Tried & Tested: 5 Ways to Remove & Strip Hair Dye

Whether you’re searching for a remedy for a botched D.I.Y ‘do, or you’re simply bored of your look, scroll for our 5 colour removal hacks…

By Alice Dawkins Published: Dec 20, 2023

Is it just us, or does everyone else get the urge to change their hair at least once a week? It’s an intrusive thought that we just can’t budge. But before eyeing up your next batch of dye, it is important to give your tresses a reset and strip any remaining colour from your last impulsive hair transformation.

Whether it’s a chestnut brown or an electric blue, the process of stripping hair dye can be a daunting task. With a multitude of different techniques shared online, which one comes out on top? Well we put a few of the most popular (and strangest) methods to the test on our extensions to answer your hair prayers.

Clarifying or Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Us hair dye enthusiasts know that in order to lock your colour in for as long as poss’, it’s essential you avoid strong shampoos like the plague. Therefore, it totally makes sense to reverse this when you’re looking to remove your dye.

Whilst it’s not a quick fix, using a clarifying or anti-dandruff shampoo to strip colour is a much safer and healthier way to transform your shade compared to bleach or colour remover.

We decided to try out the Head & Shoulders 2in1 Classic Clean Shampoo and rinsed the hair around 15 times. We saw a little bit of a lift, but we can imagine that with more washes, the fade will be much more apparent.

Vitamin C Tablets

We’ve all heard of taking vitamin C tablets for a general health boost, but have you heard of using them for hair dye removal? The viral hack has taken over our screens lately, so we had to put it to the test…

We started by crushing 5-10 tablets and mixing it with shampoo before massaging into the hair. The acid works to break down the dye and gradually fade your colour.

Firstly, we found that you need waaay more than 5-10 tablets. To cover the whole head, we used around 30, and still, this left us with little to no lift. Safe to say, this was a bit of a fail.

At-Home Hair Colour Remover

This method is our two favourite things, cheap and easy. At-home hair colour remover can be picked up at most drugstores and it is noted to be less damaging than other products due to its lack of bleach and ammonia. Ideal.

However, before visiting your local Boots, we have to pre-warn you that this stuff smells BAD. Additionally, we found that the colour remover had little effect on the hair leaving a pretty unimpressive shade end result.

We found that to see an obvious difference, extra-strength formula was necessary, but this also came with some damage, leaving the hair feeling stringy and lack-lustre. It's a no from us...

*FYI: the last two solutions we would only ever recommend for natural hair only (defo’ not on extensions) Additionally, unless you’re asking for a doomed do’ we would highly recommend you book in with your stylist for these processes.*

A Bleach Wash

Now if you’re looking for a dye remover with a little more oomph, a bleach wash is for you. Involving diluting bleach powder with shampoo to lift dark hues, this is the technique used for a faster fix.

We didn’t try this one on our hair, but if you’re looking to give it a test run, we’ll give you the heads up that this hack may result in a brassy finish.

Professional Colour Correction

For those who have tried it all, leaving your hair in the hands of a knowledgeable stylist is often the wisest move. Whilst it may cost considerably more than the above routes, a professional will be able to give you a realistic idea of what’s possible and achievable depending on the condition of your hair. 

Whether your hair has been over processed, or you’ve gone a little bit overboard on the black box dye, a visit to the salon will give you the best chance of saving your tresses.

Post last updated 10/12/23