What is Hair Color Correction? Important Facts

Mistakes are easily made, but when it comes to your hair, choosing the wrong hair color can be a disaster. In this article, we will discuss what color correction is and how to obtain the best color for your hair.

What is Hair Color Correction

What Is Color Correction?

Sometimes we use a concealer on our face if we want to neutralize particular pigmentation or fluctuations to our skin tone. A color correction for hair is exactly the same.

You’ll undergo a color correction for hair in order to fix any problems experienced by wrong use of hair dye.

Color correction is best done in a salon. It will typically be a process of lightening dark hair, or darkening light hair. Doing so will compliment your natural coloring and the look you’re going for.

Moreso, a color correction will neutralize and tone out any brassiness, dye your hair darker, or lighten it.

It will also help to balance out the unwelcome colors in your hair. This is whether they’re too warm, too cool, too light, or too dark.

Exactly what color correction is right for your hair is entirely dependent on both your original color (that is, the one being corrected) and the look you’re going for.

It can involve restoring, removing, or neutralizing hair tones, depending on these factors.

Your stylist will be able to professional evaluate the damage. They can also help you establish a plan by which to fix it.

They’ll also be able to advise how long the process might take, and whether you need to do some damage control first. For example, if you have bleached your hair and need to restore its bonds before embarking on further corrections).

Signs You Need Hair Color Correction

1. Brassy, Red, Or Orange Tones

Many people don’t know that there is a color wheel for hair.

This can have a real impact on the color that your hair turns after a botched dye job. For example, a blonde box dye often has tones of red and orange in them.

If you’re naturally darker and use a blonde box dye to lighten your hair, you may therefore end up with brassy or reddish-orange hair after a few weeks.

This can be caused by anything from frequent sun exposure to not having used enough bleach in the dyeing process.

If you notice unwelcome brassiness or red, yellow, or orange tones in your hair, it may be time for a color correction service.

Similarly, If your hair is more yellow, you’ll need a purple toner; if it’s more orange, a blue toner is best. It’s worth consulting a professional for this, as they’ll provide the best advice.

2. Faded Hair

No matter how great your color looked when you first got it, it’s liable to fade over time.

This doesn’t need to be a catastrophe, however. You can head to a salon and they’ll be able to give you a color correction treatment that will restore your locks back to their luscious ‘before’ look.

3. A Bad At-Home Dye

Maybe you’ve tried to lighten your hair for the first time and messed up the highlights, resulting in chunks or streaks.

Or maybe you didn’t use enough bleach and have ended up with patchy results. Either way, a color correction treatment for hair can help to address these concerns.

How Long Does Color Correction Take?

Long Does Color Correction Take

It’s difficult to give a clear answer as to how long color correction on hair will take. This is because it’s contingent on the degree of damage, your hair’s health, and the look that you’re after.

You may need several appointments spread out over weeks or months.

Alternatively, if the color fix is swift, you may just go for one slightly longer session in a day.

Your hair is fragile, and a color correction process can take its toll. Your hair will respond best to the changes – and feel and look healthier – if it’s given time to restore between each session (if you have multiple).

Certain hair types or colors are more prone to damage from the chemicals used in color correction. Different levels of toner may therefore need longer wait between visits.

In short, if you go to a salon for a color correction process, be ready to spend a while there. Don’t be surprised if you may end up returning on different days in order to complete the treatment.

What Does Color Correction Cost?

Again, you can expect the price of a color correction to vary depending on where you’re based in the States, but it’s not a cheap process.

Salon Prices

A color correction process will typically be charged at $100 per hour – bear in mind that this may be more in big cities.

Color corrections can go from 2.5 hours to 6 hours, depending on the degree of work involved.

Usually, you’ll also undergo a consultation so that you and the stylist are both on board with what kind of look you’re after and what changes need to be made.

At Home

Remember, one of the most commonly reported reasons for a color correction process is a bad at-home dye job.

It’s therefore important to think carefully as to whether you have the skill and knowledge to do a color correction on yourself.

As for the price, you need to factor in different products needed. A hair toner is essential.

You may need a bleach, too, depending on how drastic you want the color correction to be.

You’ll also likely need a hair dye, whether you’re looking to add in highlights or completely change your look.

So, you’re looking at an average of $5 – 10 for bleach, and an average of $10 – 25 for a box dye. Hair toner also costs anywhere from $10 – 25.

It will clearly be cheaper to do a color correction at home, but we only recommend doing so if you’re confident that you have the ability and knowledge.

How To Fix Hair Colors

How To Fix Hair Colors

Use Ash Toner For Yellow Blonde Hair

Blonde hair is high maintenance and can start to look straw-like in color if not cared for.

By using a purple ash toner, you can help to lighten these yellow tones and distribute a more white-blonde color throughout your tresses.

Look to use purple shampoo and conditioner going forward, which will maintain your color and work to minimize brassy, yellow tones.

Use Blue Toners For Brown Hair Going Orange Or Red

On the color wheel, you want to go for blue tones in order to counteract red, orange, yellow, or other brassy tones appearing in dark hair.

Depending on the severity of the brassiness, a touch-up with a blue shampoo and conditioner may be all that’s required.

Alternatively, you may need a more intense color correction, perhaps needing the help of cool toners or even bleach (depending on what look you want to achieve).

Remember, if you’ve just colored your hair and are noticing these tones, it’s likely you didn’t leave the bleach in for long enough, but avoid immediately grabbing that bottle.

Your hair will have to recover from the initial round of bleaching before you can start a color correction. Using a deep hydration product will help to speed this along.

Use Toner With Developer For Hair Turning Ash Blonde

For some, it’s the look they want, for others, ash-blonde can really wash them out.

If your hair is turning an ash blonde and you want it to be a bit warmer, you’ll need to use products that will bring out warmer undertones like red, orange, and yellow.

Using a toner that’s a red shade with a developer layered on top can help you to achieve this.

Things To Remember When Color Correcting At Home

If you do feel like you can perform your own color correction at home, these are some tips and tricks to remember:

1. Get The Right Shade

Look, we know, this sounds obvious, but you need to ensure that you’ve bought the correct hair dye for the look you need.

Get acquainted with the color wheel and establish which tone or shade will look best with your skin tone, and what you need to use in order to color correct your hair.

2. Don’t Be Too Keen

Remove any color that’s bled over your hairline, or that’s accidentally got onto your ears. Applying petroleum jelly to these areas prior to coloring can help with this.

Don’t leave the bleach or the hair color on for too long! You may end up with seriously damaged tresses that are liable to frizz and break.

Similarly, don’t rinse your hair over the sink in order to remove either product – its pressure just won’t be enough.

3. Remember That Color Stains

Yes, the color will maybe stain your bath or shower, and it will possibly dye your clothes.

Wear items that you don’t mind getting a little messy, and you can always use bleach or another stain remover on your tub if needed.

4. Aftercare

You will be helping to avoid needing another color correction in a few weeks’ time if you have proper aftercare.

Avoid super-hot showers, which will open up the cuticles and may fade your hair.

Apply a deep conditioner or moisturizer to your hair after coloring it, in order to restore hydration and nutrients.

Purchase the correct hair care products for your new look – for example, purple shampoo if you’ve gone blonde. Your hair will thank you for it in the long run.

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Alice Carlill

Alice is an experienced writer and researcher with a background in the Creative Arts. She is a published poet and is currently completing her Ph.D., having worked in a variety of industries, including as a theatre dramaturg. Alice is passionate about the environment, so is always on the lookout for the best zero-waste products that are vegan and cruelty-free.