Here is my head. Make it less purple!
July 27, 2012 7:02 AM   Subscribe

At home hair-dye gone not-so-terribly, but my pretty dark red has too much purple. What's the best toner to get rid of that color and leave a nice red?

The situation is not dire; I'm not fleeing to the salon. It's just quite a bit more burgundy red than I would have liked. I did do two boxes of (boxed) dye last night, but my hair feels great right now, so I'll probably just wait a few days-week before doing the toner. I'm happy with permanent or semi-permenent. I have access to Sally's beauty supply. I'll be getting the opinion of my stylist today when I get it cut, but she's not really a colorist.

What's the best toner color to get that burgundy-purple out? Here's a pic and here's another. Is it even that bad? The color is so vibrant and shiny (yay!) but the purple is weirding me out a bit. Help?
posted by two lights above the sea to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total)
Response by poster: Ah hah! Here's the best pic of the purple!
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:15 AM on July 27, 2012

I've done mahogany type dye before and yeah, it's kinda weirdly purple, huh? But I don't recall anyone else ever mentioning that to me - that is to say, it bothered me because it is my hair, but everyone else just saw red. For example, your hair looks totally fine to me. (And nice and shiny!) At any rate, waiting to see what washes out in the next couple days is probably a good idea.

A non-toner possibility: Aveda has a tinted shampoo/conditioner line that might help you emphasize the red. (The conditioner alone puts some red tones into my non-dyed hair)
posted by maryr at 7:18 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Is it even that bad?
Doesn't look purple at all to me but then again I've had (and will again soon) actually purple hair.
If you don't like the colour then ColourB4 (or similar) will completely remove the colour (back to natural - not bleaching it) and you can dye it a different colour but you are supposed to wait a few weeks after using it before redying.

IME blue fades way faster than red, I'd be surprised if the blue undertones were still there in a couple of weeks.

If you want to go the toner route, you'll want an orange one but IMO you're better either waiting it out or stripping all the colour out and picking a different shade. If you've already used 2 box dyes on it, I wouldn't add another, even just as a toner.
posted by missmagenta at 7:21 AM on July 27, 2012 [5 favorites]

Having seen your updated photo, its very slight purple but only slightly and only in certain lights.
posted by missmagenta at 7:22 AM on July 27, 2012

Honestly I think that would lighten up over time as the dye fades in a few weeks. I've done dark reds before like that before and had them turn out too burgundy, but over time fade to basically the color I wanted. If your hair feels good now, I wouldn't mess around with anything more than might damage it.
posted by Sayuri. at 7:29 AM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]

I would wait a couple of days, put your newly-dyed hair through a couple of washes before deciding if you needed to do anything to it. There's a very good chance that the undesired purple will just wash out. I know my purple beard gets pinker with successive washes.
posted by Scientist at 7:31 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: IME blue fades way faster than red, I'd be surprised if the blue undertones were still there in a couple of weeks.
Fourthed. Your hair is exactly the color I often strive for, but can only briefly maintain. I think it looks grand -- and pairs well with your fashionable violet eyeshadow -- but if you prefer something ruddier, expose your hair to sunshine and ordinary shampoo.
posted by feral_goldfish at 7:33 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've dyed my hair dark red at home a couple of times before, both semi-permanent and permanent, and found in all cases that it looks burgundy for the first week or so. I'm guessing that the colour you have now won't last long, and that you'll have a perfect red within 2 weeks!
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:37 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: You guys are making me feel a lot better! I'll hold off on doing anything else for a week or two and reassess the situation then. Thank you!
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:45 AM on July 27, 2012

I'll just nth that it looks fine!

Give it a few washes and see how you are. I'm sure you'll be fine.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:52 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Your hair looks great, as far as I see. It's only a slight tinge of burgundy, and probably not noticeable except in a certain light at a certain angle. And, as already pointed out, it will tone down.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 8:04 AM on July 27, 2012

It looks good to me:-) I have had worse hair color disasters which is why I now leave it to the professionals, but your hair looks fine and will look better after a few washings.
posted by mermayd at 8:50 AM on July 27, 2012

I've used that exact color and the purple is temporary. You are fine. (I actually enjoyed the purple highlight myself.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:24 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: If you are wondering, I started with a base of this, and then did Nutrisse Light Intense Auburn (6RR) which turned out a fiery burgundy. Then I did L'Oreal color preference Medium brown over the red.
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:43 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I also really like the purplish tone in red hair (it then becomes a cool red), it is hard to see skin tone on camera, but it looks like it really suits you. But others are right, the purple will go first, leaving you with the warmer tones soon enough.
posted by nanook at 9:47 AM on July 27, 2012

Don't do anything to it! It looks gorgeous! I love that color. Believe me, burgundy red can come out wayyy purplier (or pinker, eek) than that. I speak from experience.

Next time you might consider mixing your two colors in the bottle and doing just one application instead of doing them in sequence. This is better for your hair because it doesn't strip the color twice, and it also has the benefit of giving you more of a multi-tonal, highlighted color since the mixing doesn't happen quite 100%, I guess. In my experience, it doesn't even really matter if you have different brands -- it's all mostly the same stuff. Once when I had done this, my stylist assumed I had gotten it done professionally!
posted by zadermatermorts at 10:35 AM on July 27, 2012

No, honestly, don't touch it! It looks great! That color looks nice on me, and I have similar coloring as you. You're just not used to it! Give it a few washes and wear it outside - the sun (sadly) fades dye quickly too. Don't mess it up by adding something else at this point. It looks shiny and healthy! Don't make it go orange or brassy!
posted by barnone at 10:40 AM on July 27, 2012

Plus, this is a much better tone than something too red/orange - those can fade into weird brassy colors which are not terribly flattering for our skin tone.
posted by barnone at 10:42 AM on July 27, 2012

Response by poster: The second application was not planned, otherwise I would always just get a larger application bottle and mix it all up together. I've done that many times before.

Thanks everyone! I'm feeling much better about this.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:52 AM on July 27, 2012


Red dyes are notoriously hard to keep in -- they wash out really quickly. I'd just give it several good sturdy washes with a good shampoo and the purple will be gone within a week.

BTW -- if you're looking for an at-home dye brand, I use L'Oreal Healthy Look. No ammonia, and the colours on me have come out just what the box said, even going from red to brown (and my hair has so much copper, at-home dyes usually give me high-school purple). I love the ammonia-free formula that is impossible to mess up even if you leave it in for too long; you can't possibly fry your hair with this stuff, it lasts a long time, but fades really naturallly! No roots!
posted by custard heart at 4:15 PM on July 27, 2012

Seconding washing your hair a lot. I've had that exact same color fade to a strawberry blonde within a month or two. I personally never use an actual red box dye because they all end up giving me that odd purple tint (or Crayola crayon red). I pick a medium golden/copper brown and it always ends up being about the same color you have now without the purple.

FWIW - I think that color suits you very well.
posted by sarahgrace at 8:00 PM on July 28, 2012

« Older Failing isn't so bad...or is it?   |   Where to put a hole to sink money into in Boston? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.