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4 DIY Homemade Hair Dye Remover Ideas

4 DIY Homemade Hair Dye Remover Ideas

Many people these days choose to experiment with hair colors, and with such an enormous variety of options on the market, it can be difficult to select just one. Gone are the days when individuals could only opt for simple shades such as chestnut brown, honey blonde or, for the more adventurous, auburn. Now, there is a wealth of hues to pick from, including bright reds and purples, fluorescent yellows and greens, vibrant blues and purples, and brilliant oranges and pinks.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that so many people, and especially younger women, want to try as many exciting new looks as possible. It’s no wonder, then, that the question “how do I make homemade hair dye remover” is so commonly asked!

Although it’s fun to experiment with the broad spectrum of hair dyes, shades, and colors available in stores and online these days, it can lead to unwanted looks. All-too-often, a dye job goes horribly wrong, and someone who was hoping for rich red coloring ends up with watery pink or bright ginger locks – something that is far from what they hoped to achieve.

Finding an effective and affordable way to remove that unwanted color is essential, and doing it at home is the preferable solution – after all, that way there’s no need for anybody else to see your embarrassing new “do”!

Fortunately, we have some expert tips to help you to remove unwanted hair color, leaving your hair a more natural shade, all ready for a different and better dye to be applied.

Do I Need to Remove Dye Before Applying a New Color?

When you dye your hair a darker shade, you can’t just apply fresh color over the top, especially if you want it to be a lighter color. A light hair dye won’t be able to cover dark dye since color cannot lift color.

Also, if you’ve bleached your hair you can’t simply dye over it with a dark shade straight away as the result will be unpredictable. It certainly won’t be the shade you had in mind – it’s more likely to be a peppery ginger or dirty green/gray hue.

Another problem to keep in mind is that the more you dye your hair, the more over-processed and damaged it becomes. If you apply dye on top of dye, you’re just putting your locks increasingly at risk of breakage. For this reason, removing the color before trying to dye it again is imperative.

Why Try to Remove My Unwanted Hair Dye at Home?

There are several reasons why people choose to use a homemade hair dye remover instead of a professional solution.

For a start, it can be embarrassing to go to a hairdresser or stylist and ask for your problem to be corrected. Secondly, it can be very expensive to do this. A stylish will cost a lot more for the remedy than the dye cost in the first place. Thirdly, the chemicals used in professional hair dye removal products can be harmful to the hair.
baking soda with spoon

Homemade Hair Dye Removers to Try

Luckily, there are several potential hair dye removal products in your own home cabinets and here, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly available and most effective.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for its many household uses. From cleaning stubborn stains to treating heartburn, it has a host of beneficial properties that make it a kitchen cabinet staple. However, one of its most useful purposes is for removing unwanted hair dye at home.

Baking soda’s powerfully abrasive yet soft particles are able to destroy bonds between anything that is present on a surface and the surface itself. You can use it on your hair, therefore, to get rid of unwanted hair dye.

Simply make a paste out of a little water and baking soda and apply to the hair just like you would a hair mask. The baking soda will act like a cleansing agent to strip away artificial color, leaving your hair closer to its original shade.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is known for its mild bleaching properties. In fact, it has been used throughout history to remove stains from clothing and to restore whiteness to laundry. You can use its bleaching abilities to remove color from your hair. Simply squeeze a lemon into a spray bottle and spray it onto the hair. It helps to fade any uneven pigmentation, although it won’t remove large patches of very dark hair dye.

Take care to avoid leaving the juice on the hair for extended periods of time. Lemons contain a surprisingly strong acid which may cause the hair to go gray prematurely. An hour is enough time to lighten the hair effectively.

If you wish, you can mix hair oil or regular conditioner with the lemon juice. This will help to prevent the hair from becoming too dry and brittle.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Similar to lemon juice, apple cider vinegar contains an acid that is capable of stripping away unwanted hair dye. Other types of vinegar will also remove dye from the hair, but apple cider vinegar has a slightly stronger acid content than other kinds, and it won’t strip away the hair’s natural pH balance.

Not only that, but it’s known for removing any unwanted metal and mineral build-up that can dry out the hair.

A Vitamin C Paste

Vitamin C has many well-known benefits for the human body. Nevertheless, it can also help to remove unwanted color from your hair. This safe and non-abrasive solution removes hair dye, and especially those for darker tones. It works because the acid in the vitamin oxidizes the color molecule and, therefore, loosens its hold in the hair.

Smash up some vitamin C tablets to a powder, and then add some hot water to the powder to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the hair, leave it for a while, and then rinse out.

With luck, the unwanted dye will come out with it.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

If you wash your hair every day with a standard shampoo, artificial hair colors will easily be stripped away. However, you can achieve the same result much more quickly by using anti-dandruff shampoos instead.

The majority of anti-dandruff shampoo brands will contain a substance known as selenium sulfide which strips away artificial hair colors. The results aren’t instant, though, so patience is necessary. You’ll have to apply it regularly to your hair for several washes before you’ll notice any difference in its shade.

Regular Dishwashing Soap

One solution to remove unwanted hair color at home is to use standard dishwashing soap. Not only is this soap tough on grime and grease, but it also removes artificial colors. Simply use the dishwashing soap as you would a traditional shampoo and you’ll find your hair lightens by one or two tones.

This could be just enough to get rid of a slightly too-dark hue. Dishwashing soap can be quite abrasive, though, so make sure to choose the gentlest formula.
woman with faded pastel dye

What if Homemade Hair Dye Removers Don’t Work for Me?

If you lack the necessary patience and time to make your own natural homemade hair dye remover, it’s possible to use one of the professional color removal brands on the market today. These work especially well if you’ve accidentally dyed your hair a darker color than you wanted.

Using a Professional Color Removing Product

A professional hair color stripper will remove the permanent, artificial color molecules from the core of your hair, delivering a more neutral base upon which you can apply a fresh dye.

The best products are free from any bleach or ammonia, so there is less concern about potential hair damage, though they’re still not likely to be as gentle as a homemade hair dye remover.

Follow these steps to help you learn how to use a professional color removing product properly.

First, Shampoo Your Hair Thoroughly

You’ll need to make sure your hair is clean before you try to remove any hair dye. Ensure you’ve shampooed the hair enough to remove dirty build-up so the color remover’s performance can be enhanced to the max.

Clarifying or detoxifying shampoos are the best choice, but in any event, you should select a shampoo that is sulfate-free as this will prepare the hair in the best possible way for the dye to be removed.

Next, Rinse Your Hair and Dry It Completely

If your hair has only recently been dyed, you should rinse it for longer. This helps the hair to release the unwanted color more quickly. The majority of professional hair color stripping products won’t work on hair that is wet, so you’ll need to wait until it has dried fully afterward before using the product.

Combine the Solutions

A professional hair color stripping product will come in two separate bottles. Each will contain a different solution – a sulfurous reducing agent and an acid concentrate. In most cases, you’ll need to combine both solutions in equal parts; however, treatments can vary, so reading the instructions is vital.

Apply the Mixture to Your Hair

Once the products have been mixed, you’ll need to apply them quickly to your hair. Most of these treatments will be photosensitive – especially so when they’ve already been combined together – so fast action is key. Immediately apply the solution to the hair to maximize its effectiveness. Using a tint brush will allow you to complete the job more rapidly. You’ll also require a clip, comb, and tint bowl to ensure the treatment is evenly distributed across the surface of the hair.

Let It Sit

Allow the solution to be absorbed by the hair. This will take around 30 minutes. You should see visible results after this period of time. Using a processing cap is the best solution, and if you want an even better result you should use a hairdryer on a medium heat to blow your hair for an additional 20 minutes.

Rinse Out Your Hair

After the time has elapsed, it’s time to rinse out your hair; make sure you rinse it out completely, since removing any remaining color particles is an essential step in the dye-removing process. Use shampoo to wash the hair, and this will remove any remaining leftovers and also remove the odor that the treatment leaves on the hair.

It’s common for hair to feel fairly dry after using a color stripping treatment, so apply a good quality conditioner to keep the hair from drying out too much. You can also use a hair mask if you wish to help the hair to recover effectively.

When Can I Dye My Hair Again?

You should also wait for at least one or two weeks before exposing the hair to any other dye products or treatments. If you are determined to try out a different color on the same day as you remove an unwanted dye, you should choose the shade carefully.

Opt for one that is around one or two shades lighter than you want as aiming for a darker tone will just make the hair a darker color that you wanted. This is because color stripping causes the hair to absorb more pigment, and this causes the final result to be intensified and darker.

Achieving the Hair Dye Result You Desire

Although at-home hair coloring products are popular and highly effective, they can cause some major problems too. When home hair dyeing goes wrong, you can end up with embarrassing results that can be tricky to correct.

Follow the tips and tricks outlined here and you should find it easier than you imagined to get rid of unwanted shades on your locks and to restore a more normal appearance to your strands. You can then apply a different hair dye to help you achieve the beautiful and stylish outcome that you were aiming for in the first place.