How To Fix A Hair Dye Job Gone Wrong

by BRENDA L. / OCT 27, 2023

Reading Time: 5 Minutes


    Oh no. You botched a hair dye job. Don’t worry, we've all been there – you decided to switch up your hair game, and what better way to do it if not by changing color? So you went to your local supermarket, armed yourself with box dye thinking: “how difficult can this be?”, and then… Things didn't go as planned. Depending on the severity of the damage, there are a few things that you can do to fix your mistake. Let’s see them together! 

    First Things First: Assess The Situation

    Take a close look at your hair to understand the issue a bit better. Is the color patchy? If so, in which areas? Did you stain your ears, forehead or neck? Or is the color too vibrant and you simply don’t like it?

    Analysing the situation can help you figure out what to do next.

    Case 1: How To Lighten A Hair Color Too Dark

    In case you’ve chosen a shade that looks darker on your tresses than it looked on the model on the box, don’t worry – there are a few homemade remedies that you can resort to rather than booking a salon appointment. Clarifying shampoo, for example, is ideal to strip hair color away from your tresses, helping with a dye job gone too intense.

    Another idea that you could try, is a apple cider vinegar + water wash!

    Highlighted or balayage hair extensions can also be used to add a touch of light, depth and dimension to your tresses. Creating a striking contrast with your new darker shade, you can achieve a scrumptious highlighted look that will keep you looking trendy until your next hair transformation!

    Case 2: How To Remove Hair Dye Stains From Skin

    I have talked about this more in detail in our blog: How To Get Rid Of Hair Dye On Skin?, but if you don’t have the time for a long read, here’s what you can try: baby wipes, skin cleanser, and even… dish soap – as long as you don’t have sensitive skin. Hair dye will naturally fade away from your skin in a few days (you can ease the process by rubbing baby oil or a cleansing oil at night or after the shower), but the above solutions can speed up the process. Just be gentle to your skin!

    Case 3: How To Intensify A Hair Color Too Light

    Okay, here’s what could’ve happened: either you didn’t leave the hair dye on for the right amount of time, or you picked a shade that is too light or muted for you. To achieve the expected vibrancy as seen on the box, make sure you follow the instructions given correctly. It may be worth it waiting a week or so and then going over with a second round of hair color. Alternatively, if you’d prefer your shade to be slightly darker, try a different color.

    Case 4: How To Cover a Patchy Hair Color

    There are many ways you can temporarily cover a patchy hair coloring job before you go in with a second round of hair dye. Let’s see them together:

    Use A Hat

    Hats, beanies, and berets are the ideal hair accessories for a number of reasons. In summer, they protect our hair and scalp from direct sunlight and heat; in winter, they keep our heads warm and shelter our tresses from the wind. In some cases, they can be used to hide a botched hair dye job too!

    Use A Bandana

    Bandanas and headscarves serve the same purpose as hats and beanies, although they may feel more secure on your head as they are usually tied pretty tightly and can’t fly off with the wind as easily as a fancy hat. Want to find more inspiration? Check our our blog: 12 Cute Bandana Hairstyles You Should Try.

    Use Hair Extensions

    Clip-in extensions can be placed strategically to hide patchy areas, especially if the mistake has happened in the “lower” layers of your tresses (closer to your ears/nape of the neck, to be clearer). Providing you with instant coverage and a fresh, well-blended look, human hair extensions can boost your confidence with added volume, thickness, and length too. The ideal solution to cover up for a little mistake whilst you wait for your hair stylist to fit you in for a fixing appointment!

    Ultimately: Seek Professional Help

    If you're unsure about the process or the extent of the color issue, avoid any DIY solutions and contact your professional hairstylist. They can not only assess the situation for you, but also provide you with expert advice and possible solutions to rectify the problem.


    Don’t worry, a hair dye job gone wrong doesn't have to be a disaster – and whilst it can be disheartening at first, there are a few solutions that you can try. With the right choice of hair extensions, you can conceal patchy colour, uneven tones, or any other color mishap; if the boo-boo happened on your skin instead, DIY ingredients in your cupboard may provide a solution and restore your confidence with a fresh, flawless look.

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