Oops! Looks like someone skipped over the recommended strand test. So you've botched your at-home hair color, or worse, a so-called pro gave you a dye job that is so not to die for. Don't break out the baseball caps or — yikes — the electric razor just yet; there are a few quick fixes that will get you back to a reasonable base color so a professional colorist can give you the look you were really going for.
Of course, taking your color disaster to a trained color artist (emphasis on "artist") is the best thing to do, but if a hefty stylist's bill isn't in your budget, never fear. Permanent hair color takes between 48 and 72 hours to fully settle into your hair's cuticles, so acting fast is key. Open cuticles up by rinsing with hot water, and pick volumizing products that are designed to blow cuticles open. Mop-Modern Organic Products makes a gentle Lemongrass Shampoo ($14) and Glisten Volumizing Spray ($17.50) that will make it more difficult for dye molecules to find a home in your hair.
At-home dye jobs gone wrong are pretty run of the mill, so it only makes sense that over-the-counter remedies would start cropping up. The latest and greatest is Color Oops Hair Color Removal System ($13 for the extra strength formula, $9 for the gentler extra conditioning version). The ammonia and bleach-free system is applied just like dye, only it shrinks color molecules, making them easier to wash away. If the dye you used was darker than your natural pigment, Color Oops will likely restore your hair to its good old self. If you went for platinum blonde, you're not totally out of luck: Color Oops will remove the chemical pigments, making your hair ripe for a dye job returning it to its natural state. If you can't make it to the salon and aren't weary of at-come color just yet, try Clairol Nice 'n' Easy Perfect 10 ($12) for high-gloss, natural-looking lightening that's pretty tough to screw up.
Or you could go the old fashioned route and scrub, scrub, scrub away at your botched locks with harsh Prell shampoo ($3). Stylists swear by the old standard's ability to strip color away, but you won't be doing your hair health any favors with this quick fix.