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How to Prevent Brown Hair Color from Turning Red

Dyeing your hair at home is no easy feat. It doesn’t matter what shade you’re going for, there’s always the chance that things might go horribly wrong. The worst part is – the disastrous results may not always be visible right away.

Case in point, dyeing your hair brown, only for it to turn a horrendous shade of red a few days later. If this happens to you, the good news – there’s something you can do about it. Here’s how to prevent your brown hair color from turning red.

What Causes Brown Hair Color to Turn Red?

reasons of brown hair color to turn red

The word for this is “brassy”. There are two main reasons your brown hair may develop a warm and brassy undertone, which manifests as redness. You could either be using a color that’s too light or a color that has overly warm undertones.

If you use a color that’s too light, the underlying pigments present in your hair may react with the dye causing your mane to become brassy.

On the other hand, your hair pigments may also react with warmer-toned dye pigments causing your hair to, once again, turn reddish-orange.

How to Stop Brown Hair Color From Turning Red

If you intend to go warmer with your hair color, here are a few tips to keep your brown hue brown.

1. Choose Ash-Based Dye Kits

dye kits

Always look out for coloring products that have the word “ash” in them. Ash blonde-based dye kits have green and blue undertones, making them less likely to turn reddish-orange. Instead, think light ash-brown, cool-brown, medium ash-brown, and so forth.

If you must use warmer tones like those in the brown or brunette family, you want to choose a product with well-balanced tones.

Steer clear of kits with words like “auburn,” “gold,” and “warm.” While they may look great right after coloring, they do turn brassy once the color begins to fade and lose its initial luster.

2. Use a Toning Product

hair toning shampoo

If your hair has already started turning brassy, you can apply hair toner to stop brown hair from turning red.

A hair toning shampoo is essentially a clear, pigmented solution applied to dyed hair to fix brassy undertones or change the existing hue altogether.

Demi-permanent glaze, gloss, or color toners are particularly effective in getting rid of unwanted yellow tone,  orange and red tones.

3. Stay Out of the Sun and Chlorinated Pools

To keep your brown-colored hair color looking fresh and alluring, you need to avoid the sun and chlorine-treated water.

UV rays and chlorine are both bleaching agents that strip the hair of color pigments, causing the dye to fade.

As a result, your hair will start turning brassy. If you must venture out into the sun, ensure you keep your hair covered.

4. Use a Shower Cap or Install a Shower Filter

wearing shower cap

Washing your hair with the unfiltered water that comes from the shower exposes your hair to mineral deposits like chlorine and iron. These elements react with the pigment in your hair, causing it to dry out and fade.

After a while, your brown hair will start to turn red. To stop this from happening, always wear a shower cap, or install a shower filter to protect your hair.

5. Use Tinted Shampoo

Blue and purple shampoos are specially formulated to neutralize unwanted brassy tones. Blue shampoo is recommended for brunettes, whereas purple shampoo is ideal for blondes.

Be careful not to use these color-neutralizing products more than twice a week to prevent your hair from developing tinted hues. Alternate with color-protecting shampoo instead.

There you have it – now you can stop your brown hair color from turning red!

6. Choose The Right Developer

For individuals with brown hair who wish to achieve a more vibrant shade or cover grays, it’s generally recommended to opt for developers with lower volumes.

Using higher volume developers, like 30 or 40, on brown hair can result in unwanted warmth or brassy tones.

These developers can lift the underlying pigments more aggressively, which might lead to an undesirable outcome, especially if you’re aiming for cooler or more neutral shades.

Specifically, 5, 10, and 20 volume developers are suitable choices for brown hair color else your hair may turn red. Here’s why:

5 Volume Developer:

This developer is the weakest in strength and is often used to mix with hair toners. When coloring brown hair, a 5-volume developer can help subtly enhance the shade without causing significant lifting. It’s an excellent choice for creating a more natural-looking result.

10 Volume Developer:

A 10 volume developer is gentle and is commonly used for depositing color without substantial lifting. It’s ideal for making slight changes to the natural brown hair color, darkening it a shade or two while maintaining the hair’s warmth.

20 Volume Developer:

A 20-volume developer is a balanced option that provides moderate lifting while maintaining control over warmth.

It’s suitable for achieving noticeable changes in brown hair color, such as going a few shades lighter or adding highlights.

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