Question: Hi YouTips4U, I need some advice. I just colored my hair and I hate it. Is there a way that I can strip out the color?
YouTiips4U: Hi, I understand your disappointment. Sometimes hair color just does not come out as you thought it would. This can happen if you do it yourself or if you go to a colorist and have it done professionally. If you had your hair colored professionally, my advice is to go back to your colorist and tell him/her that you do not like the color and it's not what you wanted. The quicker you do this the better because the longer you wait, the more the color will take hold on your hair. It's best to go either the same day or the next day. Most hairdressers will be more than happy to accommodate you and try to achieve the color you desired. They will also be able to advise you on the safety of removing the color depending on the current condition of your hair. So play it safe and ask first.
If your color is semi-permanent, don't fret too much, it will fade rather quickly (about 28 days). You can speed up this process by shampooing right away and continuing to shampoo regularly until the color has faded. Using a clarifying shampoo which is designed to remove buildup on hair and scalp will work the best because just as it is designed to remove buildup coating your hair shaft, it will remove color as well. If you want something stronger and quicker, using Head and Shoulders (the dandruff shampoo) and/or dish-washing liquid detergent like Dawn will fade the color quickly. Be sure you condition well after each shampoo as this can cause hair to be dry.
If you have used a permanent color, you will probably have to use a color remover (either you or a professional will do this). There are quite a few sold at beauty supply stores. Just to name a few: L'Oreal Color Zap, Clairol Metalex, or Clairol Uncolor. These products will strip out the unwanted hair dye so you can recolor it to the shade you wanted. Don't be alarmed if your hair looks a strange color after using one of these products. The purpose of the color remover is to remove all of the dark pigment from your hair. This process will leave behind a bright rather unnatural looking color. Don't fret if you see this; the hair is now ready to have a toner applied or to be recolored. Sometimes people are even happy with the results of just using the Color Zap to remove the color and not recoloring it; but that depends on your hair color. Please speak to the representative in you beauty supply store for help with usage of these products. Also, many of these products have help lines that you should definitely call before beginning.
Please keep in mind that whether you go to a salon to remove your color professionally, or do it yourself with dish-washing liquid or color remover, you will be doing damage to already damaged hair by overprocesssing it. Coloring your hair does strip it of moisture and natural oils, so you should know that these after processes can cause more dryness and breakage. The safest and gentlest way for you to get rid of permanent color would be to let it grow out. Not always an option I know, that's why you should experiment with semi-permanent color first because they wash out and fade with shampooing and time. Check the box of hair color carefully before applying and make sure you know what kind of a commitment you're in for (the box will tell you how long the color will last), and remember that stripping hair of color can only be done if the color you applied is darker than your hair color. If you have bleached your hair, you cannot strip it and you must see a professional if you want to change the color of bleached hair or you risk significant breakage.