.

Once the problem is detected, your current hair color can be changed and improved through restoring, removal, or neutralizing. As I mentioned earlier, toners are used to neutralize brassy and yellow hues in hair correction process. For example, if you have brassy blonde hair, it can be changed to something ashy. But note that if you want to lighten a dark shade, the process may take more than one sitting. Which begs the question – how long does it take to correct your hair color?

How Long Does A Hair Color Correction Process Take?

The process may take weeks or months, but it all depends on the results you desire. It is essential to consult a professional stylist since hair correction process can be strenuous for fragile hair. The harsh chemicals that are used in this process also need proper supervision. For some hair types and hair colors, the correction process extends to more than 2 to 3 sittings. Factors like hair type, hair texture, hair porosity, the condition of your hair, the permanency of your current hair color, and the choice of toner to be used go into determining the time period for this process.

Now that you know what happens in a hair color correction process and how long it takes, let’s get to the point and talk about how to fix different hair colors.

How To Fix Different Hair Colors

1. How To Get Rid Of Yellowish Hue

Blonde can be high-maintenance. After all, it’s one of the coolest hair colors in the world. But it comes with a downside. A common concern for those who don blonde hair color is the shabby yellowish tinge it tends to develop. This problem can worsen if taken for granted.

How To Fix It:

If you are familiar with the color wheel, you’ll know that the color opposite yellow is purple. Hence, to fight a yellowish hue, you need to use a purple ash toner. This will lighten the warm tone and give your hair an even distribution of ashy color. It also adds shine to your hair.

2. How To Get Rid Of Brassy Orange Tone

Have you been noticing a strange orangish shade in your hair? Well, that’s your hair color turning brassy. A nightmare for those with light hair, this unwanted warm tone can be terminated with just a little extra care and effort.

How To Fix It:

The perfect way to get rid of brassiness is by using a blue tinted shampoo or a conditioner. This works well as it lifts the depth of your color and banishes the red or orange undertone successfully. Cool toned products are best for preventing the brassiness from reappearing. Follow it up with a glossy neutralizer. This keeps the sheen intact and prevents your hair from drying out.

3. How To Get Rid Of Ashy Blonde

Is the blonde shade that made you look like a diva fading away? Is your fading hair devoid of warm tone? Has it turned out too light for your preference? Don’t stress. Here’s a way to adjust the tone.

How To Fix It:

To cancel out the cool tone, you need to add a little warmth to it. Colors like red, yellow, and sun-kissed orange help in removing ashy tones. Use a red shade toner along with a developer. Using a warm toner on certain sections or all over your hair can evenly distribute the color.

4. How To Get Rid Of Stripey Highlights

Those super embarrassing highlights are taking a toll on your reputation? Don’t worry, here’s a way to fix those loud lines.

How To Fix It:

To tone down the highlights, you need to use the base color of your hair at the roots. This will soften the highlights and make them blend in with your base hair color. For the base color, choose a shade that is close to your natural hair color or no more than two shades lighter. For example, if you have brunette hair with light blonde stripey highlights, use a medium or light brown shade as the base color. This will give you a natural looking hair color.

5. How To Fix A Dip-Dye Gone Wrong

When the ombre hair color of your dreams goes wrong, everything goes wrong. Here’s a way you can change that disaster into something beautiful.

How To Fix It

Dyeing a dark color over dip-dyed hair will leave you with a blocky finish. If you have naturally dark brown hair and got yourself a blonde dip-dye, you can cover up using a semi-permanent hair color in a warm-toned shade. Using this from the mid-length to the tips will help you get a gradual ombre. If coloring is not an option, go for a toner to blend out the harsh line. This will give you an evenly distributed ombre.

6. How To Lighten Dark Hair Color

Did you end up coloring your hair a shade darker than the expected shade? Or do you wish to just change the dark hair color to something light and fun? Here’s a way to fix the shade to suit your preference.

How To Fix It:

To get a lighter shade, you can start with bleach. Note that in a single sitting, your hair color should not be lifted more than two shades. If you have dyed your hair blonde and it turned out darker than expected, you can use a clarifying shampoo as a quick solution. A clarifying shampoo can lighten the color in just three washes.

For a long-term solution, you can bleach your hair and dye it with a lighter shade or simply tone it.

7. How To Fix Unevenly Dyed Hair

Were you shocked to see patchy results after coloring your hair? Hold on! Here’s what you can do to fix it.

How To Fix It:

Usually, when you dye your hair at home, the lighter sections tend to catch the color with greater intensity, thus giving you an uneven look. The easiest way to tackle this problem quickly is to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This will get you a little closer to the solution. Next, use the same hair color as before but reduce the leave-in time. Try applying it evenly on the sections of hair that did not catch the color and on the visibly darker sections. Then, buy a darker hair color and color your entire hair with this new color.

8. How To Fix Fading Hair Color

Is your gorgeous hair color fading away quickly? Are your lack-luster locks crying for some vibrancy? You’re not alone! This is the most common setback of colored hair.

How To Fix It:

Toner is the magic potion! Toners can restore the vibrancy and sheen of your hair.

You can also use color-safe shampoos to keep your hair color intact.

An unconventional way to protect your hair color is to mix a bit of your color with your conditioner. You can seek a salon expert to get this done.

For a long-lasting solution, you can opt for color-refreshing. Color refreshing is a semi-permanent process that helps revive your current hair color.

Color correction can be a godsend when your hair coloring adventures go drastically wrong. However, you can commit some serious mistakes here that are easily avoidable. Read the next section to find out what they are.

Few Mistakes To Avoid When Coloring Your Hair At Home

1. Avoid The Sink

Washing your hair in the kitchen or bathroom sink can be a quick way to finish off the coloring process. But the faucets in these sinks do not have enough pressure to rinse out the hair dye thoroughly. Therefore, it is advisable to step into the shower to wash away the product completely. If you’ve stained your sink, bathtub, or bathroom floor with hair color, you can use some bleach to get rid of the marks.

2. Analyze The Description On The Box Carefully

The shade indicated on the box might not turn out the same on you! Color swatches or online research on the tone or shade you desire can provide you with better results. Most brands mention which skin tone and natural hair color will be most compatible with a particular hair dye. Look through these and consider your options!

3. Do Not Color Beyond The Line

Your hair color may turn out to be absolutely beautiful. But stains on your hairline and ears? A big no-no. The best way to avoid this is to apply petroleum jelly all along your hairline and on your ears. In addition to that, put on some old clothes and keep a couple of napkins handy. If you do end up staining your skin, use makeup remover oil to get rid of the stains.

4. Look Out For The Right Shade

This should be on top of your priority list! Knowing if you are warm toned or cool toned can really help you choose the right shade. Women with warm skin tone can look great with cool toned hair and women with cool skin tones can go for something dark like red or auburn. Women who fall in between warm and pale skin tone can opt for either cool or warm shades.

5. The After Care

The way you treat your hair after coloring it can have a major impact on the longevity of the color. Never wash your hair with hot water after coloring it. This can open up the cuticles and result in fading. Since coloring can dry out your hair, apply a conditioning mask to moisturize and nourish it. This will keep your hair soft and hydrated.

Yes, it’s that easy to correct a hair color gone wrong! With these tips and techniques, you are all set to flaunt your fabulous and renewed hair color to the world. Got any questions? Drop them in the comments section below.

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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).