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How to Correct Unwanted Green Tones In Hair

Does your dyed blonde hair look like celery? Are you suffering from green-tinted hair after swimming in a chlorinated pool? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then you’re probably dying to know how to get rid of green tones in your hair.

The good news is, removing green tones from your hair isn’t that difficult, but the extent of your success will depend on how much time, effort, and money you’re willing to expend to solve the problem.


Can You Cancel Out Unwanted Green Tone From Hair At Home?

Unwanted Green Hair Tones Correction

The most dependable way to color correct green tones in hair is to go to a professional hair salon and let them take care of it for you, but we won’t be going into details about that option in this article. Instead, we’ll focus on several methods to remove green tones in hair that you can do at home with just a few basic ingredients. 

Getting rid of green tones is not a perfect science, and if you’re trying to accomplish it on your own, be prepared for a bit of experimentation until you get the system down pat.

You’ll likely have to mix and measure the ingredients in different combinations and proportions until you find a formula that works well on your exact hair color.


Stay Away from Harmful Products and Procedures

We’re also going to avoid discussing methods that use harsh chemicals, such as bleach, to get rid of green tones in hair because we don’t want to make any suggestion that can cause more harm than help.


Which Color Cancels Out The Green?

color wheel

When attempting to remove ash green tones from your hair, you need to understand a basic scientific principle regarding color: red cancels out green.

If you don’t believe us, check it out on this color wheel:

Find the green tone that is closest to your hair color, and don’t worry if it’s not an exact match.

Now, look at the pie section exactly opposite of that green color. What do you see? Reds and pinks.

So, the key to canceling out your green-toned hair is to color or cover it with some shade of red. The question is: how much, and for how long?


How to Correct Green Tones in Hair– Three Easy Methods

The following methods are all designed to be semi-permanent, meaning that if you wash your hair, the green tone might return. If you want a permanent solution to getting rid of green hair tones, you might have to consult with a hairstylist or use professional-grade color removal products.

Method 1: Red Hair Dye & Conditioner/Hair Mask

Correcting Green Tones in Hair with Red Hair dye

Special Ingredient: Semi-permanent hair dye


Method 2: Red Food Coloring & Conditioner/Hair Mask

Correcting Green Tones in Hair Red Food Coloring

Special Ingredient: Red Food Coloring

  1. For these first two methods, we recommend mixing the products in a glass or metal bowl. Use gloves and a hair-dye brush to apply the mixture, so you won’t have red-stained fingers.
  2. Do a strand test to figure out the proportion of the “special ingredient” to mix with the conditioner/hair mask. We recommend starting with a 50/50 mixture and working from there.
  3. Once you’re satisfied with your strand test results, apply that same formula to all the green hair tones you want to correct. By now, you will also have a sense of how long the mixture should stay in your hair. If you’re still not sure, start with 10 minutes and increase the time incrementally as necessary. Cover your hair with a plastic bag or cap to protect your clothing and furniture.
  4. Women with light blonde hair may notice their hair has taken on a slightly pink hue. To avoid this, use less of the red coloring product, but leave the mixture on your hair longer. If your hair does turn pink, don’t worry; since these products are semi-permanent, they’ll rinse out after a few washes, especially if you use hot water.  


Method 3: Ketchup

Correcting Green Tones in Hair Ketchup

Believe it or not, ketchup can act as a temporary toner to reduce the appearance of unwanted green shades in hair. It works because the red dye used in these products removes ash green from hair; more accurately stated, it helps cover up the green tones.

Any brand of ketchup will work, and in fact, we recommend using a cheap, no-name brand because they tend to have higher concentrations of red dye.

Apply the ketchup anywhere you see green tones in your hair and leave it in for at least 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and wash and condition as usual.


Buying Time Between Salon Visits

These three temporary methods to correct green tones in hair can come in handy when you’re just a couple of weeks away from your next stylist appointment. If none of these options work for you, or you want something that might last a bit longer, try a red hair color booster, a wash-out rinse, or a color depositing shampoo and conditioner.