Hair dye is not always as straightforward as it seems.
Though the color on the box may have been what you wanted, recreating it in real life can be tricky. Some dye jobs turn out light, some turn out darker, and some are so far from what we wanted that we sprint straight to the internet for answers.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to undo a hair dye job gone wrong.
Of all the at-home methods you can try, a clarifying shampoo is likely to be the most effective. There are other options, too, so today we’re going to break down your options for at-home hair dye removal (that still leaves your hair healthy and happy!).
Although My Moxy isn't specifically made to remove hair dye, we’re here to help you learn what makes some clarifying shampoos so effective. If you want to know the steps necessary and other DIY hair dye removal processes, we’ve got you covered.
The Science Behind Removing Hair Dye With Clarifying Shampoo
The same ingredients that help clarifying shampoo effectively cleanse your hair of buildup and gunk make it effective at removing dyes.
You can almost think of clarifying shampoo as an exfoliator for your hair. It scrubs out anything that attaches to the hair fibers, helping you reset or detox your hair. This deep-cleansing product actually holds a higher PH formulation, which gives it the ability to break the grasp of semi-permanent colorants coating your hair.
This is also a technique that can be used to reverse keratin treatments, too!
What makes this our preferred technique for removing hair dye is the overall safety. A clarifying shampoo cleans deeply without damaging the hair. A strong bleaching agent can certainly undo a hair dye job, but the results may be both harder to manage and leave you with less healthy hair.
Step-By-Step Process To Remove Hair Dye With Clarifying Shampoo
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. The truth about removing hair dye with clarifying shampoo is that it’s no more complicated than using a regular shampoo.
Unlike regular shampoo, though, you’ll want to make sure you follow up your clarifying shampoo treatment with a moisturizing conditioner. This will help to lock the moisture back in your hair.
1. Wet Your Hair
Use warm water to soak your hair first. Fully wet hair will allow you to work the shampoo in throughout.
2. Apply The Clarifying Shampoo
Now you’re ready to apply the clarifying shampoo. For a more intense color, use more shampoo. Massage it into your hair.
3. Place A Plastic Cap Over Your Head
Now it’s time to let the clarifying shampoo work its magic. Once you have the cap on, carry on about your shower business while you let your hair stay inside for 10 minutes.
What this does is let the steam from your warm hair lift up the cuticles and melt the dyes from your strands, leaving you closer to your natural hair color.
4. Remove Cap And Rinse
After the 10 minutes have passed, you can begin rinsing your hair. You should notice some colors washing out, too, so rinse until you see the water is clear.
5. Add In The Moisturizing Conditioner
As we mentioned above, this high-PH formula helps to remove buildup, color pigment, and other residues that our hair holds onto. This clarifying process should be followed by a moisturizing conditioner to lower the pH again, seal the cuticles, and keep hair from being dry and frizzy.
You can also consider a moisturizing max. In that case, you’ll want to leave it in your hair for up to 15 minutes.
Removing Permanent Hair Dye With Clarifying Shampoo
Not so happy with your salon’s permanent hair dye job?
Clarifying shampoos are not strong enough to correct or undo this kind of permanent hair color. While it can help to fade the color over time, it can’t reach color pigments that sit deep in the hair.
Repeated use of clarifying shampoos, especially on a more-than-weekly basis, can cause damage to your hair. Instead, book an appointment at a salon for help with permanent hair color correction.
How Long Does It Take For A Clarifying Shampoo To Fade Hair Dye?
So you’ve just washed out your hair, seen color go down the drain, and now you’re looking in the mirror and see… there’s still color left.
That’s perfectly natural. Depending on what kind of dye you used, the condition of your hair, and what kind of hair you have, you may need multiple washes. In fact, it’s normal to expect up to 5 washes with clarifying shampoos to remove semi-permanent hair color.
These semi-permanent hair colors will also fade with regular washes, as most are designed to last for 15-20 washes. Still, if you’re looking to accelerate the process, a clarifying shampoo is ideal.
Other Ways To Remove Hair Dye
Though we are fans of the effectiveness of clarifying shampoo, there are a number of DIY hair color removal methods you can try.
Vitamin C Tablets To Remove Hair Dye
Ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, is a natural hair lightener.
People have used it for years, often in the form of lemon juice, to help lighten their hair. When activated by heat or the sun, it produces hydrogen peroxide, which helps to disperse color pigments. Though you can try using lemon juice on its own, it can also be mixed in with egg yolks, honey, and water.
This recipe should work in a pinch for a DIY clarifying shampoo:
- Grind vitamin C tablets and mix them into your regular shampoo.
- Apply it to your hair
- Wait 20 minutes
- Rinse until clear
With each success wash, you should see slightly lighter hair until finally the color is all gone.
Though it’s easy, it doesn’t come without its side effects. Overuse of this acidic mixture can dry out your hair. And because it is also activated in the sun, you may also want to avoid too much sun exposure.
Remove Hair Dye By Combining Baking Soda and Dandruff Shampoo
For a more potent approach, we’re taking the abrasive baking soda and mixing it in with the sulfides of dandruff shampoo. This will both exfoliate and lighten hair colors, but it’s not for everyone.
Try it first with just a small section of your hair. This will help to reveal if there are any side effects. Also be sure to keep it away from your scalp, as it can also irritate.
- Pour 2 tbsp. of baking soda into a dandruff shampoo bottle
- Apply regularly while taking extra caution to avoid your eyes and face.
- Apply a moisture mask
Factors To Consider When Buying A Clarifying Shampoo To Remove Hair Dye
As the at-home methods do have their side effects, we still prefer to remove hair dye with clarifying shampoos. Still, not all clarifying shampoos are made equal.
So, what do you need to know about clarifying shampoos?
The Use Of Sulfates in Clarifying Shampoos
Many of them use sulfates. These include sodium lauryl, sodium laureth, and sodium chloride. They are often necessary to get rid of hair dyes because they help create the friction that scrubs the hair’s outer layer.
Just because many of them use sulfates doesn’t mean they’re necessary. There’s a concern, too, that these sulfates will strip away your hair’s natural oils. In the case of hair color removal, they can be justified.
Clarifying Shampoos With High pH
To be able to remove hair dyes that are clinging to your hair, an alkaline (high pH) formula is key.
Steer Clear Of “Color-Safe” Labels
When shampoos are color-safe, they’re intended to protect your hair’s color. It’s worth restating that if you’re trying to remove hair dye or lighten your dye job, you want a clarifying shampoo that is not color-safe.
Clarifying Shampoos For Blonde Color-Correction
Are you looking to correct the color of warmer tones? Try using a clarifying shampoo before using your purple shampoo.
Blonde hair can attract other colors, lose its intensity, and even develop green tinges. Clarifying shampoos will help remove that chlorine, hard water minerals, and other substances that keep blonde hair from looking its best.
My Moxy is Clarifying but Not Color-Removing
If you are looking to use a clarifying shampoo to remove dyed hair, My Moxy is not the product for you. We think it’s important to have total transparency, and while some clarifying shampoos do help remove hair dye, My Moxy is not one of them.