Last Updated on December 31, 2022 by Gaga
What is Hair Color Remover?
An artificial hair color extractor, also called hair dye remover or hair color stripper, is highly effective and one of the least harmful ways to remove artificial color pigments from your hair. If your desire to look like Gwen Stefani’s platinum pixie transformed into a “Yellow Submarine,” then read on!
Stealth Haircare Health: 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 significant damage to your hair.
Common Sense about the Scents: Color removers are suitable for use at home, but ensure that you carefully follow the directions and apply the product properly. The strong sulfur smell might be difficult for some people to tolerate.
When Do You Need to Use a Color Stripper?
1. Color Chaos to Get Rid of Unwanted Color: If you tried a different brand of your desired shade and it came out darker than you wanted, a color stripper is your new BFF! Or, if you dyed your natural blonde hair a darker color, but don’t like the results, consider a color stripper as your rescue ranger! In either case, a hair dye remover is the most effective way to reverse an undesirable color application and achieve a good 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.
Color removers without bleach: Color Oops Hair Color Remover, VANISH Color Corrector, PRAVANA Artificial Hair Color Extractor, and Salerm Color Reverse. These products are kinder to your hair than peroxide-containing formulas.
Brands that contain bleach: Some brands like the L’OREAL Effasol Color Remover, Colorist Secrets Haircolor Remover, and Wella Color Charm Color Remover contain bleach in their formula.
Makeover Moments: How Does a Color Remover Work?
During the processing time, the color remover works by 1. Entering the hair shaft 2. Then 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.
Bleaching Briefs: Dye remover won’t lighten your natural hair color because it doesn’t contain bleach (there are some exceptions). This product is designed to only remove previously applied permanent hair dye pigments, without bleaching.
Here’s a bleaching brief: This product won’t work if you’re trying to restore your original natural color and you’ve 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.
Don’t expect a beautiful color after the color-removal process is completed. However, you can attain the perfect base to dye your hair again to achieve your desired color. That is what this product is designed for.
Color Chameleons: 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 may have lifted some of the natural pigments present in your hair and the color extractor just revealed this unsightly hair.
Color Transformers: Will a Color 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’s ineffective at removing direct dyes like henna and other plant-based colors, as well as semi-permanent or temporary colors.
Rainbow guys and gals have color-stripping products formulated for their needs. Direct dye removers help get rid of semi-permanent colors and allow for more experimenting with fashion colors.
To summarize the typical color chameleon facts,
- 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 likely will alleviate the artificial dye from your hair and reveal the lightened base.
- If your hair was partially gray before permanently dying in a darker shade, your white hair will possibly turn orange. You may need help from your colorist to recolor or make the transition to your naturally gray hair.
Damage Control: Is a Dye Remover Damaging to Your Hair?
For the down low on damage control, keep in mind that color strippers remove only the artificial dyes without altering the structure of your hair. Using them is less damaging to your hair than applying bleach or ammonia-based products. However, subjecting the hair to shampooing multiple times and a lot of warm water rinsing can strip natural oils and leave your strands feeling dry. Make sure to do deep conditioning treatment to help your hair to restore moisture and softness. Do damage control to keep your hair on a hot roll!
If you only use a hair color extractor occasionally, you shouldn’t experience any serious damage to your hair. However, overusing color-stripping products can leave your hair dry, porous, and prone to breakage. Another potential unwanted effect is faster color fading because color strippers may leave the cuticles lifted.
To preserve the integrity of your hair, use hair color removers in moderation and choose a brand that doesn’t contain bleach.
How to Use Color Removers
Read the instructions: Read the instruction carefully to get the most out of the product and minimize unwanted effects. Some color removers are supposed to be used in a well-ventilated room. Some others work better in a warm room. So, you must read the instructions carefully to choose an appropriate environment as every product is different.
Protect your skin and your place: Color removers should be applied to dry, unwashed hair. The protective oil coating helps prevent skin irritation. Also, protect your clothing and nearby surfaces as the product could stain them. Always wear gloves and use the applicator bottle provided or ensure that all items used are made of plastic or glass.
Application stage: You need to follow directions and prepare the product in order to cause a chemical reaction that will strip the unwanted color. In this, stage you need to work fast because once the product is activated it will start 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 it with your fingertips. Use a wide-toothed plastic comb to ensure even distribution.
Processing stage: Once the hair is well saturated with the mixture, put a processing cap over your hair, and leave it as long as directed. If instructions say to apply heat for the recommended time. 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.
The rinsing stage: This is the 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. Follow each shampoo with a long warm rinse to keep the cuticles open. 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.
Apply conditioner: 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.
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 of extremely porous hair will produce darker and more intense results than desired.
If you wish to re-color your hair the same day, it is advisable to apply a temporary or semi-permanent hair color closest to your natural shade and wait at least a week before applying a permanent dye. Use this period to recover your high-porosity hair to recover and replenish some moisture.
Use neutral protein filler to seal the cuticles and equalize hair porosity before applying a new color.
If you decide just to wait for the roots to grow out, using a “purple” shampoo will help keep the brassiness away.
Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.