How to Safely Strip Unwanted Color From Your Hair

For people who love expert-based stories or advice, it's odd that we will do anything to avoid visiting professionals IRL when we have a problem. We know we're not alone. (There's a reason we now have to be warned against taking WebMD so seriously.) When doing a quick Google search on how to strip hair dye in the safest way possible, we've read at-home tips that include showering with baking soda and crushed vitamin C. Will these at-home remedies actually work? Hate to burst your bubble, but the short answer is no. 

"Don't do anything at home," says Ryan Pearl, a Cutler Salon colorist. "Find a colorist you trust to handle the situation to get you back on the right track. Do your research." 

"I suggest seeing a colorist who uses 'baby lights' to gently break up the previous color. Strands taken in the foil are so small and, if used with a low volume, can prevent your hair from breaking," says Ariel Hauck, a colorist at Salon Benjamin.

1/1

Photo:

Imaxtree

If you're truly unhappy with how a dye treatment went or you're sick of your new color, Pearl says you can go back to the salon immediately to get it fixed. "It all depends on the hair's current condition and what was done the prior visit," he says. It can be done the next day if the hair is in good shape, but you don't want to jeopardize the feeling of the hair, so it's best to take it in stages."

If you must do something at home, Hauck suggests washing your hair with a Palmolive dish soap or a clarifying shampoo. While it won't strip the color from your hair completely, it can help quicken the natural washout period. "[It] takes a long time [to naturally wash out your colored hair], but there are ways of making it faster. Use a Palmolive dish soap once a week in the shower; it'll soften the dye," she says.

And for times when your hair unexpectedly turns green, you can use this popular condiment. "Believe it or not, if your hair turns green, you can use ketchup for 10 to 15 minutes, followed by shampoo and conditioner," says Pearl. "That could pull out the green hue, but that's a last resort."