How to Remove Hair Dye


Dying your hair is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change your look, and with an almost limitless choice of colors available, it's never been simpler to get the exact look you want. If you've dyed your hair and decided that a color isn't for you however, you may be wondering how to remove it.

How to remove dye

There are a couple of different methods available to remove hair dye, and each method has its own drawbacks and benefits. These methods consist of:

  • Bleaching your hair
  • Performing a bleach wash
  • Using color remover
  • Dyeing your hair darker
  • Toning your hair
  • Washing your hair with clarifying shampoo

Clarifying shampoo

Clarifying shampoo is designed to be strong enough to remove buildups of styling products and oil, and it is this trait that allows it to remove hair dye. Using a clarifying shampoo in place of your regular shampoo will help to fade hair dye much quicker than would otherwise be possible with regular shampoos. Because of this, you can use a clarifying shampoo to gradually lighten hair that has been dyed dark. This is most useful when your color has turned out a little on the dark side and you just want to soften it.

The main drawback to clarifying shampoo is that the shampoo is harsher on hair than other shampoos, and can't remove the bulk of color present in dyed hair. If you use a clarifying shampoo, it should only be used to subtly fade a hair color that is too dark. You will also need to use ample amounts of conditioner to counteract the hair drying effect that the clarifying shampoo has.

The color wheel - colors opposite to each other will neutralize each other.
The color wheel - colors opposite to each other will neutralize each other.

Toning hair

Hair toner is useful if you want to remove bright colors like red or purple, or if you need to remove excessive ash tones from blonde hair. It can't remove dark hair dye or dye your hair darker, but it can correct tones that you don't like or wish to remove.

To use toner to correct unwanted tones in your hair, you'll need to determine what those tones are. In the case of blonde hair that has been over-processed, these tones will often be green, blue, violet, or gray in appearance. Once you've determined what tone you're trying to combat, you can tone it out by using a color wheel. Colors on the wheel that are directly opposite to each other are complementary tones and will neutralize each other. In this sense, if you wanted to remove ash tones out of your hair, you would use a copper or gold tone depending on whether it was blue or violet ash used for the original color.

This method can also be used on bright red or purple hair if you want to tone it back to a natural shade but don't want to lighten or darken your hair. Red hair can be neutralized with the use of green based ash dye, and purple can be neutralized with a gold tone. For hair that is a combination of red and purple, red and copper, or purple and violet, you have to mix a blend of appropriate complementary tones to neutralize it completely. For example, mahogany hair is a combination of red and violet, and you need to use a green-gold toner to drab it.

Dye removal damage

Clarifying shampoo
None - very minimal
Dying it darker
Very minimal
Bleach wash
Minimal - moderate
Color remover
None - very minimal

Should you use bleach?

Bleach is best used to remove hair dye for hair that has suffered minimal chemical damage. Hair that has been relaxed, permed, dyed repeatedly, or bleached previously should not be bleached. If your hair is still in strong and healthy condition despite chemical treatments, you are still able to bleach it, but you will need to be careful. Being sensible is the best way to keep your hair healthy when you remove hair dye from it.

Bleaching hair

There are two options available to remove hair dye with bleach:

  1. Use a bleach wash
  2. Use a full bleach process

When deciding which method of bleaching you should use, you need to ask yourself how much color you want to remove. If you only need to remove 1 - 2 levels, you can achieve this with a bleach wash usually, and this method will be less damaging to the hair. If you need more lift, a full bleach is required for reliable results.

To perform a bleach wash, prepare bleach powder as recommended by the brand you've chosen to use and then add an equal quantity of shampoo. The volume of developer can be anything from 10 vol to 30 vol depending on the amount of lift needed and the sensitivity of your scalp. Apply the bleach wash to damp hair and leave it for up to 20 minutes before washing it out.

A full bleach is different in that it does not include the shampoo, and should be applied to dry hair for best results. To use this method, prepare bleach powder using 20 vol developer and apply it to your hair in sections. The application is easiest if you divide your hair into quadrants by parting the hair from forehead to the back of your neck, and then again from ear to ear, working on one quadrant at a time until your hair is completely covered. If your hair is in good condition, your scalp isn't too sensitive, and you need the added lift, you can use 30 vol developer for extra lightening power if the brand being used allows this. Leave the bleach for up to 45 minutes before washing it out.

Regardless of what method of bleaching you choose to use, it is necessary to tone your hair to neutralize the warm tones that will show up when you remove dark hair dye. To do this, apply an ash dye that is 1 level lighter than your hair currently is and rinse when it reaches a tone that you are satisfied with.

Goldwell System Color Remover - Hair 2 x 1.6 oz
Goldwell System Color Remover - Hair 2 x 1.6 oz

When mixed and applied to hair, Goldwell color remover will strip out permanent hair dye without causing damage.


Color remover

Color remover is the one of the most effective and least damaging ways to remove hair dye, and should be considered as the first line of treatment when you want to remove permanent dye. It only works on permanent dye though, so it can't be used on semi-permanent or temporary colors. For color that isn't permanent, you will need to either wash it until it fades out, or use a bleach bath or full bleach to lift it out and toner to neutralize any remaining color.

Permanent dye becomes permanent as a result of the oxidation produced by the developer mixed into the dye. As a chemical reaction is required to do this, dye remover is able to remove hair dye by reversing this reaction to allow the permanent color molecules to be washed back out of the hair. It is best used on hair that has only been dyed once, though can be effective on hair that is coated with a couple of dyes. Whether it will remove all the dye or only part of it depends on a combination of how much dye you've used on your hair, and how dark that dye is.

Dye remover is packaged as two separate solutions: an acid solution and a sulfurous reducing agent. To use it to remove hair dye, you need to mix both solutions together to activate the chemical reaction and then apply it quickly to your hair. Dye remover must be applied immediately after it is mixed together, because the chemical reaction taking place will slow down and eventually cease after time, making it much less effective if it has sat for a few minutes before application.

Leave the dye remover in your hair for about 25 minutes. You will notice significant changes taking place in this short time period, and the dye remover should be washed out as soon as this reaction begins to slow down. You will need to shampoo your hair with clarifying shampoo a few times to ensure you've removed as much of the reduced color as possible, because any color that is left can be oxidized again in air and darken back up. After two shampoos, this oxidation is negligible because you can be fairly sure you've removed the majority of the reduced dye.

After removing color with dye remover, the worst case scenario is that you are lighter than before and the dye remover hasn't removed all of the hair dye. The best case scenario is that all of the hair dye has been removed and you have returned to the lightest color you have previously been. Either way, because dye remover doesn't damage your hair, any removal is good and will enable bleach or other methods to work more effectively and in less time, thus cutting down the damage from bleaching.

Like with bleach, when you remove dark hair dye with color remover, you can notice warm tones appearing. These should be toned to reach the desired shade and finish the removal process. The toner used for this should be at least 2 levels lighter because it will produce a darker result on hair that has been stripped with a remover.


Dyeing your hair darker

If the color you're trying to remove is blonde, you can't remove it technically because you arrived at the color by removing the natural pigment from your hair. In order to reverse hair lightening, your only option is to dye over it with a darker dye. This is easy and consists of applying the desired shade over your hair and allowing it to process.

Hair is often porous after lightening, and this needs to be taken into account to avoid your color turning out darker than expected. If you use a shade that is 1 - 2 levels lighter than your desired shade, you can avoid this problem.

Another problem to watch out for is dyeing over pale or ashy blondes with an ash brown or black shade. Because your blonde hair is devoid of copper and red pigment, you could end up with an unexpected result like green hair. To avoid this problem, fill your hair using a protein filler or demi-permanent dye prior to dyeing it darker.

Oftentimes, the best method to remove hair dye is a combination of many of these techniques. In all cases, you should wait for the dye to fade as much as possible, and then color remover can be used to strip out as much dye as possible before resorting to bleach. Taking the less damaging method that will still give you the results you seek, will keep your hair looking and feeling healthy. Feeling great about your hair is the most important thing.

Do you have a problematic hair color you're trying to remove or have just been through a hair dye removal ordeal? Leave a comment for tailored advice...

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madeleine 22 months ago

I need to remove purple colour from my hair im ash blonde naturally do you have any suggestions thanks x

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Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Madeleine,

What type of dye is it? Permanent, demi-permanent, and semi-permanent dyes all have different removal processes and what works for one type won't necessarily work for another.

madeleine 22 months ago

It is permanent x

Lily 22 months ago

I tried darkening my light blonde hair with a semi-permanent color, and it turned out a grayish light purplish color. I wanted dark golden blonde to light golden brown. I would appreciate your suggestion for this too. I am afraid to make another mistake.

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Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Madeleine,

In that case, use hair dye remover first. If you only applied the purple once, this should get most of the colour out. If you've been dyeing it for a while it will still remove some of the colour but likely not as much.

If this takes it light enough to get back to your blonde, you just need to tone it then. If it's still a bit too dark, apply a bleach wash to take out some of the colour and then tone.

The colour of toner used will depend on what shade your hair is after removing the purple. It will probably be orange since the dye is permanent and will have a warm base tone.In that case you would use a blue-based ash dye to tone it.

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Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Lily,

If that happened it's because the dye had too much cool tone in it. Ash and natural blonde shades can be based on blue or violet tone, and this neutralises the warm tones orange and yellow, respectively. On lighter blonde hair though, a darker ash gives a cool tone that is too dominant. In this case, the dye you used was violet based and this is what caused it to turn greyish purple.

To fix it, I'd recommend applying a dark golden blonde dye. Just as violet counteracts gold, gold itself will cancel out violet if you add it back into your hair. For added depth, it would help to mix a small amount of copper into the golden blonde dye. You only need a tiny amount of this though.

madeleine 22 months ago

Hi ive used a colour remover my hair is now a bright coppery red can i use a highlighting kit or am i best just getting a blonde to go on top of it thanks

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Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi again Madeleine,

Is it light enough now for the blonde you want? If not, I'd recommend applying a bleach wash to take out more of the remaining colour until it is. After that, tone it with ash blonde dye to neutralise the warm tones that are leftover.

I wouldn't recommend highlighting it though as that will complicate the toning. If you highlight the orange hair, you end up with lighter orange highlights and using an ash dye that is dark enough to tone the unhighlighted hair will be too strong on the highlights and make them very ashy. Vice versa, using a dye that is the right strength to tone the highlights won't be strong enough to tone the rest of your hair. It's easiest just to leave it all one level unless you really want highlights, in which case you'll need to be able to tone them separately.

no one 22 months ago


I dyed my hair green with Manic Panic recently, but decided that I don't like it very much, so I was thinking of going back to a dark brown color. The thing is, after i fade the green some more, would it be ok for me to put a red over it and then my desired brown color or is there an extra step I should do? Also, would it be okay if the red was a semi premanent dye (ION Color Brilliance in Red)?

Lauren 22 months ago

I attempted to lightened my pre-dyed dark brown hair. Needless to say it did not work. I ended up w/golden roots and light/med chocolate brown ends. I decided to cut my losses and match my roots to the the ends; the first attempt only left a slight green tinge to the roots and did nothing to the ends (it was combed through after sitting on my roots for 15min). To cancel the green I used a soft auburn on the roots and then combed through to blend. It cancelled the green but not completely. I toned my hair after lightening it with Wella Color Charm pale ash blonde toner, could that be blocking my cuticle? I can't think of any other reason the darker dye wouldn't cover my roots.

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Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi No one,

It's perfectly fine to use the red and then your desired shade. Just make sure the red is at least one to two levels lighter than your desired shade so that it doesn't interact with it too much. For a dark brown result, use a light red brown, topped with a dark natural brown.

I wouldn't recommend a semi permanent though. You can do it, and it will produce the same colour as if you used a demi or permanent for the filler, but the semi will wash out over time, so your base gradually washes out and your hair will change colour and fade quickly as this happens.

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Maffew James 22 months ago Author

Hi Lauren,

What did you use to lighten it? From your description of what happened, it sounds like you used a dye to try to lighten it, and this is why it didn't work. Dyed hair has to be lightened with bleach. The artificial colour can't be lightened by using another dye as dye only lifts natural pigment effectively. Your roots are virgin hair as well as closer to the scalp where it's warmest, so they end up lightening, but the lengths barely change.

As for dyeing your roots dark again, I can probably guess why the green tinge appeared. What dye did you use specifically? If it was an ash shade, the green appears because any shade other than a neutral can't always be used to properly darken hair. Ash turns grey, green, or blue depending on brand and level, red will turn pink, mahogany will turn violet...the primary tone of the dye becomes the dominant colour in the hair because the base tone is missing. Even a neutral tone should only be used when the darkening required is only a few levels and the neutral used is definitely a balanced neutral.

As for why the auburn cancelled the green out, I bet you already know the answer to this, as if you didn't, I doubt you would have thought to use it. Green neutralises red, and vice versa, red will neutralise green. To darken your hair and return the roots to dark brown, I would recommend applying a light red brown dye to your roots, then after that has developed, top that with a dark natural brown. This fills the hair to put the base tone back in, then the dark natural brown gives you the proper colour when added on top.

I don't believe the original toner has sealed your hair cuticles, but if you're worried the dye isn't penetrating properly, wash it with a clarifying shampoo next time you wash your hair. This will strip product build up out of your hair and make sure the dye penetrates properly.

Nicmacca 21 months ago

My hair is dyed red and ive bought colour stripper for it. Once ive stripped the hair can i use a permanent blonde dye on it or does it have to be semi permanent ? Thanks

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Maffew James 21 months ago Author

Hi Nicmacca,

Colour stripper can refer to either dye remover or bleach. Both products are used differently though. Do you know which one you have?

In any case, dyeing it blonde requires it to be light enough after stripping. Then you need to use an ash tone to neutralise the remaining red tone. You can use any type of dye, but a semi-permanent will wash out over time. Use whichever you want depending on how long you want the new colour to last.

Crystalina 20 months ago I'm naturally dark brown but I usually always have my hair between golden brown and light blonde. Because I love purple I recently decided I wanted purple hair, genius, awww no, but I went forth with it. So I lightened my blonde even lightener for the full effect. So I perfected the purple hue effect (Manic Panic) which some said looked blue in certain lights. I've been rocking this look and my hair is naturally curly which I usually straighten and it's been over a month and sadly I'm over it because it's too much to keep up with because my hair grows so fast. So, I'd really like my blonde or I'd even take my golden brown hair back. I feel like this may not be possible as I have been diligently shampooing my hair with head and shoulders and barley removing any color. I don't want to apply any harse chemicals to strip this color as my hair has been unhealthy in the past and within the past 8 months has finally been on the right path to health. My question is do you think I should suck it up and dye back to my natural color? and if so will it not turn green? or do you have any suggestions in removing my multiple shades I've gotten now, gray, green, dark purple and blue now from my head and shoulders efforts to be able to dye blonde again? Thank You so very much for your time and suggestions...From this purple lover gone too far :)

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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Crystalina,

Getting back to blonde would be incredibly difficult now with all the different tones that are present in your hair.

Judging by your description of how the colour looked, there was probably quite a bit of blue colour in the purple colour. This is necessary for purple as pure violet looks more pinkish and the blue blends to create a more typical purple. The grey is the result of leftover violet toning out gold in the underlying blonde, the green is a result of blue tone from your violet colour interacting with that same gold in other areas, and the hair that is still purple or blue is where the colour hasn't washed out as readily.

The best way to fix this would be to bleach it slightly to take out some of those unwanted tones, and then cover with a light golden brown. This will produce a better result, but you can still use the light golden brown by itself if you definitely don't want to bleach again.

The golden tone in this brown neutralises the remaining violet in your hair and the final result is going to be more of neutral shade after this interaction. Using a light brown level is necessary itself in order to cover the mix-match of tones and levels and get it more even and consistent.

lili 20 months ago

hi i used manic panic blue and then my hair become green and i used loreal super blond and removing hair colour but that green become lighter and lighter and isn't gone. so my new grow hair become gold and all of them is green so what should i do now?

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Maffew James 20 months ago Author

Hi Lili,

You need to add red into your hair to tone out the green. There's several different ways you can do this.

Probably the easiest, is to get red manic panic, mix a small amount of that into conditioner and apply to the green areas. Start with a very small amount of red and titrate the strength until it's strong enough as you don't want to replace the unwanted colour with another.

You could also use a light shade of dye and add red intensifier to that. Eg, Wella Koleston 10/03 with a small amount of 0/43. The 0/43 is a pure red/gold tone that can be added to any other Koleston dye to add colour. Once again, you need to test the strength first to deal with the amount of green in your hair.

Apart from that, you could also just dye over it using a light natural brown with a small amount of dark red blonde mixed in. This will result in a darker colour, but it will tone and cover the green and is the easiest method to use. The other two methods will preserve your blonde hair.

Jess 19 months ago

Hi! I'm just double checking I'm not about to make a terrible mistake, but I'm trying to get rid of incredibly faded chocolate brown (currently a muted gingery colour) from my naturally ash blonde hair. I've been dying it dark for years, so there's a bit of colour build up. I've got some 'COLOURB4' dye remover, which I'm pretty confident will get the rest out, but my question is can I use a blonde toner (in this case Nordic Blonde) to correct the blonde once the dye is removed?!

shawnborror 19 months ago

I went to salon on my dirty blonde hair and went red,only now it's really very dark 'merlot' with more purple tone then I want - any advise for reducing the purple tones to it?

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Shawn,

Anything you do to remove the violet tone will remove red tone as well. However, violet does usually fade out quicker than red so washing it a few times with clarifying shampoo may be enough to get it to a colour you like more.

If that doesn't work, you can add gold into your hair to tone out the violet without neutralising the red. I'd recommend doing this by either using a yellow semi-permanent dye, or a permanent line that has pure tone mixers (Eg, Wella Koleston 5/5 red brown with a small amount of Koleston 0/33 gold tone mixed in).

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Jess,

You need to use an ash shade at the correct level to tone it properly. Eg, if your hair is a level 6 (Dark blonde), after the dye is removed, it will look a bright orange-gold colour and can be toned with dark ash blonde. At this level, the toner is not only dark enough to actually work, but is also the correct blue-violet base that is required to properly neutralise the warm tones that are present.

Any toner that is too light or the wrong colour won't properly correct the warmth. Any toner that is too dark will over-tone and result in dark grey hair.

Jeanette 19 months ago

I have bleach blonde on 3/4 of my hair with the bang and side deep blue with a couple black foils that are quite old. I want to remove the blue and black and put hot pink any suggestions.

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Jeanette,

Were the black foils originally blonde like the majority of your hair? If so, and if it's permanent dye and has only been coloured once, chances are that dye remover will get rid of most of the remaining colour. If it's still not light enough, these sections then need to be bleached until they are.

For the blue though, which is more likely a semi-permanent colour, removal is more difficult. Dye remover won't affect it because it only works on permanent dye. Bleach will lighten it, but it isn't very effective as the colour is a stain on the hair shaft rather than actual dye molecules and this is more difficult to lighten and best removed gradually with shampoo. Worst case scenario, tone any remaining blue out using orange until it's fairly neutral in colour and then cover with a darker pink shade.

Elizabeth 19 months ago

Hi I am tired of dying my hair but don't know how to proceed. For about 20yrs been dying medium golden brown... The ends are lighter gingery dark blond colour after using a ombré lit.

My roots are salt & pepper in places pure white elsewhere. If I strip the hair dye will it take it cack to white? Or will it look a mess? Should I go to a colourist is it too complicated!!!!

isa 19 months ago

Hey , so i recently bleached all of my hair. as expected when i bleached it my hair went a dark reddish and then i bleached it again so it was orange & yellow on the roots . i didn't want to bleach it again so ive seen that ash blonde toner can take out the orange , unfortunately i used a light ash blonde DYE instead of a toner & it went to a darker orangish color . so i would like to know how can i strip the dye out and get it back to that orange yellowish color without having to bleach it again .

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Elizabeth,

Dye remover only removes the oxidative dye that is found in permanent hair colour, so it can take you back to as light as the natural pigment remaining underneath the dye. If there's white hair beneath all that dye, this is what it would take it back to in a perfect scenario where it completely removes all the dye.

This isn't likely though, as even when dye remover works really well, it can still leave stubborn colour behind, and when you've been dyeing it over and over for years, chances are it won't take out much at all due to the heavy buildup. It's more likely you'd be left with a bright golden orange colour after using it.

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Isa,

If the dye you used was a permanent dye, use dye remover to strip it out. This reverses the chemical process that developed the colour so that it will wash out again.

However, keep in mind that tone and level are separate. The level of your hair is how dark it is, and tone is the colour it is. You can neutralise absolutely any unwanted colour with toning, but if it's still in the brown level range, it will never look blonde. Ie, it's not the colour that gives you blonde hair, it's how light it is, and toning can not lighten hair, it only deposits a complementary colour which, in combination with the unwanted colour, becomes neutral in appearance.

Ann 19 months ago

I have blonde highlights and low lights. I had a partial foil done a few weeks ago and the front turned out lighter than the rest. Went back last week for a color correction and another colorist put on a toner that turned it all one color like a medium brown which I did not want. How can I get it back to the blonde highlights and low lights without damaging my hair?

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Ann,

It's likely you won't be able to get the highlights and lowlights back without applying them all over again. It's possible that when the toner fades, they may begin to appear again if the areas that had been previously highlighted fade quicker, but it's not a definite. Anything you do to remove the colour other than shampooing is likely to just make it worse at this stage as neither bleach or dye remover are selective and all your hair will lighten from their use. It'd be better to just leave it and allow it to fade for a while to see where you stand.

Paige Martin 19 months ago

Hi! I'm looking for some advice about my hair. I dyed my hair a permanent red-violet color in January which was about a 3 on the color scale so it was pretty dark. Before I dyed it, my hair was a light brown color. I re-dyed my hair again with permanent dye in February but this time we used more violet than red because I was looking to get some purple hair. Again, it was very dark. Now my hair has faded a bit and the red tones are fairly visible so it is a burgundy color but I want to go back to light brown or just a brown color. How can I do this without bleaching my hair?

Riva 19 months ago

Hi! I recently had my hair dyed purple. I asked for a lavender and came out with electric purple. My hair before was yellowish on top and more ashy on bottom due to another hairstylist fixing it from a horrible job before that. I have used a clarifying conditioner to get a lot out as it was a semi perm dye. I really do not like this purple as it is pulling pinkish times from the yellow before and is also just too dark.

What can I do to achieve an ashy purple and is it possible to have an ashy purple that is not super dark in color.

Thank you.

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Paige,

You won't likely be able to get back to light brown without using bleach. Dye remover can be used to remove permanent dye because it reverses the development process, but it doesn't always remove it all when you're dealing with darker dyes; especially when it has been applied more than once.

With the use of dye remover, you'll probably get to about a medium brown. It will be red to orange however and this will need to be toned with ash brown dye after use of the dye remover to actually take it to a natural colour. Alternatively, use dye remover to take out as much dye as possible, then bleach it the rest of the way and tone with light ash brown to finish the colour.

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Riva,

Colour that is too dark can't be lightened without the removal of the colour. You would have to continue to wash it until it fades more in order for the result to actually be lighter.

As for the actual colour, this can be changed by adding the correct tone to modify the colour. In the case of your hair looking pink, there is probably some red tone in there contributing to this. More red causes purple colours to look more magenta or pink, whereas adding more blue causes them to look more 'purple'. You can adjust the colour by either applying a more blue-ish purple or taking the original dye you used and mixing a blue colour into it to make it look more lavender. How dark this colour turns out is a combination of how dark your natural colour underneath is, as well as how dark the dye is.

Kirsten 19 months ago

Hi I dyed my hair purple xzp live from blonde highlighted hair Iv been doing it about 5 month and using straighteners a lot Iv been told this will make it difficult I know want a more natural colour can you tell me what couloir my hair will go if I use colour b 4 and what's the more realistic colour I can go I have a light mousy brown to put on after will that take ? X

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Kirsten,

Depends on what type of dye it is and how dark it is, as well as how often you've been reapplying the dye. After 5 months of dyeing, there's likely quite a buildup and this has a significant effect on removal.

The dye can only be removed with dye remover if it is permanent dye. Other types of dye won't be removed, with the exception of oxidative demi-permanent dyes which can often be partially removed. This is because dye remover reverses the oxidation process. If the dye you were using is a semi-permanent or deposit only demi, no oxidation takes place during dyeing and there is nothing that can be reversed by the remover.

As long as the dye is oxidative, you should see at least a slight change from dye remover. Colour B4 isn't very good, so don't worry too much if it barely affects the dye. Try a stronger preparation like Juuce Eliminate, Vanish Color Corrector, or Goldwell System Color Remover if this is a problem.

With the amount of buildup present and not knowing how dark the colour is exactly, I'd say you could see anything from a softer violet brown result after removal, all the way to a bright orange. It probably won't remove any more than that, but there are always exceptions.

The light ash brown dye will only take if your hair is light enough. If your hair is too dark, it won't be light brown. The dye may still be strong enough to tone your hair somewhat, but it's not going to lighten it to the level you want. If you really want light brown, it'd be best to bleach wash your hair after using dye remover if you need more lightening before actually applying the dye.

Finally, if there is still violet tone leftover after removal and you intend to dye over it, it's best to add a small amount of gold tone to the shade you're using in order to neutralise the remaining violet more effectively. Just like violet can be used to neutralise yellow in blonde hair, yellow itself will produce the opposite effect by neutralising violet. They are complementary colours and a balance of both is always neutral in appearance.

Feel free to let me know if you need any clarification on any of this. If you go ahead and use the dye remover and then let me know how well it worked, as well as what colour turned out, I can give you a much clearer method for finishing up the colour. A lot is riding on how well the dye remover works first before you decide what to do next.

carly 19 months ago

Hi, i dyed my hair dark coper red a few months ago and i am a light blonde myself. It already faded a lot and i'm afraid it will turn into a color i really don't like. With summer coming it wil only fade more. I have very thin hair and i really don't want to use a bleach product or another dye. Will it be effective to use remover? It's now a very light coper red. But i want to have my own hair color back.

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Maffew James 19 months ago Author

Hi Carly,

As long as the red dye was a permanent dye, it can be removed with dye remover. If you've only used the dye once, this will help maximise removal, as will the fact that a lot of it has already faded out.

However, keep in mind that you can never get back to your exact natural colour without redying it. When you use permanent dye, the developer in the dye oxidises the colour molecules to make it permanent. It also lightens your natural pigment though. Although you dyed it a darker colour, your natural pigment underneath will be slightly lighter than it was initially. If the remover was to completely strip out all traces of the dye, your hair would look slightly lighter and more visibly yellow due to this.

The remover won't eliminate all traces of the dye though. In a best case scenario it will remove most of the dye, but even then you will still have some red tone left over that will cause your blonde to look somewhat orange and odd. You can fix that with an ash blonde dye. As your hair is light blonde naturally and this is what you're trying to get back to, you should use a very light ash blonde (9A), to tone it and remove the unwanted red tones softly without affecting your overall colour too much. If the remover doesn't get it as light as you once were, tone with a light ash blonde (8A), instead.

jess 18 months ago

Hi i want to re dye my hair again to light i dyed it burgandy brown and it came out light so to tone the color i used chocolate brown to tone the red purple but i wana go back to light colors can i use a color corrector or do i have to bleach it ?

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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Jess,

You can use dye remover as long as it is permanent dye that you are intending to strip out. Other types of dye won't be removed by dye remover.

There can be a wide margin of effectiveness of dye remover though, just to prepare you for what could happen. Sometimes it can remove just about all of the dye and you just need to tone it to get back to close to your original colour. Other times it only partially removes or barely affects the colour.

The amount of times you've dyed your hair can play a big part in this, as well as what brand of dye was used. Some permanent dyes can contain a large amount of direct dye or metallic dye as well as the oxidative dye that the remover will strip. This is often the case with more vibrant colours like reds or violets, and box dyes often contain a lot of metallic dye that won't be removed by dye remover.

In any case, it's a good first step. The more colour the dye remover takes out, the easier it will be to bleach it the rest of the way and the less damage you'll end up with in the end. If the dye remover doesn't lift most of the colour out, either use it again or bleach it the rest of the way. After that, tone it with dye to reach a nice shade.

jess 18 months ago

Hi thank u for taking the time to answer my question well i used at first a semi permanent dye from clairol burgundy brown so i left that color like for a few days then i didn't like it cuz in the sun it look way light so to tone it i re dyed i after dose few days i bought clairol chocolate brown so i dyed it twice do you think if i dye my hair dark brown can all those red shades disappear and maybe the color remover will help .another question dose the color oops extra strength brand work to strip the whole color

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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Jess,

Dye remover only works on permanent dye, so it won't have any effect on any semi-permanent colour you've used. For an explanation of why that is the case, refer to previous comments above.

Shampooing is better suited to removing the semi-permanent dye, but it can take time if there is a lot of buildup, and sometimes not all of it will wash out even though the dye is designed to fade. If you just want to dye it dark brown and eliminate the red tones however, you can do this with an ash tone. The ash brown contains green tone which neutralises the red.

Maddy 18 months ago


So a while ago now (like more than a year) I got blonde foils put in my naturally light brown hair. They were terrible and damaged my hair (I had breakage on a couple small strands at the top of my hair) and so I went to another hairdresser who put a red toner or something and then a dark brown semi permanent to cover the blonde. I now have just the red colour from about my temples down (the top roots are my natural colours re growth).

I've used baking soda and this selsun blue shampoo which has slightly made the red fade to a lighter orangey red colour and I can see slight bits of blonde.

I really don't like the red is there a way to get this out of my hair without damaging it too much?? Or should I just deal with it until it grows out as I don't want to risk it ending up worse-

Any advice appreciated thankyou :)

Maddy 18 months ago

Sorry forgot to add in previous comment that I went to another hairdresser to try and go back lighter and they said there were too many colours and dark bits to dye over and that it wouldn't work

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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Maddy,

Are you trying to get it back to blonde or just wanting to get rid of the red tone? As mentioned, dye won't appreciably lighten your hair with that amount of buildup present and it would need to be bleach washed for further lightening. This isn't really an option for you if your hair is fragile and breaks easily given your previous reaction to lightening.

You said your hair is naturally light brown and then you had the blonde highlights applied. Then it was filled and dyed dark brown all over? If this is the case, what you're seeing now is the dark brown dye washing out and the warm red base tone beginning to be revealed. This is because a semi-permanent dye was used, which will wash out over time. You can always take it back to dark brown to repeat this process for the same result.

Alternatively, if you use an ash dye one level lighter than the overall colour, this will take out a lot of the red tone without darkening it significantly. An ash dye at the same level will usually get rid of all the warmth, but it will darken your hair more. Either dye should only be used if the overall colour is not too patchy. If you have areas of hair that are a lot lighter, the ash will end up too intense on those sections.

Teal 18 months ago

Hi i bleached my hair to a light blonde and then died it temp purple and violet now its faded to a teal green blue colour i wont to get back to blonde but can't bleach it would i do this?would i use a golden blonde to cancel it out.just wanting to get back to even a dark med blonde

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Maffew James 18 months ago Author

Hi Teal,

For it to look green and blue after a purple colour has faded, the most likely culprit is the blue tone in the purple dye. Purple is a combination of blue and red tones, and as it fades out the blue can become more dominant. This blue mixes with the yellow in the blonde colour underneath to cause it to look greenish.

In order to get rid of it, use a golden blonde dye with added copper concentrate or copper blonde dye to counteract the blue tone. It'd be best to stick to a semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye for this and use the lightest shade that works, leaving it in only until it neutralises most of the blue. If left too long, or you use a colour that is too dark, you'll end up with a very gingery blonde result.

Lacey 17 months ago


A while back I went to a salon and got my hair colored with demi permanent color. I think it was back in November, definitely before Thanksgiving. My natural color is a darker blonde/dirty blonde color, but I previously had some lighter highlights and I know that before the hairdresser colored it she had to fill my hair.

The color that I got was a natural chocolate/chestnut brown color. The color is definitely faded significantly since then, it's actually very hard to tell that my hair is two colors, but my roots have come in quite a bit and in the light, you can see that the top of my hair is golden and the bottom where the dye is has a faint reddish, coppery look to it. I want to simply try a clarifying shampoo to lighten it up a bit more but I'm afraid that the filler means that there are different colors that will show through if I use a clarifying shampoo. What do you think?

Thank you so much in advance for your input.

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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Lacey,

Chances are the highlights will return as the colour fades out since demi-permanent dye was used, so you may indeed see different colours as more of the dye is removed. Overall, you can mostly correct this with toning and your major concern is getting it light enough to match your regrowth. Hair that is warm can be corrected, but hair that is too dark will look different regardless.

The clarifying shampoo is definitely worth trying. Best case scenario, it removes just enough dye to get it all to roughly the same level and you tone it to correct the coppery colour to match your roots. Worst case scenario, as the dye continues to fade, it may become patchy from the previous highlights.

You can correct this sort of problem by bleach washing it and then covering with a mix of natural dark blonde and golden dark blonde. The bleach wash is necessary to gently lighten it so that the darkest hair is no darker than the colour you want it all to be. It also helps to soften some of the unwanted tones. Then with the dye, the natural tone contains balanced colour from all three primary colours so it darkens your hair all up to the same level, whereas the added gold is to shift it towards more of a neutral to golden blonde result.

Marissa 17 months ago

Hi! I have green hair and im trying to remove it. I redyed it a darker green color that's permanent a couple of weeks ago. I've tried that vitamin c treatment before when I only had semi-permanent hair and it didn't completely take out all the green and it left my hair super dry. Is there any products you would recommend to me to remove the color?

Please and thank you :-)

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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Marissa,

You need red tone to neutralise the green, but you have to be very careful with this or else you just end up with reddish hair. You only need enough red added into the hair to balance out the green. Mix small amounts of red into a gold shade and this is the best way to tone it back to a natural colour as red alone will still leave it looking quite ashy even when the green is gone.

Of course, this is only if you like how light your hair is. If you want to not only remove the appearance of the green tone and go to a new lighter or darker colour, the process is going to be slightly different. Eg, if going lighter, you will need to lighten it before toning to neutralise the green. If going a little darker, choosing a slightly warmer shade than what you want will deal with the green whilst it darkens, whilst if going a lot darker, the filler you use beforehand will completely neutralise the green anyway.

Mahetab 17 months ago

I have dark brown hair. I bleached it, and it turned to a gold color. Then i dyed it brown. I thought it would be a greenish blue color, but it became a very light yellowish green. It looks so awful. How can i return to my original hair color or even the gold one.

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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Mahetab,

To return to dark brown, fill using a red protein filler and apply dark brown on top of this.

To return to a golden tone and just remove the green, that's a bit more complicated. You need to add a small amount of red and copper tone to neutralise the ash. Only a little however, or else it will start to take on an orange tone.

Jessica H 17 months ago

Hi so I dyed my naturally blonde, virgin hair using Sally's Ion Color Brilliance colors in purple. The dye does not need a developer and has no peroxide or ammonia so it is pretty much a deposit only dye. The first time I only left it on for about 30 minutes, came out with an ashy purple. Redyed and left on for about an hour a few days later and got the same results. Then I put it on and slept in it for about 8 hrs, which resulted in a very, very dark purple. Now I'm trying to remove it from hair completely to get back to my natural color. It was a semi permanent dye but I did try Color Oops by L'Oreal (this was before I knew it would not really work), which only made some spots turn a blue/green/gray color. It has since been washed with a lot of different things to try to get the color out; vitamin C treatment with head & shoulders, baking soda clarifying shampoo, vitamin C powder with Paul Mitchell's #3 shampoo as a clarifying treatment, and a simple Dawn soap wash. It is now an ashy brownish color with hints of my natural color peaking thru and under the top layer is it a muted purple hue that just won't go away. My roots are showing through and they look like a pale golden in comparison with my hair now. Wondering what I should do? I looked at using a toning shampoo but not exactly sure if that will even help. The "swimmers shampoo" for people with chlorine and other mineral build ups got the most color out after my first treatment but since doing it again, not as much color is coming out. Help!

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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi Jessica,

Removing semi-permanent dyes from blonde hair can be really difficult. You have a slight advantage in the fact that your hair is natural and hasn't been dyed because the cuticles are likely more intact (Dyed blonde hair will generally hold onto semi-permanent dye forever because it is porous and rougher in texture). There's still no guarantee you'll be able to get every trace of purple colour out though; it stains the hair really persistently.

Other than waiting and continuing to wash it, the best way to 'remove' it is to neutralise it through toning if you can't get all the colour out. Gold neutralises violet, but a lot of 'purple' colours can contain varying amounts of red or blue tone to shift them into a different colour direction and this won't be fully neutralised. The easiest way to tone it will be to colour with medium or dark natural blonde, mixed with medium or dark golden blonde as 75 percent natural shade and 25 percent gold shade. This mixture will darken your blonde hair to better cover the semi-permanent colour, as well as work to tone it out. It's not a viable option if you really want to keep it lighter.

Following that, if you are still seeing a tinge of blue or red tone, correct accordingly with a weak ash dye for the red, or a weak mix of red and gold for the blue tone. If you don't want to use the blonde dye or darken your hair, use semi-permanent dyes and apply at a level that matches your hair in a gold tone. Then use the same method as above to tone out any remaining blue or red tone that persists. You may need to tone every few washes or once every few weeks to maintain this while the purple is still in your hair though as when the toner fades, the purple can be revealed again.

KG 17 months ago

I want to change blue- green semi permanent hair to purple?

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Maffew James 17 months ago Author

Hi KG,

Sorry for the late reply.

The blue tone can help with a purple colour because purple is a combination of red and blue. To work with what you have in your hair already, take the purple semi-permanent shade you want and add a little extra red to that to adjust for the blue tone that is already in your hair.

This red you add will also counteract the green. Red and green are complementary colours and will neutralise when balanced. You may need to add further red tone to properly correct the green and give the exact shade of purple you want.

The good thing about semi-permanent colours like this is that they're very flexible and easy to adjust though. If you take the purple colour, add a little extra red, and apply this and you find that it's too blue or too red in appearance, you can adjust the colour by taking the colour you need to add and mixing that with conditioner to soften it before applying. This will add more of that colour into your hair and change the way it looks accordingly.

Of course, this is only when the colour you're adding is same depth to darker. If the purple you want is lighter than what you currently have, the process is a little different. You'll need to strip out as much of the previous colour as possible and then lighten your hair further before dyeing to ensure it will cover properly and turn out the way you want it.

Sara 16 months ago

Hi, so I recently faded and bleach bathed my hair from a bright blue to grey/silver color that I achieved with a toner. I recently put a dark brown permanent dye on top of it to get an ombre effect, however I don't like the results and want to get the color out as soon as possible so that I can get back to my silver color. I used a 10 vol developer and only left it on for a short amount of time. I managed to get some of it to rinse out and fade with a clarifying shampoo, but I want it completely gone. Would a color remover work? Would it potentially get rid of the color and leave my hair blonde again? Would it be a safe method ? My hair is very damaged from bleaching. If you have any advice that would be great

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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Sara,

Dye remover is the best option in this situation because your hair was blonde previously, you've only applied the brown colour once, and it hasn't been very long since dyeing. All of these factors make it easier for the dye remover to take it all out, and it's possible for it to almost completely remove it. If it does remove the majority of the dye, you will still likely need to tone using a blonde dye to correct the colour because the remover can leave warmth.

Worst case scenario, the dye remover doesn't completely remove it, in which case you can consider applying again to get the last traces out, or tone to neutralise to a nice, albeit darker shade of blonde. Another option is to finish it by bleach bathing the rest of the dye out, but this is something you would need to be careful with when your hair is already damaged, and not the best option right now.

In any case, the dye remover itself is not damaging. You do need to follow it with a good conditioner though because it can be drying and this has the potential to cause secondary damage if you don't restore the moisture balance. Dry hair is brittle and this leads to it breaking easier, but if you correct this with conditioner there is no damage that occurs because the dryness is dealt with.

tina 16 months ago

I have white/grey hair 95%. I had it cut off to obtain my natural colour bit have grown it and dyed it again with garnier new no amonia purple. Would colour removal work to go back to my natural colour. Have died it now for 6 mths every 3 to 4 weeks?

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Maffew James 16 months ago Author

Hi Tina,

Dye remover will break down any oxidative hair dye. Oxidative dyes are made permanent through the use of peroxide as developer, and an easy way to tell if the dye you've used is oxidative is if it's both permanent and uses developer. Semi-permanent and most demi-permanent dyes won't be removed. In the case of a semi, it's direct dye and this isn't broke down by the chemical process because it only reverses the process used in oxidative dye. In the case of demi, many of these still use developer, but they are a combination of oxidative and direct dye, so the dye remover can sometimes partially remove it by breaking down the oxidative component but it's usually ineffective.

Dye remover on a whole will become less effective when dealing with a lot of dye buildup too, and with how many times you've dyed it, it wouldn't be likely you'd be able to get it all out. It will lighten, but it probably won't get close to the grey underneath.

The process you'd need to go through during removal would be to wash it with clarifying shampoo over a few weeks and stop applying any more dye first. This will fade out as much colour as possible initially. Following that, use dye remover. If it removes a decent amount of dye, you can repeat it until it no longer has an effect. This should also be done over a few days to weeks rather than all at once. Neither clarifying shampoo or dye remover are damaging, but both are drying and shouldn't be used too often in a short time span. Conditioning treatments help reverse the dryness after use.

Finally, once the dye remover is no longer effective, any dye leftover is stubborn and you can only take it further by bleaching. This will progressively lighten the dye further, at which point you can then tone it to a nice shade of blonde and gradually allow it to grow out. During this time, toning your white regrowth with semi-permanent dye is an easy way to blend it while it grows. This will wash out with shampooing, so once it's done growing out, you can allow it to fade back to white. Some of the semi can cling to white or grey hair though, and it's possible to just let it grow without toning if preferred. If the shade of blonde you get the lengths to is light, it will blend well with the white regrowth anyway.

Rafaella S 15 months ago

Hi Maffew, thanks for helping everyone and making them feel better!

I need your help. :(

Last week, i got some highlights done. But, I ended up feeling too blonde. (I ended up having dark brown hair in the roots, which is my natural hair color, and lots of bright highlights).

As I was uncomfortable with the result, I wanted to tone the highlights a little bit darker so it would look more natural. My stylist applied a dark brown toner. My highlights are now barely visible and i have ended up with dark reddish hair all over my hair. Even in the roots where it was supposed to stay my natural hair color untouched, now it looks reddish. (When i go under the sun it looks more red!) My stylist applied a dark brown toner, but it looks reddish and i hate it.

I wish i could go back in time and have stayed with the first result.

How can i remove the dark reddish hair color that i have now and see my highlights back and my natural roots?

I would like to have my natural roots with some visible highlights.


One week ago: -Natural dark brown hair.

Stylist: -Highlighted my hair (NOT my roots). -Then applied dark toner.

Now: -The toner looks red. -I want to remove the "dark brown looking reddish" toner and go back to natural dark brown roots and some highlights.

Rafaella S 15 months ago

I forgot to mention that I've started using dandruff shampoo mixed with baking soda to try to get rid of the toner/ hair dye and return to my natural roots and some highlights. But i dont know how will my hair is going to end up. What do you think?

Rafaella S 15 months ago

Please? :(

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Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Rafaella,

It depends a lot on whether the dye used was permanent or not. If it was, you can strip it back out using hair dye remover, which will reverse the chemical reaction that makes it permanent and allow it to be washed out. When used fairly soon after a dye is applied, this can be very effective and can often take it back as light as it was previously. You would still need to tone afterwards to correct the warmth that is revealed though, and the dye remover isn't selective, so it will act on any permanent dye it is allowed to come in contact with, requiring you to either foil it over the areas you want it to be, or apply all over and correct the colour afterwards.

Another option is to simply tone the red out with ash. With this method, once again, you would need to use foil to apply only to the darker red hair. If the toner touches your blonde hair, it will turn this greenish. This will also leave it just as dark because it won't actually take any colour out of your hair; it merely corrects the red tone.

Rafaella S 15 months ago

Thank You for helping me.

The thing is, he used a semi-permanent. Will it work even though its not permanent?

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Maffew James 15 months ago Author

Hi Rafaella,

Dye remover won't remove semi-permanent dye. In this case, shampooing is the best method and the dye will wash out over time. You can still tone it to neutralise the red tone, or you can allow it to fade and then tone to neutralise whatever remains once it stops washing out.

If you do this, it should be with a semi-permanent dye as the toner because you don't need to use anything more permanent to cover it. You want the toner to fade with the colour underneath so that the colour doesn't start to look overly ashy.

Eva 14 months ago

Help! I decided to dye my hair a light brown ( i was blonde) and the end result is horrible! My roots have a red tint and the rest of my hair looks greyish green. I used a boxed color (yes i know, big mistake) Loreal Feria number 6 in light brown. What can i do to cut the green out? I heard that applying ketchup on your hair will work, is that true? Or should i just buy another color to fix it? Please help! Thanks!

Macy 11 months ago

My hair is naturally a dark blonde to light brown shade. I have been dying my hair for the past 5 years. I have been everywhere from platinum blonde to black. For the past months I have been a medium to dark blonde color. I was getting tired of it so I decided to dye it a dark burgundy. I used Garnier Nutrisse permanent deep burgundy dye. This color turned out way too dark purple for my liking. A few days later I dyed it with Garnier Nutrisse Ulta dark intense auburn dye. It turned out a decent vibrant red color. I rocked that for about a month and got tired of it. I decided to use color oops to remove it. My color came out an orangish brassy color (which was to be expected). I went ahead with a medium ash blonde to color correct. My hair turned gray at the roots till about half way down my head. The rest of my lengths were a purplish gray. I went to a salon and they put some type of wash on it. My hair turned a beautiful strawberry blonde color. I loved the color and had it till my roots started coming in. While it was strawberry blonde I could see that around my top of my head some parts near the roots had a lot more red than the rest of my head. When my darker roots started coming in, I decided to dye my hair using Clairol natural reddish blonde. My roots and lengths turned a copper/blonde color and the top part of my hair is red. It looks like an ombre of red to copper. I want to be get rid of the red at the top of my hair. I don't want to go too dark. I would be happy with a lighter brown shade. I just want to get rid of the red. The copper color at the bottom is fine and at my roots. If I use color oops, will it help? If I use clairols natural light brown color (6) what will it do to my hair? I planned to leave it on my roots and lengths for 30 minutes and on the red part for 15. Thanks for any help you can give me!

Sam mccombie 11 months ago

Hi my hair is a deep violet colour semi permanent dye. I am naturally blonde but have not been blonde for about a year.

I want to go dark brown i put a dark brown semi hair dye on today and my roots have gone brown but i still have a very dark purple tone to my hair.

How can i get rid of this and just be a nice warm brown


Helen 11 months ago

Hi my ends of my blonde hair are green from the ash colour i had on. I want to go silver but ny test strand for the colour makes my hair even greener. I have used ketchup and a pink/red condioner dye too. If i bleach it would that work for applying a silver dye over it?

Naomi 11 months ago

Hi, I have natural dark brown hair, I bleached it my self two times and got an orange yellow color ( not the roots only ombré) then I toned my hair with box dye (mistake) light ash blonde and got a greenish gray color. What should I do now to make it more natural and not green and gray.. or how should I take out the green and gray tones out? Thanks.

RayRay 10 months ago

I made the mistake of buying SPLAT's "Lusty Lavender" hair dye because it was cheaper than buying bleach, toner, and purple dye from Manic Panic, and despite bleaching my hair, the dye turned my hair FUSHIA, which is the most VILE color to ever exist and NOT what Ipaid for. Would Manic Panic's Flash Lightning bleach (the 40vol stuff) and Virgin Snow toner get it all out? I've been using clarifying shampoo for oily hair every time I shower, and after almost daily showers for nearly two months, the color has FINALLY stopped bleeding. Or would my best bet just be to use a black dye from Manic Panic to cover the gross color and hope that it removes said gross color as it fades?

Ashley 9 months ago

Hi i have black color hair then i try to dye with mahogany copper brown but it turns out the desired color i want to see doesnt come out u can only see if u are under the annoying...i want to try to dye my hair again and i want light brown it possible??any advice guys..thanks

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Maffew James 9 months ago Author

Hi Ashley,

This occurs because your hair is very dark. There is very little lightening, so you still get some of that mahogany tone showing through the dark hair, but it won't ever look the way it should if it hasn't been lightened far enough.

Ideally, with hair as dark as yours and your desire to reach a light brown result, and given the previous reaction to dye, you'd get the best results bleaching it to pre-lighten and then dyeing it once it is light enough. For a light brown result, you want to lift it to orange before dyeing for the dye to take properly.

However, keep in mind that after pre-lightening, you are dealing with a very warm base colour showing through, and you need to correct this when dyeing to mahogany by mixing ash dye into your chosen shade to balance out the tone and prevent it from being too warm.

alyssa 8 months ago

hello I dyed my hair a blue violet in October and then dyed it hot pink briefly before dyeing it more of a true violet in December my hair is starting to fade but I need to return to a natural color for a job and I really don't know what to do my hair is naturally dirty blonde but I bleached and toned it platinum before the purple I used manic panic and beyond the zone so I can't use color strippers and I know bleaching won't take all the pink out please help!

Amber 7 months ago

Hi, I'm trying to go from dark red (wella red and brown mixed) back to my natural honey wheat blonde. What process should I do for the best results? I know stylists have needed to use toner since my hair naturally pulls like a red copper color. Thank you for any help.

Donna 6 months ago

I have died my hair for the first time today I'm a natural medium brown will gold and red in also a lot of grey that's why I've decided to colour, I put on a nice an easy caramel brown ! I hate it , along my scalp is fine in the shade but in the sun it looks orange , I put on a semi medium brown over the top but it's the same, what do u recommend I do please, when can I dye it again , I have have healthy finish hair, thank you in advance for your help

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Maffew James 6 months ago Author

Hi Donna,

The orange tinge is due to the lightening that has occurred, and the shade used. All permanent dyes lighten your natural pigment, even if using a shade that is darker than your natural colour, however with a darker shade you don't see this because the pigment from the dye replaces what has been lost during processing. With a shade at the same level or lighter, this lift is visible and will reveal the warm base tone underneath your natural colour. Ash tone is required to counteract the appearance of this base, but because a caramel shade is warm, rather than ash, it does nothing to neutralise the warmth that is occurring during dyeing.

To correct it, use ash brown dye at the same level or 1 level lighter than the caramel brown to add cool tone back in and neutralise the orange. This means, if the caramel brown was a 'medium caramel brown' for example, you would need to use medium or light ash brown as the toner. Apply this, process until you like the tone, then rinse. The longer you leave it (up to full development time at maximum), the more warmth will be neutralised.

I'd also recommend that if using a permanent 'box dye' for this, throw out the developer provided and use your own 10 vol developer with the dye. This will prevent further lightening from occurring during toning (and also reduce damage greatly). Otherwise, also feel free to use demi or semi-permanent dye in the correct ash shade as the toner instead as neither will lighten further. You can apply semi-permanent dye as often, and whenever you want for the most part because it is completely non-damaging. Permanent dye should at least be left until natural oils have reappeared before applying, at which point it's fine to apply a new dye if the hair is in good condition. Demi-permanent can be applied whenever, as long as the hair is in good condition.

Kiril 6 months ago

Just a quick question - so after reading the article, for taking out permanent black dye from brown hair i need to use color remover and then wash my hair with clarifying shampoo twice with more than the usual dose conditioner afterwards..? Maybe repeat the process if need be after a week or so?

Eva 6 months ago

Hello, so I've been researching and trying to find a solution for so long now. For the first time ever in August 2014 I chose to change my hair. I wanted an ombre where it'd go from my natural black hair to a brown then dow to a blonde at the bottom. Sadly I did not do as much research as I have ever since which i truly regret. I went to a salon and all they did when I told them what I wanted was apply a lot of bleach. I wasn't aware that I had to have my hair bleached since it was dark for the ombre to work. I sat there with bleach at the middle and a lot of bleach at the ends of my hair with it just wrapped in plastic wrap. After being washed out and dried ,it was what I had wanted. But shortly after, the blonde wasn't the same. It became an orange and I didn't tone it. Overall I got tired of the ombre and the length so I ultimately chose to cut it in May 2015. Then my hair was at a length that was just past my shoulders and it was my natural black hair going into a brown with a single strand at the back of my head that was still bright blonde. A few months later at the end of July I chose to apply a burgundy box dye. I originally wanted to get a dye that was a really nice burgundy but it was a for dark hair only color so I wasn't sure if I'd get the same results as I saw people with truly dark hair get, plus I wasn't able to find it in the short amount of time I had. I used a garnier burgundy box dye to apply to the ends of my hair where they were brown from the ombre bleach. Then I used a revlon burgundy box about 2 months later in the same way. Then I reapplied the same revlon dye days before New Years. The top of my head with my roots has never been touched so far. I have no bleach or dye applied at the top, it's all naturally black. Now I am unsure about what to do. In the past weeks/months I've done different treatments to take care of my hair. I've tried oils, masks and deep conditioners. But still it looks like all my hair is covered in split ends. I have so many, it looks like every single strand is a split end now and I am completely lost in how I can fix this. My hair in regular light looks normal but under artificial and natural light I can see the faded red that makes my hair look dead especially with all the split ends. Even the blonde strand covered with dye seems to be fading back so its almost a random blonde stand of hair. I also have thin hair that keeping falling out strand by strand. I'm unsure about what will be safe for my hair anymore. I want the red/burgundy out. I want it to be healthy again so I can properly change up my hair without it being damaged. Maybe after that I could plan what I want to do next. I just really need advice in what I should do. I'd really appreciate it if you would help me.

Compton 5 months ago

My hairdresser put purlple teal and blonde nd its too intense it looks trailer trashy can i use a G to tone it

Faye 5 months ago

Confused... I used a "platinum" box dye and my roots were white and the rest was a light yellow. I wasn't thinking and put an ammonia free "dark ash blonde" over it and my hair turned a murky/seaweed green. I then used "color oops" to get rid of the green, but it actually ended up becoming a nice light bleach/ash (hard to tell) blonde. My natural hair color is between dark blonde and light brown possible golden tones. Any idea on why this might have happened and what color in the future would be best to achieve the same effect without going through this process? If it helps the last time I tried using a dye with "ash" in it on undyed hair it turned reddish/orange.

Kaylee 5 months ago

Hi :) so before i died my hair pink (vivid pink using joico so it was not a permanent color) i had balayaged golden blonde hair. This crazy pink was an accident. I was shooting for a pale pastel pink. I went with it anyways, so it's been about 3 weeks. Still super pink. Ive washed my hair twice with Dawn dish soap. Is there anything else i can do to either evenly soften this pink or to remove it to get my blonde back? Trying to keep my hair somewhat healthy

Darlene 5 months ago

Hi, I recently dyed my black hair with grey/white roots with a black Demi permanent color. The white/ grey roots turned purple! What can I do to counter the purple? Also, I would like to re-dye the roots again, with the goal of getting the purple roots black. Any suggestions will be so appreciated!

Darlene 5 months ago

I just wanted to add to my above comment, that I used One N Only Argan Oil Hair Color Demi permanent in 1N Very Black, that turned my grey/white roots PURPLE. I usually color with Ion Color Brillance in Blue Black Demi Permanent and never had an issue with the grey roots turning purple. Always with 10 vol developer wit both Demi permanent colors. I know the purple will fade in time; however, I want to eventually color over the purple without the risk of the purple ever returning. My goal is to get the roots black

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Yonelly Sierra se 5 months ago

For the last few years I've colored my hair either reds and more recently purples always boxed dyes well now I'm really over it and want to get rid of the reds and purple tones I have thin curly hair so I don't wanna use bleach which removals are good and easy to use

katy 5 months ago

I have used semi permanent hair dye on my head it was after midnight blue i'm a natural blonde and have been dying my hair different colors for a while now the color underneath the dark blue is manic panic vampire red I have been trying to get it out of my hair for a week now I used suave shampoo and arm and hammer baking soda mixed together I did this a few times just to let it sit on my hair for a while and then wash it out for 20 mins at least its lighting up quite a bit but the blue is still there I now have dark blonde strips of hair going through it and would like to remove it completely with out using harsh chemicals such as bleach I wish I knew a better option I bleached my hair a while back and it melted half of my hair off which is why I don't like bleach any options ?

Carol 5 months ago

My hair has gone too golden after bleaching. I can never seem to get rid of the tone. Can I dye it again with Belle Color 9.1, or can I just dye it a bit of a darker colour. What do you suggest for something just a shade or two darker. Not going into brown. Thank you Maffew.

Kittievanilly 4 months ago

Hi!!! My hairdresser bleached my hair a few months ago and then put a mixture of dyes to get it to a dark ash brown color. She didn't put any red or orange tones prior to this and my hair turned green after 3 washes. I went to another salon to get it fixed but they did the same thing and now my hair looks like a dull dark gold-blonde with hints of green, what seem like golden tones are more mute, it just looks gray sometimes. Now I'm thinking of just box-dyeing my hair to save time and money. How do I go about this? I am trying to achieve a cooler shade of dark brown or plain dark brown. Do I still put a red hair dye first before applying a dark brown? Or should I just go with a dark brown hair dye?

Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 4 months ago Author

Hi Kittievanilly,

It depends a lot on how much your hair had been lifted. The fact that it looks dark golden blonde tends to mean that much of the red tone has been lifted out, and that is also why you get that green effect because the strong blue and green tones in ash brown dyes aren't properly balanced with enough copper and red tone. You can correct that by adding a small amount of these two tones to balance it out.

As for getting to dark brown now, you can fill with light red brown first, then dye with dark ash brown, or you can simply dye over with dark natural brown. The natural tone contains enough red pigment that balance out as it darkens, but it will still look more on the ash side because of the lack of warmth to begin with. Filling and then dyeing will produce a richer result though.

Julie 4 months ago

I bleached my daughters dark blonde hair and colored it with a sky blue permanent color. Unfortunately the yellow tones of her bleached hair made it come out teal. She hates the color and wants it to be a true blue. Can I redye over the teal using an electric blue color to get an overall blue tine rather than teal?

Ariana 4 months ago

Hi bleached highlights in my hair yellowish blond and died it blue but came out a turquoise green instead. Have been fading it out but not much difference has been made in the color. Some areas are lighter greens but others are just bright emerald. I want to dye it back to my natural darkest brown hair color what steps do I need to take to accomplish this.l?

Ariana 4 months ago

Also from my previous comment I also have lower sections in my hair golden yellow blond from bleaching that I didn't color blue. What do I need to do to get that hair back to darkest brown

Ariana 4 months ago

So I plan on buying a semi permanent red for a fill shade to neutralize the green and blonde in my hair than a dark golden brown to put on after that color. Does that sound alright?

Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 4 months ago Author

Hi Ariana,

Fill first using either light red brown, or red protein filler, then apply dark natural brown after that for it to take properly. This process replaces the missing pigment that is lifted out when lightening to blonde; think of it kind of like the reverse process to get back to a darker colour.

Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 4 months ago Author

Hi Julie,

That's perfectly fine. The blue you use just needs to be dark enough to cover over all that yellow pigment in order to show rather than blending and turning green. Another alternative is to add a dash of violet to the blue dye and this will neutralise the yellow to prevent mixing. Not too much though, or the blue will start to look purple.

Maffew James profile image

Maffew James 4 months ago Author

Hi Ariana,

Demi-permanent is best for filling, or you can use a permanent dye. The semi won't darken your hair properly and the filled colour will rinse out quickly. Also, make sure that the red you're using is 1 - 2 levels lighter than the final colour you intend to reach (for dark brown, this means using level 5, which is light brown). The filler is to form a foundation for the final colour and this will not work properly if the dye is too dark as the final dye won't cover properly, leading to excessive warmth being present.

As for the dye used to reach the desired shade, you should mix that dark golden brown into a dark natural brown to ensure it darkens properly and doesn't show up too warm. One part golden to one part natural shade is preferably to the golden brown by itself.

Dairy 4 months ago

Hi there, I had my hair dyed a blue/silver and later (about a month) used a colour remover (colour b4) to change it back to blonde. In an attempt to even out the colour, as well as make the blonde a bit lighter, I tried bleaching my hair, however after I bleached my hair it turned back to a faded bluish greenish bage colour. How can I do this process again, and keep my hair from turning back to blue when bleaching the blonde hair? (because I would like a lighter hair colour then the blonde aftermath from removing the blue colour)


Dairy 4 months ago

Relating to my previous comment, my hair was originally dark brown if that happens to make a difference thanks!

Haily 4 months ago

Hi I previously bleached my hair awhile back to go purple but now I want to do a blue to purple ombre would it be okay if I bleached the top half of my hair so I can put blue on it??

Paul 3 months ago

I dyed a black over my blond and it amazingly came out blue. I liked it, only one problem, 3 week after that, I relaxed my hair (as I need too), some areas turned back to blonde and some is left as a very vague blue (not cool man). So my question is: "Can I remove the dye 1 week after I relaxed my hair? Using the Vitamin C & Shampoo mixture or the bleach powder and warm water mixture. Will it cause more damage?

ps: Urgently:-(

Tiffany 3 months ago

I know this sounds weird, but I've actually used Dawn dish soap to help get color out before. It didn't totally get it out but it did get a lot of it out.

Sarah 3 months ago

Help I just dyed my mousy brown/blonde hair (which I had grown out all hair dye to my shoulders.) with a semi permanent 415 loreal casting creme dye in shade iced chocolate. (Dark brown with ash and mahogany.) the mahogany has made my hair look so red and barely visible is the brown. I was only wanting a hint of red. Now I want to get my hair to just a dark natural brown (one color with no red and my hair naturally has a brassy red undertone when color fades which is much more natural.) how do I correct the mahogany in my hair? I want to stay with semi permanent as I always used to dye my hair with permanents but they are too damaging. I dont mind about color fading and having to dye more frequently with semi permanent. Could your recommend what color would correct the mahogany brown for dark natural Brown?

Also because I have a very light regrowth when I go to dye it dark brown at the roots will it turn out much darker (black) than if on regular brown hair regrowth that is darker.

Is there a toner I could use on my hair to strip the mahogany semi permanent? If so what color would I need? Thanks so much appreciate your help!

Anna 3 months ago

Hi my natural hair color is white ,I clor it a beautiful golden blonde ,idid the tow inch of bleach and the a used a permanent purple ,when I washed it out some of the hair on that side of my head got grayish violet, how can get the blonde back on that side of my head

Suhasini 3 months ago

Hi I have naturally black hair and colored my hair with brown highlights. Except they look orange/brassy, way too bright and I want to get rid of them. Ideally I would like my natural hair color back, if not at least make the highlights a dark brown so it merges with my natural hair color. Please advice, I hate the way my hair looks and I'm not sure if I should dye it black or use a color remover!

Damaris 2 months ago

Hi I dyed my hair from the tips pink but when I took a shower it took off and it turned into a really light brown and I don't like it what should I do ? my real hair color is dark brown .

tammy 2 months ago

Ok I have naturally dark brown hair and I have always kept it light blonde then when to streaks of natural color and blonde but with the gray and how often I had to get it done and the cost I went and bought Colorsilk hair color in black/brown and after I used this for about a year I decided I wanted it lighted up well I have tried the color remover stuff I have tried bleaching streaks and nothing brings it our only turns my roots orange, which I just bought the colorsilk again and it covered but HELP!!! I want to soften the color or streak it something different....please advise please :) :)

Tammy Jo Long profile image

Tammy Jo Long 2 months ago

Ok I have naturally dark brown hair and I have always kept it light blonde then when to streaks of natural color and blonde but with the gray and how often I had to get it done and the cost I went and bought Colorsilk hair color in black/brown and after I used this for about a year I decided I wanted it lighted up well I have tried the color remover stuff I have tried bleaching streaks and nothing brings it our only turns my roots orange, which I just bought the colorsilk again and it covered but HELP!!! I want to soften the color or streak it something different....please advise please :) :)

Emma 2 months ago


I recently went from light blonde to red via manic panic amplified range. I've been using anti dandruff shampoo, vit c masks, dish soap and nothing is fading it. How do I get back blonde please. Is there a way without bleach?

cara 2 months ago


I was born a blonde but over the years it started to turn darker into a red brownish color, so I made the decision to dye it blonde but the thing is it doesn't turn blonde it turns into this strawberry/ copper blonde color. I really do like the color but I would rather have my natural color back, and with the roots coming in I can see that my natural hair is pretty dark, I was just wondering if I could somehow flush out the color without damaging my hair in the process.

Sufana 2 months ago

Hi my hair is dyed reddish copper but I wanted deep burgundy nearly black. What can I do?the colour is permanent.My own colour is black

elaine 2 months ago

Hi I have just dyed my hair mango copper but feel it is a bit too vibrant! its a permanent colour. Can I redye-i want a natural red and what with please

JessieTheAwkwardPotato 2 months ago

Hello, yes? Um, my hair is currently dyed a purple tone with the product manic panic. However it has faded a lot over time there is still some spots with dark purple. School is about to start and I want to know how I can remove the rest of the dye without damaging my hair with bleach. So I can go and dye it red for the start of a new year in school. And some tips to keep my hair healthy as well would be nice. Thank you!

Jocelyn 6 weeks ago

Went to my regukar stylist, My hair came out way too red for my taste ... She bleached my hair the top mostly since I had an ombre in and the top was dark is there a way to darken the red so it's more natural looking ish/ work appropriate. It's permanent dye and I keep telling myself that maybe I'm just not used to being that light... But it's border line hitting hot pink status ... Definitely not what I asked for .. Please help ! And how long do I have to wait it's only been a day..

Caroline 6 weeks ago

I had my hair bleached from black to blonde and have been using violets and pink dyes ever since. The problem is that when they fade I'm left with a green tint to my blonde hair. Ive tried ketchup but that didn't work- is there anything else I can do?

Carole 4 weeks ago

Hi I had my hair coloured from brown and blonde high lights to Chocolate brown with red which is to dark I hate it. how can I go lighter again with out damaging my hair . my hair is a little dry at the ends. please can you help.

Carole 4 weeks ago

Hi I had my hair coloured from brown and blonde high lights to Chocolate brown with red which is to dark I hate it. how can I go lighter again with out damaging my hair . my hair is a little dry at the ends. please can you help.

Damaris 4 weeks ago

I naturally have dark brown hair. I went through a phase where I dyed my hair shades of golden brown, sometimes a reddish brown. All permanent. It's been about a year since I've last dyed my hair because I am desperately trying to regrow my natural color. However, my old hair color is really bothering me. My hair length is midway to my back: the top half is natural, and the bottom is this disgusting brassy gold color. I absolutely hate it. I don't want to dye my hair again. What do you recommend to remove the old dye?

Alicia 8 days ago

Hi. I used splats purple for my daughters hair 8 weeks ago we weaved it thru. She had brown hair and now wants it gone. We have used head and shoulders and it lightened slightly. Any other ideas??? She is 10

Tiffany 7 days ago

Bleaching out/removing L'Oréal box here anything to be worried about with this brand and bleaching/removing?

Heather Smith 4 days ago

Hello. I have had blue hair for over a year now and I've decided I want to change it up. I have tried to get the blue out of my hair and I cannot get it out. I've washed with dish soap, done a bleach wash, done a vitamin C wash, and colour stripped it and it is still very much blue. Now it's just barely lighter blue. Help? I'm only using a semi dye. (P.s. anyone who wants to keep dye in their hair use the gemstone dyes from ion)

Baekkie 4 days ago

Lol. My hair is naturally black back then. Then i dyed my hair brown and after a month I dyed some of my hair blonde. How can I color my hair back to brown again? I tried to color it brown but it cames out my blonde hair got lighten. And i dont like it. Can i get an answer. *im sorry for my poor english*

Jo 46 hours ago

Hi. I had very light blonde balayaged hair with light ash brown natural roots. I dyed my hair 4rv on roots and 5rv from mid to ends. It was very purpley but has faded to a nicer color. But now I'd like to go to a rich cool dark brown without the purple or red tones. I have cool skin tone and green eyes so I'm not looking for warmth. Please help.

Tiff 25 hours ago

Hey! I've had blonde balayge hair with my natural root color (which is a light brown to dark blonde for about 4 years now. I haven't colored my hair dark in many years and decided it was time for a change. I wanted to change my hair to a darker hue just for the fall and winter months. I went out and bought a box of hair color called darkest brown. I also bought some of the unread color addictive from Sally's which helps prevent red and orange tones in brunette hair. I used all of this on my hair last night and my hair is pretty much black. I'm in complete shock! But hey, I was looking for a change and boy did I get it! What did I expect getting darkest brown? I originally wanted to go bronde but unfortunately, I don't have the money for that at the moment. I eventually want to go bronde possibly at home in the future if anyone has any tips for me. Anyways, I want to lighten my hair to a much lighter brown for now. Is there anyway I can wash it out and re dye it a lighter brown without bleach and still get great results? Hope to hear from you!

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