Hair & Beauty Magazine

How to Get Rid of Semi Permanent Hair Dye

By Amber Johnson @AmberCJohnson

Getting rid of semi-permanent hair dye might be a challenge you face eventually, and there are a few methods to do so. They work on different levels, and some take longer than others, so it depends on a variety of different factors. Right now my hair is blue, and I want to remove all of the blue so I can dye it red, so I’ve been doing a bit of research on how to remove the blue so I can dye my hair red.

Wash Your Hair

The first method I want to talk about on removing some of your semi permanent dye is washing your hair. Different dyes stay on the hair for different amounts of time, and some will last for like 15-30 washes (or will say so on the box), and others will say they last for a few months. Regardless, if you are someone who just applied a semi permanent hair dye, rinsed it out, and got a terrible color that you can’t stand, there’s something you can do to remove some of the color at this early stage before it’s completely set in your hair.

You can wash you hair a bunch of times as soon as it happens to get out as much as possible. To make more of an impact, try using clarifying shampoos that are made to get rid of a lot of dirt and grease in hair–they will also get rid of some of the dye. Another technique you could use is adding baking soda to your shampoo to make it get more of the dye out by getting a deeper clean. Dish soap or detergent is also known to help. I would recommend washing and rinsing your hair like 15 times right after it happens to get the best results. Using hot water will also help get the dye out faster than cold water. After you do this, make sure you condition your hair, because all of that washing is bad for it. Maybe condition after every 5 to 7 washes as well to avoid getting your hair completely dried out.

Hot Oil

Using hot oil hair treatments, or a DIY at-home version will also fade color. The oil will counter some of the chemicals in the dye and make it fade. If you’re using a hot oil treatment, follow the instructions on the box, and when it’s in, wrap your hair up in a (warm) towel and let it sit for an hour. If you want to do the DIY version, you can just heat up some olive oil and use that in your hair.

Lemon Juice

You can use lemon juice in your hair to help because it’s a natural hair lightener. The citric acid in lemons will help get rid of some of the dye. I would recommend squeezing a fresh lemon and using that instead of the lemon juice that comes in a bottle, but either should work, I just would assume that the bottle is more diluted, but then again, that could be better for your hair. Leave this on for 10 – 20 minutes, with your hair in a shower cap or towel, then wash out.

White Vinegar

White vinegar also has an acidic property to it, and could be used the same way as the lemon juice. Leave this in for 20 minutes, then wash out.

All of these different options will only help your hair dye fade faster than it would if you didn’t do anything, but won’t make too much of a difference. They’ll only shorten the fading time. The most dramatic results will probably come from washing your hair multiple times, but will only work if it’s right after you put the dye in. For all of these methods, it’s important that you condition your hair very often to avoid drying it out. This next option is for those who want the color all out right away.

Hair Dye Remover

You can buy these at beauty shops like Sally’s Beauty Supply. There are some specifically meant for removing permanent hair dye, and some for semi-permanent hair color, so find the one for semi-permanent hair dye because it will do just that without damaging your hair as much as it would if you used the one for permanent color, and if you were to use a permanent hair dye remover, you would also run the risk of lightening your natural hair color. When you get your dye remover, follow the instructions on the box.

After using the dye remover, your hair should be the lightest shade it’s been, so if you bleached it until it was blonde before adding your semi permanent hair dye, then it should be blonde again. If it was a medium brown, then it should be a medium brown. If it was bleached blonde, then dyed a medium brown, then dyed red on top for an auburn color, don’t be surprised if it goes back to being blonde again. It will most likely return to a color somewhere between the blonde and medium brown, though.

This is the best option if you want good results, and fast! It’s not a solution as natural as the others, and it costs anywhere from $8 to $15 for a box of hair dye remover, but it’s the only way to get rid of most of the color right away. You can also go to a salon and ask them to do this for you if you have no idea what you’re doing and don’t want to potentially mess up your hair. After you do this, condition your hair a lot because it will need it!

Vitamin C!!

I’ve seen a lot of talk recently about using vitamin c, either the crushed powder type or the one that comes in tablets that you would manually crush (put in a plastic bag and hammer it to powder outside!),  and using it to fade out hair dye. People would normally mix this withe either dish washing liquid, preferably a dish soap with a lemon scent because it’s the most striping with this citric acid, or mix the powder with shampoo. I’ve seen people use it with any shampoo, but especially with either a dandruff prevention shampoo, or any Head and Shoulders shampoo, mostly their dandruff one.

This has been proven over and over to get the hard-to-fade hair colors out of hair. It will work better on the semi-permanent dyes that are vegetable oil based like Manic Panic and I believe Directions as well, and it will be less effective on the ones that are more long lasting, or demi-permenant. It will get the color to fade out faster, but bleached hair tends to stain, so don’t expect it all to come out. I think this is the most effective method, depending on whether or not the hair dye remover works on your hair, which it might not. I used the One n’ Only Color Fix Hair Color Remover on my blue hair (Ion Color Brilliance Hair Dye) and it didn’t do a thing!! I left it on for an hour and nothing happened, so this is the method to try if that happens to you.

Last Step

After this, your hair should have most of the color removed from it, so the last thing you should be doing to it is bleaching it again, to lighten and remove the last bits of color, or dying on top of it to make it all one color. Keep in mind, after doing this treatment, your hair will be more porous, so it will absorb dye faster, so your next color might go on more intense, or stay in longer. You might want to wait a little bit so you can condition and do hot oil treatments to nurse your hair back to health before going crazy with the hair dye again. If you’ve ever done anything like what’s mentioned in this article, please comment down below and tell me what you did and how it went for you! Hope this helps


Posted by at March 24, 2013
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