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 usually seen in the damaged ends of darker colours such as brunette shades which have been coloured with cooler tones. Swimming or layering cool colours can also lead to visible green tones.

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

Toners Gone Wild:

Toners can be useful to balance unwanted warmth, although sometimes using a cool toner can result in a subtle, or not so subtle greenish colour outcome.

Remember that red and 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 with 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.

Colour Selection:

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

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.

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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