How to neutralize Red Tones in Hair – A Detailed Step by Step Guide [Video]

The color of your hair can determine how confident you appear and for most people, the bolder the color, the more confident they become.

Red is one of the boldest colors, and as a hair color, it can solely be responsible for a ton of confidence. However, this is only when the red color is wanted or deliberately painted into the hair.

Therefore, it is very common to find people trying to eliminate or neutralize red tones in the hair. This guide teaches how to neutralize red tone in hair and provides general answers to questions about hair problems, hair tones, and hair toners.

How to Neutralize Red Tones in Hair

How to neutralize Red Tones in Hair – A Step by Step Guide
How to neutralize Red Tones in Hair – A Step by Step Guide

Several things can cause unwanted red tones in hair: carrying your natural hair for too long, exposing your hair to excess sunlight and pollution too often, using cheap hair products, regularly bathing in chlorinated pool water, as well as previous dye works.

These things can have oxidative effects on the hair and cause unwanted streaks of red tones on the hair.

Luckily, there are different ways to neutralize red tones in hair or get rid of it completely. Four of the most common ways are explained below:

Using Green Toning Shampoo

Step 1: Dampen the hair

Start by partitioning the hair into 4 segments to make the job easier.  Then make the hair as possible. You may do this by pouring water on it and running your hand over it a few times.

The goal is to soak the hair enough for the product to penetrate and work effectively.

Step 2: Apply the shampoo.

Once your hair is wet enough, pour some of the green toning shampoos into one palm of your hand and rub it on each of the hair partitions you made.

Continue to massage until the cuticles are completely covered in shampoo, then allow sitting for 5 – 10 minutes or as the manufacturer recommends.

Step 3: Wash the hair

Once the recommended time has elapsed, go ahead and wash off the product from your hair. Then rinse properly until all the shampoo has been removed.

Do not allow the shampoo to linger longer than recommended to avoid any unwanted effects.

Step 4: Check to confirm

Soon as the washing and rinsing are over, stand before a mirror and inspect the hair. Confirm that the red tones have been completely neutralized.

You may need to reapply the green toning shampoo if you notice that not all the red tones have been removed.

Do this by repeating the steps described above. Then check with the mirror again to confirm.

Step 5: Finish up with a conditioner

When you are satisfied with the neutralization, rinse the hair thoroughly, then apply your choice conditioner. You can also style the hair if you want.

Using Ash Shades

Step 1: Prepare the hair

Start by taking some preventive measures such as rubbing Vaseline along the hairline, around the forehead, ears, and the nape of your neck. This will stop the ash dye from staining those areas.

Then wear an old t-shirt to prevent damaging the shirt you are wearing. The final precaution is to wear gloves to prevent your hands and fingers from getting messy with the dye.

Step 2: Wash the hair

If you intend for the color change to be temporal, you will need to wash the hair with any available shampoo. However, you can skip the shampoo if you intend for the ash dye to be more permanent.

Step 3: Partition the hair

Separate the hair into 4 or 6 partitions. Doing this will help make it easier for the dye to penetrate the hair follicles thoroughly.

Then read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the product for best results.

Step 4: Apply the dye.

Once you have mixed the dye as instructed, apply the mixture to each segment you had created. Try to apply the product from the tips to the root ensuring that the hair is thoroughly covered in dye.

Then cover the hair with a cap (a shower cap or a color processing cap should do the trick) and allow the dye to sit for a time. Check the instructions to be sure how long to allow the dye before washing.

Step 5: Wash and rinse the hair.

Wash the hair with water and mild soap to completely remove the dye, then rinse thoroughly with enough water.

Depending on the instructions on the package, you may be able to wash with shampoo or not. Some products may also allow conditioning.

Lastly, finish off with any styling of your choice.

Using a Darker Hair Dye

Using a darker hair color dye that is ammonia-free works just like the ash dye described above. Not only will this method neutralize the red tones, but it will also protect your hair during the treatment.

You can follow the process above to apply this dye but always confirm with the package instructions for any specific details.

Using Color Remover

This is one of the easiest techniques used in getting rid of red tones and works exactly like hair bleach. It is also just as effective but less harsh than hair bleach.

Color removers can also be correctly called color correctors as they can efficiently penetrate the hair strands and break down the red color molecules found on them. So that upon using it, the red tones will completely disappear.

However, it is advisable to use this as a last resort method of neutralizing red tones and used only when all else has failed.

Remember to follow the instructions provided on the package and apply the necessary precautionary steps such as applying Vaseline, using an old t-shirt, and wearing gloves.

What Cancel Red Tones In Hair

How to neutralize Red Tones in Hair – A Step by Step Guide

Red tones can occur on any hair for many reasons, some of which are beyond your control. If you notice red tones on your hair, the first step is not to run to the salon to purchase any available tone neutralizer.

It is more pertinent to understand what color cancels out red tones. Knowing this will help you understand what product to buy to get the job done in one quick sweep.

While other colors such as blue and purple can cancel red or its shades, green is often the first color of choice to neutralize red tones.

This is mostly because green is directly opposite to red on the hair color wheel. Hence, most people use green toning shampoos and other green products to get rid of those pesky red tones.

How Do You Make Homemade Hair Toner?

How to neutralize Red Tones in Hair – A Step by Step Guide

Some people buy the products they use and apply as toning to their hair, while others create theirs. Creating your hair toner is great because the ingredients required are usually easy to find around the house, and a DIY toner will save you some money.

Hair toners can be made from several household items, and the process is simple. Some of the items you can use to create your toner include baking soda, apple cider vinegar, hollyhock, and lemon.

Baking Soda Shampoo

Regular baking soda can be combined with your favorite shampoo to create an effective hair toner that doesn’t only neutralize warm colors in hair but has activity against build-ups of minerals and other products.

However, because most of these claims have not been scientifically proven and because baking soda is acidic with a high pH, it can increase the chances of experiencing hair breakage and cuticle damage, you will need to be careful how often you use this mixture.

Step 1: Gather 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 drops of blue and purple food color and sulphate-free shampoo.

Step 2: Pour all the above items into a jug and add few drops of water to create a mixture.

Step 3: Prepare your hair by rinsing with water before applying the shampoo mixture. Pour the mixture into the hair, massage it properly, and allow sitting for 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing.

Step 4: After washing off the shampoo, wash the hair with a conditioner next to solidify the toning

Step 5: Use this toner once a week and no more for best results

Apple Cider Vinegar

You can also create a hair toner with apple cider vinegar (ACV). This rinse works great since ACV is mildly acidic, and warm hair colors are generally highly acidic. Using this toner can help to lower the pH, thereby removing the warm tones.

Step 1: Pour 4 drops of ACV into a jug and add a few drops of water to mix

Step 2: Rinse the hair, then pour the mixture on the wet hair. Then massage until the hair is fully soaked in it. Then allow standing for 10 – 15 minutes.

Step 3: After the waiting time, wash the hair with slightly warm water, then rinse until all the mixture has been removed.

ACV can cause the hair to feel dry, so try to use this homemade toner only 3 times or less a month.

Hollyhock Hair Toner

Hollyhock herb can be mixed with ACV and water to create an effective hair toner. This mixture is also very effective against red tones in the hair.

Step 1: Pour 2 teaspoons of ACV, 2 teaspoons of hollyhock herb, and a cup of water into a small pot.

Step 2: Boil the above mixture until it becomes thick. Drop and allow cooling.

Step 3: Prepare the hair, then apply the thick mixture once it is cool enough.

Step 4: Allow the toner on the hair for about 10 minutes before washing with slightly warm water. You may also use a sulphate-free shampoo here if you have one at home.

Using this toner as often as once a week is enough to neutralize any red or orange hues on your hair.

Lemon Bleach

Using lemon juice mixed with honey is a great way to create the perfect hair bleach. The lemon has bleaching properties while the honey contains emollient properties, and together they can help get rid of unwanted hair tones.

Step 1: Add a quarter of freshly squeezed lemon juice and about ¾ cup of water in a spray bottle. Next, add 2 teaspoons of honey and shake the bottle properly.

Step 2: Spray the mixture on the hair without letting it reach the scalp. Then allow sitting for 2 hours, spending at least 30 minutes of these under the sun.

Step 3: After 2 hours, wash the spray out of the hair with a sulphate-free shampoo. Next, wash with a conditioner before styling the hair as you like.

It is advisable to use this mixture at most 3 times a week for best results.

Can Toner Damage Your Hair?

How to neutralize Red Tones in Hair – A Step by Step Guide

Toners help to change hair tones and remove brassiness.  They are used alongside dyes because toners cannot ordinarily change hair colors on their own.

Yet, they help make the hair look more natural. So that whether you are trying to remove red tones or maintain a particular color you have chosen for your hair.

Consequently, toners do not have a long-lasting effect on your hair and can’t damage your hair except they contain ammonia. A toner is considered dangerous to your hair’s health if it is ammonia-based as ammonia is harsh and can break down cuticles and color pigments.


If you wake up to red tones on the tip of your hair strands, do not be quick to panic, as this can happen to just anyone and for several reasons.

Also, don’t be too quick to run to the stylists to solve this minor hair problem. The steps and procedures above will not only help you neutralize red tones in hair but will also help you make your toner with the things you have at home.



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