4. “My ends have turned green. Send help.”
Green color staining typically occurs when blondes go brunette and choose a cool brown color with smoky undertones. If the brown you’ve selected is too ashy for your hair, your mid-lengths and ends may turn an unwanted greenish hue.
To find a long-term solution, look to the color wheel. As we mentioned above, you want to look for colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel, so they can cancel each other out. Green sits opposite of red on the color wheel, so when it’s safe to color your hair again (wait at least two weeks), look for a warm brunette shade with reddish or golden undertones. Opt for a shade that’s the same level (refer back to number 3 on this list for more info on color levels) as the brunette shade that went wrong the first time.
5. “My roots are oh-so, oh-no, orange.”
Before your so-called hot roots send you into a fiery rage, let’s get to the root of the issue first. (Too soon?) “Hot roots” mean the hair closest to your scalp is too bright or warm. Typically, you get hot roots from choosing a lighter or redder shade than your existing color, so the shade effectively lifts and changes your uncolored natural hair but has little to no effect on previously colored areas.
Whether you’re dealing with actual orange hair or your roots are just noticeably lighter than the rest of your hair, turn to the color wheel and make a corrective color plan. What sits on the opposite side of the color wheel from yellow? Violet. Use cool violet Color Reviving Gloss in Crema on your roots to neutralize brassiness, and opt for a shade that’s either the same level as your current shade (or even one with cooler or more neutral tones) when it’s safe to color your hair again.
6. “I wanted sassy, but got brassy.”
When you’re dyeing your own hair, you can’t always predict how your hair will respond to color—particularly if it’s been color-treated before. Here’s how to fix brassy hair now, plus a few long-term solutions to prevent it from happening again:
- Incorporate hair color correction into your routine. If you’re not ready for another permanent dye or bleaching treatment, but want to tone down brassiness in your hair, reach for Color Therapy or a toning glaze. This color depositing hair mask can add cool tones that help cancel out yellow and orange hair color. For blonde or gray hair, use the Perla shade. If you’re a brunette, opt for the Caffe shade to add ashy tones.
- Limit your hair’s exposure to chlorine. If you spend time in a pool, rinse your hair as soon as you get out, or avoid getting it wet in the first place. Common swimming pool chemicals can bring out less-than-amazing brassy shades in your hair—and too much sun can make the effect even worse if you’re not careful.
- Consider your hair’s base color before coloring again. If your natural hair color has a brassy or warm undertone (or a previous color treatment had brassy notes), certain box dye shades may exaggerate this issue. Before your next color treatment, book a complimentary Video Color Consultation with a licensed colorist to ensure you choose a new hair color that will give you the results you want.
7. “My hair color is faded… but I just finished applying it.”
You expect your hair to fade some between colorings. But you JUST applied your box dye a few days ago, and your hair already looks lackluster and faded. Whether you used a shampoo that stripped the color too much, too fast, or just didn’t leave the dye on long enough, don’t fret.
Before you reach for another permanent hair color (which could easily make your hair too dark), try a Color Therapy treatment that will enrich your new hair color. You’ll enjoy smooth, hydrated hair with a serious color boost, and you may even be able to go longer between coloring treatments in the future.
Stay Calm and Color on
Here's the good news: while there are many ways that hair color can go wrong, there are even more ways for hair dye to be corrected. From clarifying shampoos and hair color removers like Prime for Perfection to glosses that counteract unexpected tones and shampoos that neutralize unwanted brassiness, help is out there.
Don’t forget, if you need an extra hand, call or chat with our Color Crew. You can even book a free virtual Video Color Consultation with a licensed colorist for advice on picking the perfect new hair color. Or, let a licensed colorist do it all for you at a Madison Reed Hair Color Bar.
The most important advice we can give you for DIY hair dye gone wrong? Stay calm, breathe deeply, and remember that, with a bit of time and a lot of TLC, you’ll have the hair you want in the not-so-distant future. And you’re going through a lot right now, so this is not the time to make a major life decision ... like cutting bangs.
Need inspiration? Check out our stunning hair color ideas.