Hair Color Removers- Benefits and Limitations

What is hair color remover?

An artificial hair color extractor, also called hair dye remover or hair color stripper, is very effective and one of the least harmful ways to remove artificial color pigments from your hair. A color stripper is specially designed to remove oxidative (permanent) dye from the hair. Color removing products generally don’t contain ammonia or bleaching agents. If you select the right brand and only use the product occasionally it won’t cause any irreparable damage to your hair.

A dye remover is suitable for use at home, but make sure to follow directions and apply it properly. Its very strong sulfur smell might be difficult for some people to tolerate. Washing your hair multiple times during the rinsing stage takes away most of the smell.

When to use a color striper?

1)To get rid of unwanted color: If you tried a different brand of your desired shade and it came out darker than you wanted. Or, you dyed your natural blonde hair a darker color, but you don’t like the results. In either case, a hair dye remover is a safest and most effective way to reverse an undesirable color application and get the perfect base for a new color.

2)Pre-treating color remover: This product can be used to remove the build-up of previous color applications, making your hair ready for re-coloring and achieving the shade of your choice.

How does a dye remover work?

During processing time the color remover works by entering the hair shaft and breaking down the large color molecules that are deposited in the hair by oxidative hair dyes.  The particles of color molecules become small enough to be washed out from the hair. This product will not only remove the synthetic pigments from the last color you applied but also from all the previous dyes too.

Dye remover will not lighten your natural hair color because it doesn’t contain bleach. This product is designed to only remove previously applied permanent hair dye pigments, without bleaching.

This product won’t work if you are trying to restore your original natural color and you have used bleach in the past. Color remover won’t restore your hair to its pre-bleached color because the natural pigment within your underlying virgin hair has been lightened and altered. Dye remover will remove all the artificial dye from your hair and reveal the underlying lightened base.

Some brands like the L’Oreal Professional Techniques Core Haircolor Remover, Colorist Secrets Haircolor Remover, and Wella Color Charm Color Remover contain bleach in their formula.

Pravana Artificial Hair Color Extractor, ColourB4, and Color Oops Hair Color Remover don’t contain bleach, so these color removal products are less harsh on your hair than peroxide containing formulas.

Will a dye remover strip a semi-permanent color?

This unique product doesn’t work on intense colors such as blues, bright reds, pinks, purples, or greens. It only works on dyes that use peroxide developers, so it will be ineffective at removing direct dyes like henna and other plant-based colors, as well as semi-permanent or temporary colors.

You may read some reports about successful removal of semi-permanent fashion colors using artificial hair color extractors although they are not designed for that use. A possible explanation is that significant fading of vivid colors may be caused by shampooing multiple times with a clarifying shampoo and rinsing the hair with very warm water, more than by the action of the color remover.

What results to expect?

Don’t expect a beautiful color after the color removal process is completed. However, you can get the perfect base to dye your hair again to achieve your desired color. That is what this product is designed for.

Those who want to return to their natural color may be disappointed by the results. Many people blame their color remover for leaving warm undertones (This is why you hardly ever see a highly-rated color remover). However, these undertones may be the result of the previous dying processes. Past underlying permanent dyes lifted some of the natural pigments present in your hair and the color extractor just revealed this unsightly hair.

The outcome depends on your natural color and your hair coloring history.

If you have been dying your naturally brown hair black, it may turn out a reddish brown.

If you have been dying your naturally golden blonde hair a dark brown you probably will end up with a slightly reddish blonde.

If you have been dying your naturally dark hair a lighter shade, a color remover will remove the artificial dye from your hair and reveal the lightened base.

If your hair was partially gray before permanent dying in a darker shade, your white hair will turn orange. You may need help from your colorist to recolor or make the transition to your naturally gray hair.

Is a dye remover damaging to your hair?

Color stripers remove only the artificial dye without altering the structure of your hair. A color extractor is less damaging to your hair than bleaching or using ammonia based products. However, subjecting the hair to shampooing multiple times and a lot of warm water rinsing can deplete your hair of natural oils, leaving the hair feeling dry. Using a conditioner afterward is a must. A deep conditioning treatment should be done to help restore moisture and softness.

If you only use a hair color extractor occasionally, you won’t experience any serious damage to your hair. Overusing color stripping products can leave your hair dry, porous, and prone to breakage. Since hair color extractors leave a raised cuticle layer, you may experience faster color fading after stripping your hair.

To preserve the integrity of your hair, use hair color removers in moderation and select a brand that doesn’t contain bleach in their formula.

If you wish to re-color your stripped hair the same day, it is advisable to apply a temporary or semi-permanent hair color closest to your natural shade and tone and wait at least a week before applying a permanent dye. This will allow the porosity of your hair to decrease a bit.

How to use?

Be aware that a cold and drafty room is not an appropriate environment for using a day remover. Also, make sure to protect your clothing and nearby surfaces as the product could stain them. Always wear the gloves and ensure all items used are made of plastic or glass.

Step 1- Shampoo your hair twice with a clarifying shampoo. Rinse and towel dry your hair as it should be clean and damp prior to application. Some products (such as the JoBaz Hair Color Remover) should be applied to dry hair per instruction. Your hair must be perfectly clean in both cases.

Step 2- Dye remover kits come in two separate bottles containing the acid solution and the sulfurous reducing agent. You need to follow directions and mix them together to cause the chemical reaction.

Step 3-  In application stage, you need to work fast because once the solutions are mixed together the product starts losing its effectiveness. Using a tint brush immediately apply the mixture to the hair. If you have long hair, you may find it easier to pour the product into your gloved hand and apply with fingertips. Use a wide-toothed plastic comb to ensure even distribution.

Step 4- Once the hair is well saturated with the mixture, put a processing cap over your hair and apply medium heat for 20 minutes. You can use a blow dryer to keep your hair warm. Applying heat helps open the cuticle and accelerate color removal. If you don’t use the blow dryer, wrap the plastic cap with a towel to keep your hair warm.

Step 5- Rinsing stage is most important part of the process and must be done properly. During this step, you wash out the color particles from the hair. Shampoo and thoroughly rinse by directing the water into the hair multiple times. Each shampoo should be followed by a long warm rinse to keep the cuticles open. If you use cold water, the product won’t work. If you don’t rinse your hair well enough, the color particles that remain in your hair will oxidize in the air and expand again. When you do not completely flush color particles out, you may experience unwanted re-darkening and return to the unwanted color within 24-48 hours after use. The extra rinsing also helps with washing away the strong, unpleasant smell of the product.

Your hair will be a bit dry after multiple shampooing, so apply a good amount of conditioner and leave it for several minutes to combat the dryness. A neutral protein filler should be applied to seal the shaft back.

Recoloring

Although the directions on the box say that you can dye your hair the same day, I would recommend letting your hair rest for several days before dying it. If your previous color applications left your hair dry and overly porous, this condition will become even more obvious after using a color remover. If you choose to apply permanent hair dye immediately following the color removal process, you need to select a color that is at least 2 levels lighter than you want, because the coloring extremely porous hair will produce darker and more intense results than intended.

If you wish to re-color your striped hair the same day, it is advisable to apply a temporary or semi-permanent hair color closest to your natural shade and tone and wait at least a week before applying a permanent dye. This will allow the porosity of your hair to decrease a bit.

If you decide just to wait for the roots to grow out, using a “purple” shampoo will help take the brassiness out.

Medical disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.

7 thoughts on “Hair Color Removers- Benefits and Limitations

  1. I’ve only dyed my hair once. I’m naturally a medium brown color, and I died my hair black about 3 months ago. I used permanent dye, but I haven’t retouched it yet (I only dyed it the original time). I’m sick of the color, and I’m really hoping I can get close to my natural hair color because I’ve only dyed it once. Any suggestions?
    (Im also trying to avoid a red tint)

  2. A color remover wouldn’t resolve the problem except you plan to dye your hair again. Consider consulting an experienced colorist.

  3. Yes you can remove it my hair is naturally medium brown color I dyed it burgundy to black I used color oops the first time it took all the black out and my hair was burgundy since I had dyed it that color before the black I used color Oops Hair again and it came back to my natural hair color with no red tints but just make sure you rinse your hair alottttt to remove all the color . Since you’ve only dyed it once it’s less color to remove and not layers on top of layers .

  4. My hair is naturally medium to dark blonde. A couple weeks ago I tried box dying it lighter blonde because in the winter my natural lighter highlights fade and it looked more brown than blonde.
    Anyways this golden blonde L’Oreal box dye turned my lighter blonde hair orange, and my darker blonde hair red. I went to an Aveda salon and asked for them to fix the red/orange and I wanted a natural blonde look with highlights and lowlights.
    They told me they couldn’t fix the orange/red immediately, and they did this:
    -they highlighted my hair (to break up the red)
    -and then toned/added a gloss for about 8 minutes to counteract the red

    One thing I noticed was the stylists said my hair “took” really well to the highlight and it brought some neutral blonde tones, which I like. However, other than that, my hair is still orange/red.

    What I would like to know is:
    1. Did the salon do the best they could to remove the red/orange, or were they being too conservative with my hair? If so, what should I ask to be done at another salon to achieve the best and quickest results possbile?
    2. I tried buying purple shampoos and toners and nothing seems to be working on my hair! Should I try using a color stripping treatment like Pravana? Given my situation, would that only make my hair more orange/red, or would it help to remove that artificial color to my natural dark blonde?

  5. No; I haven’t asked her yet to remove the color. Also, on the down side, she just started being a hairdresser.

  6. I use color remover to get the ginger color out of my dark blonde hair. It worked pretty well, but is still a little red/gold. I’m going to dye over it, but I’m not sure what developer to use. 10 or 20? Any suggestions?

Leave a Comment

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close