How to Strip Hair Color in Different Ways (Definitive Guide)

Figuring out how to strip hair color without causing further hair damage is a task that many find quite overwhelming. If you’ve dyed your hair and then got sick of it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The biggest problem is that not many options are available to unravel the mystery.

If you want your hair to return to its natural form, you can actually choose to go for a dye remover from a pharmacy. The problem is that you are not guaranteed of quality. Some have over-the-counter removers that might instead harm to your hair.

Listed below are tips to help you remove hair dye from your hair.

Baking Soda and Ant-Dandruff Shampoo

Why baking soda? It works perfectly as a natural cleansing agent and will thus help lighten your hair and remove the dye with ease. Combining it with anti-dandruff shampoo makes the process faster. The anti-dandruff shampoo contains an active ingredient selenium sulfide that fades hair color.

Use a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and the shampoo to make a mixture. After that, lather the mixture into your hair and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse it off with warm water.

Repeat the exercise for a few days or until you get the expected results.

Vitamin C Tablets

If looking for a homemade hair dye remover, you might as well try ground vitamin C tablets first. Crush the tablets and add hot water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it to sit for an hour while covering it with a shower cap. Rinse with hot water.

This option is actually the safest non-abrasive option, especially if the hair dyed has a dark color. The acid in vitamin C oxidizes the dye loosening up its hold on your hair. The method, however, works only if the dye is applied no more than a few days.

White Vinegar and Water

Why use white vinegar to remove hair dye? Most dyes can handle alkaline substances, soaps, and shampoos but not acidic substances. The acid present in white vinegar helps in removing the color in your hair. What you need to do is mix equal portions of white vinegar and water, after which you apply it on your hair.

Leave it to it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it out. You’ll notice hair color coming out with the water.

Dish Soap and Regular Shampoo

Dishwashing soap and shampoo works best on semi-permanent hair dye. Dish soap is tough on grease and hair color and thus a great option. Mix a few drops of soap dish with regular shampoo and then wet your hair.

Apply the mixture and lather your hair for a few minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly, and as the soap dish comes out, it’ll strip out the dye. Always follow up with a deep conditioner to moisturize your hair every time you use this method as it can dry your hair.

Removing Hair Color WITHOUT Bleach!?

Alternative Methods That Will Help You to Get Rid of Hair Dye

The methods below are alternatives as they will work depending on your hair type and the period you’ve had the dye on.

i. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

To get rid of hair color using this method, mix equal parts of lemon juice and baking soda. Pour the mixture on your hair and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Rinse your hair with warm water to get rid of the dye.

ii. Hydrogen Peroxide

If looking forward to lightening your hair that is way too dark, mix equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water and then spray it on your hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and afterwards rinse the dye out.

iii. Epsom Salt and Baking Soda

Fill a bath with warm water and then add Epsom salt and baking soda. Let your hair soak in it for 30 to 40 minutes. This method, however, only works for semi-permanent dyes. It might not be quite effective and thus requires you to repeat a couple of times before you can start seeing any results.

iv. Bleach Powder and Water

To remove hair dye with bleach powder and water, mix equal parts of the powder and water. Pour the mixture through your hair and leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it out, shampoo, and also condition your hair like you usually do.

v. Bleach and Shampoo

If you are particularly daring, this method is yours to try. Bleach lightens up the dye and may also affect the natural color of your hair. Bleach lightens up the artificial dye making it easy for you to get rid of it. You should, however, proceed to use the method at your own risk.

To be on the safe side, test the mixture on a hair strand first before applying it on your entire head. Bleach can cause permanent damage to your hair.

vi. Color Strippers/Removers

Looking for the best permanent hair dye remover? Try color removers/strippers. If your hair has permanent hair dye, you’ll have to use a color stripper for faster results. You can, however, also use them on semi-permanent dyes as well.

Although color removers strip hair color fast, they can also damage your hair. As if that’s not enough, these removers usually have a nasty odor that leaves your hair smelling of rotten eggs, especially when exposed to heat. If you, however, want to get rid of hair color fast, this method is the best for you. The method is also safer when compared to the bleach powder one.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a dye remover from a pharmacy to strip hair color?

Yes, you can use a dye remover from a pharmacy, but be cautious as not all products guarantee quality. Some over-the-counter removers may harm your hair. Consider researching and choosing reputable brands.

Why is baking soda and anti-dandruff shampoo a good combination for hair dye removal?

Baking soda acts as a natural cleansing agent, and when combined with anti-dandruff shampoo containing selenium sulfide, it helps lighten hair and fade the dye. The mixture is effective in gradually removing hair color without causing excessive damage.

How does vitamin C help in removing hair dye?

Crushed vitamin C tablets, when applied as a paste, oxidize the dye due to the acid content. This method is considered safe and non-abrasive, particularly for dark-colored dyes, and works best when applied shortly after dyeing.

Why is white vinegar used in hair dye removal?

White vinegar contains acid that helps break down and remove hair dye. Mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water and applying it to the hair can effectively strip away color, as most dyes are sensitive to acidic substances.

Is dish soap and regular shampoo effective for semi-permanent hair dye removal?

Yes, the combination of dish soap and regular shampoo is effective for semi-permanent hair dye. Dish soap, known for its grease-cutting properties, helps strip away the color. However, always follow up with a deep conditioner, as this method can be drying to the hair.


The above methods will help you to learn how to strip hair color without having to rob a bank. Most of the ingredients are safe, not only safe and environmentally friendly, and will give you the results you want. However, some methods are extremely drying and might cause damage to your currently healthy hair. If you have thin, fragile hair or a sensitive scalp, choose your ingredients wisely and with a lot of caution. Also, condition your hair after removing hair dye to keep it hydrated.