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  5. 11 Safe & Economical Ways To Remove Hair Colour At Home

Are you worried about your recent hair colour mishap? It’s common with first-timers or people dying their own hair.

The good news is you can remove any undesirable hair colour shade with simple home remedies backed by Ayurveda. Wondering how?

Scroll down to know.

Can You Really Remove Colour From Hair?

Yes, it is possible to remove your hair colour. In fact, it’s something we strongly suggest you do. Often, when the end result is not up to the standard, people opt to ‘fix it’ by layering their hair with another round of dye. While it might sound like an easy hack, there are two major problems with it:

  • The heavy build-up on your hair only weakens the roots, making it brittle and breakable.
  • Hair colours oxidize on coming in contact with the scalp and penetrate your hair shaft.

However, the hair shaft can only absorb a certain amount of artificial dye at once. On adding another layer, the new colour molecules would either not be able to enter your hair or make the resultant colour uneven. So, it is imperative that you remove the original colour first, give your hair time to heal from all the chemical applications, and then go for a second round.

The ancient principles of Ayurveda dictate that three doshas of Vata, Pitta and Kapha govern our body. All of us have one or two dominant doshas that create an imbalance and influence our body and mind.

The knowledge of your tridoshic constitution will help you ascertain the Ayurvedic prakriti of your hair and determine which colour removal remedy is best suited for your hair type. This awareness leads to accurate diagnosis, identifies the issues you are more susceptible to, and helps tap the root cause of recurring hair problems.

How To Effectively Remove Colour From Hair?

henna powder red hair

There are three types of synthetic hair colours: permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary. Temporary hair colours only coat your hair from the outside and do not enter the hair shaft. These can easily be removed in one wash. The other two either add a new colour to your hair shaft, or in the case of bleach, remove your natural pigment altogether [1].

As a thumb rule, semi-permanent dyes can be reversed more easily as compared to permanent ones. Both can either be removed or the shade can be lightened, with the following methods:

A. Ayurvedic Home Remedies

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon has natural lightening properties and it acts as a bleaching agent due to its acidic disposition. This miracle remedy is an excellent way to kill dandruff. It also works well to even out any uneven pigmentation in your hair.

How to use: Mix some lemon juice with coconut oil. Apply this on your hair and leave it for an hour before rinsing it off. The coconut oil will help nourish your hair.

Word Of Caution:

Never apply lemon juice in isolation. Its strong citric acid can counteract and result in slight greying of hair if left on the head for too long. People with imbalanced Pitta dosha should be mindful as they are already predisposed to premature greying.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

While all vinegars are acidic in nature and thus suited to remove colour from hair, apple cider vinegar is your best bet as it does not tamper with your hair’s natural pH balance [2].

It is also good for cleaning out chemical residue and dead skin cells from the hair. As it has pitta-pacifying properties, people with Pitta dosha imbalance can give precedence to this hair colour removal method over others.

How to use: Mix apple cider vinegar with some water and apply evenly on your hair. Keep your head covered for 20 minutes before washing it off.

3. Honey And Cinnamon

Honey is a natural bleaching agent and can help to significantly lighten your hair colour.

How to use: Take cinnamon powder and add some honey to make a paste out of it. Apply as a hair mask and keep it for two hours before rinsing it off with a herbal shampoo.

4. Baking Soda

While baking soda is known to be a one-stop at-home solution for removing any kind of stains from clothes and furniture, few know that it works well on hair too. This works effectively, because of its abrasive properties [3].

How to use: Add some water to baking soda to form a paste. Apply the mixture like a hair mask. You can add in some Epsom salt for increased effectiveness. Colours like blue and purple are removed better, with this method.

5. Hot Oil Treatment

Oiling helps get rid of the dye in your hair faster. This treatment has no side effects and is 100% safe. It is an extremely beneficial practice for your overall hair health. An oil massage relaxes you and nourishes your mane [4]. It also pacifies Pitta and Vata doshas.

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “Murdha taila, or the act of treating your hair with herbal oils, balances the tridoshas in the cephalic region, also known as Urdhwanga.”

How to use: Add some water to baking soda to form a paste. Apply the mixture like a hair mask. You can add in some Epsom salt for increased effectiveness. Colours like blue and purple are removed better, with this method.

If you have an imbalance of Vata dosha, massage your head with warm sesame or almond oil. For Pitta predominant hair, use brahmi or coconut oil because of their cooling properties. For Kapha hair type, use triphala hair oil.

B. Non-Ayurvedic Home Remedies

1. Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

While shampooing washes away hair colour gradually, anti-dandruff shampoos speed up that process. This process can however take up to 7-8 washes for satisfactory results. On the other hand, it is one of the safer “chemical” options available out there to remove colour from hair.

How to use: While shampooing, leave this on a little longer than your regular shampoo and wash with lukewarm water.

2. Vitamin C Tablets

This is the quickest and safest method to remove any kind of colour from your hair. Also, it shows results in the least amount of hair wash treatments (approximately three). Vitamin C oxidizes hair colour molecules which weakens their hold on your hair. It is particularly effective in removing semi-permanent hair dyes.

How to use: Take about 12 vitamin C capsules (not the chewable kind meant for children) and crush them. Mix this powder with hot water and apply on your hair. Scrub your scalp well and use your hands to rub the paste all over your coloured strands.

The dye will start coming out without damaging your hair and you will notice considerable lightening after every subsequent wash. This non-abrasive remedy works well on darker shades.

3. Dishwashing Soap

The soap that is used to clean dishes can speed up the process of stripping off your hair colour. Washing your hair with dish soap helps the colour fade away. However, it will take several weeks and multiple head baths for the colour to vanish completely.

Dishwashing bars, laundry detergent or liquid soaps. However, these are extremely drying in nature as they are originally meant to clean tough, greasy stains. People with a vitiated Vata dosha who are already prone to dry, frizzy hair should make use of this method sparingly.

If you are opting for laundry detergents, then choose one that does not contain bleach.

Vedix Tip: Be prepared to deep-moisturize your hair post every wash. Determine your dosha imbalance and accordingly apply natural Ayurvedic conditioners like yogurt and aloe vera on the resultant dry and rough hair.

4. Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying shampoo is a chemical product meant specifically for removing stubborn permanent colours from your hair. It gets rid of unwanted colour residue but make sure not to pick one with poor reviews or overly harsh ingredients.

How to use: Use like a normal shampoo. Your hair colour should be at least a week old before treating it with a clarifying shampoo. Choose a clarifying shampoo that:

  • Has good foaming
  • Is sulphate-free
  • Has natural extracts like lemongrass and aloe vera leaf juice
  • Causes minimum itching
  • Has oils like argan, jojoba, avocado or lavender

5. Hair Colour Remover

Hair colour removers, reducers, or extractors are commercial products that break down the colour molecules in your hair follicles. This causes all the synthetic pigment in them to come out. The chemical process works well on standard permanent hair dyes and gets the colour off completely in 1-2 rounds of application.

However, this process will only remove the last artificial colour from your hair. It can go back to either its bleached state or its original colour. It may also have undertones of previous colours depending on how much your hair has been processed before. Regardless, this will set a clean base and get your hair ready for re-dying.

Though hair colour removers neutralize artificial colour quite well, they leave a lingering pungent smell.

How to use: Follow the instructions on the provided leaflet. Pick out a product that is bleach and ammonia-free. Do a skin patch test and a strand test to see how it will react to you. People whose Ayurvedic hair type is dominated by the Vata dosha have higher hair porosity and can absorb more colour remover. Thus, they will see quicker results.

Vedix Tip: Wait for a minimum of two weeks to dye your hair again. After this treatment, your hair will absorb more pigment and bring out colours darker than intended so keep that in mind before reapplication.

6. Bleaching

This should typically be the last resort, used in case your hair colour is just too adamant to be removed by any other method. The process will strip your hair off its natural colour as well but if that is what you wanted, then bleaching might work for you.

How to use: Mix some bleaching powder with shampoo and apply on your hair. Leave it for five minutes before rinsing off. Do not forget to test it on a single strand first and avoid any excessive bleaching treatment on your hair.

Vedix Tip: If you just want to change your look, using natural dyes like henna is a better option. They are obtained from plants, are absolutely safe, and give a sharp brownish-red tone to hair.

How Long Does It Take To Get Colour Out Of Hair?


The time taken for your hair colour to be gone in its entirety, depends on the type of dye used.

Temporary hair colours can be removed in a single wash, while semi-permanent hair colours might take anywhere between 4-12 washes [5].

Since permanent dyes do not merely penetrate your hair shaft but also chemically change the natural melanin in your hair, their reversal can take even longer.

You would also want to keep a gap of 3-4 days between each wash.

How To Get Hair Colour Out Of Your Scalp?

It is common to get some hair dye on the skin, neck, or behind the ears while applying it on your hair. These stains will gradually come off on their own with regular showers. But if it is a bright-coloured hair dye and you want all oddly placed traces of it removed immediately, you can try the following rectifying measures:

  • All of the colour removal methods listed above can be used to remove colour residue from your scalp, face, and clothes.
  • Apply oil on your scalp and the surrounding areas of the skin before colouring your hair, especially on the hairline, forehead, nape, and ears. This will prevent the dye from getting soaked into your skin.
  • You can also apply oil over a dye when it has already stained your scalp. Just rub the affected area with some oil, let it sit, and wash it after a couple of hours.
  • Wear a towel, gloves, hairband and anything else that will help protect your skin and clothes from getting permanent colour on them. Ensure the dye is not dripping off.
  • Put some makeup remover, preferably alcohol-free, on a cotton pad and rub on the affected area. Do not forget to rinse. This will remove the pigment from your scalp. Nail polish remover can also work in a similar way.
  • Apply some toothpaste on the stain and exfoliate the area with a toothbrush or a cotton swab. Clean with a warm washcloth and the hair dye will come off.
  • Exercise caution during the applying and rubbing off, as you only want to remove colour stains from your scalp and not the actual dye from your hair.

How To Remove Colour From Hair After Playing Holi?

We all know how colour can get stuck in our hair after the festival of Holi. You can never be too sure of the colour quality others are using and if it is anything but au naturel, it is bound to cause some cleaning problems afterwards.

Here are some Ayurvedic ways to make sure your hair returns to its healthy state, so that you can have a no-bounds, fun celebration of the festival of colours.

  • Before stepping out, apply coconut oil on your hair and massage thoroughly. This will protect you from colours made out of strong chemicals and prevent your hair from getting damaged.
  • After you are done playing Holi, apply some egg yolk on your hair. Wash it off with a mild, sulphate-free shampoo and all the colour will easily come out.
  • As much as possible, use natural colours to play Holi. Some quick and easy extraction options can be from hibiscus, marigold, chrysanthemums, turmeric, henna, sandalwood, and indigo.

The Last Word

Even after the best of research, hair colour fails do happen. Blonde and brunette colours can especially end up looking too bright or too ashy for your liking. Instead of panicking, try any of the above mentioned home remedies. Opt for customized hair solutions to suit your Ayurvedic dosha imbalance and choose options that are safe and easy on your hair.

Know Your Dosha Now

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