Why Is My Hair Green?

Have you had your hair coloured a bright colour before and then its faded to a lovely shade of green?

Here’s why!

Firstly, a ‘Direct Dye’ will have been used. This is a hair colour that doesn’t require any developer and goes on to the hair the same colour as it comes out of the tube.

Most bright colours are ‘direct dyes’ as its harder to get such a bright tone with a colour that uses developer. They are often a softer or more natural looking colour.

You can see the difference in the results below. The purple on the right is much richer and more vibrant than the one on the left.


There are reasons that stylists would use a Direct Dye over one that is mixed with a developer, apart from the brightness that can be achieved.

In the case of most colours such as purples, blues and pinks, a direct dye can cover over a darker blonde or even hair that still has some red in it, if it can’t be lightened enough in that appointment. It allows you to still get the tone you want. While the colour that is mixed with developer doesn’t usually cover over a darker blonde and doesn’t hide any orange or red that is left in the hair. It will come through in patches and produce an uneven result. The hair has to be lightened very light in order for the developing colour to work.

In order to get the hair very light, the slower it is lightened, the better condition your hair will stay in. If your hair is lightened too fast in one appointment, it will be left dry and damaged and wont hold on to ANY colour, not just bright colours.

Any direct dye in a cooler shade (this is anything that contains blue, such as purple, green, blue and even some reds) almost always fade to mint or green. This is something to do with the ingredients used in the blue, which have been changed in recent years due to EU regulations, meaning that the green is left behind once the rest of the colour is washed out.

Here is another example, on the left you can see the more vivid ‘direct dye’, on the left is one that is mixed with developer and develops into the purples and pinks.

If your hair is light enough for the developing colour to be used instead of a direct dye, this is ideal if you aren’t necessarily after a very vivid colour, because these colours will fade out a nicer shade than the direct dyes. Because blue and purples are used in toners that are used to tone freshly bleached blondes to a cooler type of blonde, they will usually wash out cleanly, leaving your blonde an ashier or creamier shade. So you can either top the shade back up once its gone or leave it the blonde….this isn’t possible with direct dyes. You will NEED to get it topped up once it starts to fade as that green isn’t going away.

Never fear! It IS possible to go back to blonde once your bright colours has washed out. It will take a little more bleach sometimes OR if you are light enough, we have our special scientist ways! In hairdressing, the way to get out green is by adding red! You may have heard of putting ketchup on your hair when you’ve spent too many days in the pool and its left your hair green? Well its the same idea. We usually do have to make it a bit darker, but basically we put a colour containing red or pink over your green or mint hair and that gets rid of the green, leaving you a more natural colour. It does take a little patience as it usually takes a colour of appointments of doing this before the green stays away but that’s just one of the downsides of trying out the amazingness that is bright vivid hair.

So now you know the difference in bright colours, if you really don’t want that green coming through or you are on a budget or under time restraints where you can’t come into the salon every 4 weeks to get that bright purple topped up, then just let us know and we can talk you through the process of using a lower maintenance bright colour.

As always, we’re happy to help!


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