How Do I Fix a Bad Dye Job on My Hair?

Whether you are trying to tone down brightly colored locks or lighten hair that has been dyed too dark, there are some things that you can try on your own before turning to your stylist for help. Using a clarifying shampoo or a baking soda mixture as a shampoo may help remove some of the hair dye.

Here are some steps to take to try and rectify a bad dye job:

  1. Avoid bleaching the dyed hair

    Bleach can damage hair that has recently been dyed, plus it only removes some pigmentation. If it removes the natural pigment of the hair, the result could be a brighter, stranger shade than the dye was originally.

  2. Use clarifying shampoo

    A clarifying shampoo tones down brightness in the hair and dries the hair out, fading color quickly.

  3. Use commercial dye remover

    If the clarifying shampoo doesn't make a big difference, try a store-bought dye remover. These products work by removing the pigments of the dye, leaving the natural pigment alone. However, the removers are not guaranteed to return hair to its original color.

  4. Try a home remedy

    Mix dishwashing detergent and a tablespoon of baking soda together, and use it as a shampoo. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. It strips hair of color but also of oil and shine.

  5. Lighten dark hair with baking soda

    Add a tablespoon of baking soda to shampoo, and let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Condition well afterwards to preserve the oils in the hair.