How do I remove copper color from hair?

my red hair image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from

Dyeing hair a fiery red is fashionable and interesting, but when the colour of choice moves from red to another colour, copper ends up being the final result. Even starting from darker colours and moving to lighter colours can result in an unattractive or annoyingly persistent copper rather than the preferred colour.

Removing the copper colour from hair takes some juggling and care, but the end results are worth the effort.

Dye hair a colour that has ash undertones rather than golden undertones. A golden blond might look great on the box, but when dyeing from other colours to golden blond, the reddish colour in the dye can result in copper, especially if starting with a darker colour. Use an ash blond or similar ashy colour instead. There is no red in the ash colours, and the end results have minimal or no copper in the hair.

Strip the hair. Strip the previous colour from the hair before dyeing it again. Stripping the colour, whether it is red, blond or even black, makes the next colour stick better and prevents the copper colour. If a coppery colour results after dyeing the hair, strip the colour and start again.

Use a shampoo for dyed hair that has blue undertones. These are available at beauty supply stores and help remove the coppery colour from the hair. Ash hair colours have the blue undertones that eliminate the gold or copper colours and the blue undertones found in some shampoos have the same results. If unsure about the shampoo, ask the store clerk for help. Beauty salon supply stores have a larger selection than typical stores and are sometimes confusing to navigate.

Bleach hair before colouring. This is especially important if dyeing hair a lighter colour than the natural colour. Bleach is damaging, but the only way to remove the previous colour, whether it is red, black, brown or even bright purple or pink, is to bleach the hair and remove all of the colour. Dye hair after bleaching and then condition the hair heavily for a week or so to help hair recover.