How to remove semi-permanent hair dye – 4 easy ways!

If you’re looking for tips on how to remove semi-permanent hair dye from your locks (without damaging them), then keep reading!

Semi-permanent hair dye is something that a lot of people use to change the colour of their hair without making it permanent.

It’s easy to do, and you can get some really stunning colours and cool effects with it. The problem is, when you want to go back to your natural hair colour, that dye has got to come off somehow.

We have compiled a list of the 4 best ways that won’t ruin your hair. Check it out below and see what might work best for you.

It’s important to remember that some methods will take more scrubbing than others so be sure not to overdo it or else you’ll regret it later when all your hard work goes down the drain (literally)!

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What is Semi-permanent hair dye?

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This type of hair dye is made up of a formula that contains no peroxide or ammonia. This means that, unlike permanent hair dye that does contain ammonia, semi-permanent colour coats the surface of your hair shaft rather than penetrating or altering it.

This makes it more gentle and less damaging or drying for your hair. But it also means that it’s not as effective at covering greys as demi-permanent or permanent colour that penetrates deep into your hair to alter its colour.

It’s also a dye that is excellent for enhancing your natural colour so you won’t get unsightly roots growing out like you will with permanent dyes. But it’s also not as effective at covering greys as permanent colour and semi-permanent hair dye won’t last as long – around 6-12 washes.

It’s still pretty stubborn at being removed but we know of a few ways that work to get that colour out and back to your original base hair colour.

Can you wash out semi permanent hair dye?

Semi-permanent colours are designed to last between 6 and 12 shampoos, which means they should be washed off eventually if you want your natural colour back.

However, it may take some experimenting before you find the right shampoo or combination of products that work best for you.

A lot depends on things like the condition of your hair, how much dye product there is to wash out, how often you wash your hair.

If you want to speed up the results, you can use dandruff shampoo, a clarifying shampoo or dish soap that will help to strip your colour.

Will a bleach bath remove semi permanent hair dye?

Bleach baths are great for removing hair colour. But will it work on semi-permanent hair dye? The answer is yes!

To do this, mix a few tablespoons of bleach into the water, add shampoo and then soak your head in that solution for about 10 minutes.

Rinse your hair afterwards with cool water to close up the cuticle layer and get ready to wash out any leftover residue.

However, this is a pretty harsh process on your hair and we know a few other, more natural ways you can try first.

How to remove semi-permanent hair dye at home.

Method #1: With shampoo.

  1. Get a small bowl and fill it with warm water.
  2. Add some shampoo to the water.
  3. Use a large toothbrush or scrubbing sponge to work up a lather in your hair.
  4. Keep rinsing until all of the colour is gone.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until all of the dye has been removed from your hair, then wash with cold water for one final rinse
  6. Apply conditioner for soft, shiny hair!

Method #2: With baking soda.

  1. Completely wet your hair in the shower.
  2. Apply conditioner to your hair and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo.
  4. Rinse out the conditioner and the shampoo.
  5. Apply baking soda to your hair, leave it in for 1 minute, then rinse it out.
  6. Wash your hair with cold water until you feel like there is no more dye left in there.

Method #3: With hair dye.

  1. Find a colour that is of a similar shade to the hair dye you are trying to remove. Buy at least two boxes.
  2. Apply the new colour until your hair becomes saturated.
  3. Leave for the maximum development time as instructed and then rinse with cold water and shampoo.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all of the colour pigments have been removed.
  5. Apply conditioner after washing your hair, then rinse again with cold water and shampoo.
  6. Wait at least two days before dying your hair again (or longer if desired).

Method #4: With bleach.

  1. Wear protective gloves and protect all surfaces!
  2. Mix the bleach formula from a hair bleach kit as instructed.
  3. Apply the mixture to the hair with a cotton ball or sponge, saturating it well.
  4. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing out with water until all traces are gone from your hair.
  5. Rinse again with cold water to close up the cuticles of your hair shafts and seal them against future damage.
  6. Be sure not to get any bleach in your eyes, nose, mouth or skin during this process! If you do, rinse thoroughly immediately.

Ask the professionals

Here’ a great video that gives you even more hair colour removal tips straight from the pros.

I Tested Every Color Remover Method So You Don't Have To

Is semi-permanent hair dye right for me?

If you want a subtle change of colour or you’re ready to experiment with something different, it’s right for you. You can also have fun with bright colours and on-trend pastel colours.


  • They contain no nasties that can damage your hair like ammonia or peroxide.
  • You can switch things up without committing to a permanent colour.
  • It gives a natural multi dimensional coverage which means natural highlights will shine through.
  • You can experiment with colours without worrying about the long term effects.


  • They cannot lighten your hair.
  • Not the best at covering greys.
  • Only lasts for 8 to 10 shampoos.

Parting words

Semi-permanent dye is a great way to experiment with different colours without having to commit – but if it doesn’t work out how you wanted, don’t worry!

We’ve got the perfect tips on how to remove this type of hair dye from your locks so that they’re safe and healthy again. Good luck!