How to colour your hair and not get any red tones

Updated February 21, 2017

You do not have to pay a professional salon to colour your hair when you can easily do it at home for a fraction of the price. With so many colours on the market, you are sure to find something you like. A major concern with colouring your hair at home is how to avoid red, brassy tones.

Prevent harsh red tones when you dye your hair by deciding to go no more than two shades lighter or darker than the current colour of your hair.

Consider colouring your hair gradually, if you desire to go blond without red tones. To keep your hair in good condition, you should not go from a dark hair colour to platinum blond overnight. The best method to go lighter is to slowly ease into it. Each month choose a hair colour that is just a shade lighter than what you have now. It may take six months or longer to reach the desired shade you want.

Avoid any red colours such as auburns, or labels that say "golden" or "warm" on the box, if you want to be certain you will not have a reddish tone to your hair. Opt for "cool" tones or those with "ash" in the name, such as dark ash blond or light ash brown. The risk is ending up with hair that looks grey or even slightly green if you go too light all at once. Again, do not plan to go more than two shades up or down from your current colour.

Look for brass-free hair colour lines.

Purchase an extra-strength hair colour remover if you do not like the way your hair colour turned out. You can use it the same day that you dyed your hair and it will take you back to the original colour it was before dyeing. It is gentle enough that you can dye your hair again immediately after using the product.


To prevent colouring dye from staining your skin, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the skin around your hair line. Wait a week or so before deciding you hate a current hair colour. Many times it will take a few times shampooing your hair before you get all the dye out and the colour settles.


Follow the directions provided with your hair colour. Do not leave the colour on longer than recommended since it can irritate your scalp and dry out your hair. Bleaching kits contain very harsh chemicals that literally strip the colour from your hair, and always result in the dreaded "banana head" or "carrot top." Bleaching is also very drying to your hair and leads to breakage.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair dye
  • Colour remover (if needed)
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About the Author

Kelly Wallace has been a full-time writer for more than 15 years, specializing in health, education, spirituality and marketing. She is the bestselling author of several novels and nonfiction self-help books, as well as a freelance writer, blogger, publicist and radio show host. Wallace also served as the marketing director and radio manager for a major publishing company.