How to Reduce Color in Boxed Hair Color

Written by kathryn shimer
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How to Reduce Color in Boxed Hair Color
Reduce the colour of your at-home dye job. (hair image by from

When using boxed hair colour, you may have had the experience of ending up with a shade you love but one that is simply too intense. There are ways you can tone down or reduce the colour in a boxed hair dye, either before you do the dyeing or afterward.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Boxed hair colour kit
  • Vinegar
  • Detergent hair shampoo

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  1. 1

    Make sure the box dye you are using includes a No. 10 developer. This will cause the least amount of lightening and colour to be deposited in the hair. No. 20 volume developer will cause greater lightening and colour depositing.

  2. 2

    Mix the hair colour kit according to the directions, but apply only a thin, even layer to your hair. This will wash your hair with the box dye colour without making it too intense.

  3. 3

    Reduce the time that you leave the box dye on your hair. Rinse the dye out five minutes early for a 20-minute dye if you would like the colour to be less noticeable. With a dye that takes less time to develop, rinse the dye out just a few minutes early.

  4. 4

    Apply the hair dye on the ends of your hair first and work up if your roots tend to suck up too much colour. This way the roots will have less time to develop than the rest of the hair.

  5. 5

    Wash your hair two or three times with a detergent hair shampoo after you have removed the colour. Continue to do this for the next couple of days and to significantly reduce the hair colour from the box dye.

  6. 6

    Rinse your hair two or three times with white vinegar to further decrease the colour of the dye.

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