What Is Hair Color Correction?

A picture of a colored hair woman

Published Dec 21, 2020

If you’re obsessed with those fantastic looking hair with the most gorgeous colors on Pinterest, you’re not alone. Many of us have a certain hair color we always dream of having. But a botched dye job can quickly turn that dream into one of our worst nightmares.

Unfortunately, a botched dye job is all too common nowadays, especially for DIY hair colors. This is why hair dyeing, particularly complex ones, should be left to professionals. After all, they’re called professionals for a reason.

If you’ve been a victim of a botched dye job, your hairstylist has probably recommended a hair color correction.

What is Hair Color Correction?

In a nutshell, hair color correction is a hair styling procedure used to fix damage caused by careless hair dyeing.

Botched hair dyeing jobs usually leave you with uneven colors or brassy tones that make your hair look more orange than blonde. Sometimes, the color you end up with is just a tad too light or too dark than what you originally want. A poorly done bleaching job can also cause visible dark patches. Hair color correction helps you get rid of these so you can finally get the hair color you want. Or at least make your hair look more presentable.


Color corrections are common in any type of art that deals with mixing and matching colors. From painting to makeups and hair dyeing, each has its own way of correcting coloring errors. But unlike makeups, hair colors tend to be more permanent. So the color correction process for hair is a lot more complicated.

A picture of a woman showing her hair colored

How Color Correction for Hair Works

Correcting a hair color isn’t exactly a straightforward process. There’s no silver bullet to correct all types of hair dyeing mistakes. There are several factors you need to consider such as:

  • the color you’re aiming for
  • your current hair color
  • the condition of your hair

If you get professional help, the first thing the hairstylist will do is assess the damage. Is your hair color too light? too dark? patchy? Or perhaps it’s too brassy?

Depending on the damage, the process usually involves applying purple shampoos and toners. Purple or blue neutralizes yellow colors and brassy undertones. If you’re dealing with patchy colors thanks to a botched bleach job, another round of bleaching with a special focus on the darker areas may correct it.

For simple issues like brassy undertones, you can easily remedy it at home. But if you’re not that confident with your hair dyeing or bleaching skills, better not risk it and consult a professional.

How Long Does It Take?

Hair color correction usually takes hours depending on what process needs to be done with your hair. Sometimes it can take up to 6 hours especially if you’re going for a specific color. While some correction processes like lightening a darker shade can take several sessions.

What to Avoid When Doing a DIY Hair Color Correction

As we mentioned countless times in this post, hair color corrections are much better left to professionals. But if you insist to do it at home, here are some common pitfalls you should avoid:

  • Do your research. Before you buy a purple shampoo or add another color to your hair, do your research first. Different hair types react differently to dyes. So that color you see on the label may not necessarily what you’ll get.
  • Avoid the sink. It does not have enough pressure to remove all the excess dye from your hair. So you may end up with even more uneven patches.

Space out your bleaching sessions. This is usually a rookie mistake. If you’re bleaching your hair, don’t do it all at once. Otherwise, you’ll end up bald or with burnt hair.

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Photo of Judy, an author for Salon Suites of Palm Beach website.

About The Author

Judy Ponio is a firm believer in the benefits of sharing knowledge for the betterment of us all. She loves to read and write about beauty and fashion trends.