Hair color correction is needed when hair dye does not come out correctly. The goals of these methods are to darken, lighten, or remove the dye entirely. Applications of hair dye remover, or natural cleansers such as baking soda, may be used in hair color correction. The hair can also be re-dyed with another shade to achieve the desired color.
Whether the hair was dyed at the salon or in the bathroom, speed is key when trying to salvage your hair from a botched dye job. Many professionals recommend that you take steps to correct your hair within 72 hours. After 72 hours have passed, the dye will have fully bonded to the hair.
Many salons will correct a bad hair-dye treatment for free or refund you the cost of your appointment. If a permanent dye was used, it may take several treatments with hair-dye removers in order to tone it down to an acceptable hue. If the dye was semi-permanent, the hair can be dyed again to change the overall shade.
There are many methods for doing hair color correction at home. It is easiest to remove or alter hair color if it's semi-permanent or vegetable-based, like henna. Hair that is too light or too dark in hue can be softened by mixing together equal amounts of baking soda and regular shampoo. Apply the mixture as you would the shampoo, soaping and rinsing out. Using very hot water will also encourage the dye to wash out.
If the hair has green streaks, shampoos used to remove chlorine stains may help. If all else fails, soaking your hair in tomato juice may help lessen the greenness. Grass-green is one of the most difficult colors to remove from hair and will require the help of a salon.
Too-light hair can be darkened with unsweetened cocoa powder. Mixing half a cup of coca with yogurt will form a staining paste. The paste should be applied to the hair after shampooing, left in for five minutes, then washed out. This treatment may need to be applied several times to reach the desired shade.
Mineral oil can be used for henna hair color correction. The hair should first be rinsed with a 70% alcohol, 30% water mix. Apply the mineral oil to the hair without washing out the alcohol mix, avoiding the scalp. Hair should then be wrapped in saran wrap or a bouffant cap. Finally, heat should be applied to the hair using a hair dryer on a cool setting to avoid melting the plastic.
Before undertaking any kind of hair color correction, a patch test should be used. This involves dying a small lock of hair and waiting to see if there is an allergic reaction. A patch test will also give you a preview of what the hair will look like dyed, thus avoiding another hair color mistake.