Q: I have medium to dark brown hair. Every time I try to dye it to its natural color, it turns red. How do I get the red out?
What kind of dye do I need to get? I just want brown not red in it.
A: The problem is one of conflicting base tones in the coloring process. From your description, your hair naturally has a reddish base
color tone and the color you are using to dye your hair is most likely one with a base of red as well. When the two factors combine,
you get the reddish result that you are not happy with.
What you need is a haircolor formula with a base color to neutralize some of the natural red
already present in your hair. Haircolor formulas use base colors upon which they build their resultant
colors. In addition, your hair has its own natural base pigmentation. In the case of many natural dark brown hair shades, the base
pigment is reddish. This means that when the color is lifted with hair bleaching agents, you can often get strong reddish-looking and orange-looking results.
In the same vein, when your hair has a natural pigment base of a reddish tone, and you add
haircolor that has a base color of red, you end up with an intensification of the red shade in the resultant color.
To neutralize the redness, you should go to your beauty supply store and look for a hair
color formula in the shade you want with a base color that is listed as “green” or “drab”. (Drab became used as a color name instead
of green because of the concern many women showed that their hair would turn green using the color. That prejudice has been largely
removed, so that some manufacturers have returned “green” to the label.)
Using the green-based color should neutralize the overabundance of red in the resulting color
and give a more natural-looking brown tone.