How To Remove Hair Dye At Home | 10 Fast And Easy Methods.

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It’s time for a new you and that means sprucing up your locks with a brand new color. But how do you take away the hair color that’s already there?

Or maybe you’ve made an itsy bitsy mistake with a new hue and want to reverse the process – fast!

We’re here with everything you need to know about how to remove hair dye at home.

How to remove hair dye at home.

  1. Lemon juice
  2. Honey and cinnamon
  3. Baking soda and warm water
  4. White vinegar
  5. Dish soap and shampoo
  6. Toothpaste
  7. Vitamin C tablets
  8. Head & Shoulders shampoo
  9. Hair color remover
  10. Bleach

How to remove hair dye at home – 10 methods that really work.

The good news is, yes! You can take off hair dye – even black hair dye – safely at home. There are loads of off-the-shelf, hair color remover treatments you can try that range from sulphate shampoos to full-on bleach.

First thing’s first. DO NOT try and put a different color on top to cover it. This will only make things worse, whatever color you’re trying to get rid of.

This is one of the biggest mistakes people can make when trying to get rid of color build up.

Color cannot lighten color so putting another dye on top will only make your hair darker.

What will work best for your hair will depend on:

  • How long the dye has been in your hair.
  • Whether you have used permanent or semi permanent hair dye.
  • What color your hair was to begin with.
  • What color you want to be.

We’ve tried out some methods to find out which one will work for you.

We’ve ordered them by strength so you can start at the top and work your way through! Good luck!

Method #1 Lemon Juice

lemon juice

Lemons are natural bleaching agents so why not use them to lighten your hair? The acidity in lemons helps break down the structure of the dye molecules.

It’s one of the most popular homemade methods for removing hair dye or lightening your hair.

Simply mix one part lemon juice with two parts water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray your hair generously and let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water . Repeat if necessary.

Method #2 Honey and Cinnamon

honey and cinnamon

If you’re looking for an organic way to remove unwanted hair dye, this one will do the trick!

This method is especially effective if you want to go from light brown or blonde back to your natural color.

Mix equal parts of honey and cinnamon together until it forms a paste, then apply it to your hair from roots to tips. Let sit for an hour before rinsing off with warm water. Honey is naturally hydrating so your hair won’t be dry or brittle afterward!

Method #3 Baking Soda and Warm Water

baking soda

Baking soda is known for its natural bleaching properties, so this method is perfect if you want to lighten your locks without using harsh chemicals like color remover or bleach.

Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water to make a baking soda paste. Saturate your hair completely, then let sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.

Method #4 White Vinegar

white vinegar

This method works best on lighter shades of dyed hair as it can lighten dark hair like colors like brunette more than desired (but don’t worry if that happens—it can be fixed with a color treatment).

Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle, saturate your strands, then let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with cold water. Simples!

Method #5 Dish Soap & Shampoo

dish soap

A great way to remove stubborn hair dye is by mixing dish soap (like Dawn) with shampoo.

Mix equal parts in a bowl until they form a paste-like consistency, then apply it to your scalp using circular motions. Rinse off after five minutes and repeat if needed.

This can be pretty drying so make sure you have a good hair conditioner or deep conditioning treatment handy for afterwards.

Method #6 Toothpaste

toothpaste

Yes, toothpaste! Believe it or not, toothpaste can help remove semi-permanent dyes from your hair.

The trick is to use a paste that contains baking soda; this will act as an abrasive agent and help cleanse the dye from your locks.

Simply massage the paste into your dry hair for about five minutes, then rinse and repeat if necessary.

Method #7 Vitamin C Tablets

vitamin C tablets

Vitamin C tablets are great for removing unwanted hair color because they contain an acid which helps dissolve the artificial pigment in your hair.

Start by mixing together 1/2 cup of hot water and 8 crushed vitamin c tablets until all of the tablets are completely dissolved.

Then apply this mixture directly onto your hair, pop on a shower cap and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

Method #8 Head & Shoulders Shampoo

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Head & Shoulders shampoo is an anti-dandruff shampoo that’s specially formulated to help strip away excess oils from the scalp while still keeping moisture levels balanced. It’s pretty good for stripping hair color too.

The active ingredient in this shampoo is pyrithione zinc, which helps break down the bonds between pigment molecules and removes unwanted color from your locks quickly and easily.

Simply massage the shampoo into damp hair for 5 minutes before rinsing out thoroughly with lukewarm water. Repeat as needed until desired results are achieved.

Method #9 Hair Color Remover

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If you’re dealing with a stubborn permanent dye job that won’t budge no matter what you do, try using a specialized hair color remover like Color Oops or Color B4.

These are specially formulated to strip away unwanted pigment molecules from your locks and get you back to your natural hair color quickly and easily without damaging your strands in the process. (Although they do stink of rotten eggs!).

They won’t work on semi-permanent hair color however, only permanent hair dye. Follow the instructions that come with your chosen product carefully!

Method #10 Bleach

bleach

While bleach isn’t recommended for everyday use (it can be quite damaging to delicate strands), it can be used in moderation as an effective method of removing both semi-permanent and permanent dyes from your tresses without causing too much harm.

While bleaching uses chemicals like hydrogen peroxide that can be quite harsh on your locks, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures!

Mix equal parts bleach powder and developer (or shampoo if you want to try a more diluted and gentle bleach bath) into a paste-like consistency before applying carefully onto only the areas where you need lightening effects most!

Leave on for no longer than 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing off with cool water afterwards – repeat as needed until desired results are achieved!

Watch and learn: How to remove hair dye at home WITHOUT using bleach.

Here’s a great video that shows you how to strip hair color at home using just volume 10 developer and shampoo!

How to remove hair dye at home FAQs

Should I try to remove my own hair dye?

You can try and lighten your hair naturally, but it will depend on your hair color how effective that will be.

The best thing to do really is to go and see the professionals at your local salon to get your barnet fixed. If you do go, be honest and tell your colorist exactly what you’ve done and put on your hair.

They have seen it all before – and worse!- and will be able to fix it without frazzling the condition of your hair.

HOWEVER, we realise there will be times where you don’t have the time, the money or frankly, the inclination to go and show your head of shame at the hairdressers.

So you can get back to your best without leaving the house!

How can I strip my hair color at home?

It’s possible to strip out hair color pigment using ingredients and products you already have at home.

It’s worth giving these a go before moving onto the stronger stuff that will remove hair color pigment from your hair’s cuticle.

If you don’t dye your hair very often or you only have some color you want to remove, they just might do the job!

How can I remove permanent hair color?

Home remedies are quick and easy, but if you’ve used permanent hair dye or you have dyed your hair regularly, they likely won’t do much for you.

Things like the type of hair dye you use and how you treat your hair can make a big difference. Hot tools and straighteners can bake in your color and make it really difficult to take off.

There are a few different ways you can take away permanent hair color from your locks.

One way is with bleach or a bleach bath – which is a less potent treatment – or other type of chemicals, but these will also damage the integrity and healthiness of any future dye jobs. Sigh. It’s hard work being pretty!

Can I remove black hair dye?

Black hair is a powerful, show-stopping statement and one you need to be sure about.

Once black hair dye is on your hair, the color can be really hard to get rid of, so you need to be ready for long-term commitment.

Black and other dark colored hair dyes saturate deeper and penetrate the hair shaft more intensely than any other color, which is what makes them so hard to extract.

Bleach is your friend when it comes to trying to remove all traces of black.

It can take a few processes to completely extract black hair color and it can make your hair dry and damaging your hair in the process.

Can I remove box dye from my hair?

Removing box dye from your hair can be an intimidating task, but with a clarifying shampoo, it’s not as scary as it seems!

Clarifying shampoos are designed to rid hair of build-up, without leaving it feeling dry or brittle.

Whether you want to permanently remove the color or lighten it for another shade, clarifying shampoo will provide a gentle solution that won’t damage your hair.

Once the box dye is removed from your tresses, you’ll feel empowered to confidently try a new look!

We also have some great solutions if you’re trying to get hair dye off your walls, or skin, nails, or carpet!


Parting words

No matter the reason, we’re here to help you get back your beautiful hair color with a few simple steps.

So don’t stress about that new, awful shade any longer – take our advice and reverse it!

Remember not every brand or product will work on all types of hair so do your research before trying anything out at home if you have doubts as well as being aware that over-processing can cause damage too.

So there you have it, now you know how to remove hair dye at home. Stock up on a product or two so that help is at hand next time your experiment goes awry.

You won’t even have to leave the house.

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!