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How To Wash Out Hair Dye At Home


What your hair looks like after coloring can be a surprise, pleasant or not-so-pleasant. 

If you’re happy with how it looks, you’ve hit the jackpot. 

But what if you are not? Hair color disasters are not that uncommon. 

Thankfully, there are ways to reverse the damage you’ve done. You can either choose to color over it again or learn how to wash out hair dye at home.

If you ask us, we would recommend you to do the latter. 

That is because the second round of hair dye on already colored hair can be very harmful to your hair and roots. The build-up of products at the roots can weaken them, causing the hair to break or fall. 

Also, your hair shafts can only absorb a certain amount of hair dye. So, the second coat of hair color may not evenly penetrate all hair strands, resulting in an uneven outcome.

It is always better to wash out the first hair dye before you try coloring again.

But washing out hair dye at home has an impact on your hair too. You will need to give your hair time to heal and some thorough care before it can be color-treated again.

Table of contents:

  • Can you wash out hair dye at home?
  • How to wash out hair dye at home – 5 DIY solutions
  • 1. Lemon juice
  • 2. Baking soda
  • 3. White vinegar/Apple cider vinegar
  • 4. Vitamin C and clarifying shampoo
  • 5. Bleach or hydrogen peroxide
  • How to care for hair after you wash out hair dye at home?

Can you wash out hair dye at home?

The simple answer is yes. 

Washing out hair dye at home may not give you the heavy lifting that a salon treatment will, but on the plus side, you will be using fewer chemicals and causing lesser damage. 

Celebrity hairstylist, Michelle Garwood, says, “Applying home methods to remove artificial color pigment can be risky, as we can't be sure of the exact chemical components, causing unknown and uneven results. But they can budge your color 1/2-1 shade lighter”.

So, if you can’t afford to or simply don’t want to go for a salon treatment for hair color removal, you can try a few home remedies that usually work.

How to wash out hair dye at home – 5 DIY solutions

Here are a few DIY methods you can try to wash out or at least lighten your hair dye at home. 

Make sure that you are not allergic to any ingredients and don’t overdo any of these treatments because that would cause more harm than good. 

1. Lemon juice

Lemon is naturally acidic and has pigment-lightening capabilities. Being all-natural, using lemon juice on your hair can have no negative impacts if you do it right. 

Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with some coconut oil and apply this mixture to your hair. Leave it on for about an hour before washing it off with shampoo. 

lemon juice

Make sure not to leave lemon juice on your hair for too long as it may irritate the scalp and cause premature greying too. 

Doing this once every week for about 3-4 weeks should lighten your hair dye to an extent. This will work better on semi-permanent hair dyes. Permanent hair dyes may need something stronger.

Lemon juice has other benefits for hair, too, like treating dandruff.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent and has been long used for removing stains in most households. 

Contrary to lemon juice, baking soda is alkaline. With baking soda, too, you need to be very careful not to use it wrong, or you could end up damaging your hair and scalp.

You can use baking soda directly by making a paste with water and applying it to your hair. Leave this mask on for not more than an hour and wash off. 

baking soda

This method removes colors like blue and purple quite effectively. You may not see striking results on the first use itself, but if you repeat this process at an interval of a few days, you will certainly see change.

Baking soda can also be used with an anti-dandruff shampoo for better results. Anti-dandruff shampoos contain selenium sulfide, which has hair-lightening properties as well.

3. White vinegar/Apple cider vinegar

Washing out hair dye with vinegar can be a slow process, but it will be far less damaging than any of the other treatments. 

Mix half a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with two cups of water. After you wash your hair, rinse it with this solution and let it stay for 20 minutes or so. 

After that, you can rinse it with plain water. Repeat this at least twice a week. The acidic nature of vinegar will gradually lighten the hair dye. Vinegar also increases the shine in your hair and cleanses your scalp.

4. Vitamin C and clarifying shampoo

Vitamin C can oxidize hair dye molecules making their hold on the hair strands weaker. It also expands the hair cuticles and exposes the cortex making it easier to reach the color that has penetrated the hair shaft. 

Vitamin C treatment is probably the only remedy that can give you notably lighter hair in just about three washes.

Crush 10 to 12 Vitamin C tablets and mix them with a small amount of clarifying shampoo. The clarifying shampoo also has deep cleansing properties, which make the remedy more effective. 

Apply this Vitamin C infused shampoo on your hair and leave it for about 30 mutes before washing off.

You can also use a Vitamin C paste made by mixing the crushed tablets with warm water.

5. Bleach or hydrogen peroxide

This is something we would not recommend trying unless you really need to get results faster and know how to use bleach. 

Bleach, or hydrogen peroxide, is a harsh chemical and can severely damage your hair if you overprocess it. 

hydrogen peroxide

To do this, you will need to dilute the hydrogen peroxide with equal amounts of water. Spray this solution on your hair and leave it on for just 10 minutes. Then shampoo and condition your hair as usual. 

Be very careful if you choose to do this, and make sure you test it on a strand of hair before trying it on your entire hair.

How to care for hair after you wash out hair dye at home?

Any method that you adopt to wash out hair dye at home will be a little harsh on your hair. So you will have to care for your hair a little extra in the days that follow. 

Get your hands on some good nourishing and revitalizing hair care products. All-natural hair care products that hydrate your hair will remove the dryness and frizz induced by these color removing treatments.

Here are some nourishing hair care products to try.

Castor oil

Castor oil is this heavy, thick oil that is known to improve hair texture and also promote hair growth. I

t not only improves your scalp health but is also recommended by experts for growing your eyelashes and eyebrows. It will give your hair much-needed softness and volume if you use it regularly. 

Try the WOW Skin Science 100% pure Castor Oil. It is cold-pressed and organic, giving you the complete goodness of natural castor oil.

Onion oil

Onion oil gives excellent results in hair growth and replenishment. Products rich in onion oil can revitalize dull, lifeless hair and reverse hair damage significantly, giving you shinier, bouncier hair in just a few uses.

Onion Black Seed Hair Oil With Almond, Castor, Jojoba, Olive & Coconut Oils, wow onion hair oil, buywow

WOW Rejuvenating Red Onion Black Seed Oil Shampoo + Conditioner is a complete package to bring your dry hair back to life. It is packed with antioxidant-rich Red Onion Seed Oil Extract, Black Seed Oil, and Pro-Vitamin B5, everything you need for soft and shiny locks.

Red Onion Shampoo And Conditioner Set

Browse through our range of all-natural, organic hair care products to pamper your hair and nurture it back to its full glory.

Karen Roche

Karen Roche is a health and beauty expert, with over 25 years of experience in the skin and hair care industry. Karen has helped her clients overcome a multitude of skin and hair issues with her simple, but effective, tips and tricks. She has authored several informative, value-adding articles for global beauty brands as a guest writer, and loves to share her knowledge on skin and hair health through this medium.

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