How to Remove Hair Color at Home

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.05.39 PMHi Dear DIY Hair-colorers! In the last year, I have done a total of 94 DIY Color Consultations here at HTHG, all for people who are looking to achieve their perfect hair hue at home.

Most of these consultations are for people who made a little hair color oops, and ended up with a shade that they do not like, and are looking for ways to remove color without excessively damaging their hair. I decided that it was time to write a post on how to safely and effectively remove hair color at home.

It should be noted however, that it is not possible to literally remove all permanent color from the hair. What is possible, however, is removing enough hair dye that it makes re-coloring and achieving good results MUCH easier.

I asked my friends at Austin Beauty School Avenue Five to put together a post for us on the subject, and here it is….

How to Remove Hair Color at Home.

There’s no need to hide out in your home for three months while your new hair color slowly fades. If you regret that burgundy red shade on your head now, even though it seemed perfect when you first spotted it on the side of the hair dye box, it may seem you’re stuck with it, but you’re not. You can breathe a sigh of relief that no matter what dye you put on your hair, there are many tried and true ways to remove it quickly and easily. However, before you reach for that bottle of bleach solution, consider some other less caustic solutions to remove color from your hair at home.

Shades that are unnatural, like blues and greens, may be harder to lighten because they can turn into different colors, so be careful and do a strand test first. However, with natural colors, the key is to match the method with your hair color type, permanent or semi-permanent. If you’re trying to remove hair color without affecting your natural color underneath, always seek to reduce the color, not strip it. Some of these solutions come off a shelf, and others you can make with a few simple ingredients you have at home. Our technicians at our Austin beauty school have some suggestions for you to try!

 

  1. Color Remover – Buy a color remover and you won’t have to worry about bleaching your natural hair underneath. It only gets rid of the artificial color. It works well for permanent colors, that other methods may have more trouble getting rid of at one go. There are different color removers sold by different manufacturers and they all come with different instructions. Follow the instructions to the letter for the best results. If you don’t get rid of all the color right away, try it a few more times to get rid of it all. This will also work well for semi-permanent color, but there are even gentler ways to life that type of color that you may want to try listed below.
  2. Vitamin C Treatment – People swear by this treatment to remove any color, permanent or semi-permanent, even difficult pinks to deep red shades. It’s also popular because it only contains two ingredients: crushed effervescent vitamin C tablets and shampoo.There are no strict measurements, but use at least two tablets or more. Mix it with enough shampoo to cover your hair. Then, cover the hair and let it sit for 20 minutes to one hour before rinsing thoroughly. It’s just that simple! It can be repeated several more times, if the color hasn’t faded enough.
  3. Dishwashing Soap – Dishwashing soap is also a gentle way to remove color. In fact, you can substitute this type of soapy liquid for the shampoo and use it with your vitamin C tablets or alone. Either way, it works well for semi-permanent color mistakes.
  4. Anti-Dandruff Shampoos – Another easy fix for pastels or small shade changes is anti-dandruff shampoo. Some people swear it will release color in just the right amount without having to go out and buy an expensive color remover. It will work best the quicker you use it, before the color has time to set completely. However, this does not work well at all for permanent colors. Some people like to use this shampoo with the vitamin C tablet mixture to give it a boost in color-removing power.
  5. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice – Mix two teaspoons of lemon juice to each two teaspoons of baking soda. This is a little messier to apply than some of the other solutions, but it’s all-natural and can lighten the hair significantly. People who don’t want to pay for the vitamin C tablets might like the fact that both baking soda and lemon juice are very cheap ingredients. Let it sit on your head for only a few minutes and then rinse out. The lemon can dry the hair and damage it, so be careful not to leave it in too long. This mixture is also good for scrubbing off excess hair color that gets on your skin during a dye job.
  6. Hot Oil Treatment – For those that want to condition their hair, while lightening it, try a hot oil massage and treatment. Put the hot oil treatment on your head and cover it with a shower cap for about an hour. Then, rinse it with hot water and watch the color come out. You won’t have to worry about damaging the hair because it’ll actually nourish it instead!
  7. Epsom Salts and Baking Soda – These are also sometimes referred to as “bath salts.” The beauty of this treatment is that you can do it in the bath, and just lay down to soak your head in the tub, even while it releases the color in your hair. This method only works with semi-permanent colors, not permanent colors.

While a few of these methods do work with permanent colors, many people turn to bleaching to correct permanent color mistakes. This can be done with a watered-down bleach solution, but it can still have a high risk of damaging the hair. Plus, it can affect the natural color underneath. However, if that’s your last resort, then test it on a strand first and see how it works. Otherwise, most people would prefer to avoid the bleach all together and opt for safer, more natural, methods as outlined above.

While we are on the subject of hair color, If you are a DIY enthusiast who is curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

If you are in the market for a genius new system of haircare designed by hairstylists with a less-is-more vibe, check out the Hairstory Studio Haircare line, starring New-Wash magic cleansing cream. My hair has literally never looked of felt better. I use it once a week and my hair is never greasy, and always healthy! They have a line of 4 simple products for all hair types to help you master happy healthy hair without a fight. Check their shop out here, and make sure you mention that How-to Hair Girl referred you when you go to make your purchase.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your other DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!

This article was submitted by Avenue Five. They are an Austin Beauty school for aspiring professionals, providing three comprehensive training programs specializing in haircare, massage and skincare. Avenue Five is dedicated to providing salon-professional educators in a fashion-forward, interactive learning environment.

16 thoughts on “How to Remove Hair Color at Home

  1. I have vivid into pastel ombré but want to tone down the bright vivid roots. Will applying any of these at home color removers ruin the pastel I have? Even if I try and only apply it to the vivid color?

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  11. Any advise on which of these methods would be best for removing permanent honey brown color if my natural color is white/salt and pepper? I want to go natural without letting it grow out if possible.
    Thanks…

  12. I have got a permitive mahogany red hair dye what can I use to remove it as I want to go a different colour, I’ve heard you can fairy liquid, aftershave, and was wondering if you can use nail varnish remover. Then can I put the new colour on will it work

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