ketchup, hair dye, ketchup hack, hair toner

The Ketchup Hack: Genius Solution or Old Wives’ Tale?

If you have had the opportunity to plug into any alternative style or hair dye related groups such as those on Facebook, then you have likely heard all of the hacks and tips that people rely upon while dying their hair – from vinegar rinses to creating your own color depositing conditioner, these amazing people have a solution for pretty much everything!

Recently I have been working on the transition from my teal hair to a new look. Unfortunately, as those who share my love for blue hair can attest, getting blue out of your hair is incredibly difficult. That stuff holds on like nobody’s business – Great if you are wanting to retain your colour longer, not so much when it’s time for a change.

After doing a KFT treatment (see my previous post about removing colour) I still had a significant teal tint to my hair that didn’t seem to want to go anywhere, so I started to read through posts for suggestions of what to do about it. After all, the worst thing I could do would be to try to bleach it out at this point, so there had to be an option, right?

That’s when I came across the ketchup hack, a trick that was commonly used in the past for blondes that needed to get rid of the greenish tint their hair would get after swimming in a chlorinated pool. Willing to try anything once, and always on the search for new things that I can share on here with all of you, I decided that I would see if it’s really a great alternative to chemical treatments, or if this is nothing more than an old wives’ tale.

The idea is super simple and is based on the concept of the colour wheel. When you are looking to tone a colour out your can neutralize it by using the colour directly opposite, so if you are looking to tone out blue/green then you would use a red. This can be done by adding a couple drops of red dye into a silicone free conditioner, OR, using ketchup.

Take ketchup and, like you would a dye or a conditioner, slather it all over your hair. Warning, if you aren’t a fan of ketchup prepare yourself – because it will be ALL you can smell while you’re doing this. Make sure that it covers everything thoroughly. Wait 20-30 minutes before washing it out. You are going to want to seriously scrub with shampoo, after all, you don’t want to leave any ketchup camping out in your hair. After the first time, I could see a significant difference, so I went for round 2. The great part of this is that it’s not damaging your hair in any way, so it’s fair game. Keep in mind, this isn’t bleach so it’s not some miracle treatment that’s going to lighten your hair or change the base, but 2 rounds and the blue was almost entirely gone!

SO – If you’re looking for a simple solution to remove blue dye from your hair without damaging it, here’s a great option to keep in your tool belt!

22 thoughts on “The Ketchup Hack: Genius Solution or Old Wives’ Tale?”

    1. Hahaha I wasn’t sure but figured I’d try it for the blog and I discovered it worked amazingly well!

    1. It’s such a simple fix and it worked SO well – I mean, it’s not going to completely take it away as quickly as one would assume a bleach would (assuming the bleach didn’t cause the dye to stain your hair) but it still worked really well and it’s WAY better for your hair

    1. It’s not the what’s in ketchup as much as it is the science of the colour wheel – it’s the same way that toners work, using the contrasting color from the opposite side of the wheel to cancel one another out.

    1. I was surprised – I mean, it made sense on a scientific level as far as colours go, but I didn’t expect it to actually work lol

  1. this honestly sounds super gross as I know how ketchup can smell when it gets warmer but if it works it works, i guess its something similar to using purple tinted shampoo for blond hair

    1. My theory was if it works it may be a little gross, but it’s better than bleaching and killing my hair 😉 lol

  2. I was not expecting a ketchup trick to be hair dye!? What…that’s insane! Bad actualuy a really cool trick and saves you putting more chemicals on your hair that you need to. I love your hair though, if I could pull of those colours, I would!

    Sophie x |

    1. That’s what I figure, if I can use something that isn’t going to cause damage to my hair instead of chemical treatments, I’m SO in! Thanks!

  3. I’m SURE I remember the thing about blonde hair going green in a pool. I’m not blonde but I used to bleach my hair so I’m sure that’s when I heard it at some point and I’m SURE I’ve heard about the ketchup thing too! I love ketchup so the smell wouldn’t be an issue for me haha!

  4. Oh my goodness who would have ever thought this would work!!! I’m amazed… part of me wants to die my hair blue to see if it would work on me hahaha

    My natural hair has a weird greenish tint to it… do you think it would work for me? haha

    1. It very well may even out the greenish tint, it’s amazing how effective it was for me! I say you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a try!

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