How to Prevent or Fix a Bad Dye Job

Do you need to fix bad hair coloring—fast? Whether you need to get all the dye out or just color correct, we're here to help. We'll also give you some tips for cleaning up spilled dye, keeping it from hurting your scalp, and how to keep your hair from fading after you've dyed it.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Hair dyeing tips

Prepare for Dying Your Hair

In addition to the dye kit that comes in the box, grab some aluminum foil. Use it to cover anything you're worried about getting dye on. This works great on the arms of your glasses, if you wear them!

Keep Hair Dye from Hurting Your Scalp

If at-home hair dyes irritate your scalp, try adding a little Sweet ’N Low to the mixture before applying it. The artificial sweetener helps neutralize any ammonia-based formula. It will be easier on your scalp while still being just as effective.

Prevent an Uneven Dye Job

When you’re dyeing your hair at home, you should know that the chemicals in hair dye can soak in faster in lighter sections of your hair, creating an uneven look. Avoid that problem with a simple fix—baking soda! Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda in 2 cups of water, and rinse your hair with it before applying the dye. The baking soda will lift the cuticle, which will allow the dye to penetrate evenly and create a more professional look.

Need to Fix or Color-Correct Your Dye Job?

OK, you completely messed up your dye job, and now you don't even want to leave the house! What to do? If brown or red hair dye, wash your hair several times with an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione. This chemical diminishes dye more quickly than normal shampoo, without damaging your hair. If your hair dye is blonde, you're going to have to use another dye to fix it. Check out this page from Loreal Paris for some good tips for color-correcting lighter hair.

Easily Clean Up Spilled Hair Dye

Oops! Your hair looks great, but there's hair dye all over your bathroom. To clean spilled hair dye from furniture, mirrors, and cabinets, use this tried-and-true salon method: Wipe any spills with a cotton ball dipped in fresh hydrogen peroxide.

Keep Hair Dye from Fading

Many hair styling and cleaning products contain alcohol, which will not only make your dyed hair look duller, but can dry out your hair and scalp. Before buying a hair product, look carefully at the ingredients—and stay away from alcohol! Meanwhile, to preserve the color, regularly rinse your with white vinegar before washing to seal the hair cuticle.

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The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only.  The author and publisher do not accept liability for damages arising from the use, attempted use, misuse, or application of any of the suggestions included on this website.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.