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Neutralising Green Hair With Ketchup

Approximately two months ago, I dyed my hair turquoise. Or actually, I was supposed to dye my hair turquoise. It turned out green instead. As much as I did love the end result, I really like my natural colour too so I was glad the dye was temporary and going to fade within 15 washes. Or so the packaging said. As you can probably guess, it didn’t completely fade, and now we’re here. I personally don’t mind the slight green cast that’s still over my hair. My brown is a bit cooler and there are a couple of green streaks in the brittle, lighter parts of my ends, it looks quite nice really. However, I can imagine someone could be really unhappy with getting a green cast over their hair for whatever reason, so I decided to jump on this opportunity and try a couple of DIY methods that are supposed to get rid of the green, to let you know what works. First up: neutralising green hair with ketchup!

This is the current state of my hair. You can barely tell there’s any green in there, unless you look at my ends really up close or compare my hair colour to the warmer shade of my clip-in hair extensions, which used to be an exact match. I don’t mind this colour at all, it’s only a little bit different from my natural colour and I think it suits me nicely. But still, let’s try to tone down that green even more.

Ketchup it is, then! I’m not new to using condiments in my hair, but it’s my first time using this particular one. According to the colour wheel theory, red is supposed to neutralise green and vice versa. You know how you apply green concealer to cover red blemishes? This is basically the same thing. There’s also something going on with the acidity of ketchup which is supposed to help get rid of a green tinge, but I don’t understand the science behind that.

I applied a generous amount of plain tomato ketchup all over my clean, dry hair, then put it up in a cap, and waited for 40 minutes before washing it out with shampoo. Some people have complained about the smell when using this method, but it didn’t bother me at all. Just gave me a craving for French fries.

Let’s take a look at the result!

Ok, am I going mad, or did this actually do something? The difference is very minimal but I feel like my hair has definitely gone a warmer shade of brown. The biggest difference is in the darkest parts of my hair at the top. Hang on for some side-by-sides below!

Here you can see that very distinctly green strand in my ends. The day before on the left, and after ketchup on the right. It’s still green after, but it has most definitely faded!

Alright, before and after:

before – after

before – after

The difference is slight, but if you look at the top half of my hair on the picture from behind, and the middle/bottom part on the picture from the front, you can see the colour has gone a bit warmer, more red. It’s not a dramatic difference and it definitely didn’t rid me of the green completely, but to be honest, I’m surprised it did anything at all. We’re talking about ketchup vs. hair dye here, after all.

Even though the green faded a tad more through the ketchup, I’m not back to my natural hair colour yet. This method has been very succesful on people with blonde hair that has gone green from the sun or pool water, but it does less for brown hair that’s been dyed. That means I’m going to have to move on to the next trick. Stay tuned!

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