What is the Best Way To Get Red Out of Your Hair?

"They say that red doesn't stick to the hair very well, but I'm having the opposite problem!"
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Tony Chaar
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"They say that red doesn't stick to the hair very well, but I'm having the opposite problem!"
Rachel McAdams, About Time premiere, London, 2013

Rachel McAdams with bright red hair.

Got a hair question for celebrity hairstylist Tony Chaar? Send it to info@beautyeditor.ca with "Tony Chaar Hair Question" in the subject line.

Q: My original hair colour is light brown with blonde and red through it. I've been a redhead (of varying shades) for many years, but I'm tired of it and have been trying to get back to brown. However, I'm finding it difficult. They say that red doesn't stick to the hair very well, but I'm having the opposite problem! I can't get the brown to stay. I'm using a cool brown in an effort to counteract the red, but to no avail. What should I do to get rid of this red once and for all? — Maggie

A: Maggie, I'm not sure what your hair colour looks like right now, but it sounds like a faded red-brown. 

When you have any red dye in your hair, if you keep putting brown on top of it, the red will always come back.

In order for you to get rid of the red, you have two choices:

  1. You can strip out the colour.
  2. You can do highlights.

I recommend you take the highlight route. 

You can do this either in the salon or at home (L'Oréal Paris has a highlighting kit, for example). Don't go too light—choose a medium blonde with a lot of gold in it for the highlights.

After you highlight your hair, then you should put in a brown. 

I’m not with you to see the shade of red in order to know how ashy you should go, so I would recommend a natural (neutral) brown. Then it will catch beautifully.

If this process doesn’t work, please write me again.

Tony Chaar is one of Canada's top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Tony Chaar Salon at 11 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto. Call 416-920-9965 to book an appointment.