How to Remove Hair Dye From Your Hair

Sometimes, even when you're careful, your new hair color can leave you less than thrilled. Read on to learn how you can remove some or all of the dye from your hair. The procedure changes depending on if you're trying to remove lighter or darker hair dye.

Instructions

  1. Removing a Lighter Hair Dye From Your Hair

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      If you had your color applied in a salon and you aren't happy with the results, let your hairstylist know as soon as possible. Your stylist should book you another appointment during which she will determine why you are unhappy with your color and perform a color correction. There should be no charge for this procedure.

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      If you colored your hair lighter than your natural color, the only solution is to color your hair again. You can only remove hair dye if the color is darker than your natural color. Even then it can be difficult to remove all traces of the dye.

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      If the color ended up too light, you can attempt to fix it by re-coloring your hair a shade or two darker. Choose the dye one shade darker than your natural hair color and apply according to the manufacturer's directions.

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      If the hair color turned out much lighter than you anticipated or you hate your new light color and want to go back to your darker natural color, there may be an extra step involved. All colors of hair have what is called an "underlying pigment." The underlying pigment for blond hair is yellow. Light browns have an underlying pigment of orange, while medium to dark browns have an underlying pigment of red. Even if you don't want red hair you will need to replace that underlying pigment in the hair's color before going from blond back to brown. Skipping this step will result in green hair (green is the color opposite of red). In the absence of any red in your hair color, it will look extremely "ash" or have a greenish tint to it.

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      This is a tricky procedure that is not recommended for the layman hair colorist! It is strongly recommended that you seek a professional stylist when correcting this type of hair color correction. If you choose to do it yourself, call the hair dye manufacturer to speak to their trained advisers. Explain exactly what color you used and what color you want your hair. The customer care representatives should advise you on the correct procedures.

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      If you had dark brown hair and tried to color your hair a light blond but ended up with an orange-hued mess, you will also need a color corrective procedure. Often, at-home kits don't include a strong enough developer (peroxide) to change your brown hair into beautiful blond. This results in the hair color getting "stuck" in the color of its underlying pigment, orange.

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      If this is the case, you will need to either color your hair a darker shade or attempt to lighten it again to the proper color level. In either case it is strongly advised to seek either a professional stylist or the advice of the color kit manufacturer's help line.

    How to Remove Hair Dye That Is Too Dark

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      If you decided to try on a darker shade of hair color only to have it turn into a nightmare, rest assured that steps can be taken to correct this blunder. The key is to act as quickly as possible for best results. It is much easier to remove dye from your hair if the color is just a few days old.

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      Try L'Oreal's Color Zap for a quick at-home reversal of your color blunder. This easy-to-use kit works after one application, gently removing dye from your hair while leaving your natural hair color intact and ready to re-color. This product works even on permanent hair dye.

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      If your new hair dye is only marginally darker than desired, you may want to try prematurely fading it. If the color you used was a semi-permanent color, rest assured that these colors fade quickly on their own and the process can be sped up by simply washing your hair more often.

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      If your too-dark hair dye is permanent, it can sometimes be faded by washing with a clarifying shampoo. Use one that is designed to remove product build-up or chlorine build-up from swimmer's hair. These shampoos remove anything coating the hair shaft, including excess pigment.

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      Clarifying shampoos not doing it for you? Try using Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo. This shampoo has long been known for its ability to strip color from hair. If you really need to fade your too-dark hair quickly, try shampooing with Head and Shoulders until your hair fades to the desired shade.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are thinking about coloring your hair darker but you aren't sure how thrilled you will be with the results, try using a semi-permanent hair color first. These dyes will give you all the fabulous color you want, but without the commitment. They wash out in 4 to 6 weeks, at which time you can opt for permanent dye.
  • Consecutive color applications in a short amount of time can be very drying to the hair. If your hair is even the slightest bit on the dry side, be sure to give your hair a deep conditioning treatment before you attempt to color it again.
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