Green Shampoo for Red Hair Tones: How Does It Help?

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Green color-depositing shampoo allows you to tone your hair at home. Green shampoo works by neutralizing any unwanted red tones in the hair, leaving it looking vibrant and refreshed.

This is great for hair that has been dyed or heavily heat-styled. Green toning shampoo can help to maintain the integrity of your locks and leave it looking balanced and healthy.

In this article, I explain what green shampoo is, what it does to red hair, and how to use it. I will also answer a few frequently asked questions about green shampoo for red hair along the way.


What Is Green Shampoo?

Matrix Dark Envy Green Shampoo

Green shampoo is a color-depositing shampoo, often referred to as a toning shampoo. A color-depositing shampoo works to neutralize unwanted tones in your hair.

It’s easy to use and works just like regular shampoo.

The only thing you need to understand is which color depositing shampoo you need to choose. This depends on the color you want to remove.

The color of your unwanted tones will determine what color toning shampoo you should be using.

The color of your unwanted tones will determine what color toning shampoo you should be using.

Opposites Cancel Each Other Out

Colors opposite each other on the color wheel will cancel each other out. So if you have unwanted red tones in your hair, use a green color depositing shampoo. See the color wheel below.

Purple shampoo cancels out yellow brassy tones. Blue shampoo will neutralize copper/orange tones. They also make red shampoo for those icky green swimmers’ hair tones common among blonde swimmers

And to get rid of unwanted red tones, you’ll need a green shampoo.


Are You Trying to Remove Red or Orange/Copper Tones?

Now, something we need to clear up here: are you trying to get rid of unwanted red tones or orange/copper tones?

People refer to naturally red hair as ‘red’ even though it’s more orange than red. What we commonly call red hair is more orange/copper than true red.

A natural redhead who does not have red tones in her hair.

And therein lies the confusion a lot of the time.

Green shampoo is for either toning down unwanted red from red hair dye or unwanted red undertones showing in naturally darker hair that happens from heat styling or other environmental factors.

Toning shampoos work to neutralize unwanted undertones by depositing the complementary color of the color you are trying to get rid of. But the key here is that the complementary colors of orange and red are different.

Are you trying to get rid of unwanted red tones or orange/copper tones?

People refer to naturally red hair as ‘red’ even though it’s more orange than red.

If Your Unwanted Tones are Orange or Copper…

If you have unwanted tones that are more orange or copper, you need to use a blue color depositing shampoo, like Fanola No Orange Shampoo , not a green shampoo.

Blue shampoo works exactly the same way as green shampoo, except it’s for neutralizing orange tones, instead of red because blue is orange’s complimentary color.

Fanola No Orange Shampoo, 11.83 Ounce/350 Milliliter
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If Your Unwanted Tones are Red…

If you have red undertones, like red-red, use a green color depositing shampoo, like MATRIX Total Results Dark Envy Color-Depositing Green Shampoo .

Here’s an example of what green shampoo does to red tones:

Matrix Dark Envy Green Shampoo

Dark Envy Green Shampoo works great, particularly for those with black to dark brown hair who have unwanted red tones peeking through.

MATRIX Total Results Dark Envy Color-Depositing Green Shampoo | For Neutralizing Red Undertones in Dark Brown or Black Hair | Cool, Glossy Finish | 10 Fl. Oz
  • Enrich dark bases with Dark Envy....
  • Benefits: This shampoo enriches and...
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  • Dark Envy Collection: Using the Dark...
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Green Shampoo For Red Hair

Just to be clear… you only want to be using a green shampoo if you are looking to get rid of the red in your hair. Whether they be red undertones that are showing up in dark hair color, or you colored your hair and it’s too red for your liking.

Remember: green shampoo is for red hair, but only if you don’t like the red in your hair.

If, on the other hand, you’ve colored your hair red or you have naturally red hair and you like the color, don’t go using green shampoo! It will change the color of your hair and tone down the red.

There are shampoos and conditioners made especially for keeping your red hair vibrantly red and prevent hair dye from fading quickly, like John Frieda Radiant Red, Colour Protecting Shampoo & Conditioner .

What Does Vinegar Do To Red Hair?

Everyone is always looking for the fastest, cheapest, easiest way to do something, so it’s no wonder 5-minute hacks are extremely popular on TikTok and YouTube. Part of the problem is that a lot of those hacks are just clickbait and don’t actually work.

Now when it comes to using vinegar to remove hair dye, this is a popular DIY hack that’s going around. And while it can be effective at removing some semi or demi-permanent dyes, it is not very effective at removing permanent hair dye, and vinegar SHOULD NOT be used on red hair dye of any kind.

Something about the PH in the vinegar that will cause your hair to turn a streaky, god-awful color – definitely NOT what you want. That’s over and above the fact that you’re going to smell like vinegar for like a week – probably also not what you want.

Vinegar can also irritate and burn your scalp if it’s not diluted properly.


How To Remove Red Dye from Hair

Rather than resorting to an Internet DIY hack you read online somewhere, you have 2 viable options you can do yourself at home that are your best bets for getting the red out of your hair.

1. Color remover – (if you used a hair color that was too red)

A color remover, like Color Oops Extra Conditioning Hair Color Remover  works by entering the shaft, dissolving the bond between the hair and the dye pigment and breaking down that dye pigment so it can be rinsed out of your hair.

Color Opps will not lighten your hair, it will just return it to whatever color it was before you dyed it. Only use a color remover if you are trying to remove hair dye that’s too red, as it’s pretty rough on your hair.

2.  Green Shampoo

Green shampoo is a color-depositing shampoo that works by neutralizing red tones in the hair. This can work on both hair dyed red and naturally occurring red undertones in darker hair. It won’t change the hair color, just tone down the red.

The difference between color remover and green shampoo is that color remover actually penetrates the hair shaft to remove the pigment of hair dye from the hair. Color-depositing shampoo only deposits color onto the hair shaft to tone down the unwanted color.

It’s like the difference between getting a tattoo removed and getting another tattoo on top of the one you didn’t like to cover it up.

The difference between color remover and green shampoo is that color remover actually penetrates the hair shaft to remove the pigment of hair dye from the hair. Color-depositing shampoo only deposits color onto the hair shaft to tone down the unwanted color.

Using green shampoo to neutralize the unwanted red in your hair is a lot easier than using a color remover. Using a color remover is a longer, more complicated process.

Using a green shampoo, on the other hand, is much easier with a far less margin for error. But unlike a color remover which should get rid of all the hair dye (and the unwanted red) in your hair in one go, using a green color depositing shampoo is a gradual process and may take a few washes to get the desired results.

3. Dish Soap

Yes, you can use dish soap to remove hair dye. It strips your hair of dyes at least somewhat. But it will dry your hair out pretty severely, so be cautious using it.


How Often Should I Use Green Shampoo?

Color-depositing shampoo is not meant to replace your regular shampoo. It can be harsh and drying to your hair and should only be used once (max. twice) a week.

Read the instructions as to how long to leave it in. You will not get a better result if you use it more often or leave it in longer than recommended.


Final Thoughts

If you have unwanted red in your hair from hair dye, you can use a green color depositing shampoo or a color remover to get rid of it.

Just make sure the color you want to remove is red, and not orange or copper.

If you have naturally occurring unwanted red tones in hair that you want to remove, wash your hair with a green color depositing shampoo, follow the instructions on the product label.

Written by Jacqueline Ames