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 to remove hair dye at home.

how to remove hair dye at home

How NOT to remove hair dye.

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 remove hair dye, along with trying to use dish soap, baking soda or even vitamin C tablets! Other common mistakes are here in The worst at-home hair Colour Mistakes you can make. 

Should I try to remove my own hair dye?

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 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 – here’s how to remove hair dye yourself at home!

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 remove. It can take a few processes to completely remove black hair colour and it can make your hair dry and damaged 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 remove even black hair dye safely at home. There are loads of off-the-shelf, hair colour removal 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.

If in doubt, talk to your hairdresser! You don’t want to get it wrong!

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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 it out. How well it’ll remove your hair dye 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 leave it in for 10 minutes or so with your head wrapped in a towel. Then rinse your hair really well with warm 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 remove Colorista’s own semi-permanent colours, Colorista Washouts, but will work with any dye. 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 remove 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 remove 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 

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00KCKR33U&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBScott cornwall decolour

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 remove bleach. So it will restore your hair back to its natural 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 Extra Strength

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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 hydrasulphate 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 like this one for extra nourishment Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque.

Invest in the little miracle potion that is Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector to strengthen your hair and repair the bonds to get you hair in a healthy condition again.

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


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.

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