How to remove green tones from hair?

By: | Last Updated: April 13, 2023

The process of dyeing your hair can be fun and cathartic. That’s why many prefer to do it themselves. But what starts as an exciting activity can turn disappointing if the color you’re hoping for doesn’t turn out well.

When done right, green hair can be a bold and refreshing change. But if you’re aiming to get the perfect blonde or brown shade, a tint of green might not always be a good sign.

Not many may realize this, but a great hair color change can sometimes take more than applying pigment to your strands. 

With a bit more knowledge of color theory, you’ll figure out how you got stuck with green strands. So if you want to know how to get green out of your hair, read more below.

Why is my hair turning green when I dye it?

Sometimes a striking cool-toned hair color or bleach-blonde strands can tempt you to make the change. 

But if you don’t know how to mix your colors correctly, a simple hair dyeing session can make your results look green. To figure out why your hair is green, the following may be the reason:

1. Wrong hair dye tone

One cause for getting a green tinge on your strands is when you pick the wrong reflect or tone of hair dye for your hair. 

When picking out a dye, you’ll typically see a number assigned for that color. The first number signifies its color level, where 1 is for black and 10 is for the lightest blonde.

The next number after the decimal point represents its primary tone, while the second number is for its secondary tone. For instance, a hair dye with the number 9.13 has a level 9 light blonde base color, .1 as the primary tone, and 3 as the secondary tone.

You’ll usually know when the dye leans toward a cool-toned shade when it has the following primary reflects:

  • Green or blue: .1
  • Double green or blue: .11
  • Matte green: .7
  • Iridescent: .2

If you already have an ashy or cool-toned hair color and applied a dye with any of the reflects above, you’ll more likely see a green tint on your hair. 

That’s because the colors are currently imbalanced, and you have an excess of cool tones in your strands. So if your hair already has a green tone, adding another layer of green will make it more prominent.

2. Skipping pre-pigmentation

If you have bleached blonde hair and decided to commit to going dark, you’re probably wondering the question:

Why is my hair turning green when I dye it brown?

That’s because bleaching removes the warm tones from your hair to achieve the lightest color. So if you apply a cool-toned brown color to your strands, you’ll also see a hint of green appear.

To successfully go from blonde to brown, professionals usually do a pre-pigmentation technique. It’s when you apply a warm pigment that’s on the same level as your target shade to restore the color balance in your hair.

3. Porous hair

Aside from applying the wrong tones to your hair, the condition of your strands can also play a part in turning it green.

If you have porous hair, dyeing it can be a pain because it absorbs pigments quickly to the point of color imbalance. So if you’re applying a darker shade on your bleached strands, your hair will over-absorb the pigments and result in a green tint.

Porous hair can result from frequent heat styling and chemical treatments, so if you want to get the perfect hair color, it’s always best to get it into a healthy state first before getting your hands on a bottle of dye.

How to avoid hair turning green when coloring?

The trick to avoiding getting a hint of green on your hair is to apply a hair dye that has a warm tone. This will balance out its colors to prevent excess cool tones.

You’ll know when a dye has a warm shade when it has the following reflects:

  • Red: .6
  • Mahogany: .5
  • Copper: .4
  • Gold: .3

If you have bleached strands, don’t forget to pre-pigment your hair since this will bridge the gap of getting your hair from light to dark.

If you’re battling porous hair, you can improve its state through regular conditioning and trimming. But if you’re too antsy to change your hair color, cut back the processing time of the hair dye to prevent your strands from over-absorbing its pigments.

What color cancels out green tones in hair?

One way of getting rid of green tones from your hair is to neutralize it through color correction. It’s when you use its opposite color on the color wheel to balance out your ideal shade.

If you refer to a color wheel, you’ll see that the opposite color of green is red. 

So if you want to cancel out the unwanted green tones in your strands, you can find a toner, shampoo, or conditioner that will deposit red pigments into your strands. Carefully follow what’s stated on the label to prevent over-toning your hair.

How to neutralize green hair

Every hair enthusiast knows that bleaching or dyeing your hair can take a toll on your strands. 

So if you want to take the DIY route to remove the green tint on your hair, we’ll debunk the following methods below to see if they actually work:

Can you use ketchup on green hair?

As discussed above, red pigments can neutralize the green in your hair. 

So if you’re in a pinch and looking for ways to get rid of green hair, you might come across the method of applying ketchup. It may be an unorthodox method, but since it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, it wouldn’t hurt to try.

Depending on how dark the green appears on your hair, ketchup won’t significantly change after one application. But if you’re interested to know how to get green out of blonde hair with ketchup, the method is pretty straightforward.

You just need to apply a generous amount of it all over the areas you want to correct and leave it on for 30-40 minutes. When the time is up, rinse hair, shampoo it, and condition it as usual.

Here is a video explaining this process.

Does clarifying shampoo remove green hair?

Clarifying shampoo works great for stripping off accumulated oil and product on your hair. That’s why it has a stronger formula compared to regular shampoo.

Because of that, you’ll often see hair color enthusiasts use it for stripping old hair colors from their hair. But would it also be effective for removing the green tint on your strands?

Similar to ketchup, clarifying shampoo won’t give you a drastic result after one application. Depending on how dark the green is, you’ll more likely need to use it several more times. Just remember to space out the applications and apply a moisturizing conditioner to avoid drying your hair.

How to fix blonde hair turned green

Blonde hair can be a daunting change, especially when you’re used to having dark hair. But one of the downsides of having this shade is how it exposes every color mistake.

If your desired blonde hue has turned green, you can try applying the at-home methods above. But if you want to see a faster change, you can try color-correcting it with a red toner, shampoo, or conditioner. 

This user applied several DIY treatments to remove the green tinge in her hair, but she wasn’t successful until she used the Joico Color Infuse Red shampoo. A couple of product applications neutralized the green tint in her hair entirely.

How to get rid of green tones in ash hair

With the proper application, ash blonde hair can actually be a stunning color. So we wouldn’t blame you if you want to maintain it as your primary hair color.

But if you’re surprised to see the ash blonde turned green after years of touching up your hair, it may be a case of over-pigmentation.

The trick to removing the green tint from your strands is applying a toner with a red pigment. Wella T15 Color Charm Toner will work perfectly for this dilemma, as long as you remember to follow the directions on the box to get the best results.

How to remove green tones from brown hair

Brown hair may be more forgiving when covering up hair coloring mistakes. But the green tints may be prominent if you’ve gone from ash blonde hair to a cool-toned brunette.
To correct this mishap, you can use a red toner to get rid of the green gradually. But if you want immediate results, you can color your strands the same level of brown as your current hair color but look for a shade with red. This will neutralize the cool green tones in your hair to give you a flawless and shiny brown hue.

The final takeaway

Part of dyeing your own hair is choosing a color and seeing a surprising result. But if you’re set on getting a specific shade, you’re probably not amused about the green tinge on your blonde or brunette hair.

Green can be unique if you choose to have it on your hair, but if it’s an unexpected result, you’ll probably want it off. 

To remove a specific color, applying its opposite shade on the color wheel will be adequate for the job. So, in this case, a red pigment will successfully neutralize the green.

There are several methods to eliminate the green tinge in your hair. You can always refer to the methods above if you don’t know where to start.

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