How to Naturally Remove Hair Dye With Baking Soda, Vitamin C, and Vinegar
How to Get Dye out of Your Hair
Have you dyed your hair, but you're now approaching that time when you’re sick of it and want to return it back to its natural state? Most people choose to go to their neighborhood pharmacy and purchase an expensive hair dye remover. This option works well for most hair types, but some over-the-counter brands have harsh chemicals that can cause damage.
There are alternative removal methods, and you don't have to look any further than your kitchen cabinet. These ingredients are all safe and environmentally friendly, and, best of all, they won’t break the bank! You can use them on either permanent or semi-permanent hair color.
Best Ways to Fade and Remove Hair Dye at Home
- Mix baking soda and shampoo. Anti-dandruff shampoo works best, but some people also swear by clarifying shampoo. Whichever you choose, you should use a 1-to-1 ratio of baking soda and shampoo. Lather the mixture into your hair, and then leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water. Do this for a few days or until the dye completely fades.
- Mix vitamin C tablets and hot water to form a paste, and apply this to your hair. Leave it on for an hour while wearing a shower cap. Then, rinse with hot water. This method works best if you use it a few days after dying your hair. You will still see results after this timeframe, but the results will be minimal.
- Douse your hair with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Then cover your head with a shower cap for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing.
These methods are extremely drying and may cause damage depending on the current health of your hair. If you have thin, fragile hair or a sensitive scalp, use these ingredients with caution.
An In-Depth Look at the Best Methods for Stripping Permanent Dye From Your Hair
1. Baking Soda and Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Baking soda is a natural and effective cleansing agent and is often used to remove stains. It's no wonder so many people swear by it for removing hair dye as well. It works best when mixed with an anti-dandruff shampoo. This is because the shampoo's active ingredient selenium sulfide is known to fade hair (it may also fade metallic jewelry).1
Remember that this process is gradual and will not work immediately. The baking soda acts as a scrubbing agent and the selenium sulfide lightens hair, but these two ingredients won’t remove the dye completely after the first attempt. Repeat the process for a few days or for as long as needed.
Note: Clarifying shampoo may also work.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably the safest and most non-abrasive option for people who have dyed their hair a particularly dark color and would like to remove it quickly. The acid in vitamin C works by oxidizing the dye and, therefore, loosening up the dye's molecules.2
Remember, this method works best if the paste is applied no more than a few days after dying your hair, although it will show decent results if you wait a little longer. There will be a notable difference, but don’t expect any miracles.
How to Use Vitamin C
For this method, you should use plain white vinegar. Similar to the way vitamin C works, the acidity of the vinegar will help strip the dye from your hair without damaging your scalp like some expensive products do. This is because most hair dyes cannot handle acidic substances.
Alternative Methods for Fading Hair Dye at Home
Some people swear by the following methods, but depending on your hair type and how long you've had the dye on, they are not usually as effective as the ingredients listed above. If nothing works for you, you can give some of these methods a try.
- Dishwashing Soap: This works for semi-permanent hair dye, but it can be really drying.
- Baking Soda and Lemon Juice: Mix equal parts baking soda and lemon juice. Leave the mixture on your hair for just a few minutes. Lemon can really dry and damage your hair, so remember not to leave it on for too long.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: To lighten hair color that is too dark, spray your hair with a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse.
- Epsom Salt and Baking Soda: Fill a bath with warm water, epsom salt, and baking soda, and let your hair soak in it. This only works for semi-permanent dye.
- Bleach and Shampoo: If you feel particularly daring, you can mix a little bleach in with your shampoo. This method lightens the artificial dye, but may also affect your natural color, so proceed at your own risk. You should test this mixture on a strand of hair first before doing your entire head. The bleach may be too strong and may cause permanent damage.
- Bleach Powder and Water: Mix equal parts bleach powder and water. Pour through your hair and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it out, and then shampoo and condition as normal.
- Swimming: Chlorinated water fades semi-permanent dye, but the effects are minimal. Over-exposure to chlorine can cause damage and result in dry, brittle hair.
- Sun Exposure: Heat of any kind will shorten the life of your dye, so if you want that artificial color to fade fast, let your hair out under the sun.
Which natural hair dye removal option do you prefer?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.