If you’re someone who loves changing your hair color a lot, you’ve probably run into the issue of mixing colors only to get really unexpected results.
The more “unnatural” your hair color currently is, the harder it is to figure out what color to dye over it to get the desired result.
That’s because hair color is slightly transparent, so when you put one color over another, you often get a blend of the two colors, which might not be the goal you’re after.
This gets especially tricky if you’re dyeing your hair with a color that is directly opposite your current color on a color wheel. Putting blue over blonde, purple over orange, or red over green won’t leave you with blue, purple, or red hair, respectively.
So what will happen if you put red dye over green hair? The color you will end up with depends on a few different factors like the tone of green you started with and what kind of red you’re using, but you will likely end up with a muddy brown color.
But don’t worry, there are some things you can do to get the red hair of your dreams. Keep reading for answers!
What Happens When You Put Red Dye Over Green?
Let’s start with the basics: when you dye your hair, the color molecules wedge themselves deep into your hair shaft. When you add another color dye on top of a previous dye, the new color molecules join the old ones, but they don’t replace them.
This means whenever you’re dyeing your hair multiple times, you need to consider how the old color would look mixed with the new color.
This isn’t a huge problem when you’re putting a darker color over a lighter color, because darker tones tend to take over the lighter ones and become dominant.
However, if your new color is lighter than, or at the same level as your old color, the colors will mix and produce a new color altogether.
So, here is what you can expect when you put red dye over the green, depending on the lightness and vibrancy of each color:
If You Start With Faded Green On Light Hair
If your current hair color is a faded green, and your hair was light to begin with (for example, if you had blonde hair before you dyed it green), you’re in luck.
Picking a vibrant red that’s a tad darker in tone will give you red hair. The parts that have some green underneath might slightly neutralize the red and make it less vibrant, but your hair will still be bright red or auburn.
To remove the green tones completely, you’ll have to use a color remover before you apply the red dye. This will result in a purer-looking red color.
If You Start With Faded Green On Dark Hair
Let’s say you’re a brunette (brown hair or darker) who dyed your hair green a few months ago. The green was probably deep and dark too if you never bleached it. But now it has faded, and you only notice slight green undertones. Can you dye your hair red?
Because the greens in your hair are so faded, you should be able to see some red when you put a red dye over your hair. However, since your hair is already dark, the red will not come out bright like a firetruck.
Instead, the red will also be very dark and deep, with some parts appearing mostly brown due to the green undertones underneath. You will still notice some redness, but expect it to be dark and mostly auburn-looking.
To get a bright red, you’ll need to lighten your hair by using bleach. The bleach will make your hair yellow, and will help remove some of the remaining green tones. Putting red over light yellow hair will, of course, result in bright red hair.
If You Start With A Bright Green
If you currently have bright green hair and it’s still vibrant, putting red over it will not give you red hair. You will most likely neutralize both colors and end up with a muddy brown shade.
This can be helpful if your goal is to get rid of the funky colors and look more natural. Great solution if you just got an unexpected job offer where you have to look “professional.” However, if you’re really itching to become a redhead, this isn’t the way to go about it.
To get the red color to show up, you’ll have to put in some work to get rid of the green color first. The more faded your green color is, the more likely the red color will come through.
So, before you dye your hair red, consider using a color remover, bleach, or other solutions that can help fade your current color.
How To Get Red Hair If You Have Green Hair
If your goal is to get red hair, the best thing you can do is to try and fade your green hair color as much as possible before you put red over it. Here are some ways you can fade your green hair color fast:
Go To A Salon
One of the ways to color-correct your hair is to go to a salon. The stylists there are trained in combining colors the right way to get you the results you want. A good stylist knows how to remove a green tone in the most gentle way possible without damaging your hair.
And even if a little bit of green still remains on your hair, a good stylist will know what specific tone of red to put over it to neutralize and still get you the results you want.
To hear from a professional about removing green tones from hair, take a look at this video from Mirella Manelli on YouTube.
Try A Color Remover
If a pricey salon visit is not in the cards for you, you can try removing the green DIY-style.
You can find color removers online, like the amazing Color Out System from PowerTools, and at your local pharmacy. They are designed to open up your hair shaft and pull out any color pigments. They won’t lighten your natural hair.
Tread carefully, however. These products can be very damaging to your hair because they disturb the structure of your hair. They can make your hair weaker and more prone to breakage.
Most color removers also smell bad, so make sure you are in a well-ventilated area, ideally next to an open window, when you’re doing this.
Using a color remover is similar to using a hair dye – you will mix the ingredients that come in the kit, put it over your hair (just the parts where it’s colored green), and wait. Follow the instructions on the package for the best results.
When you wash the product out, you’ll usually end up with a weird orangey color, but the green should be all gone. At this point, you might want to give your hair a strengthening mask and leave it to rest for a day.
The following day, you can put the red dye on your hair and get super vibrant results.
Hair bleach is a popular way to lighten hair and remove old hair dye. Unlike the color remover we discussed above, the bleach will not only pull out previous dye molecules but also your natural color.
So, if you’re a brunette underneath your green hair dye, by the time you’re done with bleach, you’ll be a blonde. If that’s not a problem for you, then you can go ahead with the bleach. It’ll help you achieve a much brighter red anyways.
But if you’re not looking to lighten the overall tone of your hair, we’d recommend sticking to the color remover, which won’t lighten your hair.
Bleach is even more drying and damaging than color remover, so be very careful when using it. Don’t use a high-volume developer with your bleach (a 20 volume should do) and don’t keep it on your hair too long.
Bleach might not fully remove the green tones from your hair, but it will help fade it enough that you can put a red dye over it and the green won’t be very noticeable.
Try Clarifying Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo like this one from Kenra can help fade your green hair color if the green dye you used was semi-permanent. Simply use any clarifying shampoo that you can find at your local pharmacy, and wash your hair with it 4-5 times in a row.
It isn’t great for your hair, but it’s much safer than using bleach or a color remover, and it will help fade your green color enough to get reddish results once you put a red dye over it.
Dyeing your green hair red can be scary, but once you know what to expect and how to get your desired results, you can have the confidence to do it right! Just remember that green and red neutralize each other, so if you want vibrant red results, you should try your best to fade the green color first.
We hope this helps your hair coloring journey!