Skip to Content

Can you dye red over green hair?

Dyeing your hair red when it’s already colored green is possible, but it requires some planning and care to get the best results. The most important things to consider are:

Preparing the Hair

Green hair contains tone and color that can interact with red dye in unexpected ways. To help the new red color take evenly, you’ll need to:

  • Strip the green color first. Use a clarifying or color-removing shampoo several times until the water runs clear.
  • Deeply condition. The stripping process is drying, so condition well to restore moisture.
  • Neutralize undertones. Apply an anti-brass toner to counteract any yellow/green tones left behind.

This prep work helps provide the cleanest slate for the new red shade.

Choosing a Red Dye

With pre-lightened or bleached hair, you can use any vivid red semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye. For unbleached hair, choose a darker burgundy or coppery red labeled permanent or high-lift. This gives the color more sticking power.

No matter the current hair color, steer clear of bleach-heavy “lightening” reds, which may interact poorly with lingering green/yellow undertones. Stick to richer reds labeled as “depositing” or “darkening.”

Application and Processing

When applying red dye over green hair, take special care to:

  • Apply thoroughly from roots to ends. Green tones often linger around the roots.
  • Leave the dye on for the full processing time. Rinse early and you may be left with patchy pinkish hues.
  • Rinse with cool water and use a sulfate-free shampoo. This helps lock in the vibrant red color.

Processing for the full recommended time allows the red pigment to take hold and override the underlying green.

Maintaining the Red Color

Red hair color washes out quickly and can turn brassy, especially on pre-lightened hair. To make it last:

  • Shampoo less frequently, every 2-3 days. Over-washing causes fading.
  • Use color-protecting shampoo and conditioner.
  • Limit chlorine exposure from pools/hot tubs.
  • Avoid heat styling when possible.
  • Use an at-home glossing treatment between salon visits.

With proper aftercare, you can get 4-6 weeks or more of vibrant red hair before needing a touch-up appointment.

How Long to Wait Before Re-Dyeing

If your red begins to fade or discolor, hold off on re-dyeing for at least 2-3 weeks. Repeated dyeing right away can damage hair and cause uneven results. Quickly touching up color should wait until the next salon visit.

However, you can use color-depositing at-home glosses in between salon appointments to refresh red tones as needed.

Using Bleach When Re-Dyeing

After dyeing hair red, bleaching too soon poses a risk of breakage and dryness. If you later want to go lighter or do a new fantasy color, wait 4-6 weeks before lightening or bleaching red hair.

The exception is if using a bleach-based color remover to go back to your original or natural hair color shortly after dyeing red. In this case, be extremely gentle, do several treatments over time, and condition hair thoroughly.

Other Colors Over Red Hair

Dyeing other colors over freshly dyed red hair follows similar principles as red over green:

  • Blue – Reds and blues are complementary colors, so they combine well. Opt for darker navy hues over light blue.
  • Purple – Purple mixes beautifully with red to create fun magenta tones. Use a semi-permanent or demi-permanent purple.
  • Brown – Red fades quicker than brown. Expect a subtle brick reddish-brown result until the red fully fades out.
  • Blonde – Bleaching red hair is high-maintenance. Expect several sessions to lift color and brassiness.

Doing a strand test can give you a preview of how the colors will mix. In general, darker dye colors will override reds more easily than light pastel shades.

Using Red Dye on Uncolored Hair

For dyeing red on natural, virgin hair, results vary based on your base shade:

Natural Hair Color Red Dye Result
Light blonde Vibrant cherry red
Dark blonde Strawberry or copper red
Light brown Bright ginger red
Dark brown Deep auburn red

Pre-lightening with bleach expands your vivid red color options. But if going for an all-over red look, choose a shade labeled as “high-lift” for dark hair.

Using Red Dye for Roots Only

You can refresh just the roots with red dye a few weeks after the initial color:

  • Part hair into sections to easily see roots.
  • Apply root touch-up dye only 1⁄4-1⁄2 inch from scalp.
  • Quickly comb through from scalp to ends to blend.
  • Rinse after time specified on dye directions.

Focusing only on the roots helps counteract fading that happens first at the regrowth areas. Saving the ends from repeat dyeing helps maintain length and prevent dryness.

Can You Go From Red to Blonde Easily?

Removing vibrant red hair dye to go back to blonde can be tricky. Red pigment molecules are large and penetrate the hair shaft deeply. To reverse this:

  • Use a color remover to strip out red tones.
  • Do bleach bath sessions to gently lift remaining color.
  • Tone hair to counteract orangey tones.
  • Avoid over-bleaching in one step, which causes damage.

Be patient – it may take several remover/bleaching sessions over weeks or months to see blonde hair again without extreme dryness or breakage.

Common Issues Dyeing Red Over Green

When dyeing red over green, it’s normal to encounter some challenges including:

  • Patchiness – From inadequate removal of green or uneven application of red dye.
  • Muddiness – When the two colors mix to create an unappealing brownish shade.
  • Brassiness – Green residue left behind can interact with red to create a dull yellowish cast.
  • Pinkish tones – If not leaving the red dye on long enough for full processing and pigment deposit.

Troubleshooting issues requires another round of removal and/or re-dyeing. Having your color done professionally helps minimize risks and color corrections.


Dyeing red hair over stubborn green can be successfully achieved with the right techniques and patience. Thoroughly cleansing away the old color, choosing a darker red dye, and maintaining the new shade well are the keys to making the process run smoothly from green to gorgeous red locks.