Dying your hair at home is a mixed bag. Will it come out too dark? Will it be an entirely different color than what’s pictured on the box? Only time will tell. The only statement that rings true every single time — DIY dye jobs always keep you on your toes. While attempting to dye your hair darker is arguably one of the most intimidating experiences, well, ever, there’s something to be said about those of us who dare take on the responsibility of dying our hair a lighter, warm shade. We spoke with Matrix celebrity colorist and all-around hair guru George Papanikolas to learn the in’s and out’s of at-home hair dye jobs. Ahead, Papanikolas details what to do if your at-home hair color comes out with a reddish-orange tint to it. Hint: It does not involve panicking.
What Causes Hair to Turn Red-Orange?
“There are two primary causes to your hair color turning out too red or orange,” says Papanikolas. “Either the color you choose is too light, or you picked a color with warm undertones. Any time you go lighter than your natural color, you will bring up your natural underlying pigments.” Looking for your best at-home hair color shade match? Try the Garnier My Shade Selector tool.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Prevent Your Hair From Turning Reddish-Orange in the First Place?
“If you want to go lighter, stay within two shades of your natural color to get the most flattering tone,” says Papanikolas. “Also look for ash-based colors (blue or green) to neutralize the underlying red/orange pigments that everyone has.” If the idea of putting anything with green or blue base colors on your head scares you, Papanikolas says to put those fears to rest: “Don't worry about your hair turning blue or green unless you are more than 50% gray.”
Can You Reverse the Damage at Home Without Going to a Salon?
“This is a relatively easy one to fix at home by going a shade or two darker and choosing an ash-based shade,” says Papanikolas.
What’s the Best Way to Achieve Your Desired Color?
“Don't go more than two shades lighter than your base color when dying your hair,” he reiterates. “If you want to be blonde, highlights will give you a more desirable tone and can be taken four to five shades lighter than the base color.”