How to get rid of reddish undertones

Written by andrea hamilton
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How to get rid of reddish undertones
Before considering dyeing your hair, understand your hair's colour properties. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Whether your hair was chemically treated or naturally lightened by the sun, lightening agents can bring out unwanted red undertones in the hair shafts. Though these tones are not found in everyone's locks, they are apparent in many brunettes and all redheads. To remove the undertones from your hair, work to neutralise the base shade. This is done by applying the color's opposite tone to the hair. In the case of red undertones, new ash tones should be introduced.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hair toner
  • Toning conditioner

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  1. 1

    Apply a toner with an ashy hue to your hair, following the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure that your hair is completely saturated, as it is when you apply hair dye. The new ash tones will work to neutralise the red and gold tones in your hair, leaving you with a neutral base shade. Leave the toner in you hair for the recommended amount of time (usually 20 to 30 minutes).

  2. 2

    Rinse the toner from your hair and apply a purple conditioner to your locks. Purple conditioners help maintain neutral toners, banishing golden and red hues. This may sound strange, but continuing to work with your hair's opposite shades will help to combat any hint of reddish undertones that may develop as the toner fades.

  3. 3

    Allow hair to dry naturally. After undergoing a colour treatment, hair often feels fragile, so protect it by not using hot tools on it right away.

  4. 4

    Reapply toner as your hair's undertones manifest themselves. Though this will not happen quickly if you continue to use your purple conditioner regularly, toners are not usually permanent fixes. However, they do make it easier for you to keep a neutral-shade dye in your hair without the red undertones showing through.

Tips and warnings

  • If only the ends of your hair are lightening and taking on a reddish tone, then your hair is porous and damaged. To combat your red undertones, use a colour filler on the ends and then colour as usual.

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