Many of us have experienced an uh-oh moment with our hair color--especially when we try to do it at home.
photo courtesy of Nik Merkulov - Getty Images

The question then becomes, “How can I fix this?”

Chances are that if you did it at home, you may want to consult a professional to correct your mistakes. I spoke with Certified Redken Colorist Jenna Lynn Edmunds for her professional advice on this topic.

Color correcting curly hair

The oval shape as well as the curving of a follicle is what creates curly hair. However, the blessing of having curly hair comes with the curse of dryness. Edmunds says, “Curly hair tends to be a bit drier than straight hair due to the shape. Natural oils have a harder time making their way down the shaft. With that in mind, whenever we color curly hair we want to add as much hydration and shine as possible.”

Corrective Recommendations

Because curly hair requires more nourishment, choosing the right formula to color is essential to the health of your curls.  “I always recommend glazes--demi permanent colors--versus a permanent color. We are able to deposit the desired tones, eliminate unwanted tones all while improving the condition of the hair. For example, if the hair is too warm--yellow or orange tones--we would apply a cool tone glaze--violet or blue."
photo courtesy of MizzChoiHair

When asked about at-home fixes, Edmunds adds, “You can also use a color depositing shampoo at home to achieve this effect but the result will be very subtle compared to a professional glaze.” She also recommends highlighting as another corrective service for color that looks flat and lacks dimension.

“With highlighting we are able to fix several issues in the hair. We can brighten, breakup banding and achieve the dimension that curly hair needs to appear healthy and shiny. Stripping all the hair is very damaging and often too harsh for delicate curls. By gently highlighting the hair, we can achieve our desired look and keep the integrity of the hair in tact.”

When the salon isn’t an option

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Although seeing a professional is recommended, some may not make it to the salon to fix the problem. The reasons differ but include factors such as the price, not being able to get an appointment or just not having the time. If the mistake is minor or just requires weekly maintenance, beauty supplies offer at-home glosses and shampoos to refresh and tone down brassy or flat color.

  • John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss, $12.99 (available at Ulta)

When color fades and changes tones, this ammonia and peroxide-free gloss maintains color and shine without damaging the hair. While it’s not a permanent color, it also won’t lift or lighten hair color and can be used weekly. Available in 7 shades to warm up or cool down your color.
  • Joico Color Endure Violet Shampoo, $33.99 (available at Ulta)

For blonde, highlighted and grey hair, violet shampoos are designed to neutralize yellow or brassy tones. This sulfate-free shampoo brightens and cancels out yellow tones. Also try Joico Color Balance Shampoos in assorted colors.