The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster


by Ivana Hamilton February 21, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster

You bought a box of permanent hair color, gloves, brush, and container and put on an ages-old oversized tee. You followed every step from the directions but ended up with a less-than-stellar result. It’s okay, every girl who colors her hair at home has at least one hair disaster behind her. What now? Should you beg your hairdresser for mercy? Not to mention that this option might have a high price tag. The good news is that there are some fairly easy tricks that can help you fix almost every hair disaster. Take a look at what you need to do at any hair color emergency from brassiness to highlights.

Your Hair Came Out Too Dark

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster black hairPhoto Credit: @guy_tang/Instagram

Netflix and at-home hair dyeing don’t go together. If you have lost a sense of time watching your favorite show with your hair dye on, there is still something you can do to fix the color. Even if you religiously follow the instructions, the hair dye might end looking a lot darker than expected. Don’t panic!

Get yourself a clarifying shampoo and prepare for an elbow grease action. Wash your hair with the clarifying shampoo as soon as possible to get off the hair color. Use a deep conditioner after you are done with the shampoo to replace the oils you have removed. You can also use a few drops of dishwasher soap mixed with your shampoo to strip the dark color. However, this product will dry out your hair, so don’t forget to use a deep conditioner and even let it sit for quite a while before rinsing it off.

Your Hair Turned Orange

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster brondePhoto Credit: @guy_tang/Instagram

Brassiness is blonde’s biggest nightmare! Those who are trying to go from brunette to blonde can really end up with yellow or orange hair. Calm down! It’s not that bad as it looks in the mirror.

There are a few ways you can cancel brassiness. First of all, get a blue or purple-hued hair shampoo and conditioner to neutralize it. Also, be careful when styling your hair with hot tools. The heat might bring back the yellow and orange tones. Try to use a lower temperature when styling your hair and don’t forget to use heat protecting products. To prevent brassiness opt for cool and ashy tones in the future.

Bleaching Gone Wrong

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster bleached hairPhoto Credit: @cosmoprofbeauty//Instagram

It’s not the best idea to bleach your hair at home. However, you decided to do it anyway, and now it’s too late for regrets. The first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your hairdresser. Chop off at least the damaged strands or as much length as you can handle.

Instead of regular conditioner, get a hydrating hair mask to repair the damage you have done. It’s also recommended to use deep conditioners instead of harsh shampoos at least in the first week after your bleaching disaster because they tend to dry out your hair stripping it of the natural oils. Not to mention that you shouldn’t style your hair with hot tools at all.

Your Roots Are a Different Shade Than The Rest of Your Hair

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster ombre blondePhoto Credit: @guy_tang/Instagram

You really hoped for a big sexy hair color change, but all you got is a big difference between your roots and the rest of your hair. Your roots might take color a bit differently than the rest of your strands. Don’t let this mismatched look leave you hopeless.

The first thing you can do is get one of those root coverup sprays. These products are not only for gray hair or grown out roots. You can also use them to mask your coloring mistake at least until you think of a better permanent solution. Don’t try to dye your hair once again or with a different color. In this situation, it’s best to see a hair professional. Your hairdresser will know best how to blend the mismatched colors best. Dying your hair a few times in a row can cause damage, so it’s best to avoid the risk of making another mistake at home.

Another common hair coloring mistake is “hot roots.” Your roots might turn too orange or too warm compared to the rest of your hair. When you choose a color that’s lighter or redder than your existing color, your uncolored roots will pick up the pigment effectively. However, the color might have little to no effect on the rest of your hair. First things first, get a purple shampoo to neutralize the brassiness. Next, choose a shade that’s the same as your current shade or one with a cooler or more neutral tone. Wait for a while until it's safe to color your hair again and fix this mistake.

Your Hair Turned Redder Than You Intended

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster red hairPhoto Credit: @guy_tang/Instagram

You wanted to be a redhead, but things didn’t go as planned? No worries, redheads rule the world! Vibrant colors such as red fade out quicker than neutral ones. Wash your hair more often or give it some time to fade. Use a clarifying shampoo or another shampoo that’s not color safe. Additionally, wash your hair with the hottest water you can stand. It’s recommended to wait at least a few weeks before coloring your hair again.

After this period of time, opt for a brunette color that’s the same level as that red you have previously selected. Start by applying the hair dye to the reddest area. Leave it on for only five to ten minutes, so you don’t over process and over-darken your hair. It’s recommended to check the color every five minutes before rinsing it off. If the brown doesn’t darken your hair to the desired level, you should use hair color remover.

Your Ends Turned Green

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster cool tone brunettePhoto Credit: @hairbynoora/Instagram

You were a curious blonde wondering whether brunettes have just as much fun? Then your ends started to get some weird greenish tone and it ain’t fun no more! Blondes that have chosen cool brunette tones with ashy undertones for their dark transition might experience green staining on the ends. Is it the end of the world? Of course, not!

The thing is that you have to stick to your unexpected greenish dye job for at least two weeks until it’s safe to dye your hair again.  When it’s finally time to color your hair choose warm brunette tones to neutralize the green. Don’t forget that you need to pick a hair color that’s the same level as that cool brown shade. Apply the new color only on your green-toned strands and leave it on for a shorter time, so you don’t damage your hair.

Your New Hair Color Looks Faded

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster ashy blondePhoto Credit: @guy_tang/Instagram

Ahhh, all this hard work for nothing!? What couldn’ve gotten wrong? Maybe you didn’t leave the dye on your hair long enough. Dried out hair could also be an issue because it doesn't absorb color well. The solution is toning gloss or deep conditioners. These products can help you add vibrancy to your hair color immediately after use.

Your Brown Came Out Too Warm or Too Cool

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster brunette balayagePhoto Credit: @guy_tang/Instagram

What to do when you don't like your hair color at all? If your color turned out too warm or too cool, you can balance it out with a contrasting tone. For example, if your hair color came out too warm, buy the same shade in the opposite tone. In this case, you’ll need an ashier dye.

On the other hand, if your color came out too cool, apply a warm-toned dye in the same shade. You can do this even the same day because you are not changing the level. However, if you want to change the level, wait at least a few days before applying a darker tone. If you want to go lighter, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

You Got Dye All Over Your Neck and Ears

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster woman showersPhoto Credit: Pixa Bay

Even expert at-home colorists end up with spots of dye all over their neck and ears. What you’d normally do is rub with the towel hoping that the stubborn dye will come off your skin. There is a little something that you can do to prevent these dye stains in the first place.

Apply a thick ointment like Vaseline on your neck, around the hairline, and on your ears. Make sure you don’t cover your baby hairs because the ointment acts as a barrier to the hair color. Once you have dyed your hair, use your pointer and middle finger (with your gloves on) to rub the hairline. After washing your hair, use a wet towel with a dab of clarifying shampoo and rub it into the stained areas to remove the color.

Highlights Gone Wrong

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster highlights dye job

Photo Credit: Pixa Bay

You already have mastered coloring your hair at home! With all that confidence came the idea that you can highlight your hair by yourself. Paying a visit to the salon it’s your safest option, but there are still some tricks you can do to fix a highlights-gone-wrong situation.

Your Highlights Aren’t Precise

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster blonde balayagePhoto Credit: @hairbyvinny/Instagram

All those perfect highlights you see all over your Insta feed and Pinterest are most certainly a result of hard work and plenty of experience. So, if you didn’t manage to create the highlights of your dreams, keep in mind these few tips for the next time.

First, pull the strands away from your head before coloring and separate the section you want to highlight. When applying the dye, make sure you coat each strand evenly and be extra cautious when applying dye close to your scalp. To ensure a neat placement of the highlights, apply color on each side of your head at the same time - don’t wait to finish one side to start coloring the other.

You Highlights Don’t Show Up

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster brunette balayagePhoto Credit: @edmilsonaraujoo/Instagram

It seems that you have processed your hair for nothing. Don’t get disappointed right away. Even professionals couldn’t learn how to highlight hair overnight. If you are willing to give it another try, make sure you know your previous mistakes. For instance, you may have used too small sections of hair. Additionally, always make sure that you leave the color for as long as the suggested processing time. Lastly, if you want your highlights to be more noticeable, bring them closer to the front and top of your hair.

Your Highlights Are Too Visible

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster brunette with blonde highlightsPhoto Credit: @camouflageandbalayage/Instagram

You wanted that pretty sunkissed effect on your hair, but it turned out too messy and too visible. You must’ve used big chunks of hair or left the color on longer than the suggested processing time. Whether your highlights are too harsh or too light, there are a couple of things to take in consideration. The next time you decide to do your highlights at home work with thinner strands and make sure that each strand is coated with dye evenly.

Your Highlights Are Brassy

The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Every Type of Hair Disaster brassy highlightsPhoto Credit:

Even if you managed to nail your highlights like a pro, brassiness might cause them to look less fabulous. First of all, try to reduce things such as using hot tools, washing your hair too often or excessive sun exposure. Additionally, to get rid of those brassy tones, use a clarifying shampoo once a week. Lastly, make sure that some of the other products you use on your hair such as shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks are specially formulated to take care of highlighted hair.

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