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Going through a rough patch or being bored with your same old look can make you want to change something. Some people buy new outfits, others get a piercing or tattoo, but the most common thing that people do is dye their hair.
Changing your hair color is a very fun way to revamp your look, but occasionally the results don’t turn out as expected. You might not like the hair color on yourself, or it may turn out to be too dark or too light. This can leave you upset and make you want to go back to your natural hair color.
Removing hair dye after coloring your hair can be a challenge, whether you went to a salon or tried your luck with a DIY hair color kit at home. But how big of a challenge it is depends on what type of dye you have chosen for yourself.
If you went for permanent hair coloring with harsh chemicals, then going back to your natural color would require professional treatment with more chemicals.
However, if you have settled for temporary or semipermanent hair color, natural remedies can help remove the hair dye safely.
In this article, you will learn all the possible natural ways to remove temporary or semipermanent hair dyes.
There are always natural methods to remove temporary or semipermanent hair dye.
Baking soda, which is also called sodium bicarbonate, can behave as a natural bleaching agent and may assist in removing dye from your hair. (1)
Baking soda can do so because it is an alkali (basic), meaning it has a high pH value and can help to break down the bonds that hold hair dye molecules together.
It is important to note, however, that the effectiveness of baking soda in removing hair dye will rely on the kind of hair dye you used.
Baking soda is most effective in withdrawing semipermanent and temporary hair dyes, as these kinds of dyes are not as intensely bonded to the hair (1)(2) and tend to sit only on the surface of the hair shaft, which makes them easy to remove by baking soda. (2)(3)(4)
To use baking soda to lighten your hair or remove your hair dye:
- Combine baking soda with water in a 1:3 ratio.
- Apply the mixture to your hair, being cautious to bypass the scalp.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes.
- Wash off the mixture entirely.
- Repeat the technique until you attain the desired result.
Caution: Using baking soda as a remedy to remove hair color may lead to hair dryness, so it is best to apply a moisturizing conditioner after.
For ages, lemon juice has been a go-to solution for those pursuing natural hair lightening. It is rich in vitamin C and can be activated by heat or sunlight.
Many assume that vitamin C can remove undesirable hair color. In reality, however, vitamin C cannot reverse the effects of permanent hair dyes. Once the natural hair color has been modified permanently, it cannot be restored to its original state.
That being said, vitamin C may help in decreasing the darkness of dyed hair by a shade or two because of its antipigmentary properties, although its effectiveness also relies on your hair type and the dye used. If you have used a semipermanent or temporary dye, there is a higher possibility that vitamin C may help.
To use vitamin C tablets to remove hair dye:
- Grind the tablets into a fine powder.
- Blend the powder with water to produce a paste.
- Apply the paste to your hair.
- Leave the paste on for roughly 30 minutes.
- Wash off the paste with water.
Alternatively, you can apply lemon juice to your hair and sit in the sun for at least an hour before rinsing it off. Lemon may dry your hair, so apply a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to prevent dryness.
Another remedy suggested by various stylists is using white vinegar.
To use vinegar to remove hair dye:
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and water.
- Apply the mixture to your hair.
- Leave it on for a minimum of 15 minutes and then wash it off.
This technique can help to remove hair dye, but it may leave your hair with a strong odor. So, to get rid of the strong odor, you may want to add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the vinegar.
Caution: A vinegar wash can make your hair feel a bit dry. To prevent this, use a good moisturizing conditioner and a very mild shampoo after.
A hot oil treatment can help to break down the dye and lift it from your hair.
To use a hot oil treatment to remove hair dye:
- Warm up some coconut oil or olive oil.
- Apply it to your hair.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap, and leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash your hair with shampoo.
Chamomile tea can help to lighten your hair and fade hair dye.
To use chamomile tea to remove hair dye:
- Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea and let it cool.
- Pour the tea over your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes.
- Wash it off with shampoo.
Temporary and semipermanent hair dyes are designed to gradually fade away over time, but you may be able to speed up the process with natural remedies.
Permanent hair dyes, on the other hand, can be particularly difficult to remove and may require professional treatment or chemical strippers. However, some experts do suggest trying the baking soda hack for such dyes.
It’s important to note that natural remedies may not work as quickly or effectively as chemical hair dye removers. It may take several treatments before you see results.
Remember to always do a patch test before trying any new treatment on your hair, and if you’re experiencing severe hair damage or scalp irritation, it’s best to talk with a professional beautician or dermatologist for guidance on the best path of treatment.
Can natural remedies completely remove hair dye?
While natural remedies can help to fade and remove hair dye, they may not completely remove all of the color.
Are natural remedies safe for all hair types?
Most natural remedies are safe for all hair types, but it’s always a good idea to do a patch test before using any new product or treatment on your hair.
Can natural remedies damage my hair?
Natural remedies are generally gentler on your hair than harsh chemicals.
How often can you use natural remedies to remove hair dye?
It’s generally recommended to wait at least a week between treatments to give your hair time to recover.
What if natural remedies don’t work?
If natural remedies don’t work or if you’re experiencing severe hair damage or scalp irritation, it’s best to consult a professional hairstylist or dermatologist for advice on the best course of treatment.
Removing hair dye can be a challenging process, but natural remedies can be safe and effective options. However, keep in mind that these methods may not completely remove all of the color.