Dark brown hair has a tendency to develop unwanted red tones. This is especially true if you lighten or color-treat it.
This is where green shampoo comes in:
The shampoo is designed to combat that exact issue: red tones.
But, green shampoo can also go wrong. Misusing it, or overusing it, makes your hair dry, brittle, or colored.
Here’s how to use green shampoo to avoid those issues.
Basics of Green Shampoo
Before you use green shampoo, you need to know how it works.
The Science Behind Green Shampoo
Green shampoo works by neutralizing red tones in your hair. If you look at a color wheel, green and red are opposite each other. That means, they cancel each other out.
Green shampoo deposits a controlled amount of green dye to counteract red tones, leaving your hair with its original dark brunette color.
It’s important to choose the right color shampoo for your hair. Green shampoo is designed for brunettes. If you’re blonde, go with purple shampoo. If you have a lighter brown color, choose a blue shampoo.
What Does Green Shampoo Do?
For brunettes, green shampoo can be a game-changer. It not only neutralizes the red tones, but it can also enhance the overall appearance of your dark-brown hair.
Keep in mind that green shampoo products shouldn’t be used on blonde hair, light brown hair or light highlights, as it may turn your hair green.
Read more: What Does Green Shampoo Do?
How to Choose the Right Green Shampoo
The first step to use green shampoo correctly, is to choose the best one for your hair:
- Consider your hair type.
- Think about the undertones you’re trying to eliminate.
- Look for good ingredients.
- Avoid ingredients such as sulfates or silicone.
Your Hair Type and Shade
First, consider your hair color type.
Green shampoo is ideal for dark brown, light brown, black hair, and other brunette shades. Its main goal is to neutralize any brassiness or unwanted red tones in your hair.
If you have brown hair, but your undertones are orange-ish, don’t buy green shampoo. Go with a blue shampoo against orange tones.
Remember, this type of shampoo isn’t meant for blonde or other hair shades.
Ingredients to Look for and Avoid
When selecting a green shampoo, pay attention to the ingredients:
Choose a sulfate-free shampoo as it’s gentler on your hair and won’t strip your hair color. Look for hydrating ingredients such as oils and natural extracts that will help keep your hair soft and moisturized.
Here’s a brief list of ingredients to look for:
- Natural oils (e.g., argan oil, coconut oil)
- Natural extracts (e.g., aloe vera, chamomile)
- Antibacterial agents (e.g., tea tree oil)
On the other hand, avoid shampoos with strong fragrances or harsh chemicals that may cause irritation or damage your hair.
How to Use Green Shampoo
Here’s how to use green shampoo the right way.
Step-by-Step Application Guide
- Wet your hair: Start with wet hair all over your scalp, making sure it’s evenly damp.
- Apply green shampoo: Squeeze a small amount of green color-depositing shampoo into your palm. Apply it to your hair and massage it into your hair to ensure even distribution.
- Let it sit: Leave the green shampoo on your hair for the recommended time on the bottle (usually 1-5 minutes) to let it neutralize and correct the red tones.
- Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the green shampoo out of your hair with cool water until the water runs clear.
- Condition (optional): Finish the process by applying a moisturizing conditioner to your hair and rinse it out after the instructed time.
Maintain Color Between Salon Visits
Green shampoo is used on color treated hair, for the most part. If that’s you, here are some things you should do to keep your hair color fresh:
- Wellness treatments: Apply regular wellness treatments like hair masks and toners to counteract damaging effects from hard water or other environmental factors.
- Use green shampoo sparingly: Green color-depositing shampoo should be used only once or twice a week.
- Alternate with regular shampoo: On days when you are not using green shampoo, use your regular shampoo to cleanse your hair.
- Avoid heat styling: Excessive heat styling can cause your color to fade faster. Limit your use of hairdryers, curling irons, and straighteners.
- Schedule salon visits: Make sure to book regular salon visits for touch-ups and professional treatments. They will help maintain your hair color and overall hair wellness.
How Long Should You Leave Green Shampoo On?
When using green shampoo, it’s important to know the optimal duration for leaving it on your hair. Too long, and you’ll have issues. Too short, and it won’t work.
Here’s how to do it right:
Duration for Optimal Results
Leave the green shampoo in your hair for 1-5 minutes. This duration is ideal for the shampoo to deposit its green pigment. The exact duration depends on your hair.
If you have more stubborn color issues, consider leaving the shampoo on for a few extra minutes. If you’re doing maintenance, stick to the lower end of the scale.
Don’t leave it for too long. This can cause damage or discoloration.
Regular Use and Strand Test
Regular use of green shampoo will help maintain your desired hair color and tone. Always refer to the instructions provided on the product packaging for specific guidance.
In case you’re unsure about how your hair will react, perform a strand test.
Simply apply some shampoo to a small section of hair, leave it in for the recommended time, then rinse. This will give you an idea of what to expect.
How Often Should You Use Green Shampoo?
Green shampoo is simple to use and is easy to incorporate into your regular hair care routine.
For the best results, you should use green shampoo once or twice a week. This frequency helps maintain your hair color while avoiding potential over-toning or unwanted side effects.
By using green shampoo once or twice a week as part of your regular hair care routine, you’ll be able to maintain the vibrant and rich dark brunette shade you love.
Common Green Shampoo Mistakes
Green shampoo is not without potential issues. Here are the most common ones and how to avoid them:
- Leaving it too long
- Not leaving it long enough
- Scalp irritation
Leaving It Too Long Can Make Your Hair Green
Be cautious with how long you leave green shampoo on your hair. If you leave it for too long, your hair may end up with a green hue.
To avoid this, carefully follow the instructions on the shampoo bottle and don’t let it sit longer than recommended.
If you’re unsure, start with a shorter time and adjust based on the results.
Not Leaving It Long Enough
On the other hand, if you don’t leave it long enough, you won’t see results.
As mentioned, it’s a good idea to perform a strand test. Test the green shampoo on a small section in your hair to see how long you should leave it.
Overuse Can Lead to Dry Hair
Green shampoos are great for neutralizing red or brassy tones. But, overuse can lead to dry and dull hair. Using it too often can strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture.
It’s recommended to use green shampoo once or twice a week. Alternate with a moisturizing shampoo on other days.
A few other tips to avoid dry hair include:
- Limit heat styling, as excessive heat can damage your hair.
- Use a hair mask regularly to provide extra nourishment.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to keep your strands moisturized.
Scalp Irritation and Hair Issues From Green Shampoo
While green shampoo is beneficial for many, it may not be suitable for everyone.
Those with scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or dandruff need to be cautious. Green shampoo can potentially irritate sensitive scalps.
If you’re experiencing any irritation or flare-ups after using green shampoo, stop using it. Consult a dermatologist for advice. They can help you determine whether green shampoo is appropriate for your hair. They can also recommend an alternative if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I keep green shampoo in my hair?
To get the best results from green shampoo, you should leave it in your hair for about 1-5 minutes. This gives the shampoo enough time to neutralize any unwanted red tones in your brunette hair. Be sure to rinse it out thoroughly afterward.
What are the benefits of using green shampoo?
Green shampoo is specifically designed for brunettes to help neutralize red tones that can appear in color-treated hair. By using it once or twice a week, you can maintain a balanced and natural-looking hair color, while also keeping your hair soft and healthy.
Does green shampoo effectively remove red tones?
Yes, green shampoo can effectively remove red tones from your dark brown hair. Following the color wheel, green is opposite to red, and applying green shampoo helps neutralize the red tones in your hair, giving it a more natural and even appearance. Just make sure to use the shampoo as directed to see the desired results.