How to Correct a Bad Dye Job in 7 Easy Steps


You remove the towel from your hair and stare at the mirror in complete horror. The red dye that you used to color your hair came out a bit too red.

You look like a ketchup bottle.

What are you supposed to do now? Do you wait it out and wear hats until the color fades?

While that is an option, there are other ways that you can fix a bad dye job. In the case of brassy shades, a nice toner will work miracles.

We’ve got a list of a few other tried and true methods to tackle bad hair dye. Check out this handy beauty guide to learn more.

1. You Left the Color on Too Long

The box told you to keep the color on your hair for about half an hour. You decide to throw on an episode of your favorite Netflix show while you wait.

One episode turned into five.

You got so swept up in the storyline that you forgot to go rinse out your hair. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

The problem is that the brunette dye job you had your heart set on is now way too dark! The good news is that there’s a way to wash out some of the pigment before it sets in too deep.

Grab a strong cleansing shampoo. If you don’t have one on hand, dish soap will do the trick.

Shampoo your hair a few times and follow it up with a good conditioner. It might not lighten things up as much as you would like, but it will do until the color naturally lightens itself.

2. Too Much Brass

You can rock the ginger look, but that doesn’t mean you want your hair to be bright orange! There is way too much brass.

You’ll be happy to know that this is a pretty simple problem to fix. Using an ash toner or dye will naturalize those warm tones and give you the light blonde that you were trying to go for.

The brassy shade may return eventually. Water and sunlight can cause it to peek back out.

When that happens, you can use another application of toner. It won’t damage your hair.

3. Uneven Box Job

You can’t throw on box dye the same way you do shampoo. You’ve got to go by sections. If you don’t, your dye job will come out splotchy.

Sometimes, even if you follow the instructions on the box down to the letter, the results can be a bit uneven. The heat from your scalp interacts with the chemicals in the dye, which causes the color to come out a bit lighter in that area.

A simple solution is to dye the ends of your hair before you get to your scalp. You can use a cleansing shampoo to lighten the areas that came out a bit darker than the others.

You can also pick up another box of dye and redo the entire thing. Going for a round two might even things up.

4. Yellow Hair

You tried to do a blonde dye job, but you look like one of your child’s Barbie dolls.

If you look at the color wheel, purple is on the opposite side of yellow. That means you can use it to neutralize that gross straw color to get the blonde that you wanted. A light purple toner will do the trick.

5. Your Blonde Hair Is Way Too Ashy

You’ve always wanted beautiful ash blonde hair, but the box dye made it a bit too ashy. It’s grey with a tint of green.

You’ll want to add some warmth to your hair. There are shampoos and toners out there that will work.

6. The Box Dye Damaged Your Hair

You like the color of your hair. The problem is that the strands are feeling a bit dry and crunchy now.

That’s a normal effect. The chemicals can dry out your hair. You can fix it with a nourishing hair mask.

Leave it on your head for about ten minutes and wash it out. Rinse and repeat a few days a week until your hair texture goes back to normal. You can also book an appointment at your favorite salon and let a professional take a crack at restoring your hair.

7. You Want It Gone

You hate your hair color and want it gone. The trick is dandruff shampoo. Pick up some Head and Shoulders and wash your hair with it until the color leaves the building.

Hair Dying Tips

The best way to fix bad dye jobs is to not allow them to happen in the first place. Here are a few dying tips that will help you get the results that you’re going for.

Don’t Look at the Box Model

The biggest mistake that people make is believing that their hair will come out exactly like the model on the box. It won’t.

In fact, the color will most likely look a bit lighter on you. That’s why you have to look at the color swatches on the box instead. It’s a lot more accurate.

Keep Things Simple

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’re not a trained hair-dying professional. That means you shouldn’t try anything too complicated at home.

Keep things simple. Don’t try to go more than a bit darker or lighter than your natural hair color.

If you try to pull off something fancy, there’s a good chance that you’ll make a rookie mistake. If you want highlights, that’s great, but you really should get them done at a salon.

Buy a Few Boxes of Dye

If your hair extends down past your shoulder, or if it’s coarse in texture, one box of dye isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to pick up at least two if you want full coverage.

Before applying the dye to your scalp, you’ll want to mix both boxes of dye together in a bowl. Use a glass or plastic one. If you put your dyes in a metal bowl, it will change the color.

On top of having the right amount of dye, you’re also going to need a comb and towel. You can shop for hair towels here.

Avoid Washing Your Hair

Don’t wash your hair before you color it. The natural oils on your scalp provide a protective barrier that will prevent the chemicals in the dye from damaging your hair.

It could irritate your scalp and cause a painful burning sensation the entire time the dye is in your hair. Since most boxes instruct you to leave it on for half an hour before rinsing, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Think About Your Hair Texture

When it comes to dying, the texture of your hair matters. Coarse and curly hair tends to soak up dye like a sponge. Any color you use on it will come out a lot cooler.

For example, if you use light blonde dye on coarse hair, it will turn an ashy blue color.

On the flip side of this, if your hair is silky and straight, tones usually come out a bit warmer than depicted on the box of dye. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with orange or bright yellow hair.

Touching Up Your Roots

As your hair grows, the natural color of your roots will begin to shine through. You’ll need to touch them up.

It can be easy to stain your scalp when you do. To avoid that, you can create a barrier of sorts using coconut oil or vaseline.

Get Rid of Buildup

Again, you shouldn’t wash your hair right before you dye it if you want to avoid painful irritation. That doesn’t mean you should necessarily dye your hair when it’s dirty.

If you use any product, the build-up can interfere with the dye. Wash it out and apply your dye 24 hours later. That will give the natural oils in your scalp enough time to build back up.

Pull Off the Perfect Dye Job

It’s not easy to pull off the perfect dye job when you’re using the box stuff. If you fail to account for the texture of your hair, or you don’t follow the instructions exactly, you’ll end up with a hair disaster.

We hope that you’re able to use the tips that you’ve read here to avoid messing up your do too much. For more pointers that will leave you looking amazing every day, visit the Fashion section of our blog.