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3 Easiest Fix: Hair Turned Green After Dying Brown

Dyeing your hair is always a risk. You might end up with the wrong shade or a completely different color. For example, while dark brown is not much different from medium brown, it’s far from green.

Unfortunately, green is the color many women see when trying to turn their locks from blonde to brown.

Why Does Brown Hair Turn Green?

reasons why brown hair turns green

There are a few reasons your hair might’ve turned green:

You Used Ash Brown Hair Dye Over Blonde Hair

If you previously lightened your hair with bleach (which adds yellow undertones) and then decided later to go dark with brown hair dye, you’ll see green because any ‘ash’ shade of brown hair dye has blue pigments.

When hair is blonde or another really light color and ash brown hair dye is added, the tones in brown dye mix with blonde and make green.

High Porosity Hair

If the ends of your light-colored hair are split, dry, or rough, then they absorb color easily because they’re weak (also known as high porosity). When you dye your hair brown, the ends will absorb the brown’s undertones, which is why you see green.

Other Factors

Chlorine and salt water can react with hair pigments which can contribute to turning your brown hair grey. Also dirt or oils can also be the culprits.

The Annoying Pigment Treatments

All our hair colors have remaining natural pigments. For example, blonds have a pigment, which is yellow.

So when they try to turn brown, their color becomes orange. That’s why many blonde women are looking for ways to counter the brassy color.

Brown hair also has an orange pigment; however, it’s redder than the case with orange. So when you dye your hair, you need to remember the opposite colors of the spectrum.

  • Red – Green
  • Orange – Blue
  • Yellow – Purple

Girls with brown hair have orange pigments that can be neutralized by blue. Blondes need some purple. But if you give the blondes some blue, you end up with green. The pigment math might be tough to grasp.

However, the annoying results are easy to fix if you know what you are doing.

How To Get Green Out of Your Brown Hair

Many have faced the problem of hair turning green after dying it brown. It is because of the natural pigments of human hair that behave differently with brown color dye.

Whatever the reason is, it is pretty annoying for most of us. However, there are some easy and quick solutions to get green out of your brown hair.

1. Fast Food Maniac

You’ll be amazed at the easiest, cheapest, and quickest way to neutralize the annoying green color. Did you guess? Find a red shade somewhere. One of the sources is ketchup!

ketchup on your hair

Here is what to do:

  • Buy a big bottle of ketchup and get ready for a fairly unpleasant experience
  • Squirt the ketchup on your head and massage it into the hair
  • Cover the head with a shower cap
  • Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes (the longer, the better)
  • Take the cap off and take a long shower

This quick fix method is suitable for situations where you don’t have access to professional hairstylists and hair products.

It won’t make your hair get the perfect shiny brown color you’ve dreamed about, but it can neutralize the green effectively until you get to the professional’s chair.

The copper color attaches itself to the hair shaft, and by oxidizing it while dying, you get green hair.

Ketchup is made out of tomatoes and vinegar. Both contain acids that can neutralize the reaction, which causes your hair to turn green.

Remember that this trick will work only if the problem is moderate. It won’t yield any results if the green is overwhelming.

2. Another dyeing session

Now that the red color has neutralized the green, we can select the right hair dye to fix the problem. You need a red-based hair color, which is a good match to the darkness of your hair.

For example, medium brown hair needs medium chestnut color and so forth. Don’t forget that you shouldn’t look for red hair color. Your goal is to find a color with a red base. Take a look at popular brown shades. Many of them have red bases.

  • Put on your gloves and mix color and developer in the bowl at a ratio of 1:1.
  • Divide your hair into 0.5 by 2-inch sections. It can help you apply the color evenly.
  • Take a look at each section and only cover the greenish parts with color. You might want to use the brush. Such a dyeing process might require you to get help from a friend to make sure that all the green parts are covered.
  • Wait 15 minutes for the color to settle.
  • Apply the dye to the rest of the hair.
  • Wait another ten minutes.
  • Wash your hair as usual. Shampoo it twice to get all the unnecessary dye out.

3. Bleach It

bleach hair

If when you see your brand new greenish locks, you suddenly change your mind about becoming a brunette, it’s perfectly understandable.

A simple way to get rid of the greenish pigment is to get rid of all the color altogether. Then, you can consider bleaching your locks to get the desired results.

Even though this method can help you 99% of the time, it means you have to damage your locks and forget about dying your hair brown for a while. However, it might be an excellent choice for avid hairstyle experimenters.

Green in your hair is not a problem, so don’t panic. Instead, calm down and use one of the above methods to make your hair shine again. If your hair is still greenish and needs color correction, don’t worry; a professional hairstylist can always get it fixed if you fail at home.


Will vinegar get rid of green hair?

A paste of vinegar and baking soda can help remove green tones from brown hair. Apply it onto dry hair and let it remain for 20 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Use a hair conditioner afterward. Multiple applications might be required, but allow your hair to rest for a few days each.

Does baking soda get rid of green hair?

Yes, baking soda can also be used by itself to neutralize green shades in brown. Mix it with warm water to make a paste and apply it to the hair. Wait twenty minutes before rinsing after which your hair will be clean as if you used shampoo.

Don’t forget to use a conditioner, though, because even though your hair will feel smooth, baking soda is still damaging.

What color cancels out green tones in brown hair?

Red is the most common color used to cancel out the green tones in brown hair. Another product you might try is a pink toning conditioner.

Will ketchup remove green out of brown hair?

Yes, many people use ketchup to remove green from brown hair. Ketchup works because it is red, and red is opposite to green on the color wheel.

Will clarifying shampoo fix brown hair turned green?

Not really. A clarifying shampoo only works when brown hair is tinted green. It won’t completely remove all green hair dye, but it’s a good solution to help it fade.

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