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How to Remove Semi Permanent Hair Dye: 4 Best Methods

by Sherri Owens

You can use a color remover, clarifying shampoo, Vitamin C, and baking soda to get rid of semi-permanent hair dye.

As a colorist, not only have I seen my fair share of DIY projects, but have been guilty of trying out a few as well. This makes me the perfect person to advise you how to remove semi-permanent hair dye.

Here are the best techniques to try out.

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The Top Two Methods for Removing Semi Permanent Dye

Here are the main options to remove hair dye once and for all:

Method 01: Hair Color Remover

A hair dye remover may be your top option for getting professional results. Color remover is specifically designed for this job and may be able to completely remove the dye the first time around. Therefore, I would argue that it is the most effective method.

Now, when choosing your hair color remover, make sure to look for a product that is specifically meant for semi-permanent hair dye.

Black Straight Hair with Brown Colored Edges

A lot of the color removers are meant for permanent hair dye. While you might imagine that this type of color remover may get the job done, it can actually damage your hair.

Colors adhere to the hair more strongly. So, the remover needs to be more potent to be as effective.

If you use a permanent hair color remover on semi-permanent hair dye, you will strip the hair too much. So, make sure to always check the label as you can substitute one for the other.

To make sure that you regain your natural color and maintain its luster, look for a formula with conditioner or conditioning properties. This way, you will have to do less work to keep your hair looking healthy and shiny.

How to Use Hair Color Remover?

The first thing you should keep in mind is that every color remover works differently. This is why you should always read the manufacturer's instructions before proceeding. These will let you know just what to do.

Here are some general instructions:

  1. Make sure your hair is clean, dry, and completely free of products.
  2. Divide your hair into four sections. If you have thicker or longer hair, you may need to part your hair into more sections. Pin each section up.
  3. Let one of the sections down. Separate this into smaller sections. Take the first section and apply the dye remover. Make sure the entire dyed section is coated in the product. Move onto the other section and continue until all the dyed portions are covered.
  4. When the product has been applied evenly, wrap your hair in a plastic shower cap or cling wrap.
  5. Leave on for 20 minutes or as indicated by the manufacturer. Remove the cap and then wash in lukewarm water with shampoo. If any color still remains, shampoo once or twice more.
Applying Hair Color Remover

Method 02: Use a Clarifying Shampoo

What I like about this method is that it's easier to find clarifying shampoos than designated color remover. Remember, this isn't regular shampoo.

I have also found that his method is quite effective at getting back your natural color.

See, this type of shampoo has deep cleaning action and works to relax the cuticle layer so that it lets go of the semi-permanent hair dye more easily.

The only thing I should warn you about is that clarifying shampoo can be pretty harsh. Due to this, it's a good idea to follow up this technique with a deep conditioning treatment to restore the moisture to your hair shaft.

How to Use Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Semi Permanent Hair Dye?

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Saturate your hair with warm water - it should be completely wet.
  2. Apply the clarifying shampoo to the wet hair - only target the areas with the unwanted color.
  3. Place hair inside a shower cap. Leave the cap on for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse out the shampoo.
  5. Use a conditioning treatment.

Keep in mind that your dye job may not be removed in one day. If you haven't achieved your natural colour yet, wait a few days and repeat the treatment.

Just make sure to deep condition your hair after each time, although an application of coconut oil may do the trick in some cases.

Hairdresser Washing Client's Hair

Other Methods for Removing Semi-Permanent Dyes

If you have done research on how to remove semi-permanent dye from your hair, you may have seen a few anecdotal techniques. Some people swear that you can use dish soap and other household items to get rid of semi-permanent color.

However, there's no real evidence that these techniques work. Even if they do remove some of the dye, it won't be all that effective and will only make your hair a few shades lighter.

What's worse is that many of these DIY treatments contain harsh chemicals that can strip the natural oils and damage your hair. Even with a lot of hair care afterwards, it may take long to restore your hair's health and luster.

Below, I will outline two methods that may be somewhat effective. However, there are no guarantees. Remember to always do a strand test with a cotton ball before moving on to your whole head.

Method 03: Vitamin C and Clarifying Shampoo

Vitamin C tablets contain ascorbic acid, which can help strip the color out of your hair. By itself, it isn't that effective but when paired with clarifying shampoo, it works quite well.

  1. Crush 15 to 30 Vitamin C tablets using a pestle and mortar. Or, you can use half a cup of ascorbic acid powder instead.
  2. Add a similar amount of shampoo and mix until well combined.
  3. Dampen your hair with water - it should be damp but not soaking wet.
  4. If you have sensitive skin, it can be helpful to apply petroleum jelly on your forehead, the sides of your face, and over your ears. This can reduce irritation. Also wear protective gloves on your hands.
  5. Section off your hair and apply the mixture to the dyed areas. Place hair in a shower cap for 10 minutes.
  6. Wash the mixture off and follow up with a deep conditioning.
Vitamin C Tablets

Method 04: Baking Soda and Anti Dandruff Shampoo

This is a good option if you're having trouble finding any specialty products.

  1. Combine equal parts of baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) and shampoo.
  2. Dampen your hair.
  3. Apply the mixture to the colored portions of your hair.
  4. Place your hair in a shower cap and wait for 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse the mix out and condition.

Keep in mind that baking soda can be very abrasive and can strip your hair of moisture. As a result, you may need to deep condition your hair afterwards.

If you need to repeat the process, wait a few days. This will give your hair time to recover. It is best not to use this method too many times, however.

Baking Soda with a Wooden Spoon

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Come Out Completely?

Yes, you can, although sometimes it can take a few tries before it is gone completely.

2. Is Semi-Permanent Dye Hard to Get Out?

It can be difficult, especially if the dye is a lot darker than your natural hair color. The type of dye can also determine how hard it is to remove.

3. How Can I Speed Up Removing Semi-Permanent Hair Color?

You can use one of the techniques mentioned in this post. Or, visit a salon to have it all stripped out at once.

4. How Long Does It Take to Get Semi-Permanent Hair Color Out?

This depends on the method you use. A professional remover may be able to get rid of the color in one day. Other techniques may take several tries and a few days.

There you have it - all the different tricks you can use to get rid of any dye job. For the best results, make sure to follow the methods step by step. Only rely on the DIY methods if you can't find the other products you need.

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