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Managing Unwanted Green tones in Your Hair

Green is great. We love green. On trees, plants, and my sweet little indoor succulent garden by the window.

Not so much in our hair.

Green tones are seen where there is a lack of red or warmth in the hair.  Warmer tones are on the opposite side of the colour wheel to green tones, and an absence of warmth can allow green to be visible.

Green tones are more likely to be seen in the damaged ends of hair which have been coloured with cooler tones.

Green tones can be more visible on a blonde base, although damaged, over-toned or layered cool tones can lead to a green tone in brunette colours too. Layering cool colours or toners over highlights or pre-lightened hair can also lead to visible green tones.

Here’s a few situations which can lead to visible green tones:

Layering Cool Colours:

Green tones can be seen when there is an excess of cool tones in the hair. Layering cool colour in full length applications can lead to a build-up of cool tones.

If you are colouring with cool-based colours, follow the root touch-up application instructions to reduce the amount of time the colour processes on your lengths. If you are touching-up your roots only, then you don’t need to apply permanent colour to your lengths every time you colour. If your hair is porous or damaged, or if you colour quite regularly to stay on top of regrowth, then it is best to avoid applying permanent colour to your lengths every time you colour, to avoid a build-up of colour and tone.

Toners Gone Wild:

Toners are useful to balance unwanted warmth, but it is important not to add too many cool tones to hair which has already been coloured with cool tones.

Warm red and cool green are opposites and they neutralise each other. If you see green tones, you need to introduce some warmth into your colour or toner selections to counter-balance green.

Consider blending a neutral and an Ash colour in a Duo Colour blend, which will give you half-strength neutral and cool tones. This may be enough cool tones to reduce some unwanted warmth without adding too much. Talk to our colourists for personalised help with your colour selection and Duo colour recommendations.


Swimming is a wonderful exercise and can be deeply relaxing as well. Unfortunately pools can affect your colour and leave a greenish tinge in your blonde hair. Wet your hair with a little tap water and pat some conditioner through your hair before swimming to protect it from the effects of chlorine.

Cool Brunettes:

If you love your Ashy brunette tones, and you have very porous hair, you may have experienced the dreaded green ends. The ends of our hair are typically more porous because they may have been exposed to repeated colouring or damaging processes. Heated styling tools can inflict enough damage to increase the porosity of our hair. Hair which is porous absorbs colour faster. If you are colouring with Ash colours, the over-absorption of colour in porous hair can cause greenish colour results.

Porosity and Green tones:

Green tones in porous hair can be challenging to fix because the problem can be due to natural texture or damaged, porous ends. Colour is rapidly absorbed during a colouring process, but then leaks and fades quickly as the hair is too damaged to hold and retain the colour.

Your best option is usually to trim the damaged ends, and to avoid exposing your hair to unnecessary processes as much as possible in the future.

Correcting Unwanted Green Tones:

The best way to balance and correct (remove) unwanted green tones is to add some warm tones to your colour.

Warm tones are on the opposite side of the colour wheel to cool green tones, and they will counter-balance and correct unwanted green tones.

If you have visible green tones, you need to reintroduce some warmer pigments into your colour to balance the unwanted green tones.

You can add some warmer tones by applying a semi-permanent colour with warm golden tones.

Select the 5 vol developer option when ordering a colour to achieve a semi-permanent colour result.

If your colour is lighter, then Torino 8.3 Golden Blonde or Imola 7.3 Dark Golden Blonde are great options to introduce some semi-permanent warmer tones to reduce green tones.

Select Roma 4.3 Dark Golden Brown or Modena 5.3 Golden Brown to add warmer tones to a darker colour levels.

A Duo colour blend can be a helpful to assist with managing unwanted green tones in your colour. If you need cooler tones because you are lightening, blend a cool colour with a neutral. Neutral tones have warm tones within their colour blend, and reintroducing just a small amount of warm tones can restore the balance of tone.

It is possible to manage and avoid green tones in your colour.

If you are seeing green tones, talk to our colourists, and we can recommend a colour which works for you.

Fabulous product and fabulous service! I am thrilled with The Shade and even my hairdresser approves.The subscription option is super convenient and my duo colour is perfect also it leaves my hair feeling beautifully healthy. Could not be happier with The Shade!

L. Percinsky

Colourist helped me colour correct my way towards my ‘hair goal’. Love the feel and finish and cool tools!

A. Varghesse

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