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How to Remove Hair Dye

Maffew is a hairdresser, marketer, and dabbler in many things who enjoys sharing knowledge about the science of hair coloring and hair care.

If you're trying to change your look, dying your hair is one of the quickest ways, but removing it can be tricky.

If you're trying to change your look, dying your hair is one of the quickest ways, but removing it can be tricky.

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 color isn't for you, however, you may be wondering how to remove it. Luckily, there are a few highly effective methods for doing just that.

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

Which method you choose depends a lot on just what you're trying to do. If your new hair color turned out too dark for example, that's a different process compared to stripping out large amounts of pigment. Read on to learn how to decide which is right for your own needs.

Bright, vibrant colors like this can be fun, but they also often stain light hair for a long time afterwards.

Bright, vibrant colors like this can be fun, but they also often stain light hair for a long time afterwards.

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, but the effect isn't strong enough for other tasks. It also is by no means a fast method, taking several days to work.

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 or prior to another method to enhance the effect.

You will also need to use ample amounts of conditioner to counteract the dryness that clarifying shampoo tends to cause. These products are good at stripping just about anything out of hair, including natural oils.


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.

Assessing Your Hair

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. You might however be dealing with warm tones from a red or copper color you want to remove and this can also be neutralized out of the hair with toning.

Color Wheel

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.

Benefits and Drawbacks

This method for removing hair dye is potentially damaging if you choose to use a permanent dye for the task. Other options like demi-permanent or semi-permanent dyes carry a negligible risk of damage or even no risk of damage at all.

In any case, it's a great technique for transforming an unwanted hair color into a new style with minimal damage and no need for lightening or darkening it.

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

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

Bleaching Hair

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

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

Bleach Wash

When deciding which method of bleaching you should use, you need to ask yourself how much pigment 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, the product used, 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, but be sure to check it frequently as it processes and rinse sooner if possible to minimize damage.

Regular Bleaching

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 your 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/ Some brands recommend no higher than 20 vol if there are added lift boosters so always check your specific product. Leave the bleach for up to 45 minutes or the maximum development time for your product before rinsing.


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.

Your hair will also benefit greatly from the use of protein and conditioning treatments to restore strength and moisture. Alternatively, or in addition to this, use a bond restorer like Olaplex mixed into the bleach to reduce damage.

  • How to Bleach Hair
    If you need help with using bleach you can find it here, including steps, precautions, and tips for success.
Bleach can drastically lighten your hair and remove unwanted color but it's also damaging.

Bleach can drastically lighten your hair and remove unwanted color but it's also damaging.

Should You Use Bleach?

Bleach is best used to remove hair dye from 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 strong and in 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.

Dye Removal Damage


Clarifying shampoo



None–very minimal

Dying it darker

Very minimal

Bleach wash




Color remover

None–very minimal

Color Remover

Color remover is 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 a permanent dye. It only works on permanent dye though, so it can't be used on semi-permanent or temporary colors.

For a 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, followed by a toner to neutralize any remaining color.

How it Works

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. It will make other methods more effective by removing a buildup of dye even if it can't fully remove all the pigment.

How to Use

Dye remover is packaged as two separate solutions:

  • an acid solution, and
  • a sulfur-based 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 the air and darken back up.

Following two shampoos, this oxidation is negligible because you can be fairly sure you've removed the majority of the reduced dye so leaving it longer won't necessarily be more effective. 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 amount of 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 if you only want to go a little darker and consists of applying the desired shade over your hair and allowing it to process. Hair that is quite light or where you want to make a more dramatic change needs an altered method to ensure it dyes properly.

One problem to watch out for is dyeing over pale or ashy blondes with an ash brown or any 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.

Hair is also often porous after lightening, and this too should 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, but you should gauge this on how your hair has reacted in the past.

See this article for more specific information if you want to return to a darker color from very light hair.

More Information

  • How to Remove Black Hair Dye
    If you've dyed your hair a dark color, it can seem almost impossible to remove. Find out how to remove black hair dye and return to a lighter shade...
  • How to Take Care Of Dyed Hair
    Dyed hair needs specialized care to keep it looking and feeling its best. Find out how to take care of dyed hair and maintain your new color.

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.

Using the least 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...

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.

© 2014 Maffew James


Shana on August 21, 2020:

I dyed my hair blonde out of a box and it turned a strawberry blonde .. what do I do? Seems like there’s many options from dye remover to bleaching it.. what’s best and healthiest?

Claire elizabeth on August 19, 2020:

Hi, can anyone help me please.

Ive dyed my hair ash brown and its gone a light ginger colour and want it all out. If i use a remover, what colour or shade do i put on after ive used the hair remover. Many Thanks

Maffew James (author) on August 13, 2020:

Hi Sharon,

You can just do your roots if you're happy with the colour of the lengths already.

As you've noted, lightening reveals warmth and this is why in most cases you'd want to use an ash shade rather than a warmer shade if you're going lighter in order to counteract this, but it does depend on how much lighter you go and the starting level to a large extent.

You could go with natural (also called 'neutral' in some brands) instead of ash and that should have enough cool tone in it to deal with a little brassiness without turning out ashy. Worst case scenario, if you just go with a warmer shade and it turns out too warm, toning is a quick fix and you'll know for next time. Vice versa if the dye you use turns out too ashy most of that will wash out after a few shampoos and you know what you need to use next time.

Sharon on August 08, 2020:

Hi I have naturally dark blond hair, I have used shop bought hair dyes for years generally beige blonde colours. A few years back the sun lightened my hair a lot so I started bleaching to keep up with how light it had gone, the last time I lightened it it went very brassy so I used a toner. After reading about high lift dyes I think this would suit my hair type, and happy to be a a darker shade of blonde. Do I need to strip the colour out of my hair and use a high lift dye or can i just do my roots. I want an end result of a beige blond colour but you suggest an ash colour. Any help you can advice would be much appreciated please tia

Michelle on July 08, 2020:

Hi, I had really dark brown hair, and I had some greys and I used natural henna for about 3 years to cover it up and then last year I used purple and red dye on it and they became very dark at first with a burgundy tinge in the sun and it’s been exactly a year since that and the day has faded out to a red copper tinge, I haven’t done anything to my hair for a year now, no henna no dye.

Now I want to get rid of the red tinge, so what should I do, I don’t mind going darker, My hair level would be between 3-4 right now.

Can you also please suggest what dye I should use? Because I have very limited options available. Only L’Oreal, Keune, Garnier, Revlon.

SabrinaMae on May 26, 2020:

I have naturally brown hair with a lot of gray and have been going blonde for a long time using a high lift color - not bleache. I’m always struggling to get the color I want without bleach and so I tried to use Permanent toner to get the gold tones out. It turned it super dark ashy - almost brown. Can I strip out the toner without stripping out my blonde color?

tina on May 14, 2020:

I used a demi hair dye to go purple on light brown/dark blonde hair, it's been 3 months of washing with head and shoulders and my hair is still pink tinged!

Would a purple shampoo help to bring it out a little?

Thank you!

mabel on May 06, 2020:

after you applied color remove one it will continue removing color if i applied 3 weeks later didnt want to use twice same day letting my hair to breath for a few weeks

Caroline Boulton-Phillips on May 02, 2020:

My hair is highlighted, but has quite a lot of blonde whoch had started to grow out. As i can't go to the hair salon i tried to colour my roots with dark blonde. The lightness of the colour didnt cover my grey so the next time i used what i I thought was the next shade, light ash brown

Rylee on February 12, 2020:

What type of blech???

Tracy on February 12, 2020:


I used hair dye removal and my hair has gone an orange/yellow colour and I want to dye it brown, as I don't like the colour it is now. So if I dye it brown what colour would it come out as??

And how long do I have to wait between hair dye removal and dying it again??

Maffew James (author) on November 23, 2019:

Hi Shannon,

Depends how many times it's been dyed. If only once, strip with dye remover, check to see how light it is, bleach wash it a few days later if you need it lighter still. Then dye over with red.

If it's been dyed black a few times between the previous colour and now, strip with dye remover, then depending on how much that is able to pull out, consider using it 1-2 more times with a few days between each use. If it doesn't do much, switch to bleach and see how it reacts to that, lift it once or twice until it's light enough and apply the red.

If you need to bleach, make sure it's in good condition first. If not, there's products you can use to repair some of the damage and potentially allow you to lighten it but you need to consider how your hair will look and feel afterwards and whether it's worth it to change colour past a certain point where the damage is too bad.

Shannon Winkle on November 23, 2019:

How move black dye back to red hair

Sharlean on May 12, 2019:

I have not dyed my hair in 3 yrs if not longer. I turned grey.. all grey.. but just kept putting it off and dealing.

Now 2wks ago. I made the mistake of finally doing the at home dye. Which i always have. Permanent brownish red.

I was wild. I dyed my hair like crazy when i was younger. I have never disliked the outcome.

I hate this color, or how it ended up showing up on me. People say how nice. Cut the crap. They say they see red. Me i see to light of a red which looks orange to me. HELP!

As much as my grey bugged me and made me feel old. I want it back!

Id love snow white hair. But after reading that doesn't sound possible.

So i stripped my hair one time in myife because the grow out from the black i couldnt handle anymore. Skunk. Lol

It damaged my hair. I think it had bleach. It turned it a very light orange.

But if i can't get this out. The only other option i was thinking was go back to black. I always lobed it black. But i really would prefer not to have it that color again. Let alone im very much an adult and my mom is begging me... pleading with me... looks like shes going to tear up. Lol PLEASE DON'T DYE YOUR HAIR BLACK AGAIN. You've been black so many times. And honey.. it just washes you out. Well, tha ks mom.

So anyway... my dream would be Snow White if at all possible. I want it so bad.

But id be happy with this ugly orange looking to me hair gone. And back to my, now i think beautiful grey.

Isnt that the way!

Thank you in advance for any suggeations and help you can provide me with.

I use a very great clarifying shampoo and conditioner right now once a week.

Green Tea and Mint.

Minnie on April 22, 2019:

Yesterday I dyed my hair a dark brown/purple colour but don't like it. What colour is to be expected if I bleach it?!! Or what is the best way to lighten the colour without totally removing all the colour. ( It had no dyed colouring before yesterday).

Elizabeth Renaud on July 15, 2018:

Old chocolate brown foils that will not let go even after, stripper, remover, Vitimin C, and a coupke rounds of bleach by my hair dresser. Very frustrating i wanted to do silver grey but cant because this dark blonde/brown just hangs sround. What can i do?

Susan New on February 27, 2018:

I used live metallic silver grey on my hair how can I change it? Can I use another colour? Thank you

Anon on October 19, 2017:

Please help!! I wanted some thin ‘light copper’ colour through my blonde hair to break it up and warm it up a bit but it has gone a reddy/pink colour and looks awful. The hair dresser tired to correct it but it looks even worse. Is there anything I can use to strip it back to just blonde at all please?! Thanks

Maureen on October 05, 2017:

I have red copper color dyed on my crown. From my ears down I told the stylist I don’t like violet in my hair. Yes she put red/violet for my bottom. How do i remove the red/violet color so I can color my hair a beautiful bright red color.

Sherri on July 05, 2017:

I am 90% gray and white but have dyed my hair all my life. I use aveda color, dark brown with gold tones. Permanent and demi color. I would like to remove all the color and see where I am with the gray and white and then decide to color again or let it go. My stylist said my only option is bleaching of which I disagree. I don't want to use chemicals (hence aveda products) if I can avoid them. Any suggestions for me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Lori on June 20, 2017:

I used to be blonde and wanted to go darker so I did a dark golden blonde my hair is darker but I have a lot of refuse highlights I dont want how do I fix this

Chrissy on June 15, 2017:

I had a friend help me bleach my hair I ended up with white roots and dark strawberry blonde hair then tried to cover it with semi dye mixing orchid with magenta now my hair is all different colors of raspberry it looks awful how can I even it out

Savannah okay on June 13, 2017:

Okay so my hair has been dyed with blonde hair dye for about 5 mouths now. I want my natural hair color back. But I don't want my hair to turn orange.idk what to do

Mia on June 13, 2017:

Help! I had my hair done at a salon (a color gloss). I was ash blonde but with an orange base from a previous unsuccessful salon visit. I wanted to get rid of this orange base and have a whole color. Stylist agreed to give me a light brown color with ashy tones but it turned out dark dark brown with the top that used to be orange now a deep purple/red (wine color or burgundy). I need to get rid of the wine color on top because it washes me out. The rest of the hair is fine, it will lighten with time. But what can I do to make it less wine-y and more ashy? Thanks

Emily on June 01, 2017:

I dyed my hair light brown last year and I now want to go back to my naturally dark brown almost black hair what would you suggest?

Jo Ann Garrett on May 28, 2017:

Use loreal permanent med blonde on my white hair. How do I remove from this hair - age 72

Priscy on May 05, 2017:

Hi ... What is the best techinique to remove black permanent hair dye ?

Ashley B. on May 01, 2017:

Can you use foil with Color Zap?? No one seems to know the answer to this. Thank you so much!!

treefarm on April 15, 2017:

if my hair has been bleached and toned multiple times in the past few months and I wanted to use semipermanent blue dye, would it be safe to wash the semi permanent out with toner later?

Krishnakali ray on April 08, 2017:

I have highlighted my hair with honey blonde...wich I didn't like at all and immediately i coloured my hair with black to tone down the highlighted one...would like to know that the black colour will remain for a long or it will fade out quickly.....if so then the previous highlighted colour done will be visible again?

Emily on March 07, 2017:

I want to get rid of light golden brown color which looks kind of orange-ish on my hair , my natural hair color is medium brown , I'm trying to get it back to that color. thanks

Charlotte Miller Hoffmann on March 03, 2017:

How to take permanent color out of red hair to go lighter?

Flmamaof4 on February 21, 2017:

I used Feria Smokey Lavender on my golden blonde hair and it turned out dark reddish purple - nothing close to Smokey Lavender. It doesn't even have a hint of the silver/gray tones that I expected. I was going for something similar to the pastel purple you see in profile pic which I achieved using Wella Color Charm but since I live kind of far from the beauty supply stores I decided to go for the box dye. My hair is quite a bit darker than before and almost Auburn. I just want my hair to compliment my skin tone at this point. Any suggestions?

Anastasia on February 18, 2017:

I recently dyed my hair a dark blue that came out extremely bright and I need to remove it quickly. Even if it's just faded enough to dye a dark brown which is my normal hair colour or even black is fine but how do I get to that?

Madeline on February 17, 2017:

help !!!!! i have brown hair with natural blond hightlights i bleached it blonde looked crap so put a blonde on it went ginger so have covered it up with bright red i want to go back brown

Sandra Lennie on January 28, 2017:

Have used manic panic blue hair dye is now green and not budging!! Would ideally like rid of completely thanks x on December 24, 2016:

My natural hair color is white and I have been dying it medium blond for years. I want to go back to white. What do you recommend?

Laurie on December 19, 2016:

I have permanent hair color build up 3/4 shaft downward of Dark ash blonde Ion but used salon developer.

1st quest, is why the ion color which is Dark ash did not cover my virgin grays & light brown virgin hair? I saturated my hair 1st my one inch new growth like always by applying with a brush & bowel. Remain on forty minutes & rinse out & applied my usual repair Keritan conditioner. Hand towel dry. Applied ten minutes hair dyer & to my disappointment my roots did not allow deposit. I admit I used the liquid less expensive developer 20 . But this is the first in years my hair did not take hair dye.

2)quest. I allowed the ash dark blonde dye to contact previous dye hair of 5 weeks ago. And now it has taken on that dingy hair dye build up.

Note I have used color oops hair color remover about 8months ago & every since then my hair is very pourous & to me rather dingy looking.

I suppose this means I have damaged my hair although when I last went my hairstylist she encouraged to keep doing what I do to keep the shine I have.

I am considering using shampoo lightening product to rid the build up & gradually wash away the build up. People seem to like my hair & often ask how I keep up with it. LoL aging stuff~manage is my answer.

But I am very dissappointed with this almost blue green tint I see in 3/4 of the shaft of my hair down ward. I am not due for a hair cut until March.

I once used to color my hair with reds which is my natural pigment when I spend time out doors a lot. But I am trying to avoid the reds now.

My question is how to rid green blue dingy color ( I believe is dye build up)? And I rather not dye a red into my hair. Would Gold or Copper make the difference? Shall I use a shampoo lightener product to gradually remove build up ( or am I ask for further damage hair going this route)? I can barely tolerate this look much longer being fair skin who can go warm or cool tones. I see nothing but blue green hair & people say they do not see it that way. They say it is dark & that is all. So, James I look forward to your thoughts of how to correct over dose dyed hair and put luster back in it. Thanks bunches reading all this....

Dawn on December 11, 2016:

Hi I need help. My natural hair is light silvery grey with a little dark brown. I decided to get purple hair which was beautiful when first done, now I want my grey back. My hairdresser removed the color as much as she could and I ended up with a very vibrant strawberry blond. I guess she toned it and now I am a sort of golden blond. She said I will have to go back and do again. Ugh. Can I buy a grey dye and put on this as blond is definetily not my color. HELP.

Amber on December 04, 2016:

I had medium blonde hair till the ends and it was roughly a level 9 yellow blonde, 'my hairdresser didn't fill the hair and put L'Oréal majreel over in a 6 and it went really dark and khaki, I used a clarifying shampoo to lighten it and applied a semi with a hint of red too counter act the khaki, I want to lighten it a little as it's a little to dark still but I don't want to be red, I want more of a natural level 7?? Any help would be gratefully recieved!!

Angie on December 01, 2016:

Hi I had some greys I'm like a dark brown, with about 8 inch from the bottom like a chocolate brown, I couldn't wait to grow this out but I reached for a boxed dye lighter shaded I didn't leave it on for the full time, which I'm glad but my hair as gone darker, no greys like but I want a chocolate brown colour, i only dyed it today is they a limited time to strip or can I do it tomoz, what do you recommend

amanda on November 30, 2016:

So my hair was blonde an I took a heavy strand an colored it ehat I eanyed an thought eould be a burgundy red. Needless to say it turned purple so blonde with a thick purple strand didt like so I went an bought a dark brown put it all over out come still purple an also now gray blue colored too. I want brown ot blonde not purple blue gray help

amanda on November 30, 2016:

So my hair was blonde an I took a heavy strand an colored it ehat I eanyed an thought eould be a burgundy red. Needless to say it turned purple so blonde with a thick purple strand didt like so I went an bought a dark brown put it all over out come still purple an also now gray blue colored too. I want brown ot blonde not purple blue gray help

Terri on November 28, 2016:

Help! Ok so I thought my hair had gone back to my natural dark brown hair. (From black) so I thought I would put a purple on it's all patchy. Can I just put a black back on it? As the top of my heads purple and the rest is black. Obviously hadn't grown out!

Laura Michelle on November 27, 2016:


I have natural dark brown hair and have had it bleached blonde since January. I started doing the roots my self at home for the last 4-5 times. This has caused a platinum band 3 inches down the hair being about 2-3 inches in length. From this on it is light blonde with light brown streaks. I'm not sure how to balance this out with the platinum band. I have thought about trying to bleach parts of the bottom to lighten it up to blend with platinum band area. Will bleaching it all cause the already platinum to break? I use olaplex after my hair broke some in past applications.

Thanks for the help!!

samantha on November 26, 2016:


I dyed my hair permanently blonde but want to get it off my own hair color is a dark brown. How can I get it removed?

thanks for helping

May on November 25, 2016:

Hiya. I'm a natural brunette.. over the past 2 months I bleached my hair three times to achieve platinum blonde.. I used a silver toner but orange tones persisted. I finally went to a hair salon and the ruthless jerk dyed it way too dark to remove the orange now it looks ash brown!!!! he insists that it'll go lighter with every wash but I want it to look less brown and more ash blonde!! what to do? I still got some leftover silver toner.. will it help? I also got Touch of Silver shampoo! and John Friedas go blonder shampoo and conditioner.. Will any of these work efficiently and rapidly to lift the colour to blonde again? I'm so annoyed it went brown again after all the damage it went thru to achieve blonde and he insists he's done it darker on purpose only to fix the orange bits before it goes light again naturally after washes is this true? should shampoo bleach my hair? Thanks for taking the time to read my enquiry.. looking forward to your reply :)

Maffew James (author) on November 23, 2016:

Hi Christy,

Dye remover may shift more of the permanent dye, but given how long it has been since you dyed it, there's no guarantee here. In any case, it doesn't damage the hair and can be used with impunity to strip out as much dye as possible if it works. Unfortunately, the dye remover won't have any affect on the semi-permanent used as the filler, as this is direct dye and stains the hair.

If cost isn't an issue, try the dye remover first. After that, you will need to bleach wash your hair to lift any stubborn colour. A weak bleach wash made from 10 or 20 vol developer should work well on any staining and help remove more of the permanent dye. Leave it for up to 30 minutes when applied and repeat every few weeks if required. Once you get it light enough to reach the shade you want, you can deal with the warm gingery tinge by toning it with ash. Because of the porosity of your hair, it'd be best to use a very light shade of ash for this so that it doesn't soak up too much colour again.

Christy on November 22, 2016:

I was a bleach blonde then decided to try something new. I put in a semi permanent red for a filler then added a permanent dark blonde color. It turned dark brown. Over a months time after washing it over and over its finally a lighter ginger brown with peekaboo blondes. How can I safely get this going at a faster rate, I want my blonde locks back.

Maffew James (author) on November 21, 2016:

Hi Nikki,

If it hasn't faded much, bleach wash it, then tone to neutralise any remaining red and follow up with a mix of neutral blonde and golden blonde shades to dye it back close to your natural colour. Eg, if your natural colour is dark blonde, use medium natural blonde and medium golden blonde as the dye shades.

To neutralise the red tone, mix a very small amount of green and blue semi-permanent dyes into conditioner and apply this after shampooing your hair. Titrate the mixture to make it stronger or weaker as needed based on how it affects a small section of hair. This will result in a dingy greyish colour after toning, corrected by the final dye.

Maffew James (author) on November 21, 2016:

Hi Falguni,

The exact process depends on what your natural colour is. Basically, fill the hair to pre-pigment the highlights, then dye with neutral tone mixed with a small amount of what is closest to your natural shade to finish the colour. The filling process replaces the pigment that was removed during lightening. If you're familiar with how dark hair turns red, then orange, and eventually to yellow and finally to near-white during lightening, this process needs to be reversed to darken it back up.

Now, the filler shade is based on the colour to be reached. Eg, yellow for level 8 (light blonde), orange for level 5 (light brown), red for dark brown or black. Levels in-between these examples are blends between. Eg, a medium brown requires an orange-red base. Use demi-permanent dye in the colour required, 1 - 2 levels lighter than the desired shade to fill.

Maffew James (author) on November 16, 2016:

Hi Alexandra,

Depends a lot on whether the colour you want to remove is darker than the new colour you want to reach, or lighter. If darker, it needs to be stripped out to lighten it back to the new shade, then toned to neutralise any remaning green tone and produce the new colour. If lighter, it needs to be filled with the right pre-pigment for the level you want to reach, then dyed to produce the new shade on top of the filler. The dye used may need to be adjusted to neutralise any remaining green pigment that has persisted to this point.

Another factor is whether the dye is temporary or permanent. Whilst I know of a handful of permanent green dyes available, it's highly likely that it is a semi-permanent dye used because these are more common. These dyes stain the hair and can be difficult to remove for this reason. Bleach won't completely lift them out and hair dye remover has no effect because this only works on permanent dye. In this case, the directions above will still work for going from darker to lighter and vice versa, but more toning is generally required to deal with the stained green pigment showing through.

Finally, if you want to keep your hair about the level it is now, ie no lighter or darker, just not green anymore, bleach or bleach wash it 1 level to lift out some of the green, then tone to cancel out the rest. The tone will add pigment, meaning the lightening beforehand is required because it will darken your hair slightly in the process of neutralising the green. As the toner fades, this green had reappear more easily than if going to a new colour that is much lighter or darker. Keep if toned using toning shampoos / mousses etc as required until the stain has almost fully washed out over time and no longer seems to appear with fading.

As for toning itself, this should be done by taking a neutral shade and adding either a red shade at the same level, or a small amount of red concentrate to this to counteract the green. You need to test this on a small area first and then titrate how much red pigment you've added in order to get the concentration correct and not just take it from green to red.

Alexandra on November 14, 2016:

How do I remove green hair dye

FALGUNI on November 10, 2016:

Hi, I first highlighted my hair with golden color but it was too faint which looked white, so the very next day I ran back to the parlour and recolored my hair with cherry red highlights.

Now the color is fading in mere 15days and few of highlights still look white. I am done with highlighting, I just want my original natural color, and not these white ones, how do I go back to my natural color???? PLEASE HELPP!!!!

Nikki on November 09, 2016:

Hey. So I've had like a dark red dye (Ion's Color Brilliance Burgundy Brown) in my hair for about 2 months, and it's semi-permanent. I used it on my virgin hair. I'd like to go back to having my natural golden blonde hair (or as close as possible, no red pigments left). What would I do to get there?

Katie on October 31, 2016:

I've recently used la riche directions semi permanent dye in Lilac over my light/medium blonde hair, after dying It i realised I didn't like it and wanted to remove it asap, since I do not have the money to go to a salon or buy removers at the moment I used a home method of Washing up liquid and deep conditioning treatment. This removed a lot of the colour however there are strong parts still going through my hair , it is now blonde/grey with pastel purple sections where the colour didn't budge, please help! Thankyou :)

Tiff on October 24, 2016:

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!

Dora Ralte on October 24, 2016:

Hi,I've dyed my hair with wella magma colour with highlights. The colour was too intense and i washed it off almost every day to let it fade.Now ,the colours got stripped off and my hair became almost white as if bleached.I want to colour it again evenly for warmer red hues.Will my hair get damaged if i dye it too often.Please ,help.I'm warm skin toned and natural brown hair.

Jo on October 23, 2016:

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.

Baekkie on October 21, 2016:

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*

Heather Smith on October 21, 2016:

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)

Tiffany on October 18, 2016:

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

Alicia on October 17, 2016:

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

Damaris on September 26, 2016:

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?

Carole on September 21, 2016:

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 on September 21, 2016:

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.

Caroline on September 13, 2016:

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?

Jocelyn on September 11, 2016:

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..

JessieTheAwkwardPotato on August 18, 2016:

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!

elaine on August 12, 2016:

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

Sufana on August 08, 2016:

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

cara on August 06, 2016:


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.

Emma on August 05, 2016:


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?

Tammy Jo Long on July 29, 2016:

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 on July 29, 2016:

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 :) :)

Damaris on July 27, 2016:

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 .

Suhasini on July 14, 2016:

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!

Anna on July 10, 2016:

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

Sarah on July 02, 2016:

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!

Tiffany on July 01, 2016:

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.

Paul on June 30, 2016:

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:-(

Haily on June 24, 2016:

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??

Dairy on June 11, 2016:

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

Dairy on June 11, 2016:

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)


Maffew James (author) on June 10, 2016:

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.

Maffew James (author) on June 09, 2016:

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 (author) on June 09, 2016:

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.

Ariana on June 08, 2016:

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?

Ariana on June 08, 2016:

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 on June 08, 2016:

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?

Julie on June 08, 2016:

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?

Maffew James (author) on June 06, 2016:

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.

Kittievanilly on June 05, 2016:

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?

Carol on May 24, 2016:

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.

katy on May 16, 2016:

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 ?

Yonelly Sierra se on May 06, 2016:

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

Darlene on May 05, 2016:

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

Darlene on May 05, 2016:

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!

Kaylee on May 03, 2016:

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

Faye on May 02, 2016:

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.