How To Remove Temporary Hair Color

Woman coloring her hair with dye

Coloring your hair can be done out of fun or necessity. When you’re getting those silvery strands, then it’s time to do some cover up work, which will hopefully make you look a few years younger. If you’d like to try another shade of blond or brown, or an altogether new color, it might be fun. But what if the novelty wears off, and you want to remove the temporary hair color?

If you’ve had your hair colored at a salon, then you can come back to have your hair fixed or remedied if the color really looks bad. Sample hair colors don’t necessarily reflect how exactly it will look on your head, after all, and a good salon would oblige by remedying the problem. But what if you’ve done the coloring yourself? Temporary or semi-permanent hair colors usually don’t contain peroxide, which permeates into the cuticles, resulting in a permanent color change. Temporary hair color can, therefore, be removed even at home with a few remedies.

Wash, wash wash. The first thing to remember when removing temporary hair color is that the longer it stays on your hair, the more difficult it will be to remove. Within the first 24 hours, you can try washing with shampoo and conditioner several times. Use hot water when washing and rinsing. Daily washing actually contributes to the temporary dye fading over time, and so washing repeatedly within the first 24 hours of application will quicken this fading process.

If you have time, then you can soak your hair in hot water for extended periods. You can lie down in the bathtub with your hair in the water, washing and rinsing several times over.

Apply acidic solutions. After repeated washing, and after the first 24 hours, you can also soak your hair in a solution with lemon juice or vinegar for ten minutes at a time. Then you can repeat the washing and rinsing routine. Remember to do this after the first 24 hours, lest the acid in the lemon juice or vinegar react with the newly-dyed hair and cause even more problems.

Hot oil treatment. Treating your hair with hot oil can also help with speeding up the fading of temporary hair coloring products. You can use commercial, over-the-counter hot oil products, which you heat in a bowl of hot water before applying to your hair. You can also use olive oil, if this is readily available at home.

Use clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos help remove any buildup of chemicals in your hair, which might be due to hair gels, sprays, and even other shampoo and conditioning products. Clarifying shampoos can also hasten the fading of temporary hair color. You have a better chance of removing your temporary hair color faster if you use clarifying shampoo within the first 24 hours of applying the color. You might have to repeat shampooing several times over to get the desired effect. Most clarifying shampoos will be labeled as such, but any shampoo that contains acetic acid will work as a clarifying shampoo.

The last resort here would be to dye over your already-colored hair, but this will depend on your original color and the color and shade of the temporary color. 


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