What Is Hair Color Correction | Important Facts About Fixing Coloring Mistakes - Hair Everyday Review (2023)

Leah Marie

Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!

Learn all about what is hair color correction process and how a color correction chart can help you remove brassy tones when you bleach hair from dark to light.

Have you sometimes bleached, toned or dyed your hair and was totally unhappy about the results because it didn’t turn out the color it should have?

Well, that’s exactly what color correction is for! No matter how bad your hair color turns out, it can be fixed!

Related: How To Fix Orange Hair

Related: How To Remove Brassy Tones From Blonde Hair

Color correction can be done on all hair types and to fix any sort of coloring errors.

From lightening of darkened hair, to darkening of lightened hair, to hair bleached or dyed incorrectly or even simply to help get rid of brassy tones from the hair, it will have you covered!

If you are someone with any sort of hair color problems, then check out this article for every detail you need to know about hair color correction.

What Is Hair Color Correction

I have often bleached and box dyed my hair at home and even at a salon.

And much to my dismay, I’ve also experienced the color turning out completely wrong and totally different than what I expected.

So I’m glad for hair color correction as it can be your saving grace.

Hair color correction is a process where a corrective color hair stylist or a professional at a salon, will help rectify your discolored hair.

Before & after hair color correction. #maggiehairstyles #antiochca #bookwithme pic.twitter.com/XLi2YK4Pq9

— Maggie's Hair Salon (@maggie_hair) September 24, 2018

This is done by using toners, bleach, hair color remover, colored shampoos etc. in order to get your hair back to the color you originally desired.

Through hair color correction, all sorts of corrections are possible.

You can choose to darken lightened hair, lighten darkened hair, rectify bleached hair gone wrong, and remove brassiness and unwanted tones from your hair or even out highlights and streaks as well.

Who is a Corrective Color Hair Stylist?

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A Corrective Color Hair Stylist is a professional who specifically deals with hair color correction and is specialized in this field.

These specialists know exactly how to fix color issues by correcting them and filling in the right level of color pigments in the hair.

Doing so helps balance out and even out the color tone in the hair, to either match the existing shade or give the hair an all new refreshed color.

See also How Often Should You Wash Straight Fine Hair | Is 3 Times A Week Enough?

They make sure to do strand testing before starting the filling in and coloring process to make sure to get the right shade you are looking for.

In case your hair is too damaged and isn’t healthy enough to be corrected at that point in time, then they will suggest reparative methods to restore hair health and then do the procedure after some weeks.

The Color Wheel And Hair Color Correction Chart

Let’s talk about the science of color for a bit, shall we? This is important because color correction is done based on the color wheel. So what exactly is this “color wheel” then?

The color wheel is a wheel that displays a spectrum of the standard colors, placed in a certain way.

It consists of 12 main colors and out of these 12 colors, six are warm colors and the other six are cool colors.

So when the hair requires color correction, that means there should be a balance of both warm and cool colors in the hair, to even it out and get the right shade.

What Is Hair Color Correction | Important Facts About Fixing Coloring Mistakes - Hair Everyday Review (3)

Let’s take for example; if your hair has become brassy with yellow tones, then the corrective color required will be purple. Well, why is this, you may ask?

In order for colors to be corrected, you would require to use the color opposite to the color you want to correct, for it to even out.

So according to the color wheel, the color yellow is opposite to the color purple and therefore, to remove the yellow hues from the hair, we’d have to use a purple shampoo or toner.

Also, it is important to know that our hair has underlying pigments and sometimes when we color or bleach our hair these underlying pigments will start to show. This is when the color wheel will come into play.

The table below will give you a better understanding on this subject.

Hair ColorUnderlying PigmentCorrective Color Required
Shades of blondeYellow, pale yellowPurple
Shades of brownOrange, orangish yellowBlue, purple
Dark brown or blackRed, orangish redGreen, blue

When Do You Need A Hair Color Correction Process

1. When you hair has brassy tones

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When it comes to hair brassiness, your hair can either have yellow or orangish shades of brassiness and there are ways out of it.

Yellow shades of brassiness: In case your hair has yellow shades of brassiness, then you will have to use a purple shampoo or purple toner in order to get rid of those unwanted tones in your hair and even out the hair color.

See also What Determines Hair Shape And Texture 2023?

The reason why the color purple is used is because it is opposite to yellow as per the color wheel and it’s only purple that can cancel out the yellow to even out the hair color.

What Is Hair Color Correction | Important Facts About Fixing Coloring Mistakes - Hair Everyday Review (5)

Orange shades of brassiness: In case your hair has orangish shades of brassiness, then you’d require to use a blue shampoo or toner to cancel out the orange tones in the hair.

This will even out your hair color, because blue will help cancel out the orange and this is also evident if you observe the color wheel.

2. When you darken light hair

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Darkening of lightened hair is easier than the other way round, lightening of darkened hair. You will have to get your stylist to dye your hair to the darker shade you desire.

But know that this is a gamble when it comes to the final shade outcome, or you can bleach it first and then dye it so you can be sure of your final shade outcome.

3. When your hair has been dyed incorrectly or unevenly

Sometimes you realize that your dyeing process wasn’t successful because you ended up with patches of color on your hair.

Well, the best way to correct this is by dyeing your hair using the same color, only on the patchy and unevenly colored areas.

If you still feel your hair color looks patchy after this step, then you can buy a shade darker and re-dye all your hair completely.

What Is Hair Color Correction | Important Facts About Fixing Coloring Mistakes - Hair Everyday Review (7)

4. When you lighten dark hair

Are in the process of lightening your dark hair? Or did you not get hair lightened to the shade you wanted?

Then all you can do is bleach your hair again or use a shampoo that will clarify and lighten your hair, before you can dye it to the desired color.

5. When your dyed hair has faded

The best way to regain the color of your hair is by using a toner.

Toners aren’t dyes, do not be mistaken, as dyes are permanent hair colors that alter your hair.

While a toner does add pigment to your hair just like a dye, it does not color the hair. Instead they just add more vibrancy to the hair and make it look fresh.

It just adds a little extra tone to the hair that has faded.

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6. When you want to fix your highlights

There are times when you expect your highlights to look perfect, but can end up looking anything but perfect!

See also Is Using Baking Soda And Vinegar For Gray Hair Good

Well, you can either dye your hair to match your base hair color or bleach your hair and re-do your highlights all together.

FAQs About Hair Color Correction

1. Can I correct my hair color at home?

Hair color correction can either be done at a salon, by a professional or can also be done at home if you wish to.
But in case you choose to do it at home, make sure you know exactly what you are doing and follow the right method and instructions provided, in order to get the desired results.
If you are vary at any point, it is important to seek help from a professional, failing which you can worsen your hair color and ruin further instead of correcting it.
It is important to note that doing hair color correction at home may not give you the perfect results as it would if done at a salon, especially if your hair requires extensive color correction.

2. How long does a hair color correction session take at a salon?

Well, this can vary from person to person depending on how extensive your hair color correction is and to what extent it requires to be corrected.
So, for some people with lesser correction, it may take just one session of a few hours or a day.
For some others with a greater extent of hair color correction, it can go on for even 2 to 4 sessions over a month.
It is important to note that professionals take into consideration various aspects like the texture and health of your hair, the extent to which your hair has been damaged by the color and what is the final color you want your hair to be.

3. Why does a hair color correction session cost so much at a salon?

Since hair color correction is usually done by a professional and the process can take quite a few hours or even go on to multiple sessions you will end up paying for the stylist’s effort and the time spent on you.
Reputed salons also use expensive products that are of good quality brands and this factor too will increase the cost of your color correction session.

4. Is color correction the same as toning of hair?

Color correction can be done in different ways which also includes toning.
Color correction is a method of rectifying the hair color, while a hair toner can be one of the products used for this rectification process. So, no, they aren’t the same thing.

Summary on Hair Color Correction Process

Color correction is a great way to rectify hair color problems, but it is important that you prepare your hair well before the session.

Make sure to keep it washed and free from oil and dirt.

Also make sure that your hair is healthy enough and not damaged before going through with the hair color correction process.

Also Read:

How To Tone Brown Hair To Ash

To Summarize


What does a color correction do to your hair? ›

Color correction involves either toning out unwanted brassiness, dying your hair darker, or lightening your hair even more to achieve the desired effect.

How long do color corrections take? ›

Color correction services may take 4-8 hours, and/or a few sessions to achieve your desired hair color.

How do you know if you need color correction? ›

If you're dealing with ashy-turned-brassy strands, uneven color regrowth, or want to make a drastic change from dark to light hair, you will probably need to book a color correction appointment. Color correction may also be necessary after a DIY color job gone wrong—particularly if you used a box dye formula.

Why is hair color correction so expensive? ›

It's a gradual process that will likely run across several different appointments and is expensive, due to the time, amount of colour used and treatments which are crucial to looking after the hair. To avoid a dull, unnatural looking brunette, it always pays to leave it to the professional.

Does color corrector damage hair? ›

Colour Remover enters your Hair shaft and removes all the artificial Colour pigment (Permanent Hair Colour) from your Hair. It will leave your Natural Colour pigment intact and does not cause damage to the Hair.

Does Colour correcting actually work? ›

“Color correctors are the slightly more pigmented and matte cousin of concealers,” says Jenny Patinkin, celebrity makeup artist. “Instead of camouflaging and blending the way that concealer does, color correctors cancel out discoloration by neutralizing it and making dark circles and blemish marks less obvious.”

What is the average cost of a color correction? ›

$50 - $300 per hour

Mostly they are specialists with little experience in the field of color correction. Their main goal is to get as much experience as possible.

How much is corrective color per hour? ›

Most salons will charge about $100 an hour for a color correction, depending on the severity of the situation, and a consultation is VITAL to getting the look you want.

What does a color correction include? ›

CK: The term color correction refers to using any and all hair coloring services required to correct previously colored hair or to restore hair's integrity.

What to do after color correction? ›

After color correcting, you'll want to even out your skin tone with foundation. If you prefer light to medium coverage, try the L'Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup. If you prefer a more full coverage look, reach for the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder, matte finish .

How often should I use Colour corrector? ›

The V34 is best used as a post whitening treatment, however it can be used on its own daily or before an event, to eliminate unwanted yellow undertones on your teeth. For best results, use V34 after brushing your teeth in the morning.

How many times can you color correct your hair? ›

Generally speaking though, it's best to wait 4-6 weeks before having another color treatment – in most cases, this is enough anyway and reduces the risk of hair damage. There are some exceptions, but in general, it's better to err on the side of caution and wait for this long.

Is salon hair color really better? ›

Are salon hair dyes better? Simply put, when it comes to salon color vs. box dye, it's always best to get your hair colored at the salon by a professional. Salon formulas better for your hair, and having a pro colorist apply it also ensures the best results.

Should you wash your hair before a color correction? ›

Salon quality Shampoo and haircare is a MUST. “Dirty hair grabs hair color better.” Okay let's kill this myth. It's best to wash your hair 1-2 days before your appointment! Light, natural oils will help prevent your scalp from feeling itchy or too tingly when color touches it whether it's toner or a root touch up.

What are the benefits of color corrector? ›

A color correcting concealer helps neutralize imperfections on the skin. This includes redness, acne scars, sallowness or dullness, sunspots, and dark circles under the eyes. It helps address deep pigmentation that a skin-toned concealer can't cover.

Which hair color technique is less damaging? ›

Damage: As mentioned earlier, balayage tends to be less damaging to the hair than traditional highlights, as it uses less hair dye and does not involve applying the color directly to the scalp. If you have damaged or fragile hair, balayage may be a gentler option.

What color corrector covers hair? ›

“With that in mind, you will want to color correct with a peach or orange color corrector.” Tap an orange concealer like the Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Camo Color Correcting Pen in Apricot over the stubble and blend it out. Lightly set this with a powder, then apply your full-coverage foundation overtop.

Should color corrector be lighter or darker? ›

"Always go a shade lighter than your foundation." The lighter tone will cancel out dark discoloration, but be careful not to go too fair. Concealers that are more than one shade lighter than your skin tone can leave you with a ghostly shadow.

Which is the best colour corrector? ›

Shop the Best Color Correctors
  • Live Tinted Huestick Corrector. ...
  • bobbi brown Under Eye Corrector. ...
  • Chanel Le Correcteur De Longwear Concealer. ...
  • MAC COSMETICS Conceal & Correct Palette. ...
  • e.l.f Cosmetics Color Correcting Stick. ...
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Color Corrector. ...
  • Make Up For Ever Photo Finish Even Skintone Peach Primer.
Apr 4, 2023

How much do you tip for color correction? ›

Remember the golden rule: "You should tip 20 percent on the entire service cost, not per individual," says Schweitzer. So if your haircut and blow-dry cost $40 total, and your color was $60, your total service cost comes to $100. That means you should tip $20 divided between the colorist and stylist.

What is Colour correction at a salon? ›

Colour correction is the act of repairing or fixing any unwanted results of chemical hair processing. Colour correction could involve toning out brassiness, making your hair darker or lightening it further to achieve the initially desired results.

What is the first step in color correction? ›

Here are the five basic steps to color correcting footage regardless of what type of editing situation that you might find yourself in.
  1. Normalize your footage as much as possible.
  2. Fix your saturation first.
  3. Then fix your brightness and contrast.
  4. Set your new white balance.
  5. Double check your skin tones.
Jun 6, 2022

Can a salon fix a bad dye job? ›

If you had a bad coloring job your best bet is to visit a reputable beauty salon and have a trained professional perform corrective coloring that will rid you of the unnatural color and give your hair a second chance.

What color corrects GREY? ›

For light skin, a yellow, peach or purple-based concealer will cancel out the gray tones created when concealer is layered over the shadowy areas. On deeper skin, use bright orange or red first, followed by a neutral or yellow-toned concealer.

What comes after color corrector? ›

Apply the corrector first to cancel out any color and then top the corrector with concealer and/or foundation. Finally, top it off with a setting powder to set it. Always apply thin layers as we don't want your makeup to look too cakey, we simply want to make your complexion look flawless.

What color cancels out dark spots? ›

Peachy and orange-hued shades are generally best for counteracting the look of darkness and brightening dark spots.

Do you put color corrector over or under foundation? ›

A: As a general rule, color correctors should be applied before foundation. TEMPTU Perfect Canvas Color Correctors, however, can be used alone, under or over foundation to simplify the need for heavy concealers, blending and buffing.

How often should you color your hair to cover gray? ›

How often should I touch up grays? If you're dealing with a lot of gray hair, you should touch up every four to six weeks. If that sounds expensive—and time-consuming—that's where at-home coloring is key. With it, you can keep the hair color you know and love—without spending a ton.

Why do salons wash your hair after coloring? ›

Salons wash hair after coloring because they need to prepare your hair for the next treatment, which is important if you are planning a straightening or curling treatment directly after your hair has been dyed.

How often can you color your hair without damaging it? ›

The general rule of thumb is once every 4-8 weeks, give or take. This frequency varies from person to person, depending on factors like the type of hair dye used, the specific color used, your hair regrowth rate, and any additional treatments you may tack on (like chemical straightening or perms).

What is the most professional hair color? ›

When it comes to salon treatments, the best professional hair color line is Wella Illumina Permanent Creme Hair Color. Available in 36 shades, the colorist-recommended formula is gentle, versatile, and leaves hair oh-so-shiny.

What hair color is best for covering gray? ›

Neutral shades like soft blonde, mushroom brown, light copper, and caramel blonde balayage are the easiest to blend gray into (and maintain over time without wanting to shave your hair off).

Why are salons against box dye? ›

This means that with each use of a box dye, the color continues to deposit onto the hair strand, which can cause brittleness, damage and breakage. As a result, hairdressers dislike these types of dyes as it causes difficulty when trying to achieve desired results.

How long after color correction can I dye my hair? ›

As a general rule, wait at least four weeks, and preferably six weeks, before starting another treatment. Semi-permanent hair color can be used more frequently than permanent tints if desired. It is designed to fade, which means more frequent treatment is needed.

Should you get a haircut or color first? ›

Applying hair color before a haircut makes it so much easier to section while coloring, prevents color overlapping from one section to another, and gives you a great final cut and color.

Is it better to dye hair before or after shampooing? ›

As a result, colorists recommend washing the hair to remove the grime before coloring, because the excess buildup might result in an uneven dye job. The best way is to wait for at least 24 hours after washing before dyeing your hair.

What is corrective color for hair at a salon? ›

Corrective hair color is a color process that must be performed by a professional hair colorist to correct any and all damage caused by a color service gone wrong.

What is the difference between color correction and color grading? ›

Color correcting is the process of correcting (or fixing) colors in a video or a film as a way to get them back to what they should look like for your project. Color grading is the process of grading (or editing) colors in a video or film as a way to give them a stylistic look.

What is color retouch at a salon? ›

A color retouch is when a stylist applies a single color to your root area where the natural hair growth starts. This is the only place hair color is applied during a color retouch. Weather be covering gray, darkening or softening your root color.

How often can I color my hair without damaging it? ›

The general rule of thumb is once every 4-8 weeks, give or take. This frequency varies from person to person, depending on factors like the type of hair dye used, the specific color used, your hair regrowth rate, and any additional treatments you may tack on (like chemical straightening or perms).


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