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


We felt like now that summer is long gone it might just be THE perfect time to write a post on removing hair dye. There’s something about the warm weather that makes us feel super experimental but now that it’s over we’re thinking that multi-colour rinse isn’t so appealing. Fear not though gal friends, because we decided to test a few methods on Mim’s mermaid hair extensions to find out what works. We’ve also popped two methods in that you can use on your natural hair too incase you need something more drastic.

We searched YouTube and decided on three different hacks to try which were Vitamin C tablets, anti-dandruff shampoo and a colour remover. We thought we should mention, before we get into this post, that hair extensions are more porous than your natural hair and so take to dye much better. Mim’s mermaid extensions were also dyed with blue semi-permanent dye which can be a tricky colour to remove. If you’re testing these on your natural hair and with natural colour dyes you may find them more effective but these are our experiences.

Before we start we want to make sure that you think about the condition of your hair too. The most important thing is keeping your hair super healthy because a bigger disaster than a hair colour you don’t like is having no hair at all...


Clarifying or Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Although shampoos won't completely strip the colour out of your hair they can really help to fade it which will make it easier to cover. An anti-dandruff or clarifying shampoo will slowly lift hair dye from your hair and fade it without causing any damage. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to lift their colour a few shades lighter or if your hair needs a break from processing. We decided to try the Head & Shoulders 2in1 Classic Clean Shampoo and Conditioner  and rinsed the hair about 15 times. It didn’t make a crazy amount of difference but over time we can definitely see how it would help to fade your colour a lot quicker. There is a bit of a lift already and the hair looks more pastel than it did when we started. We recommend using a moisturising mask after though, especially if you have dry hair, as these shampoos will remove a lot of your natural oils. Many hair professionals swear by Vosene anti-dandruff shampoo which is said to work wonders for stripping out hair dye!


Vitamin C Tablets

Literally the most bizarre hack ever.. You basically crush 5-10 Vitamin C tablets, mix them with shampoo and slather the mixture on your head. It sounds weird but according to youtuber hair gurus this is a holy grail tip. After 45 minutes you should be left with a super faded version of your original colour and some seriously funky smelling hair. It’s apparently down to the acid in the tablets which oxidises the dye and breaks down the molecules to strip back the colour. So with a positive mind we tried this out on three wefts from Mim’s set. Firstly you need WAY more than 10-15 tablets. We used 30 to cover these three wefts and we were still scraping at the bowl towards the end. After repeating the process twice we concluded that this is an absolute fail though because not only is it weird but the shampoo was more effective on its own and way less complicated. The lift is pretty much nothing and the colour looks the same even after leaving the mixture on for 45 minutes. Don’t believe the hype!


At Home Hair Colour Remover

The good thing about at-home colour removers is that you can easily pick one up, they’re cheap and for the most part pretty easy to use. They strip back colour without using bleach or ammonia so they’re apparently less damaging. We decided to try out the Colour B4 Kit on Mim’s wefts to see if it could remove the blue. Let us just take a second to warn you for the worst smell you will EVER smell. The only thing we could imagine to compare it to is the eggy farts of a zombie. If that wasn’t bad enough it didn’t really make a difference either. The first kit we used was for frequent use and this didn’t lift the hair at all until 45 minutes after we applied the treatment and even then the difference was really minimal. It might be down to the fact that this formula isn't effective on bright coloured dye but we were surprised how little hair dye the hair dye remover actually removed. We then tried the process again using their extra strength formula and this actually lifted the colour a lot more. It made the hair feel quite thin and stringy though and we actually wouldn’t recommend using this on your hair extensions at all. Customer feedback on the box reads “I could actually see the tired, old dye pigments fading away before my eyes” hmmm. Maybe it was just the haze from the stink causing a mirage.


The last two options in this post we recommend for your natural hair only and that you go to a salon or hair professional to have them done. We don’t recommend bleaching your hair extensions as they have already been through a chemical process and we don’t want you to frazzle them beyond recognition. If you ruin your extensions there is no way to revive them!

A Bleach Wash

This is great if you want to lighten your hair really quickly in order to apply a new colour over the top. You basically dilute some bleach powder with shampoo to lift the colour of your hair a few shades and remove any stubborn spots of colour. It’s likely that this will result in red or brassy toned hair afterwards though so you’ll need to be prepared to combat that afterwards.

Professional Colour Correction

This is the last resort when it comes to removing colour and is often pretty pricey. If you’ve used a box dye to go super dark or if your hair is over-processed this is probably going to be the option for you. Professional colourists will be able to give you a realistic idea of what’s possible and achievable depending on the condition of your hair. Let’s face it the majority of hair colour disasters happen over your bathroom sink and it’s likely you’re already wishing you went to a salon in the first place. Colouring your hair is an art form in itself and knowing how different hair reacts to different processes is really important. If you need any more persuading just watch Guy Tang on youtube and thank us later.

So there we have it! Whether you want to get rid of a pastel rinse or are regretting that black box dye we hope you’ve found the best option for you. If you want our advice, seek a professional! Colouring can be way more complicated than you think and the smell of that hair remover is enough to put us off dye forever.

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