How to Get Black Hair Dye Out of Hair? (Easy Guide)

Black Hair Dye

There isn’t a color classier and sultrier than black, but not everyone can pull off the dark shade. More than that, it’s the deepest and darkest color you can get, and also the most difficult to remove. If you regret dying your hair black, keep reading for our guide on lightening and bleaching your hair.

If you used a permanent dye to color your hair black, the most effective way to remove it is by using bleach.

On the other hand, nonpermanent black dyes can be easily removed by commercially available hair color removers and natural ingredients like Vitamin C, baking soda, or even shampoo.

Bleaching vs Stripping: What’s The Difference?

Bleaching and stripping are two chemical processes that can lighten your hair.

The bleaching process makes use of ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down the melanin that gives you your natural hair color. On the other hand, the process of stripping gets rid of the unwanted deposited color on your hair.

While bleaching breaks down the melanin in your hair, stripping only lightens the hair dye—not your natural hair color. 

Also Read: Homemade Hair Dye Remover: 7 Recipes That Work

How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Hair?

Since permanent hair dyes penetrate into your strands and literally lock into your hair, you’ll need to use bleach to completely remove the black pigments.

A great thing, the process of bleaching will lighten both the hair dye and your natural hair color. There are a number of home remedies that can help on fading the black dye in your hair, but they won’t likely lighten it more than a shade or two.

Can You Use Natural Methods For Removing Black Dye From Your Hair?

Unfortunately, home remedies and natural lighteners will only be effective for semi-permanent and temporary hair dyes.

Unlike permanent dyes, semi-permanent dyes don’t penetrate into your strands, so they usually fade after a number of washes. Also, temporary hair dyes only sit on the surface of your hair and can be washed out easily.

Different Methods for Removing Black Hair Dye

hair highlights

Black has the strongest pigmentation, and lifting it might require the use of bleach, hair color remover, or strippers.

However, everything will depend on the kind of dye you used, your hair type, and hair damage you may have. Here are some of the products you can use to get the black dye out of your hair:

Hair bleach

If you need to lighten your hair just a bit, opt for a bleach wash. However, lightening your hair for more than one shade will require a full bleach.

Keep in mind that bleach is notorious for making your strands brittle and dry, so don’t leave it on your hair more than needed.

How to use a bleach wash:

1. Mix the bleach powder and the developer

Always mix equal amounts of the two, though the quantity will depend on the length of your hair. Developers are available from 10 volume to 40 volume, in which the higher the volume is the more damaging it is. Since bleach wash is meant to be gentle, don’t use a developer higher than 20 volume.

2. Add shampoo to the mix

To dilute the mix, add 1/3 shampoo of the total product. Just opt for a typical shampoo without moisturizing ingredients, as oil will only impair the lightening process of bleach wash. If you have a sensitive scalp, you may dilute the mix further by adding more shampoo.

3. Apply the mix on wet hair, and leave it for 20 minutes

With the use of a brush, apply the product evenly to your hair, but don’t massage it into your scalp to avoid irritation. Leave it on your hair for 20 minutes and rinse thoroughly. You may repeat the process in the next few days after your hair fully recovers.

How to use hair bleach:

1. Mix the proper amount of bleach and the developer

Most of the time, you’ll need to use bleach powder and developer with a 1:2 ratio, though it may vary depending on the brand.

While a 20-volume developer can lift 1 to 2 levels, a 30-volume developer lightens up to 3 levels. On the other hand, a 40-volume developer is only used for a platinum blonde result.

2. Apply bleach to your hair

Section your hair into quadrants prior to application, and apply the product evenly. It’s better to apply lesser bleach close to the scalp to avoid irritation.

3. Check the product every 10 minutes

The length of time you’ll leave the bleach on your hair will depend on your goal but never leave it longer than necessary. Since the processing time may vary from brand to brand, always follow the instructions on the box.

If you already lightened your hair to your desired shade, rinse out the bleach. If it hasn’t lifted enough pigment after the maximum recommended duration, rinse it out. You may repeat the bleaching process once your hair fully recovers, though it shouldn’t be done in a week.

Hair color remover

Color removers or strippers are gentler on your hair than bleach. They simply break down the black dye attached to your hair so it can be washed away. You may even look for products formulated with gentle and moisturizing ingredients.

How to use hair color remover:

1. Mix the two separate solutions once you’re ready to apply

Hair color remover also consists of two separate solutions that should be mixed prior to application. Once mixed, they cannot be kept and reused later.

2. Apply the solution by hand, or by brush

It’s best to apply the product to your ends first, as the ends of your hair tend to hold a more artificial color. Just make sure that you apply evenly to avoid getting a splotchy result.

3. Leave the hair color remover for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly

Unless the brand you’re using recommends a specific timeframe, leave the product for a maximum of 20 minutes.

Most of the time, hair color remover works quickly, though it will also depend on the natural color of your hair. Once the recommended time has passed, rinse it out and follow with a conditioner.

Also Read: How To Remove Hair Dye From Scalp?

What Is The Best Hair Color Remover For Black Hair?

Experts recommend Color Oops Hair Color Remover as it’s formulated with moisturizing aloe and soy proteins. Your hair may feel dry after using it, but the product won’t damage your strands. It’s also effective for removing black hair dye whether you used a permanent or semi-permanent color. 

Clarifying shampoo

Clarifying shampoos are designed to remove product build-ups, so they could also help for removing black dye. However, they’re more effective in removing temporary and semi-permanent dyes, rather than permanent dyes.

Shampoo as you would normally do, replacing your gentle shampoo with a clarifying shampoo, as the latter is much stronger than the former.

Since it’s quite drying, always use a deep conditioner or a conditioning treatment afterward. Use it every day until the black dye starts to fade.

Can you use dish soap instead of shampoo to remove black hair dye?

Of course, you can. Dish soap has a similar effect if used on hair, though it won’t have a dramatic effect on permanent dyes.

Unfortunately, it can dry your hair more than a clarifying shampoo, so step up your game with hair oil, hair serum, or a hair mask.

Vitamin C

Depending on the type of dye you used, vitamin c can help to make your hair appear lighter after you’ve dyed it black.

However, it works best for softening a hair color that turned out too dark, rather than fully removing black hair dye. Just opt for vitamin c powder, as crushed tablets won’t dissolve well. 

How to use vitamin C:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of vitamin c powder with a clarifying shampoo.
  2. Shampoo as you would normally do, and leave it for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Rinse well with lukewarm water.
  4. Use a hydrating conditioner afterward, and rinse.
  5. Repeat the process once or twice a week until you lighten your hair to your desired shade.

Baking soda

Since baking soda is alkaline and a scrubbing agent, it can penetrate your strands and dislodge the black hair dye.

Unfortunately, it only works for temporary and semi-permanent dyes and is only effective under certain circumstances.

How to use baking soda:

  1. Mix a small amount of baking soda, shampoo, and warm water to make a paste. Opt for a medium-thick consistency—not too thick or too watery.
  2. Apply the product evenly to your damp hair by using a wide-tooth comb.
  3. Gently massage it over your hair and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse out and follow with a hydrating conditioner. The high alkalinity of baking soda can irritate your scalp, so you also need to nourish your hair with hair oil or a hair mask.

Related Questions

How long does it take to get black hair dye out?

Not every lighting process is the same, as everything will depend on the type of dye you used and the condition of your hair.

Bleaching is the fastest way to get black dye out of your hair, but it isn’t for everyone. If the hair is already dry, brittle, and damaged, it’s best to opt for natural yet less damaging methods to remove the dye. 

Can you lighten dyed black hair to light brown?

Of course, you can. If your hair color was naturally light brown prior to dyeing it black, you can get rid of the black pigments by using a clarifying shampoo every day, until your base color appears.

Unfortunately, permanent dyes require the use of bleach to completely remove the black. Depending on your natural hair color, you might need to bleach it and recolor it with a light brown dye.

Monika Dimitrovska

A makeup freak who's passionate about books, beauty products, vegan food, daydreaming, and stargazing.

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