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How to Remove Red Tones from Bleached Hair?

Do you have bleached hair that has developed pesky reddish tints? While it might feel like you’ve botched your DIY dye job, a range of products can help transform your locks into your ideal shade of blonde. 

In this guide, we will discuss how to remove red tones from bleached hair.

Why Does Your Bleached Hair Have Red Tones?

red tone on bleached hair

Bleaching hair often leaves behind unwanted red or orange tones that make your strands look brassy. 

Brassiness happens because hair naturally contains warm pigments. The bleaching process removes cool blue pigments and reveals and highlights warmer pigments, such as red and yellow.

While it’s most common if you try to lift too many shades lighter than your current color, it can also result from errors in your bleaching method. 


If left on for an extended period, the hydrogen peroxide in bleach can oxidize melanin in hair strands, resulting in a reddish hue. 

Prevent any unintended color changes by carefully following the instructions and recommended processing time for your bleach treatment.

Poorly Mixed Bleach

If you don’t mix your bleach correctly, you could also end up with red tones in your hair. 

For optimal results, thoroughly blend your bleach powder with the developer, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to avoid any adverse effects such as discoloration or damage.

Incorrect Developer Volume 

Overly strong hair developers can cause red tones in bleached hair too by oxidizing melanin the same way that overprocessing of bleach do. 

It’s always best to consult a professional before using anything more potent than a 10% volume developer at home. 

Improper Application

Finally, how you apply your bleach can also affect whether red tones appear after processing has finished– particularly if there are areas that haven’t absorbed enough of the product. 

Ensure that each strand has been thoroughly covered and allowed time to absorb the bleach fully before rinsing; otherwise, those crimson tints may just make their unwelcome appearance. 

How to Remove Red Tones from Bleached Hair?

get rid of red tones from bleached hair

If you want to remove red tones from your bleached hair, you can try a few methods, including:

  • Dying your hair ash-blonde
  • Using color-correcting shampoo
  • Toning hair
  • Rebleaching with a low-volume developer

1. Dye Your Hair Ash-Blonde

Ash is a cool-toned shade of blonde with hints of gray and silver, giving it a natural, multidimensional look. 

Unlike warmer tones like honey or golden blonde, ash blonde helps to neutralize any red or orange undertones in your hair, making it an ideal choice for those looking to achieve a cooler, more muted look.

While it might not be the platinum color you hoped for, ash is a good middle ground to keep your color light while still banishing brassiness. 

2. Use a Toning Shampoo

removing red tones from bleached hair with toning shampoo

Hair toning shampoos neutralize unwanted warm tones in your hair. Green, blue, and purple shampoos are known as toning shampoos.

They contain color-depositing pigments that help to neutralize unwanted tones in the hair. Purple shampoo works best on yellow or brassy tones after bleaching.

According to the hair color wheel, green is the opposite of red tone, and for a reddish-orange color, blue is the color to neutralize it.

That means if you get a dark red undertone after bleaching your hair, you have to use green shampoo. On the other hand, use a blue shampoo if you see a reddish-orange tone after bleaching.

So, A dark red tone in your brown hair after dyeing or bleaching it can be neutralized by a green shampoo.

Blue toning shampoos are particularly popular for those with silver, light brown, or blonde hair with red undertones.

Here’s how to use them:

  • Wet your hair as you would before using regular shampoo.
  • Apply a generous amount of toning shampoo, ensuring all your hair is coated.
  • Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes to allow the color-depositing pigments to work. The exact time can vary, but 3-5 minutes is a good starting point.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly.
  • Follow up with a conditioner to hydrate your hair, as these shampoos can be drying.

3. Apply a Hair Toner

Using a toner after bleaching your hair is not only possible but it’s often recommended.

When you bleach your hair, the process removes the pigment from your hair, which can often result in unwanted brassy, orange, or red tones.

A hair toner alters the undertone of the hair but not the base color. Thus, it’s an excellent solution for neutralizing unwanted red tones after bleaching.

Here are the simplified steps to using a toner after bleaching:

  • Choose a green or blue-based hair toner for red tones. The green will counteract the red.
  • Toners often come with a developer that you mix with the toner before application. Always follow the instructions on the product packaging for the correct ratio of toner and developer.
  • Be aware that toners can be drying, so be sure to condition your hair afterward.
  • Leave the toner in for the recommended time on the product’s packaging. It’s important to monitor your hair during this time, as leaving the toner in too long after bleaching can result in over-toning and potentially give your hair a color tint you didn’t intend.
  • Rinse out the toner thoroughly and then condition your hair. The toning process can be a bit drying, so it’s important to replenish the moisture in your hair with a good conditioner.

4. Rebleach with a Low-Volume Developer

rebleaching hair with a low volume developer

If toners aren’t working, you may need to re-bleach your tresses with a 10-20 volume developer. Doing so will help reduce any residual orange/red undertones caused by previous processing sessions gone wrong. 

Give your hair a week or two to recover protein and moisture before rebleaching. Otherwise, you’ll strip away too much of the natural oils and risk severe damage that can cause your hair to break or feel brittle. 

You should also pamper your tresses with deep conditioning treatments that help rejuvenate the moisture your strands lost. 

However, since bleach is still involved here, we highly recommend seeking professional advice from a stylist or colorist first in case things go awry during application; better safe than sorry.

Final Thoughts

At-home hair color can be tricky, especially when working with something as potent as bleach. 

When things go wrong, you can learn how to remove red tones from bleached hair by using these hair dye, toning shampoo, and low-volume rebleaching techniques.

For optimal results in the future, it’s important to invest time in researching professional products and seeking expert advice and tutorials to avoid similar issues.


Read on to learn a few more tips on how to remove red tones from bleached hair:

What color cancels out red tones in hair?

Cool colors neutralize warm colors, so you can cancel out red tones in your hair with green, blue, or purple toners. 

What home remedy takes red out of hair?

Baking soda paste can take the red out of hair, but the method isn’t as consistent or effective as store-bought products designed to do the job. 

Does vinegar take the red out of hair?

While vinegar’s acidity can strip hair dye out of hair, it won’t remove natural, brassy tones left behind by bleaching. 

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W. Anthony

Meet Watson Anthony, a skilled and experienced barber based in Alaska. As the go-to stylist at Northern Lights Barber Shop, Watson has built a loyal following among the local community, thanks to his unique and creative approach to haircuts.