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Removing Black Dye from Hair

Category Coloring
Changing hair color can be a challenge when you are not happy with the way it is. This is a guide about removing black dye from hair.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 25, 2010

I made the mistake of combing through my at-home hair coloring too many times and now most of my hair is completely black, no highlights, just black. I'd like to have some reddish highlights. My hairdresser took a sample of my hair and bleached it out as much as he could and it was orange/gold (not pretty). The other problem is, I am completely gray. So if I want to get my hair touched up whenever I have new growth (every 3 weeks), I'd have to pay my hairdresser a small fortune every three weeks. I can't afford that.

He suggested I get highlights and low lights, but I've had them before and it's not a good look for me, plus it would be too expensive every three weeks. I thought about growing out my hair to be all gray, but it would not be flattering with my skin color. So I thought I'd start out getting as much black out of my hair as I can. I look like a witch. Does anyone have a hair recipe that will release this black color from my hair, or some of it? I bought one of those 'color zap' packages from Sally Beauty, but I'm a little leery of using it, so I thought I'd ask here first.


By metroplex


January 25, 20100 found this helpful

I would not attempt this myself. Ask your hairdresser how to go about removing the black. It may not be advisable or possible. Might be too damaging to your hair. What color were you dyeing that it turned black? I think reddish highlights might be a unrealistic goal as red fades quickly. Maybe try for a light or medium brown all over. How about a haircut to get rid of much of the black?

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful

Color fix and Color zap are products devised to remove hair color. Color fix removes undesired permanent hair color. A controlled usage is done for color correction in specific areas. These corrections may be full or slight color corrections. Color zap gently washes out all the permanent hair color. It is recommended for color correction, uneven results, removal of dark shades or color build up. It is possible to immediately re-color the hair after using Color zap.or use peroxide,good luck.

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful

My feeling is: When you reach a certain age and have grey hair it's best not to go too dark because our skin becomes lighter as we age. I've found that most professionals agree with this. I have a sister-in-law who, all her life had black hair. She's now in her late 60ies; dying it black and it is very unbecoming as it is to Elizabeth Taylor.


It may not be on you,depending on your age and skin tone. I let my hair color grow off but started coloring it again because it had no body which the coloring gave me. I know this doesn't answer you question, but a lighter color on grey hair requires much less maintenance. Just my 2 cents worth.

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you so much for all of your good suggestions; I appreciate it.

For kffrmw88 - I bought Color Zap, but I'm a little leery of using it. I guess it's because it's a professional product. My hairdresser tried something like it and got an orangy/red color. Have you ever used it? What do you mean by using peroxide? Do you meant to put it on the black hair? Do you know what percentage of peroxide I would need, please?

For Oliveoyl: For years I'd die my hair a medium golden brown and then the gray would turn to highlights. Then as the years went by, they grays turned orange, literally. So I went a shade darker, to a sort of medium brown and that's what I used to draw too much color through my hair. However, the medium brown made the grays that grew in too much of a definition; it looked like I had a line of white-out against the brown. I agree with the reddish highlights, they do fade. That's why my hairdresser wanted to do highlights and low lights, more in keeping with the color of my face which has faded during the years. As far as a haircut, I'd need a crew cut, literally, to take away all this black, overdyed hair. I actually thought about wearing a wig at one time.


I tried light brown too, but it didn't cover the gray, they gray turned ashy. Plus, genius that I am, I also combed the light brown through my hair which made it blacker.

For TXbetty: I agree about having dark hair when a woman ages; it's a ghastly look; that's why I look like a witch. You described the Elizabeth Taylor part perfectly. I agree about the body hair coloring does. I have a lot of heavy, slippery hair that won't even hold an electric curler in it; they just slip out. Yet it's bone straight and it frizzes. That's what I like about the dye, it give me a little body to work with. I also have thought about growing it out to complete gray and then putting a suitable color on it - my hairdresser suggested this. BUT I'd still need to go to him for touch ups because I'd never be able to color the growth only and that's a problem. Asked my hairdresser about this and he said even hairdressers don't color their own hair because of this. Again my hair grows out every 3 weeks and it would be too expensive.


Sorry for the mass message; my computer won't let me send individual emails today.

But please, if you come up with other ideas, I hope you'll post them.

Thanks to all of you! I'm in a pickle!

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January 27, 20100 found this helpful

I have about 1/4 of my hair grey (I'm only 38!) and have dyed my own hair for many years now. I have gone too dark and used the color remover stuff before. It's not a bleach, it's a remover, but there will be some color left in your hair regardless, don't be surprised that you'll like like a lion, orangey yellow, but that is ok, you are now going to dye over it! BUT..... You must got at least several levels ABOVE what you normally do. If you use say a 5N, then you want to go at least a 7N. Leave the Red, Golds and Goldens out, they make the grey turn bright.

I find that when I use the remover, then dye over, I get a nice highlighted type effect (being that there are several different colors of dye removed hair underneath). Also, the Color Zap isn't the one in the Yellow box is it? If not, then I would recommend going back to Sally's and getting the one in the yellow box, it's more than the ZAP, but works WAY better! Good luck!

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

Do not do this yourself. You need to find a good stylist and have them do it. You are going to end up over processing your hair and breaking it off. My hair has turned a platinum as I have aged and I recently had brown/auburn chunk highlighting done on it.


If you do only auburn it washes down quickly...if you have a brown added to it, it lasts much longer. I learned the hard way not to do it yourself.

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

Been there and done that! Use Dawn Dish washing detergent! I wouldn't be afraid of the Color Zap at Sally's. Just follow the directions and use lots of conditioners before and after!

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February 2, 20150 found this helpful

For a few years, I've been dyeing my hair a black color. Now I am bored with black hair. What should I do to change my dyed black hair into light brown hair? Please advise me how best to do this. Thank you for your help.

By Rosemary from Brunei Darussalam


December 10, 20170 found this helpful

This is a two step process. The darker color is lifted off and the lighter color deposited. This is best left to someone experienced

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