You don’t usually have to look too far to see examples of DIY hair color jobs gone-wrong (let’s hope not in your own mirror!). Things don’t always turn out as you plan when dyeing your own hair due to any number of reasons: You might have tried to change your color too radically or jumped in the pool too soon after dyeing, both of which can create a hair-color disaster. Guess what? You don’t have to resort to chopping off your ‘do: Color-correcting can be the fix you’ve been waiting for.
We should start by saying that it’s smart to talk to your hairstylist before coloring your hair initially on whether you should go with warm or cool tones. Warm tones can result in yellow/golden/brassy shades, whereas cool tones get you more ashy colors. If it’s too late for that or your DIY job went sideways anyway, you may want to head back to your hairstylist for help fixing the damage. But if you’re not in total-disaster territory, there’s one key fix you can do at home to color correct and it’s as easy as shampooing.
The trick is to think of color correcting as a color wheel. The color opposite your hair shade is the color that can be applied to the hair to even it out and neutralize the harsh tones.
So, if your blonde hair starts looking like yellow straw...
Purple is across from yellow on the color wheel, which means that washing with a purple shampoo can help restore the hair back to a bit cooler-tine, ashier blonde, as this vid and this vid show. Look for shampoos from Fanola, Joico and Drybar Blonde Ale.
If your hair’s gone more brassy and orange than blonde...
Dark blue shampoo is your answer. Aveda makes a gentle color-correcting blue shampoo which helps your hair dye last longer and look the way it was intended to. You can leave the product on for a longer time like a hair mask for cooler color, or a shorter amount of time for a more low-key change. (And to see the diff between using purple and blue shampoos on blonde hair, check this out!)