I Used Ketchup on My Green Hair, Here's What Happened

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I put ketchup in my hair. Even now saying that out-loud sounds wildly insane. But I was desperate and I had done my research. About a week ago (right after I wrote this post) I used my blue toner for brunette/caramel colored hair. It is meant to help get rid of orange tones and make them look cooler. Unfortunately, I left the toner in too long and my hair ended up with a green tint. Here is what I did to fix my green hair!

The Background Story 
First of all, I didn't use a green toner. The toner is blue and meant to be used on color treated hair that is originally brunette but a bit lighter after visiting the salon. The second thing to note: I left it on just a tad bit too long. I only left it on while I shaved my legs! Toners act fast and should be washed out no more than 5 minutes after put in!

This was my hair before the ketchup. In natural lighting it wasn't too bad, but it still appeared "muddy". In fluorescent lighting (like at the school where I teach or office buildings) the green tone was much stronger).

I posted to my stories about solutions to the green hair and many of the blondes I know (surprisingly a lot from California) mentioned that they used Ketchup to get the green color from chlorine out of their hair. At first I was appalled by the idea, but after hearing anecdote after anecdote, the thought of becoming a human hot-dog to fix my hair became more appealing.  

Here you can see that there is a greenish undertone to my hair causing it too look more dirty-blonde than the light-blonde color I wanted.
The Idea 
After a TON of  research (I like to make sure I know what I am doing), I found out that using Ketchup and tomato paste is common when trying to get green out of your hair. It only makes sense, as red and green are opposites on the color wheel. This did bring up two new questions for me though: 1. would my hair have a red tint and 2. would I smell like ketchup? Keep reading to find out what I did and how it turned out!

Me with Ketchup in my hair; adorned with a red towel to minimize the mess.
The Process 
I got a jumbo size Ketchup at Smith's for $4 because we don't really eat or use the condiment in our house and I knew with my thick hair I would need a lot of it. After finding the best towel to use as a cape (I didn't even know we owned a red towel?!), and heading to the bathroom sink, I began with a giant glob of the hamburger lover's accessory. I actually started by splitting my hair in to four sections-- two on bottom and two on top. It was necessary to completely soak my hair in the Ketchup, which meant a messy sink and that my hands were covered. I made sure to run my strands between my thumb and pointer finger to really get the red goo globbed on every single hair. After I had done all four sections, I tied my hair up and let it sit. Originally I wanted to try for 40 min, but at the 30 minute mark I started to stress my hair would be red and decided to wash it out.

The Recovery 
Now, you can't just put Ketchup in your hair and wash it out with water. I went through my entire hair washing process -- and then some -- to get it out! The Ketchup goop washed out easily and didn't leave a mess in the tub, however, my two concerns from my questions above were still on my mind. In order to make sure the 'I-just-ate-a-hotdog' smell didn't linger, I triple shampooed my hair. I first used my MoroccanOil Color Continue Shampoo because it is hydrating for my hair. Next, I washed with my Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Color Shampoo because I wanted to feel extra clean (and I love how it make my scalp tingle and smell yummy). The last wash was with my trusted Pravana The Perfect Blonde purple shampoo to make sure that my strands remained blonde instead of red. Of course, no wash is complete without a good conditioner. This is where my all-time favorite conditioner came to the rescue to keep my hair feeling luscious and soft -- Kerastase! After a good shower, my hair didn't smell and it was most definitely not red! In fact, it almost looked more brilliantly blonde. I attributed that to the fact that my hair no longer had a "muddy" or dirty blonde look with the green masking over it.

After my Ketchup DIY remedy.

The Final Thoughts 
First of all, I have learned -- and hope that you learn from me too-- not to leave my toner in too long! Secondly, I would absolutely, 100% recommend the DIY Ketchup toner trick if your hair has turned green from toner or from swimming in the summer! All you have to lose is some Ketchup that is likely sitting in your fridge anyway!


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  1. wow i'd never heard of this before - that's too cool!

  2. It's crazy how household items can have so many uses, who would have thought!

    Birdie Shoots

  3. LOVED this post. :) I tried going blonde last year and not only did my purple shampoo turn my hair totally purple, but then it basically broke off. Safe to say I'm meant to be a brunette. But I am so crushing on your blonde and this post was a blast to read!


  4. That sounds super interesting and such a natural and fun way to fix your hair! ;p

  5. Wow I have never heard of that but that is so awesome! Glad you found an easy, inexpensive, DIY solution!

    cute & little

  6. I didn't know that, what an interesting DIY to get your hair back!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

  7. What a great way to get your hair back the way you wanted it! Never heard of the ketchup hack before!

  8. Wow! It really did take out the green! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I had never heard of using ketchup on color treated hair. I have heard of needing to maintain the color with special shampoo?! I'm a total newbie at hair coloring.

    Xx, Nailil

  10. Woo i did not know it is is such an amazing tip!!

  11. I've heard of this trick before and tried it once! It definitely helped a bit, but not that well since my hair was pretty green from blue dye. Great tip to share!

    With love, Jenn


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