How to remove hair dye at home | 11 easy ways!

how to remove hair dye

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

DIY hair dye removal is a process that many people are hesitant to take on. However, it’s actually pretty easy! This blog post will show you how to do it in a few simple steps.

We give you some emergency solutions you can try with products you probably already have a home. And there are also our top recommend hair colour removers you can buy if you need some tougher stuff.

We all want to look fabulous, but sometimes mistakes are made! When you dye your hair at home and it turns out a little too blue, or maybe the ends are a little too bright for your liking…don’t panic! In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to get rid of hair dye without ruining your locks.

hair dye disaster image

How can I remove hair color from my hair?

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

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

Colour cannot lighten colour so putting another dye on top will only make your hair darker.

There are some great solutions if you’re trying to get hair dye off your walls, or skin, but your hair? Not so much!

Should I try to remove my own hair dye?

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

The best thing to do really is to go and see the professionals to get your barnet fixed. If you do go, be honest and tell your colourist 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 colour at home?

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

It’s worth giving these a go before moving onto the stronger stuff. If you don’t dye your hair very often or you only have some colour you want to remove, they just might do the job!

How to remove hair dye at home.

  • Lemon juice – Put some neat lemon juice in strands of your hair where the sunlight naturally hits.
  • Honey and cinnamon – Mix 3 tablespoons of honey and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon together with your usual conditioner and leave it on as a hair mask to develop.
  • Baking soda and warm water – make a paste and apply it to your hair for 30-40 minutes. You can also mix baking soda and peroxide for extra strength!
  • White vinegar – dilute it with a little water than saturate your hair in it for 30 mins. Rinse out throroughly!
  • Dish soap and shampoo – mix together and use in the shower as you would a normal shampoo.
  • Vitamin C – Crush up a Vit C tablet and make a paste with water to apply to your hair for 20 mins then rinse.

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 colour 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 colour can be really hard to get rid of, so you need to be ready for long-term commitment.

Black and other dark coloured hair dyes saturate deeper and penetrate the hair shaft more intensely than any other colour, which is what makes them so hard to extract. It can take a few processes to completely extract black hair colour and it can make your hair dry and damaging your hair in the process.

How to get black out of your hair at home

How can I remove hair dye at home?

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

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 colour your hair was to begin with.
  • What colour you want to be.

We’ve tried out some hair removal products 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!

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How to remove hair dye at a glance.

SolutionLooks likeHow it worksBuy it now
Head & Shoulders Shampooq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00S18NV40&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBhow to remove hair dye at homeA shampoo that's high in sulphates will help to fade colour.
L'Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Colour & Dye Removerq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077N77HS6&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBhow to remove hair dye at homeRemoves colour from blonde hair without bleach.
Scott Cornwall Decolour Remover q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00KCKR33U&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBhow to remove hair dye at homeRemoves permanent colours but cannot remove bleach.
JoBaz Hair Colour Remover Extra Strengthq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B009ODQEBI&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBhow to remove hair dye at homeShrinks the colour molecules of permanent and semi-permanent dyes.
Schwarzkopf Live Intense Lightenerq? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00D870FMK&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBhow to remove hair dye at homeBleaches all colours including natural.

Solution #1 | Use a shampoo high in sulphates.

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The quickest and easiest thing to do is wash your hair with a shampoo that’s high in sulphates like Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo: Classic Clean Shampoo.

What is it?

Head & Shoulders is an anti-dandruff shampoo that’s high in sulphates that will help to fade hair colour. But it contains no ammonia or bleach so it won’t strip your hair colour out. How well it’ll get rid of your unwanted hair colour really depends on how dark and deep your colour is. And how well your hair has taken in the dye you hate.

How does it work?

Give it a few washes, even put it in your hair and leave it in for 10 minutes or so with your head wrapped in a towel. Then rinse your hair really well with hot water.

What’s not great about this method is that it’s really drying for your hair. So you’ll need to follow it up with a really good deep conditioner. Really work it into your ends and roots and leave it in for as long as you can.

If this method hasn’t given you the results you’re after, it’s time to try something stronger!


Solution #2 | L’Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Colour & Dye Remover

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L’Oreal is killing it in the hair dye market with everything from temporary wash outs, permanent hair colour, hair make up, root touch-ups. You name it, they do it and in every colour of the rainbow.

So it’s no surprise they have a product to take it all away again too.

What is it?

This hair dye remover is designed to get rid of Colorista’s own semi-permanent colours, Colorista Washouts. But will work to draw out any colour from your hair. It removes unwanted tones and colour from naturally blonde and bleached blonde hair and doesn’t contain any bleach.

So you’re best using something stronger to get rid of permanent dye or if you have darker hair like brown or black. To use, be sure to closely follow the included directions. If you are trying to eliminate Colorista Washouts from your hair, this is the one for you.

How does it work?

It works just like a hair dye, where you massage it in from root to tip. Then you leave it in for 20 minutes depending on the strength of your colour. After washing it out and your colour should look…washed out. You can do it as many times as you like to get the desired results. But it will get to a point when it will be able to do no more. 

Like any remover, you need to condition your hair afterwards with a great colour conditioner to stop the drying effects. You can also give your hair a deep conditioning treat to restore it to a glossy shine.

If you’re not happy with the results of using L’Oreal Paris Colorista Hair Colour & Dye Remover, you need something stronger!


Solution #3 | Scott Cornwall Decolour Remover 

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What is it?

Now we’re on to the hard stuff! Although it is a chemical treatment, Scott Cornwall Decolour Remover contains no bleach or ammonia so it’s gentle on your hair, and tough on stubborn colour.

*Always do a patch test 24 hours before if you’re using chemicals to check that they’re safe for you.*

How does it work?

It works by removing permanent, semi-permanent and temporary colours but it cannot get rid of bleach (nothing can!). So it will restore your hair back to its natural hair colour, only if you’ve never had your hair lightened or dyed with a permanent dye that uses peroxide.

You’ll need to wash your hair thoroughly first with a good clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of any styling products or oils and get it really clean.


You apply it, wrap your head in cling film or a plastic bag (ikr!) and cover that with a towel or shower cap so it warms up and works it’s colour eating magic. Then wash it out for a looooong time.

Seriously, this is the bit you cannot skip or wing it as you’ll get totally different results if you don’t do it properly. You hair could even go darker. That’s right.

Another really important thing to be aware of when using hair colour removers is that if you have dyed your hair a ‘warmer’ colour – so any shades of red or brown with warm undertone, it’s recommended that you re-dye your hair with a semi-permanent cool colour that contains ash pigment to get rid of any brassiness.

This sounds a faff but it’s perfectly safe to dye your hair again straight away after using Scott Cornwall Decolour Remover. And as long as you go for a shade lighter than the shade you want to be (hair is more porous after the treatment so the dye will ‘take’ to your hair faster and deeper than usual), you’ll end up with the colour you really wanted straight away.

This also says it can be used just to purify your hair and give it a deep clean but we’d rather use a clarifying shampoo for that as it’s not so harsh on our hair.


Solution #4 JoBaz Hair colour Remover

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What is it?

What we love about JoBaz Hair Colour Remover is that it comes in different strength for Darker or Lighter hair, so you can pick your formula depending on what colour you’re trying to remove.

Despite it’s brilliant results, it contains no nasties. Stripping out colour in a salon tends to involve bleach or bleach baths – very bad for our colour-treated tresses. Bleach alters the structure of the hair, though generally it survives with some deep conditioning treatments and TLC. But JoBaz Hair Colour Remover products are different in that they are a hydrasulphite which shrinks the artificial colour molecules of permanent and semi-permanent dyes.

How does it work?

It takes a while to go through the treatment as you have to rinse it hard for AGES. And it stinks of rotten eggs when it goes on but in a reassuring way as it feels like it must be working. You slather it on, wait an hour, rinse rinse rinse for as long as you can bear, and then longer, and then dry and review the results.

Like all removers, it can’t take off bleach, so will restore your hair back to bleach if you’d had it in the past. Also like all removers, if you’re removing reds you may be left with brassier tones which will need counteracting with ash toners or semi permanent dye to reduce the brassiness.

With JoBaz Hair Colour Remover, you can’t colour with a semi permanent or permanent colours within 7 days in case any remaining molecules re-oxidise. But you can use a temporary wash, like the L’Oreal Colorista Washout Temporary Hair Dyes that come in a range of completely awesome colours. They will wash out in 1-2 weeks depending on how often you wash your hair.

After this time, you’re free to start dying your hair again!


Solution #5 Schwarzkopf Live Intense Lightener

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What is it?

This is the strong stuff. If you have dark hair or a stubborn, permanent colour. The only way to get rid is with a hair lightening kit.

How does it work?

Yikes! This is Bleach!!

Yes folks, this IS bleach. So only use this if you are experienced at applying dyes and treatments to your hair.

It comes with an applicator tube which is a bit fiddly and you want a good all over cover so we’d use a proper hair dye application kit to make sure it goes on properly. We also recommend getting someone to help you apply on the back of your hair.

Once you’ve put it on, you leave it on for the recommended amount of time to achieve the lightness you need. DO NOT EXCEED THE TIME! This is bleach people, you don’t want your hair to fall out.

Of course, this will frizz your hair. So smother it in a penetrating deep conditioning mask for extra nourishment.

And stock up on great shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated for dyed hair. If you’re careful, this will definitely extract all of the hair dye in your hair and will give you the perfect base for your next colour experiment.


Parting words

No matter the reason, we’re here to help you get back your beautiful hair colour 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.