4 Natural Ways to Remove Hair Dye

21 November, 2019
Some natural products can help you remove hair dye little by little, but there's no way to get rid of it immediately. Keep reading to learn more...

Some people use hair dye to change their appearance and cover up gray hairs. Sometimes a dye job turns out great, but sometimes it’s awful and you want to undo it immediately.

The first thing you need to consider is that applying dye will significantly alter your hair. Dyes are strong chemical products and trying to remove them from your hair is pretty complicated. It’s a good idea to talk to a professional stylist so you can make a good choice and won’t regret your decision.

That being said, if you’ve already dyed your hair and you’re looking for a way to remove it, there are some natural options that can at least help lighten it. Remember that these won’t work miracles and the results will vary depending on how strong the dye is.

It’s also important to remember that these are basically folk remedies. There’s no scientific evidence that they work. If you have any adverse reactions, stop using the product immediately.

How to avoid common hair dyeing mistakes

There are plenty of mistakes you can make when dying your hair. However, there are certain things you can do to prevent the most common errors before you break open the bottle, such as:

  • Don’t buy cheap hair dye. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that some cheap dies can burn your scalp and cause itching and flaking.
  • Use the right amount of dye for your hair. If you have fuller or very long hair you might need more than one bottle. On the flip side, using too much dye can be too harsh on your hair.
  • See a trained professional. Someone without experience could easily damage your hair or leave some areas undyed.
  • If you dye your hair blond, red, purple, etc., don’t use products and treatments designed for dyed hair. Over time the color will fade and start to turn orange.

Natural ways to remove or lighten hair dye

There are some natural products that you can use to help get rid of your hair dye faster. However, as we mentioned before, the effects aren’t immediate and you have to use consistently to get good results.

While these products are generally safe, you should always do a patch test before you apply it all over your head. That will help you avoid adverse or unwanted reactions. So, are you ready to try it?

1. Vinegar mask

This baking soda and apple cider vinegar mask can help get rid of hair dye little by little. Baking soda is a natural exfoliant that helps remove impurities. Vinegar has been traditionally used as a natural conditioner.

Keep in mind that this method can be too abrasive for someone with fine, fragile hair and a sensitive scalp. If that’s the case, you should skip this particular recipe or use it sparingly and carefully.


  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda (20 g)
  • 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (40 ml)
  • Warm water (as much as necessary)


  • Plastic container
  • Shower cap


  • In a bowl, add the baking soda and apple cider vinegar and mix well until a homogeneous product is obtained.
  • Then stir in the warm water, taking care that it is not too hot.


  • Apply this mixture throughout your hair.
  • Once your hair is thoroughly moistened, gently massage your scalp for three minutes.
  • Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • After that time, rinse your hair with plenty of warm water.
  • If your hair color is very dark, you can repeat this treatment three times a week, maximum.

You may also need to increase the proportions of each ingredient, based on how much hair you have. If it doesn’t cover your hair completely there will be patches of color remaining.

Visit this article: 5 protein-rich hair masks

2. Shampoo


Dandruff shampoo’s active ingredient is something called selenium sulfide. When you combine selenium sulfide with baking soda, it can help remove hair dye.

Again, this is a gradual process that won’t give you immediate results. Use it at least three times a week if you want to see changes, and avoid it if your hair is fine or brittle.


  • Anti-dandruff shampoo (as much as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda (20 g)


  • 1 glass container


  • Choose the amount of shampoo that you use normally for washing your hair.
  • Mix in the baking soda in the glass container.


  • Apply this to your hair just like you would your normal shampoo.
  • Massage it in and let it act for five to 10 minutes.
  • Finally, rinse with plenty of water.

Remember that anything in excess is bad, so use with caution. If you notice any negative effects, stop using this treatment.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda in a bowl.

Baking soda and lemon juice mask can help lighten your hair after you dye it. However, it can dry out your hair if you leave it on too long. Be sure to use in moderation, for a maximum of five minutes. If you have any adverse reactions, stop using it immediately.


  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda (20 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (10 ml)


  • Mix both ingredients in a small bowl until you get a homogeneous paste.
  • Apply it to your hair and leave it on for five minutes.
  • After that time, rinse with plenty of warm water to remove hair dye.

See: 6 great uses for baking soda

4. Lemon juice

A glass of lemon juice.

The high vitamin C content of lemon juice can help get rid of hair dye. This method is particularly effective if the hair dye is recent. However, as with the other methods, you won’t see instant results.


  • Lemon juice


  • Squeeze several lemons to obtain as much juice as possible.


  • Wash your hair normally.
  • Use the shampoo to get as much foam as you can and let it sit for five minutes.
  • Now apply the lemon juice over your shampoo.
  • It’s important to massage it thoroughly throughout your hair and to leave it on for another three to five minutes.
  • After this, apply some conditioner to your hair and leave it on for five minutes more.
  • Finally, rinse your hair with warm water.


While nothing can completely remove hair dye, some of these formulas can help you get rid of it little by little. However, since we don’t have scientific evidence of their safety and effectiveness, always use with caution. Be especially careful if you have fragile hair or a sensitive scalp.

  • Hair Dye Safety: What You Need to Know About Salon and Box Color.(2019). Cleveland Clinic. Available in https://health.clevelandclinic.org/hair-dye-safety-what-you-need-to-know-about-salon-and-box-color/
  • Sable, “My 2-Ingredient Hack For Removing Hair Color,” xoJane, July 22, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2017.