Human hair, Afro hair

How to Neutralize Red Tones in Hair at Home?

Published By: Dasia

Last Updated: June 20, 2022

I’m a licensed cosmetologist and I had multiple clients who want to remove warm and even red undertones from their hair.

Since trends are always changing, it’s great when you find a way to be flexible with your style. Say you’re looking for a more neutral or even ashy look for your hair – this article will discuss how you can neutralize Red tones from your hair, right at home! Let’s take a look. 

How to Neutralize Red Tones in Hair at Home

Understanding color theory is a great way to start out on your neutralizing journey. In order to fully understand how to accomplish this, you are going to need to study a color wheel. What you want to be on the lookout for are complementary colors.

Complementary colors are colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel. These colors cancel each other out, creating a neutral effect. Keeping this in mind, if you want to neutralize red tones, its complementary color is green. 

Applying a green tone will help tone down the Red tones to give you a neutral look. There are 3 main ways you can go about this: shampoo, toner, or hair dye.


Shampoo is the quickest fix for your haircare needs. Many professional brands carry colored shampoo for this exact reason. If you let the shampoo sit on your hair for 5 to 10 minutes, you can easily fix the problem.

The only downside to shampoo is the fact that it’s not long-lasting. You get quick results but with every wash, the neutralizing will wear off and the red tones will return.


Toner is made for this exact fix making it the perfect choice. Toners aren’t as thick as hair dyes. They have a liquid base allowing them to easily make their way throughout the hair. This product can be used on both colored or lightened hair and enhances or neutralizes the look.

Similar to shampoos, many professional brands provide toners to their customers. You are likely to find toners in the same aisle as hair dye. It’s usually a better deal to purchase toners in store to ensure it’s high quality and that you aren’t getting a fake product. 

You can expect toners to last a lot longer than colored shampoo. Toners should last 4 to 6 weeks depending on how often you wash your hair. 

Hair Dyes 

Hair dye is the most lasting method out of the 3. Hair dye directly deposits hair color onto your strands completely altering the strand color.

There are many different types of dye and all of these dyes last a different amount of time. Hair dyes are easy to find and the best option if your hair is too far from the ideal look and just want to cover it up yourself.

Keep in mind hair dye changes the actual color of your hair.

What products are needed to remove red tones from your hair? 

  • A Green Deposit – A green-colored hair product – whether shampoo, toner, or hair dye – is essential for neutralizing red hair. Picking the right deposit product will largely depend on how much of your red tones you would want to neutralize and how long you prefer it to last.
  • Hair Clips – Clips are essential for sectioning the hair to ensure you are covering every strand of hair. This is extremely important when you are doing this at home and especially if you’re working on your own head.
  • Hair Color Bowl and Brush Set – These products help you apply the product in an easy way. Even if you decide on using shampoo, by using a bowl and brush, you can easily ensure all your hair is evenly covered.

Popularity and Trends of Red Tones in Hair

Red is a color that falls under a warm tone. For many years, this was the go-to hair look. Warm hair that even had a bit of brassy. 

In recent years, trends have definitely changed. Neutral and ashy hair is now all the rage. Darker hair, when lightened, naturally gives off a warm tone that has hints of Red. If this isn’t the look you’re going for, learning how to neutralize these red tones, especially at home will be a life saver.[1]

If you can learn how to alter your hair at home, you are likely to save hundreds of dollars and be able to keep up with the changing trends.

What’s the difference between Red tones and Red hair?

Red hair covers the entire hair strands and is the actual color of the hair. Red tones are undertones you notice in the hair when certain lights hit it.

  • Red tones can appear in different hair colors such as Black or Brown. The hair color is the dominant color, but red undertones can be present at certain angles such as when the sunlight hits the hair.
  • Red hair is the overall color of the hair and will be dominant. Red hair can have undertones as well. Depending on how the hair is colored, the undertone can differ. If the hair is of a dark Red shade, it may have a purple undertone or if it is of a light red shade, closer to ginger, it may have a yellow/ blonde undertone.

What color cancels out Red? 

The color that cancels out red is green. You can study a color wheel to figure out complementary colors. These are colors directly across from each other on the color wheel that neutralize when combined. If you are interested in color theory, the color wheel will be your best friend.

How do you strip Red tones out of your hair at home?

If your hair is colored red, many professional hair companies sell color remover. What this does is to remove the color pigment from the hair. If you have undertones of red, it may be a better idea to neutralize the hair with a toner. Stripping hair that only has undertones of red will remove all colors present, not just the red.

Does baking soda remove Red hair dye?

Baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide is a known tool to remove hair dye. While it has been proved that it works, it’s better to go with products made specifically to fix your concerns. Professional products are specifically formulated and tested to provide maximum results. 

Final Takeaway

Once you understand the color wheel, finding out how to neutralize certain colors is quite easy. Ensure you pick the right product for your lifestyle to ensure you get the best results.

Know that trends change so you may not want to go with something so permanent. With only a few tools, you can easily neutralize those unwanted undertones.


A lover of all things beauty related whose been in the industry for about 5 years. While I'd love to say I'm a self-taught prodigy, I'm actually a licensed cosmetologist who has spent countless hours studying hair. I quickly learned sharing valuable information with like-minded individuals allows everyone to make the right choices when dealing with their hair. As a curly girl myself I love to experiment with different styles on a regular basis. While I do have a busy schedule between work, freelancing, and school; I always seem to find time for my hair.

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