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Finally hopped on the seemingly undying trend of ash hair colors and decided to try out the sought-after shade for yourself?
We can’t blame you. There’s something about the smoky, muted tones of ashy hues that radiate a mysterious, addictively intriguing allure.
So of course, after dyeing your hair, you expect dusky, picture-perfect locks.
But instead of proudly whispering, “Oh wow, I look phenomenal!” to yourself after your dye job, you exclaim, “Why is my hair green?”
Well, you’re not alone. Plenty of folks who had high hopes for gorgeous, silvery ash blonde, ash brown, or ash gray hair ended up sporting unsightly green-tinged locks.
But don’t worry. There are ways to fix the problem without spending a fortune at the salon or damaging your tresses!
Read on to learn how to fix green hair from ash dye easily and effectively and discover foolproof ways to prevent it from occurring in the future.
Table of Contents
Why Do Ash Hair Colors Turn Green?
Before we get into the details of how to remove green from ash hair, let’s take a closer look at why it pops up in the first place.
Ditching your warm summer blonde for a cool ash brown? Be careful; you might end up with green-tinted locks.
Remember that all ash hair colors are cool-toned, which is why ash hair dyes have predominantly cool-colored pigments like blue and green.
Now most shades of naturally blonde hair have predominantly yellow pigments.
So when you apply ash hair dye onto your blonde locks, the blue pigments in it mix with the yellow tones in your hair, leaving an unsightly swampy green cast over it.
The same principle above applies here, but this time it’s for brunettes who bleach their hair to achieve an ash blonde, ash gray, or light ash brown hue.
Keep in mind that dark hair needs to be lifted to level 8, 9, or 10 before getting dyed with a light ash color. Otherwise, the dye job won’t yield visible results and will instead lead to poorly toned hair.
This is because if you bleach only up to level 7 or below, your hair will have extremely warm yellow and orange pigments (think brassy, medium-blonde tresses).
Mixed with the blue pigments in ash dye, you’ll wind up with a greenish ash blonde instead of the chic flaxen shade you want.
If you’re a hair dye fanatic, you may already know that using toner after dyeing your hair is essential to achieving and maintaining the perfect shade.
So if you’re gunning for stunningly smoky ash hair, it’s a no-brainer to go for an ash toner, right?
Well, not really. Like ash hair dye, ash toners also contain blue pigments that may mix with the warm yellow undertones in your hair.
Plus, leaving your toner in for 30 to 40 minutes, which is par for the course when it comes to proper toning, gives the pigments plenty of time to mix.
This pretty much guarantees you’ll end up with green hair after toning.
Improper Toner Use
Sadly, even if you do use the right toner, using it incorrectly can still lead to the appearance of unwanted green tones in your hair.
Some folks with dyed ash brown hair use green or blue toning shampoos to counteract red or brassy orange tones in their hair. This shouldn’t be a problem in and of itself; in fact, it’s actually recommended by hair colorists.
However, leaving the toner in for too long — longer than around 20 minutes — can make its pigments cling too tightly to your strands.
The result is, once again, green tones in your ash hair color.
Everyone who’s ever had their hair bleached knows the golden rule of post-bleach care: never go swimming if you don’t want chlorine to turn your hair green.
Well, there’s some truth to this, but let’s clarify the science behind it. Contrary to popular belief, chlorine isn’t the culprit behind greenish hair; it’s actually copper.
All types of water typically contain different kinds of minerals like copper. Pool water is no exception.
Now when copper interacts with chlorine, the primary ingredient used in most pool sanitizers, it oxidizes and turns green.
So when you submerge your hair into pool water, the large amounts of oxidized copper cling to your strands and stain them with a greenish hue.
Similarly, hard water contains chlorine and large amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium. These build up on your strands and get oxidized by water and sunlight, causing them to change color.
As such, showering with hard water can cause your hair to turn green.
High Hair Porosity
Those with high-porosity hair are especially prone to acquiring a greenish tint from some of the elements listed above.
This is due to the fact that their strands naturally attract and soak up as much moisture as they can, which unfortunately means they also absorb pigments from sources like green pool water, green toners, and oxidized minerals.
How to Neutralize Green Hair
So just how do you remove green from ash hair? Simple: consult your color wheel.
On it, you’ll notice that there are colors directly opposite each other. These are called complementary or contrasting colors. Examples include the following:
- Yellow and purple
- Orange and blue
- Green and red
When combined, they don’t create an entirely new color. They simply cancel each other out, creating a neutral hue like brown or gray.
As such, the key to toning green hair successfully is to use a product with red, which is opposite to green on the color wheel.
Doing this will neutralize the cool green tones peeking out from under your strands and help you restore the cool, silvery hue of your dyed hair.
Another option is to use products with color-lifting properties. By lightening your current hair color, you can get rid of unwanted tones in the process.
Lastly, you can try a color-stripping treatment, although this may fade your hair color altogether.
How to Fix Green Hair From Ash Dye: 9 Methods
Now that you understand what the color wheel does, here’s how to fix green hair from ash dye in nine different ways!
Using red toning shampoo is the quickest and most potent way to remove green tones from your hair for good.
It’s designed to deposit red pigments onto your strands to cancel out the green ones and refresh your hair color.
Plus, high-quality toning shampoos typically contain ingredients that nourish and hydrate your tresses, giving them a lustrous shine.
One such shampoo is the Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo! Besides boasting an intense, highly pigmented formula, it also contains nutrient-rich ingredients like green tea extract and rosehip oil that boost hair health.
Even better, it boasts rave reviews from several users who also went through a similar dyed-hair-turned-green fiasco.
How to use:
- Apply the shampoo to your wet strands and work up a nice lather.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it sit for around 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the prominence of the green tint.
- Rinse it out and follow it up with a conditioner.
- Repeat the process once or twice a week.
Pro tip: Don’t leave the shampoo on for longer than five minutes if you have high-porosity hair to prevent it from getting a reddish tint.
Dousing your hair with ketchup may sound a little wacky, but it might just work!
Ketchup contains lycopene, a carotenoid or organic pigment that’s responsible for the condiment’s bright red hue.
As we already know, red counteracts green, so the large amounts of lycopene in ketchup can also function as color correctors for green-tinged hair.
How to use:
- Wet your hair, then get a generous dollop of ketchup and apply it to your strands. Alternatively, you can squirt the condiment onto your hair, although this will give you less control over the coverage.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it out with water and shampoo.
Pro tip: Ran out of ketchup? You can also use tomato juice for this method! Like ketchup, it’s also made of tomatoes, which serve as rich sources of lycopene.
Mahogany Hair Dye
For a more drastic solution to your toning troubles, get red hair dye to cover those unwanted hints of green in your hair.
It works in the same way as red shampoo and ketchup, namely that it uses red colorants to neutralize green hues.
Mahogany works especially well for this. Unlike other shades of red, it contains both cool and warm tones, so it won’t clash too much with your cool ash hair.
Want to take the plunge with mahogany hair dye? Try the Schwarzkopf Keratin Color in Warm Mahogany (5.6)!
How to use:
- Mix the dye and developer in a bowl.
- Apply a small amount of the mixture to your dry strands. Make sure it fully covers the areas with more visible green tones.
- Leave it in for 10 minutes.
- Rinse all the dye out with water, then condition your hair.
Pro tip: If you have ash blonde or ash gray hair, steer clear of this remedy. The pigments in red hair dye will have an easier time clinging to your strands, which means you’ll be swapping out the greenish tint in your hair for a reddish one.
More importantly, red hair dye can darken your hair color.
A good old-fashioned way to strip color from your hair is to use a clarifying shampoo.
Specially formulated to provide a deeper, more potent cleanse than regular shampoo, it can clear away all impurities — including artificial color pigments — from your strands.
Take note that it may take a couple of washes before you start seeing results.
Now the catch is frequent use of clarifying shampoo won’t just lighten or purge green tones; it may also remove your ash hair color or at least affect the intensity of your chosen shade.
If that’s a bargain you’re willing to make, especially if you want to redye your hair anyway, go for it.
If not, you can either use it sparingly or opt for a toning shampoo instead.
How to use:
- Place a small amount of the shampoo into your palm.
- Gently massage it into your scalp and strands.
- Leave it in for around three minutes.
- Rinse it out thoroughly, then deep-condition your hair immediately after.
Pro tip: Clarifying shampoo can be quite harsh on your hair. Using it more than once or twice a week is enough to maximize its color-stripping benefits. As soon as you’ve achieved your desired results, go back to using it only once a month.
Going for a few more rounds of bleaching can help you lift your hair color to the ideal level and kick green tones to the curb, but make sure to proceed with caution.
Bleaching can damage your hair in different ways, and rebleaching your hair haphazardly will only pile on its harmful effects.
For best results, go to your stylist. They’re better equipped with the right tools and skills to rebleach and redye it with minimal damage.
They may also spot-treat green tones on your hair instead of making your hair go through an all-over bleaching session.
But if you want to get the job done yourself, keep the following guidelines in mind.
First, it’s crucial to wait eight to 10 weeks before rebleaching your hair to give it time to recover from your previous bleach job.
Secondly, opt for a stronger lifter this time — ideally a 20- to 30-volume developer — to prevent making mistakes or getting unsatisfactory results. Make sure to use the right bleach-to-developer ratio as well.
Lastly, condition your hair every day and use deep conditioning masks and treatments to avoid getting fried, overprocessed strands.
How to use:
- Mix the bleach powder with the developer until it forms a paste.
- Put on gloves and apply the paste to your hair. Start at the mid-lengths and the ends, and save the roots for last.
- Leave it in for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Rinse it out with water and shampoo, then use conditioner.
- Tone your hair with a purple toner or a purple shampoo to get rid of yellow and orange tones before redyeing your hair.
Pro tip: Searching for a gentler alternative to a full-on bleach job? Go for a bleach bath instead.
Not willing to put your hair through the trials and tribulations of bleaching? Reach for a milder hair lightener like baking soda instead!
This multipurpose product boasts incredible lightening capabilities, which is why it’s used to clean dirty tiles, treat stains, and even get green tones out of color-treated hair.
How to use:
- Dissolve a quarter or half cup of baking soda in water to form a paste.
- Coat your strands with the paste.
- Leave it on for two to five minutes.
- Rinse it out with water and shampoo, then condition your hair.
Pro tip: You can also mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide for maximum lightening, but be sure to deep condition your hair after applying the mixture, as hydrogen peroxide can dry it out. Don’t leave it in longer than three minutes as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Is there any ingredient more versatile than apple cider vinegar? Aside from adding tangy notes to stews and salads, it’s also used as a household cleaner, disinfectant, facial toner, dandruff buster, and skin and hair lightener!
While its actual hair color-lifting properties have yet to be backed by scientific evidence, beauty enthusiasts from all across the world attest to its ability to lighten their locks.
Even better, it also helps cleanse your scalp and moisturize your strands. So it’s worth a shot if you want a gentle, all-natural lightener to cancel the green tints in your hair.
However, keep in mind that you may need to apply apple cider vinegar to your hair a few times before it yields visible results.
How to use:
- Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture onto your strands generously.
- Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Rinse it out with water.
- Repeat the process once a week.
Pro tip: Mix it with chamomile tea — which has such potent lightening powers that it’s often the star ingredient in lightening shampoos — to boost the brightening effects of this product.
Another beloved natural hair lightener! Lemon juice contains high amounts of citric acid, a natural bleaching agent.
In fact, citric acid is frequently touted as the most suitable alternative to household bleach.
As such, you can rest assured that it’s powerful enough to break down the pigments in your hair to lighten it and snuff out those awful green tones.
How to use:
- Squeeze out the juice from three fresh lemons.
- Mix lemon juice and warm water using a 1:2 ratio in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture onto your strands.
- Leave it in for five to 10 minutes.
- Rinse it out with water and shampoo, then condition your hair.
Pro tip: Don’t have fresh lemons? Use Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid instead! It’s also packed with citric acid, which means it can deliver the same benefits as pure lemon juice.
This may be the strangest remedy on the list, but plenty of hairstylists swear by it!
How does it work? Aspirin is made primarily of salicylic acid, which can combat and counteract alkaline substances like chlorine.
This is why it’s used to neutralize the green tints in hair that specifically result from exposure to pool water.
How to use:
- Crush two aspirin tablets into powder with a mortar and pestle.
- Mix the powder with a small amount of shampoo.
- Apply the mixture to the areas of your hair with the most prominent green tints
- Leave it in for five minutes.
- Rinse it out with shampoo and water, then condition your hair.
Pro tip: Wet your hair before applying the mixture to make sure it sticks well to your strands.
How to Prevent Ash-Colored Hair From Turning Green
Now that you know how to fix green hair from ash dye, you may be wondering how to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Here are a few effective ways to avoid this predicament:
Use a pre-pigmentation treatment before dyeing your hair
If you’re going from blonde to ash brown, it’s best to get ahead of green tones before they start. What you can do is pre-pigment your hair, which refers to the process of filling in the missing pigments in your hair color.
In this case, naturally blonde or bleached blonde hair lacks red tones, so you’ll need to pre-fill your locks with red pigments.
You can do this by using a red shampoo or booking an appointment with your hairstylist to have them treat your hair for you.
Go for warmer ash shades
While most ash hair colors are cool-toned, you can still opt for warmer, lighter shades like golden ash brown.
The Pravana ChromaSilk Creme in Light Golden Ash Brown (5.31) is a great option for this. It gives you a way to rock ash-colored hair while minimizing the risk of getting green-tinged tresses.
Get a shower filter
A shower filter can reduce the chlorine and copper content of your shower water. Plus, it can also prevent mineral deposits from building up in your hair, helping you put a stop to green hair once and for all.
Wear a swimming cap before going in the pool
Protecting your hair from the chlorine and copper in pool water is essential to preventing unsightly green tones.
Using a swimming cap is the best way to do this. But if you’re not comfortable wearing one, you can simply wet your hair before diving headfirst into the pool to prevent it from soaking up all the water in it.
You can also pre-apply a hair oil like coconut oil or a hair mask that will block the pigments from getting absorbed by your hair.
Can purple shampoo fix green hair?
Nope. Purple shampoo counteracts yellow and orange, so it won’t do much to get the green out of ash hair.
However, using purple shampoo to tone your hair after bleaching can help you prevent it.
Because it neutralizes yellow tones, the blue pigments in your ash hair color will have fewer yellow pigments to mix with, thereby reducing the possibility of you getting green-tinted hair.
Blue hair dye turned green: what to do?
You can also use red shampoo or ketchup to tone blue hair with tinges of green!
Similarly, you can use purple shampoo to get rid of any leftover yellow tones in your natural hair color, then redye your hair to achieve your desired shade of blue.
Hair Turned Green After Dyeing? Try These Quick and Easy Solutions!
Discovering uneven streaks or patches of green on your previously flawless ash-colored hair can be, to put it lightly, a total nightmare.
The good news is there are ways to combat it with cheap products or readily available household items.
Feel free to try any of the hacks we’ve laid out for you above to see which one works! But if you can’t fix the issue on your own, head to your salon and have a professional do it for you.
This way, you can restore the bewitching silvery hues of your ash hair and bid farewell to moldy green tones!
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